J.K. and Bonnie Kelley were married in Inverness on November 26, 1902. In 1903, James Keels Kelley built this two story, wood frame colonial revival-style residence, where it still stands today. It featured a beautiful verandah, which was best suited for socializing on warm summer evenings.
According to a 1936 Citrus Co. Chronicle article, J.K. Kelley was a County Commissioner (when Citrus and Hernando were one county), and a school board member. He was also a mason, and an elder in the First Presbyterian Church, where his wife was a charter member. He served on the Inverness City Council from 1923 to 1927. Mr. Kelley is best remembered for management of a turpentine still located at the southern end of town. The vast acreage of pine forests in Citrus County made it ideal for the turpentine industry. Pinesap was collected at the base of the tree, distilled, and stored in barrels for shipment. In the 1890s, a barrel of turpentine brought around $3.00, and was an important ingredient in varnish, paint, soap, explosives, ointments and even medications. Prisoners were leased from the State as laborers in some stills. For a period of time, Mrs. Kelley operated "The Palm Rest Tourist Home" here, which was probably when the sunrooms were added on the east side of the second floor for more space.
Mr. and Mrs. Kelley lived in this house until Edward and Margaret Butts purchased it in 1961, after moving here from Paducah, Kentucky. The Butts' described Inverness as "The Garden of Eden" when they settled in with their two children, Mike and Suzanne. Mr. and Mrs. Butts, and later their son Mike, operated the Shell Gas Station across the street for 40 years, and remember many changes to Main Street, from a sleepy little town to a busy 4-lane commercial area. Edward Butts died in 1997, and his son, Mike continues to run a tire and vehicle maintenance business in the Inverness area. At the time the historical plaque was dedicated, "Miss Margaret" remains active in her church, volunteers at the 1912 Historic Courthouse, and takes pride in her home as one of the few remaining on Main Street.