Nathan Kelly left his parents home in Augusta County, Virginia in the late winter of 1790. He had been taxed there in 1787. He drifted around the settlements north of Cincinnati, settling there in 1791. James Taylor in 1791 sold him two inlots, No. 10 and 11 and two outlots. Kelly later claimed the honor of having built the first dwelling Newport worthy of being termed a house, rather than a hut or plank shanty, on the south side of modern Second Street, between Columbia and Central (then Cabot) Avenue. (Source-Newport Record Book for Lot Sales)
He became the first Sheriff of Campbell County appointed in December 1794 by Governor Shelby. He was a man of modest means when appointed. His taxable property in 1794 showed only two horses and 13 cattle. Since Campbell County contained many other men whose experience and social standing made them better qualified to be sheriff, Kelly obtained this powerful office through James Taylor's influence at Frankfort. He resigned in November 1797.
James Taylor pushed Kelly to be one of the first trustees of Newport because he felt that Kelly would support Taylor family interests. Kelly's name is on numerous early court records. Nathan Kelly's court records and deeds.
Nathan Kelley left Newport and Kentucky in 1797 and had to be replaced as a trustee.. (Source-Newport Kentucky Trustees Book, Sep 11, 1797.
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