Clyde Wetmore Kelly

Clyde W. Kelly. (Image: Duluth Public Library)

Clyde Wetmore Kelly, architect, has been performing some of the capable work in his profession at Duluth and vicinity for the past fifteen years. He has designed many public buildings, and his work speaks for itself and fully justifies the high reputation he has won in his profession.

Mr. Kelly was born December 2, 1880, at Chicago. His father, Charles Herbert Kelly, soon afterward moved his family to St. Paul, Minnesota, where he died in 1884. The younger of two children, Clyde W. Kelly attended the public schools of St. Paul, and acquired his preliminary knowledge of architecture while in Washington, District of Columbia, as a draftsman in the office of the supervising architect of thetreasury department. While working there during the day he attended night courses in architecture at George Washington University. On leaving Washington he was employed for a year in the architectural department of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and in 1905 returned west, spending five months in Winnipeg and then coming to Duluth.

Here for a year or so he was in the service of other architects, including John Wagenstein and the firm of German & Lignell. In 1907 he began practice for himself, and afterward was associated with Mr. Lignell, later with O. J. Williams, and since January, 1917, his partner has been Thomas J. Shefchik, under the name Kelly & Shefchik. To a large degree Mr. Kelly’s work as an architect has been on public or semipublic structures. He and his. firm have designed many schools and other public buildings. One of the most conspicuous of the large school buildings designed by the firm is the Morgan Park School.

Mr. Kelly has been a member of the Naval Militia for seventeen years and practically at the beginning of the World war, on April 7, 1918, was called to duty and was in service until December 16, 1919. During most of the war he had command of the U. S. S. Massachusetts. He holds a license as master of any gross tons steam vessel, upon the waters of any ocean.

Mr. Kelly is a member of the college fraternity Delta Tau Delta, is a 32 degree Mason and a member of Aad Temple of the Mystic Shrine.

He is also a member of the Elks, a charter member of the Rotary Club, belongs to the Duluth Commercial Club and is a member of the Board of Governors of Ridge View Golf Club. In politics he is a Republican.


  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.
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