18 Jul 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Becky Jones
Harry F. Kellum, resident of Prophetstown, is a son of Samuel and Lucretia (Eldridge) Kellum, and was born in Susquehanna Co., Pa., town of Dimock, April 1, 1818. His father was a farmer and lumberman, and was born Oct. 19, 1783, and his mother Nov. 27, 1787. The former died Jan. 2, 1869, and the latter Jan. 2, 1879. They had seven children, of whom only two survive, Judge Charles Kellum, of Sycamore, DeKalb County, this State, and the subject of this biographical notice.
Mr. Kellum, subject of this notice, was reared on the farm, alternating his labors thereon with attendance at the common schools, and working at the lumber business, until he was 18 years old. At this age in life he left school and the farm and entered the store of John F. Means, in which he acted in the capacity of clerk for five years, the same being in Towanda, Bradford Co., Pa.
In 1844 Mr. Kellum came to this State, locating in Peru, where he remained until the fall of 1845, when he went to the city of New Orleans. In December, 1846, he enlisted in Gen. Scott’s Division, as a soldier in the Mexican War, and was in the service two years. He participated in a number of prominent engagements, and was promoted from a private to the position of Deputy Quartermaster. After his term of service had expired, he came to Peoria, this State, where he was engaged for a period in the capacity of book-keeper. In the spring of 1850 he bought a team, and in May of that year joined a caravan and traveled across the plains to Sacramento. He stopped on his way at Salt Lake one month, and arrived in Sacramento in September of the same year; he went into the gold mines, where he endeavored to secure a fortune, and worked at the business four years; then became agent for Wells, Fargo & Co., at Prairie City, Sacramento County, that State, in whose employ he remained until 1859. During the latter year he returned East via the Isthmus, and in 1860 came to this county and located on a farm one and a half miles east of Prophetstown.
Mrs. Kellum died Dec. 14, 1864, aged 33 years, and after her death Mr. Kellum sold his property and came to Prophetstown. He soon opened a livery stable, which he ran until 1881, when he sold it; he then entered the grocery store of D. K. Smith & Co., and remained with them two years.
The first marriage of Mr. Kellum occurred in Prairie City, Sacramento Co., Cal., Feb. 14, 1854, and the lady of his choice was Miss Sarah J. French, a daughter of George W. and Mariah French. She was born in Racine County, city of Burlington, Wis., in 1831. They had five children, four of whom still survive. Samuel was born Feb. 7, 1855, in Prairie City, Cal., and died April 23 of the same year. Addie was born May 22, 1856, in Folsom, Cal.; Mary, Nov. 11, 1858, in the same place, and is the wife of George Parks, a jeweler in West Union, Iowa; Louie was born Jan. 21, 1861, in Burlington, Wis.; Alice, Nov. 12, 1862, and is the wife of William Norton, station agent and telegraph operator in Shellsburg, Benton Co., Iowa.
Mr. Kellum was again united in marriage in Prophetstown, July 21, 1872, to Mrs. Louise Spencer, nee Minchen, born in Montpelier, Vt., July 27, 1823, and came to Illinois in 1838.