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William H. Kelsey, Congressman from New York

William Henry Kelsey (October 2, 1812 – April 20, 1879) was a U.S. Representative from New York.

Born in Smyrna, New York, Kelsey attended the common schools. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1843 and commenced practice in Geneseo, New York. He was the Surrogate of Livingston County 1840–1844 and served as district attorney of Livingston County 1850–1853.

Kelsey was elected as an Opposition Party candidate to the Thirty-fourth Congress and reelected as a Republican to the Thirty-fifth Congress (March 4, 1855 – March 3, 1859). He served as chairman of the Committee on Engraving (Thirty-fourth Congress). He was not a candidate for renomination in 1858 to the Thirty-sixth Congress. He resumed the practice of his profession.

Kelsey was elected as a Republican to the Fortieth and Forty-first Congresses (March 4, 1867 – March 3, 1871). He voluntarily retired from political life and resumed the practice of law in Geneseo, New York, where he died on April 20, 1879. He was interred in Temple Hill Cemetery.

His brother was Edwin B. Kelsey, who was a lawyer, businessman, and Wisconsin state legislator.[1] Another brother, Charles S. Kelsey, was also a Wisconsin legislator whose son, Otto Kelsey, was a New York legislator.


  1. ^ 'Proceedings of the State Bar Association of Wisconsin,' vol. 1, Wisconsin State Bar Association: 1905, Biographical Sketch of Edwin Bolivar Kelsey, pg. 211-212


  • United States Congress. "William H. Kelsey (id: K000080)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • William H. Kelsey at Find a Grave
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
George Hastings
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 28th congressional district

March 4, 1855 – March 3, 1859
Succeeded by
William Irvine
Preceded by
Daniel Morris
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 25th congressional district

March 4, 1867 – March 3, 1871
Succeeded by
William H. Lamport

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website