John Kelsey (June 20, 1830 – January 21, 1880) served on the first City Council in the City of Oakland in 1854.

Kelsey was born in New Jersey, and married Harriet C. Bayliss (Kelsey) on October 26, 1851. They came to Oakland by 1853, where they had 5 children: Frank Bayles Kelsey, Clara Etta Kelsey, Laura Day Kelsey (Goss), Harvey D. Kelsey, and John Edson Kelsey.

He was a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church and a trustee, and was the superintendent of the first Sunday school. 3

Kelsey was associated with the church until he moved to Berkeley, where he owned 30 acres, mostly planted with fruit trees. 1 It appears to be about where Kelsey Street now is, and described in the 1880 directory as the "east side of Audubon (College Ave.) south of the asylum."

detail of 1880 map

Kelsey died on pneumonia at age 49, and is buried in Mountain View Cemetery along with Harriet and the children. 2

Links and References

  1. Death of John Kelsey Oakland Tribune January 23, 1880
  2. John Kelsey on FindAGrave
  3. Oakland Directory 1869