J. S. R. Worley, a prominent member of the Osawatomie bar, was born in Washington county, Virginia, Nov. 14, 1851. His father, John W. Worley, also a native of Washington county, Virginia, was of Scotch descent and a member of an old Virginia family that was originally established in Pennsylvania. He was a Virginia planter and for a number of years served as county judge in Washington county. In the Civil war his sympathies were with the cause of the Southland, to serve which, he became a member of the Confederate army and was a captain in what was known as the Virginia Reserves. His son, J. S. R. Worley, has in his possession the book of tactics which his father used in that official service. About 1845 John W. Worley went to Iowa, but after two years returned to the old Virginia homestead. He married Miss Elizabeth Dishman, a representative of an old Virginia family of English descent, a daughter of William Dishman, who was born in Westmoreland county, Virginia, and served as a soldier in the War of 1812. Both parents passed away in Washington county, Virginia, and are buried within seventeen miles of their birthplaces.
J. S. R. Worley was one of a family of five sons and five daughters. Two of his older brothers, who served in the Confederate army, were under eighteen years of age. The older of these, J. B. Worley, was captured during the war and was kept a prisoner in Illinois, until the close of the war. He became a doctor of dental surgery and practiced in Monmouth, Ill., where he died. The other brother mentioned, was but fifteen years of age when he entered the army, served as a courier under General Williams, and resides in Texas. One other brother and three sisters of our subject yet survive.
Mr. Worley was reared in Old Virginia and gained first hand perhaps, a better knowledge of Civil war conditions, in both the Northern and southern armies, than did many of the veterans themselves. As a lad he was often within the lines of both armies on the same day, visiting with both the "Boys of the Blue," and the "Boys of the Gray."
When twenty-two years of age he started westward with a good saddle horse and twelve dollars in money. Arriving at Lexington, Ky., he was engaged for a time in driving stock from there to South Carolina. Later he obtained employment as a patrol on the grounds of the insane asylum at Lexington, Ky. The year of 1874-75 was spent in Austin, Tex., where he was supervisor in the main department of the insane asylum, and at the same time read law in the office of Judge Lyle. On coming to Kansas in August, 1876, he located at Osawatomie, and for three years was engaged in farming. He was admitted to the bar on Dec. 16, 1887, and ten years later, or on Jan. 12, 1897, he was admitted to supreme court practice. He has now been engaged in his profession nearly twenty-five years and during that time has built up an extensive practice and has proven himself one of the strongest of his profession in Kansas. On Dec. 29, 1871, Mr. Worley married Miss Ida F. Conklin, of New Jersey. They have one son, D. John R. Worley, physician and surgeon for the Sonora Copper Smelting Company, at Noria, State of Sonora, Mex. He is a graduate of the Kansas City Medical College and also attended the University of Kansas.
Aside from his professional duties Mr. Worley has a number of other interests. He owns a farm two miles southeast of Osawatomie, on which he has good hunting and fishing preserves, and where he gives much attention to bee culture, being an authority on that subject. His study of the bee has not been so much for its commercial value as for the recreation and fascinating interest it has for the thoughful student and observer of that wonderful little insect. He is also a great horseman and is probably one of the most successful trainers in the state. He is well known in the Kansas literary field as a writer of much ability. In the field of drama he has produced two works that show considerable talent: "Three Sights of Hell" and "The Bridge of Sorrows," the latter of which is founded on a local plot. Mr. Worley received his education in a private school where he early inbibed a strong love for literature and since then he has made many of the world's masterpieces in poet lore his own, being able to quote many of them in their entirety. Besides the two works mentioned he has written a number of other productions of much merit that are unpublished. In politics Mr. Worley is a Republican. He was Assistant Attorney-General under John T. Little, during Governor Leedy's administration and has served as city attorney and police judge at Osawatomie. He is opposed to the saloon. He is an excellent public speaker, resourceful and skillful in debate, with a talent for concise and tactful expression that has made him one of the strong orators of the day and a valuable assistant to his party in campaign work. He is a member of the Anti-Horse Thief Association, and fraternally affiliates with the Masonic order and the Modern Woodmen of America.Pages 178-180 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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