Percival Gates Kelsey was born August 27, 1841 in LaPorte, Lorain county, Ohio, the second child of Frederick Mortimer and Caroline Terry Kelsey. His mother died when he was seven years old, and his father married her sister, Mary Terry on February 17, 1850. There were two more children born to the family, Emelius Frederick, born January 3, 1852 and died November 22, 1853; and Lymna Orvilletta, born September 2, 1854. The eldest child, Emily Alice, born June 16, 1839 in Greenfield, Ohio, married George Washington Noggle on September 29, 1861. Her brother and sister married two members of the Sturges family, Alida Livingston and Samuel Pratt, and they both lived in DeKoven, Kentucky.
Percival enlisted at the age of twenty in Indianapolis on August 30, 1861. His service is as follows: 1st Lieutenant of Company A, 26th Indiana Infantry; promoted on February 10, 1862 to Captain; tendered his unconditional and immediate resignation on June 30, 1862. His resignation was accepted by Brigadier General J. M. Schofield. Percival was graduated from Chicago Medical School, Northwestern University in 1864.
He returned to Fort Wayne, where he married Alida, the daughter of Dr. Charles Edmund and Louisa Ewing Sturges, on January 1, 1868. The Kelseys had six children, four of whom were born in Kentucky. Dr. Kelsey was the owner and operator of the Shotwell Coal Mines in Caseyville, Kentucky; he built and operated the Ohio Valley Railroad, becoming President and General Manager from 1885 to 1892; and he was President of the Central Trust and Savings Company in Evansville, Indiana from 1892 to 1900.
The Kelsey children were: Charles Frederick, born 1871 and died 1873; William Percival, born January 16, 1873 in Louisville, Kentucky; Alida May, born September 29, 1873 in DeKoven, Union, Kentucky; Carrie Louise, born February 23, 1876; Arthur Peter, born November 25, 1877; and Emily Alice, born June 13, 1880.
Percival died January 15, 1921 in Evanston, Cook County, Illinois at the age of 79. His wife, Alida, died April 5, 1929 in Morristown, New Jersey, at the home of her daughter, Alida and son-in-law, Guilford Carlile Babcock. It is said that she survived the last few years on tea and Ritz crackers taken on trays in her room.
Percival Kelsey is buried in Lindenwood Cemetery, Fort Wayne, Indiana in the Sturges plot with his wife's parents.