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Fenton and Ruth Spicer Kelsey

Ruth Spicer Kelsey was born in 1883 in Willmar, Minnesota, and was the sixth child of J. M. and Frances Spicer. She grew up in Willmar, graduating from Willmar High School in the class of 1902, and from Wells, a private women's college in Aurora, New York, in about 1906. She married Fenton Kelsey in 1911.

Fenton Kelsey was born in 1878 and was a graduate of Beloit College, a private coeducational school in Beloit, Wisconsin. He was employed as an advertising executive in the gas appliance industry and later started his own business, publishing a number of nationally distributed trade publications for the gas and electric industry in Evanston, Illinois. He retired, selling this business to his son, Fenton, Jr., in the late 1940's.

The Kelseys spent their winters in Florida and their summers at their place on the south shore of Green Lake. They had built a Norwegian-style log cottage with a sod roof in about 1935. In the early 1940's they built another Norwegian style frame cottage which still exists. It has been said that P. O. Nasvick, who built the chapel at Green Lake Bible Camp, may have had something to do with the design and/or construction of this structure.

Fenton Kelsey was a colorful, intelligent, but rather eccentric visionary who had a multitude of futuristic ideas concerning the economic and cultural development of Spicer and Green Lake. Some of his ideas, such as reviving the Chautauqua and a Spicer shopping mall, were good but difficult, if not impossible, to implement at that time. Some have become a reality in recent years. Fenton had a prodigious memory, and he was never at a loss for ideas, however impractical they might have been.