Ell Kelly Ell Kelly

Born: c. 1847

Died: December 21, 1926

Married: Hattie Rork

Children: None

Ell Kelly was the guardian of the grounds at Trudeau sanatorium for more than 40 years.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 22, 1926

Ell Kelly, Aged Guardian Trudeau Grounds, is Dead

Heart Attack Suffered Sunday Afternoon in Lonely Place on Farm Led to His Final Illness; Served Sanatorium More Than 40 Years and Helped Make Surroundings Beautiful; Funeral Thursday Afternoon

Ell Kelly, guardian of the grounds at Trudeau sanatorium for more than 40 years, died in the Ludington Memorial infirmary late yesterday afternoon after an illness of three days. He was 79 years of age.

Mr. Kelly was stricken with a heart attack Sunday afternoon while he was alone at his farm just north of the sanatorium grounds. After three hours and still in a serious condition he was able to reach the road and attract the attention of people passing in a sleigh.

He was taken to the home of his nieces, the Misses Alzada and Adelaide Williams, nearby and was later moved to the infirmary. On Monday his condition seemed much improved, but yesterday afternoon he suffered another seizure and died in a few minutes.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow afternoon at 2 o'clock in the Trudeau chapel at which the Rev. E. B. Brownell, pastor of the local Methodist church, will officiate. Interment will be in Brookside cemetery at Bloomingdale.

Mr. Kelly was born in Vermont but came to this region as a boy and has made his home here ever since. He married Miss Hattie Rork, of this village, who was hit by a train and fatally injured at the Margaret street railroad crossing 18 years ago. They lived on their farm near the sanatorium. They had no children. After his wife's death, Mr. Kelly made his home at the sanatorium but spent much of his leisure time at the farm. It was upon a daily visit to his farm home Sunday that he was seized with the first heart attack.

Drove First Stage Coach

The aged man was the driver of the first stage coach between the sanatorium and the village and was later made superintendent of the Trudeau grounds, which he has developed into one of the beauty spots of the Adirondacks. In summer the flower-beds and shrubbery form one of the most elaborate layouts of landscaping in this region.

Many incidents are remembered in connection with the life of Mr. Kelly at Trudeau. He and the late Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau were of the same age and one of the familiar greetings which Dr. Trudeau was accustomed to use in meeting him was "Well, we're both holding out, Ell."

The Trudeau issue of the Journal of the Outdoor Life for January, 1923, devoted the following paragraphs to Mr. Kelly:

"Ell Kelly was a neighboring farmer when he began to work for the sanatorium forty years ago. Since then, most of the sidewalks, roads repairs and water supply have been made under his direction and largely by his own hands. His services called for great versatility, and they have been very valuable. Although partially crippled he is still active in the service of the sanatorium.

"Ell Kelly, too, succumbed to the charm of the founder of the Adirondack Cottage sanatorium, 'I came to work for two hours,' he said when he told the story of his life work, and of the great institution which he has helped develop, 'and I remained forty years.'"

Mr. Kelly's nearest survivors are several nieces and nephews. Besides the Misses Williams, they are Mrs. Daniel Duffin, of Syracuse; Mrs. Kenneth Moody, Mrs. Antoine Pasho, Mrs. Aden Lawrence, Elmer Kelly, Judd Kelly and Fred Williams, all of Saranac Lake.


2010-04-29 20:44:42   Ell Kelly and Elmer Kelly are not the same man. Ralph Kelly was the son of Elmer, who was the caretaker at the Moir Camp. Ell Kelly was a generation older, Elmer's uncle, I believe. Ell's real, whole name was "L"! He had a couple of brothers with other initials as first names. We can check with Ralph's nephew. —MaryHotaling

  • Thanks! — M Wanner