Happy New Year. . . or Independence Day, Father Kelley!
Young Oliver Kelley and his new bride, Lucy Earle arrived in St. Paul just before Independence Day, 1849. The two were an immediate social hit, joining the frontier log-and-mud capitol's New England elite. 18 year-old Lucy helped organize the 4th of July ball, and Kelley himself orchestrated the first fireworks display in Minnesota Territory. Stealing the show at the evening's festivities, Kelley brashly offered the first toast to the new governor, Alexander Ramsey: "To the Governor and his lady--A happy home in the West!" Kelley became a protégé of the powerful politician after that, and was eventually appointed to the new Department of Agriculture under Abraham Lincoln, as a favor of Ramsey.