Welcome to the City of Kelley!
Kelley was platted in 1875 by Joseph Kelley after the Des Moines to Minneapolis railroad came through his farm, which was later called the Chicago-Northwestern. The plat was done by Mr. Pelton, a surveyor for the railroad, who had laid out Sheldahl in 1874. Both Kelley and Sheldahl have streets Hubbel and Polk named after Des Moines families who were investors in the railroad. The nearest towns to Kelley were Ames to the north, Sheldahl to the south and Cambridge to the east. Going west you had to go to Swede’s Point, later called Madrid, to find another town.
In 1917 the consolidated school was built. In 1958 Kelley joined with Huxley, Slater and Cambridge to form Ballard Community School.
In early years Kelley had many businesses, including 3 stores, 2 restaurants and a bank. They even had a community fair. When the roads and transportation improved Kelley started losing business after World War II. Being just five miles from Ames, Kelley residents had easy access to more stores and a wider selection of goods. Today being so close to Ames is an asset for Kelley residents. We have most of our needs within ten or fifteen minutes.