LaSalle County

Biography - SAMUEL C. WILEY

Samuel C. Wiley, a retired farmer and lumber dealer of Earlville, LaSalle county, Illinois, was born in Somerset county, Maine, November 11, 1833, and was a son of Charles and Seraphina (Greenleaf) Wiley. His great-great-grandfather was a native of Scotland, who moved to Ireland, where the great-grandfather was born and when this lad was about twelve years old the family moved to America and settled in Massachusetts. Robert Wiley was the youngest of seven sons, and was born in the state of Maine, where he grew to man's estate and married Hannah Charles, who also was a native of Maine. Her parents came from Sweden.

Charles Wiley was born in Freiburg, Maine, March 15, 1803. He married Miss Seraphina Greenleaf, by whom he had a family of five children, namely: Samuel C; Henry, a farmer on the old home in Freedom township; Mary Ann, who died in early life; Laura, who also died young; and Martha, the wife of David Davis, born in LaSalle county. In 1844 Charles Wiley brought his family direct from the state of Maine to Freedom township, LaSalle county, Illinois, where he and his sons developed a farm of one hundred and sixty acres. He died in 1875 and was survived by his widow until 1896, who died in her eighty-sixth year. Her parents were English people, who located in Maine in the early days. Charles Wiley was one of five brothers who settled in this county, one of whom was Dr. Samuel Wiley, of Mendota. The father also made this his home during his later years and died here. The family were adherents of the Universalist church and were upright, honorable people, highly esteemed.

Samuel C. Wiley was but eleven years of age when his parents moved to this county, which has since been his home. The advantages for obtaining a schooling at that time were very limited, as long distances must be traversed in order to reach a school, which at best was a very primitive affair and the teaching of the crudest sort. As Samuel's life was spent on a farm it was not easy to take advantage of even the opportunity thus offered, so his education was obtained chiefly from observation and reading. He remained at home until his marriage, but in the meantime had purchased a farm of two hundred and forty acres in Meriden township, which he had developed and placed in a high state of cultivation. He has been one of the most prosperous farmers in Illinois and added to his original farm until to-day he has five hundred acres of as fertile land as can be found in the state. About 1874 he entered into partnership with W. E. Hapeman and opened a lumber-yard, which he conducted eleven years, when he sold out to his partner. For the past fifteen years he has been engaged in buying and shipping livestock and has made it a profitable business.

He was united in marriage, in 1858, to Miss Mary E. Thompson, a native of New York and a daughter of Harvey I. Thompson, who came from that state to Christian county, Illinois, when Mrs. Wiley was a child and later located in this county. Their union was blessed by the birth of eight children, seven of whom are still living; Laura died when about two years old, and the seven living are Carrie, Mabel, Herbert C., Gilbert, Ruth, Rosa and George S. Mrs. Wiley was spared to her family until her fifty-third year was passed, in 1893, when she was called to enter the life everlasting. Mr. Wiley is a Knight Templar Mason and an adherent of the Democratic party. He has held a number of minor offices, acting as the supervisor of Earl and Meriden townships for seven or eight years, and in 1882 was elected to the house of representatives from this district, and was re-elected two years later.

Extracted by Norma Hass from Biographical and Genealogical Record of LaSalle County, Illinois published in 1900, volume 1, pages 205-206.

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