Around 2010, a letter arrived at the Samford University archives from a United States Marine Corps (USMC) librarian inquiring about a man named Grover C. O’Kelley. The query included a 2 x 3-inch photocopied newspaper article from the Birmingham Ledger showing a photo of a young man receiving an award. Th e photo’s caption simply described a medal presentation at Howard College to Grover O’Kelley from Blount County, Alabama. The USMC librarian asked if archivists at Samford’s library could verify the person in the photo as officially being O’Kelley, along with providing the year and the event. According to the Marine Corps records, O’Kelley died in 1918. No other information about O’Kelley was given.
“Adventures in Genealogy” is a regular department in Alabama Heritage magazine that spotlights the many ways people are uncovering their roots in Alabama.