NAME: Kelsey
COUNTY: Upshur
CLIMATE: Warm winter, hot summer
Winter, spring, fall
COMMENTS: Not much to see.
REMAINS: Historical marker and a few residents.
Kelsey was founded in 1898 as a Mormon settlement for those of the faith who were experiencing persecution in the South. It became the mother colony of all Mormon communities in Texas. Two brothers, John and James Edgar, founded the settlement after leaving their home in Alabama. Although it was not their original intent to form a Mormon colony, their success as farmers came to the attention of church officials in Salt Lake City who sent missionaries into the area and Kelsey became the haven for those converted to Mormonism. Kelsey reached its peak in population about 1917 with close to seven hundred and fifty inhabitants. It was the railroad that was the principle reason for the town's decline. The Marshall and East Texas Railway ran its last train through the town in September of 1917 leaving the farmers no practical way of transporting their crops to market. Today, Kelsey has no schools, no church and no businesses and is sparsely populated. There is an historical marker that describes the town as the Kelsey Mormon Colony. SUBMITTED BY: Henry Chenoweth