Mr. & Mrs. Samuel B. Kelley
March 22, 1942
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Burke Kelley
Burke Kelley was born August 9, 1868, in Murfreesboro, (Arkansas), the
youngest son of Nancy Scott and William Kelley. His grandparents were among
the members of a caravan formed by the ... Scott (family) to make the long
and hazardous trip (from Tennessee) to Arkansas, where they settled at
Nashville, Pike County. The trip was made over wild and unsettled territory
and the company of other people was necessary both for protection and aid in
crossing mountains and fording rivers.
The (Scott) family, having owned considerable land on the present site of
Nashville, Tennessee, named the new town for their original homestead. After
his father's death, resulting from a wound suffered in the War Between the
States, Burke moved with his mother and two brothers to Brinkley. The other
two Kelley boys were Robert, who was a doctor, practicing in DeWitt and
Arkansas County for a decade, and Edward, who moved to Washington D.C. A
sister, Minnie Bridewell Kelley, married William J. Knox and moved to
Burke went to work on the old Brinkley Argus as one of the youngest
printers' devils in the state. During his youth, he moved more often than a
Methodist preacher and worked on almost every newspaper in Arkansas. At one
time he was on the staff of the Arkansas Gazette with his close friend,
Louis Audigler of Portland, Oregon, who is today a nationally known writer
and traveler. Burke's mother died and he returned to Brinkley to settle
down. There he met and courted his future bride, Ludie Yates, taking her on
a wedding trip on the new railroad to Newport in the late 1880s.
Ludie Yates was born September 15, 1874, in Lee County, the younger of two
girls, daughters of Americus Wilkes and William Yates. Della, the sister,
married David Tate of Jacksonville, and she died in 1910. The marriage of
Americus and William was a war romance. The young soldier in the War Between
the States was on furlough in 1863 when he visited the Wilkes home in
Mississippi with the two Wilkes brothers. He fell in love with Americus then
and promised to come for her after the war. Following their marriage, they
settled in eastern Arkansas.
The Kelleys lived in Forrest City for awhile, where Kelley was associated
with the Forrest City Times. In 1912 Burke Kelley moved to Lonoke, where he
first leased, then bought the Lonoke Democrat, one of the oldest and largest
weekly papers in the state. When the modern Linotype was installed Kelley
kept his case where he "could feel the type." He died in 1925 and Mrs.
Kelley died in 1933.
Children: Mrs. Lawrence Church of DeValls Bluff, who became editor and
publisher of the Lonoke Democrat, serving for 12 years following her
father's death; Mrs. Joseph R. Roberts of Little Rock; and Mrs. Mark B.
Grimes of McCrory. A son, Edward Foreman Kelley is superintendent of the
Buckeye cotton Oil Mill at Selma, Alabama.
Grandchildren: Mrs. Walter Gardner of Lima, Peru; Kay and Joe Robert Jr. of
Little Rock; and Jimmy Grimes of McCrory.
From Arkansas Families: Glimpses of Yesterday Columns from The Arkansas
Gazette, published by Arkansas Research, P.O. Box 303, Conway, AR 72033.
Price: $24.50 plus $3.00 postage.
HTML file and design by David Kelley, 1997. All rights reserved.