Tombstone of the Month

Joseph C. Kelso

Joseph Chambers Kelso was the son of William and Martha (Chambers) Kelso, both of Irish ancestry.  The Kelso family emigrated in 1813, when William was six years old, landing first in Philadelphia, then on to McAlavy's Fort in Huntingdon County, and finally to Clover Township, Jefferson County in 1820.

Joseph C., was born 19 July 1835, in Jefferson County, PA, living on the family farm until his marriage to Miss Sarah Simpson on 6 October 1859.  She was the daughter of William and Lilly Ann (Scott) Simpson, and was born 16 May 1836 in PA.

At the onset of the Civil War, he enlisted in August 1861, as a private at Brookville, and was made fifth sergeant in Company B, 105th P.V.I., which was then attached to the Army of the Potamac.  By the time his enlistment of three years expired, he had advanced to captain of his company.  He was wounded in May 1862, then taken prisoner in August, paroled by General Stonewall Jackson and then exchanged by him.  In December 1862, he returned to his command in Falmouth, VA, and in May of 1863, he was again wounded in the left leg at Chancellorsville, VA.  At the Battle of the Wilderness, he was shot through the right shoulder.  He was honorably discharged at Pittsburgh on 11 July 1865.

Joseph and Sarah were the parents of five children, Martha Ann, John Scott, Roverda Jane, William Harry, and Lily Ann, the last three all dying in childhood.

Joseph Chambers Kelso died 2 January 1922, and was buried in the new Jefferson Cemetery in Clover Township, Jefferson County, PA.  His wife, Sarah, died the next year on 16 May 1923, and is buried in the family plot with her husband. 


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