John Edward Kelley was a newspaperman and a politician from South Dakota. He was born in Columbia County, Wisconsin, near Portage City, in 1853, where he attended the public schools.
He moved to Moody County of the Dakota Territory, in what is now South Dakota, in 1878 and engaged in agricultural pursuits. He also engaged in the newspaper business in Flandreau, South Dakota. He was elected to the South Dakota House of Representatives for 1890 and 1891. He ran for the United States House of Representatives 1893 and 1895 on the Populist ticket, finally winning election in 1896. He lost his bid for reelection, and returned to agricultural pursuits near Colman, South Dakota. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1912, and held the office of register of the United States land office at Pierre, South Dakota from 1915 to 1918. He moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, and become editor of the Cooperative Herald.. He died in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1941.