Author’s Parents to Be Honored with Church Service
By Helen C. Bower
If Clarence Budington Kelland, creator of “Scattergood Baines,” author and wit, comes
to Detroit next Sunday, in the old-fashioned language of America, he’s just going
to have to take a back seat.
“Bud” Kelland may be president of the Dutch Treat Club in New York. But Sunday in
Detroit, he’ll just be the son of his father and mother, Mr, and Mrs. Thomas Kelland,
of 938 West Kirby Ave., who will celebrate their sixtieth wedding anniversary June
The Kellands, golden wedding ten years ago was observed quietly at home, a family
affair, with golden gifts and quantities of golden yellow roses. But for this diamond
anniversary, falling on a Sunday, the Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2746 W. Grand
Blvd., will have a special service honouring the faithful husband and wife who have
been members of the congregation since it was a little mission at Alexandrine Ave.
and Third St.
Refused Honors Before.
Modest and retiring, shunning publicity, Mr. and Mrs. Kelland steadfastly refused
earlier efforts of the Church to do them honor.
“They wanted us to come up and be married all over again on our golden wedding,”
chuckled Mr. Kelland Wednesday, coming in from the front porch where, appropriately
enough, he had been reading one of his son’s stories in a current magazine.
Mrs. Kelland, whose young brown eyes are a striking contrast to her silvery hair,
“But Dr. Allen (the Rev. Thaddeus E. Allen) reminded us this year that very few couples
see 60 years of life together, so the church has sent invitations to former members
and other friends of ours from out of town,” she said.
Dr. Allen will conduct a simple service, but the church will be decorated as for
a wedding, in white and the pale blue of diamond tints. The subject of the sermon
will be “Whom God Hath Joined,” Miss Gladys Butlin will sing “Oh, Promise Me!”
Mr. Kelland 82 Years Old.
Thomas Kelland was born in Droylsden, England, near Manchester, 82 years ago next
July 15. He was brought to this country as a boy of 10, his parents stopping first
at Pittsfield, Mass., then coming to Michigan, to Fentonville, which is now Fenton.
Thomas Kelland was working in Lansing, about the time the present State Capitol was
being built, when he met Margaret Budington, a native of Brooklyn, Mich. They were
married in Lansing, June 21, 1876.
“We’ll sound like a hundred if you tell about the State Capitol, father,” murmured
Mrs. Kelland with a twinkle in her eyes. Mrs. Kelland will celebrate her eightieth
birthday next Christmas Day.
Their son, whom his mother calls “Clarence,” rejecting the nickname by which the
world hails him, was born in Portland, Mich., July 11, 1881. Seven years later the
Kellands came to Detroit.
Father and mother Kelland still live in the roomy, two-story frame house on W. Kirby
Ave., which they bought when they first came to Detroit. Because the Kellands are
often away in the the east with their son, or South, it has been made into a duplex,
of which the Kellands have the upper floor. The garden is filled with the roses
Mr. Kelland loves to cultivate.
“It was a brand new house when we bought it, and you could look from here to Pontiac
and see nothing but farms,” said Mr. Kelland.
“Clarence used to get on his horse on Sundays and ride all around the back lots,”
added Clarence’s mother.
Father and Mother Kelland insist that they are just “plain people.” Naturally they
are proud of their son. They enjoy the “good old common sense” in his stories and
smile in quiet approval because “poor old Scattergood always did some good.”
Obviously they are the last people in the world to think themselves deserving of
honor for having lived four-score years, three-score of them happily together in
Yet the inspiration for “Scattergood,” and the fame of Clarence Budington Kelland,
are in that frame house from which Father and Mother Kelland will step momentarily
out of their quiet lives Sunday to receive the tributes of love, esteem and affection
which will be paid them.