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John Russell Kelso (March 23, 1831 – January 26, 1891) was a nineteenth century politician, author, lecturer and school principal from Missouri.


Born in Franklin County, Ohio, Kelso received classical training and graduated from Pleasant Ridge College in Missouri in 1859. During the Civil War, he served in the Union Army as a private in the 24th Missouri Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the 14th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry Regiment as well as captain of Company M of the 8th Missouri Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. Kelso was elected an Independent Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1864, serving from 1865 to 1867, not being a candidate for renomination in 1866. Afterward, he was principal of Kelso Academy in Springfield, Missouri from 1867 to 1869, moved to Modesto, California in 1872 and moved again to Longmont, Colorado in 1885. He was an author and lecturer until his death in Longmont on January 26, 1891. Kelso was interred on his estate near Longmont and was later disinterred, cremated and scattered.

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