John M. Kelly was born on November 3, 1891, and was a member of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, the church that the McCarthy family attended. He was elected to the bench in 1942, and he served as judge of the First Circut Court of Knox County. He was a highly respected jurist until his retirement in 1963. He died on January 6, 1971, and is buried in Calvary Catholic Cemetery.
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Wesley G. Morgan, Ph.D.