Dr. Daniel Webster Shelly

I was looking through the "Biographical Annals of Montgomery County, PA" book through Internet Archive, and searched for people who lived in the area (Ambler, Whitpain, and Lower Gwynedd). When turning to the last page, I stumbled upon a man named Dr. Daniel Webster Shelly.

Clipping #1 from the Ambler Gazette: August 1, 1895 (Pg 3)

He was considered "a prominent and successful physician" in Ambler. It turns out he was not an Ambler native. He was from Milford Township in Lehigh County, PA. He was descended from the Mennonite


Dr. Shelly was born on August 10, 1860 to Isaac and Susan (Moyer) Shelly. His family moved to Quakertown in Bucks County, PA, because of his father who wanted to

Clipping #2 from the Ambler Gazette: August 1, 1895 (Pg 3)

run a business in Bucks County. He attended public schools and at the Quakertown High School. Since he came from a Mennonite family, he attended the Mennonite Seminary at Wadsworth, Ohio,

where his relative was a principal there.

He commenced reading medicine with Dr. R.T. Moyer of Quakertown for a year. He

Clipping #3 from the Ambler Gazette: August 1, 1895 (Pg 3)

then went on to attend the Medical Department at the University of Pennsylvania in 1879. He graduated in 1882 as an honor man of his class.

He right away started his business in Ambler at the corner of Butler Pike and Lindenwold Avenue. He enjoyed the confidence of the public, and built his business as extensive and lucrative.

He was a physician at the Mercer Home for Disabled Clergyman.

While in Ambler, Dr. Shelly assisted in organizing the borough government.

In 1884, he married Elizabeth Acuff, daughter of Albert Acuff, who's one of the earliest businessmen in Ambler before the town's establishment. Together, they had 3 children: Isaac H., James, and J. Marshall.

Interestingly, I found an article that talked about what happened after Dr. Shelly's business. It turns out that the Ambler Medical Associates was built off from his business. In 1918, after operating for 35 years, his son James joined him. 18 years later, Dr. Theodore A. Henderson joined the team as Dr. DW Shelly was about to retire.

The practice continued to grow during the World War II era. That was when Dr. Franklin Kelton joined the team. Dr. DW Shelly died on January 16, 1940.

Clipping #4 from the Ambler Gazette: January 18, 1940 (Pg 1)
Clipping #5 from the Ambler Gazette: January 18, 1940 (Pg 7)

During the 1960s through the 80s, the practice grew even more, causing them to move to 500 Willow Avenue in Ambler. The AMA is part of the Abington Health Physicians, and after a compromise, the AMA relocated to 721 Arbor Way in Blue Bell in 2013. They remained there ever since.

Special Note: I always go to the 500 Willow Ave. place as a kid whenever I was sick or had to do my check-ups. I loved that place very much. I was sad to know that they related to a bigger facility. I'll tell you that the environment is very different from the Ambler location. I remembered this one doctor my family knew for a very long time. His name was Dr. Steven Decker. He retired a long time ago.

Dr. DW Shelly's building is now occupied by Kieser's Ambler Tire & Services Center, a car inspection service.

North Pennsylvania Railroad 1886 Philadelphia - Bucks - Montgomery Counties, Ambler; J. D. Scott, Publisher; He was at that location before moving to the intersection of Butler and Lindenwold Ave
Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., 1916, Plate 26; A. H. Mueller, Publisher; For some reason his name appeared in this map, but not on the previous maps
Google Satellite Plan View: 200 E Butler Ave, Ambler, PA 19002
Google Satellite Birdseye View: Looking North


"Distance Calculator." DaftLogic. Accessed May 22, 2020. https://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Mueller, A.H. Atlas of the North Penn Section of Montgomery County, Pa., Plate 26, 1916.

Roberts, Ellwood. Biographical annals of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, containing genealogical records of representative families, including many of the early settlers and biographical sketches of prominent citizens. (New York: T. S. Benham, 1904), 543-544.

Scott, J.D. North Pennsylvania Railroad 1886 Philadelphia - Bucks - Montgomery Counties, Ambler, 1886.

"Wissahickon Valley Public Library's Ambler Gazette Collection." POWER Library: Pennsylvania's Electronic Library. Accessed May 22, 2020. http://digitalcollections.powerlibrary.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/wivp-gazett.

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