As I look back at the rich history of Shelton D. Kelley Realty I am reminded that I am a link in a long chain of individuals whose heart and soul’s are in finding people homes to live in. Here is our history, our foundation and our commitment.
My father’s side of the family comes from Missouri and like so many families during the 1930’s they migrated west to fertile soils of Oregon. My great grandfather, John L, had two sons John W (Bill) and Shelton.
Every Family has their “adventure seekers”, and I believe in our family my Grandpa was one. In the wild early years of his young marriage to my Grandma Betty they would travel the country doing odd jobs; like selling radio ads. One day they got a letter from Great Grandpa John L that said he needed help with running the real estate company. The lovely young couple came back to Portland, Oregon to help in the family real estate business.
After starting a family in Portland, and establishing himself as a real estate agent, my Grandpa (always looking for the next adventure or good investment) decided the city life was not for them, but on the other side of the Cascades in a small mill town the air was cleaner and the mountains were brighter. Bend must have been something special back then, and with his father’s name my Grandpa Shelton opens the Bend branch of Kelley Realtors in 1958. Under the supervision of Shelton, many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends have hung their licenses on these walls.
My father Patrick J, grew up in Bend. Their home was what is now the office on Franklin. He graduated from Bend Senior High in 1970 with a wrestling scholarship to a University. Upon returning from college my father took up the tradition of working along side his father in the real estate business.
My Grandpa Shelton passed away only 6 years after my father started working at the office. My father got his principle brokers license and took over his father’s back office. Another 15 years passed and my sister Kelsey and I came into the world. We were given the opportunity to pursue any career we wanted, so of course, we both chose real estate.
Since my grandfather started the office, Bend has gone through many transformations. It is no longer a sleepy mill town, in fact the mill has been turned into shops and movie theaters. The houses that Grandpa once sold to mill workers are now becoming prime property. Pilot Butte is no longer outside of town and Awbrey Butte is no longer “good jackrabbit hunting”. Everything is meant to change, but some things like an honest handshake, strong and deep connections to the community and quality business should always remain the same.
As I walk into the small brick building on Franklin I smell the old sweet cigar smoke that still lingers in the pine wood, and I look at the worn desks and strong door frames and I am reassured that I am a part of something deeper than just selling real estate. I am a part of a dream that was instilled four generations ago, and am inspired to keep that dream alive. My sister and I have now had our licenses for 13 years and are still cradled by our father’s 45 years of experience in real estate in Bend. We have been taught that business doesn’t end when the deal is closed. When co-agents, past clients, and friends stop by the office “just for a cup of coffee and a chat”, we know it is not just business that has brought them by. The true reason lies in the confidence and comfort of the history of Kelley Realtors and our long history of Central Oregon
– Katey Kelley