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Chelf, William U.

Posted by ceddleman 
Chelf, William U.
February 20, 2007 08:45PM
Kentucky: A History of the State, Perrin, Battle, Kniffin, 4th ed., 1887,
Adair County.
WILLIAM U. CHELF, justice of the peace, was born in Culpeper County, Va.,
September 25, 1830, and is the third in a family of six children born to
William M. and Judia (Burke) Chelf, natives of Culpeper County, Va., and
of English descent. William M. Chelf was born August 6, 1797; was
educated and married in his native county and at an early age learned the
fulling business, serving an apprenticeship of four years, after which he
followed his trade for several years. In 1831 he came to Kentucky with
his wife and family, accomplishing his journey over the Blue Ridge and
Cumberland Gap in a four-horse wagon. He first settled at Bradfordsville,
Marion County, where he erected and operated a carding-mill which was
driven by an old-fashioned tread-wheel. In 1837 he removed to what is now
Taylor (then Green) County, and bought a farm on Robinson's Creek, some
two miles above the present village of Mannsville. There he was engaged
in the cabinet business in connection with farming until 1844, when he
sold out and returned to Bradfordsville, where he again engaged in the
carding business and also in grinding corn. This mill was also driven by
a tread-wheel. In 1852 he brought in steam power and erected a flouring
mill; in 1858 he sold the mill and removed to Green River Knob, Casey
County, where he bought a farm and engaged in agricultural pursuits in
connection with the distilling business until 1863, when he sold a part
of the farm, and later made his home with his children. His death
occurred at the home of William U., at Rolla, Adair County, December 11,
1881. He and wife were members first of the Baptist and later of the
Christian Church. He was also a bright member of the Masonic fraternity
and was buried with honors of the order. His father, Elias Chelf, was
also a native of Virginia and was a soldier in the war of 1812. In 1832
he came to Kentucky and settled near Bradfordsville, where he resided
until his death, in 1836, at the age of about eighty-five. He married Miss
Katie Weaver, of Virginia. Mrs. Judia (Burke) Chelf was born July 19,
1807, and died November 7, 1881. Her father, William Burke, was a native
of Virginia, where he was educated, married and engaged in agricultural
pursuits all his life. The Burke family were for many generations among
the first families of the old commonwealth, and also among her most wealthy
planters. William U. Chelf received a good common school education and in
early life was employed in his father's carding-mill. At seventeen he
commenced to learn the carpenter's trade, serving an apprenticeship of
four years at Lexington, Ky. He then returned to Bradfordsville, where he
followed his trade until 1856, when he engaged in the saw and grist-mill
business in Marion County until 1860, when he removed to Ohio County, Ky.,
where he engaged in the same business and also at carding until November
1, 1861. He then enlisted in Company H, Third Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry
(Federal), and served until July 25, 1862, when he was taken prisoner and
paroled at Elkton, Tenn., while lying sick at the house of William W.
Smith, where he was taken care of and kindly treated for sixteen days. He
finally reached home, but was never again able to join his regiment, and
was honorably discharged December 26, 1864. He participated in the battles
of Shiloh and many other engagements. After the war he returned to
Marion County, where he resumed the mill business and continued the same
until 1869 when he moved to a farm near Loretto, same county, and engaged
in farming, wagon-making and blacksmithing. In 1872 he went to Liberty,
Casey County, where, for one year, he was engaged in the grist-mill and
carding business. In 1873 he moved to Rolla, Adair County, where he has
since resided, engaged in the saw and grist-mill business. Afterward he
added the stave business and in 1882 opened a grocery store and drug
store, two years later adding dry goods and general merchandise. He also
owns a good farm near the village. He was town marshal of Bradfordsville
for two years, deputy sheriff of Marion County one year, and in 1875 was
elected a magistrate for Casey Creek District, No. 7, Adair County, which
office he now holds, having been twice re-elected. He was married,
December 9, 1851, to Miss Delilah H. Gartin, a native of Marion County,
Ky., born May 12, 1838. She is a daughter of Nathan H. and Adelia
(Speed) Gartin, natives of Marion and Casey Counties, Ky., respectively,
and of English descent. Two daughters have blessed this union: Susan M.,
now Mrs. J. W. Martin, and Sarah C., wife of J. W. Caskey. Mrs. Chelf
is a member of the Christian Church. Mr. Chelf belongs to no church, but
is a consistent Christian and holds to the doctrines of the Christian
CHurch. He was made a Mason September 28, 1850, and has advanced to the
R. A. degree. He has been W. M. of the lodges to which he was attached
several times. He is a Republican and recognized as a party leader.
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