Oliver H. Worley, president of the Home National Bank of Longton, Kan., and the present representative of Elk county in the state legislaIure, is one of the esteemed and influential citizens of that county and a Kansas pioneer. He is also one of the surviving brave defenders of the Union during the great struggle of 1861-65.
Mr. Worley was born in Dearborn county, Indiana, July 21, 1843. His father, Henry Worley, an early settler in Indiana, was captain of a steamboat plying between Louisville and New Orleans and continued in that occupation until his death from yellow fever. He was a Whig in his political views. The mother of Mr. Worley was Mary Ann Heustis, daughter of Oliver Heustis, a native of New York who moved to Dearborn county, Indiana, and died there in 1862; he was a farmer by occupation and took an active interest in the public affairs of Indiana, having served as a Democratic representative in the legislature of that state before the Civil war.
Oliver H. Worley, who was but a lad at the time of his father's death, was reared in Dearborn county, Indiana, and acquired his education in the common schools of that county and in an academy at Cincinnati, Ohio. It was while a student at the academy that he enlisted in September, 1861, in Company A, Seventh Indiana infantry, and gave three years of loyal service to the Union. Upon its organization, the regiment left the state for West Virginia and there joined General Reynolds' command at Cheat Mountain. It was engaged in the battle at Green Brier and then moved to camp, near Green Spring Run. The Seventh Indiana participated in the engagements at Winchester Heights, at Port Republic and Front Royal, and after moving to Fredericksburg and back was assigned to General McDowell's command. In the campaign of the Army of Virginia this regiment participated at Cedar Mountain and in the second battle of Bull Run, as a part of Pope's forces. It joined in the pursuit of Lee through Maryland and was in the battle of Antietam. There Mr. Worley was wounded and was required to remain in a hospital for some time afterward. Upon his recovery he again entered active service and, in 1863, fought with his regiment at Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg. The Seventh Indiana was also in the battle of Mine Run, in November, 1863, and went into camp at Culpeper. It moved with the Army of the Potomac, in the spring of 1864, and was engaged in the battle of the Wilderness, Laurel Hill, Spottsylvania, Po River, North Anna River, Bethesda Church and Cold Harbor, being under fire for eighteen days during these engagements and losing heavily. It moved to the front of Petersburg, June 16, 1864, participated in the assault on the 17th, and remained on duty during the siege of Petersburg until August 18. It was then engaged at Weldon Railroad. The Seventh Indiana was mustered out Sept. 20, 1864, Mr. Worley receiving his discharge at Indianapolis. From an early age he was compelled to depend largely upon his own efforts in his maintenance, and this circumstance no doubt did much to develop the self-reliance, the habit of thinking for himself, and the enterprise which have marked his subsequent career. Like many other of the strong and successful men, under the stress of privation, he developed a fuller stature of his powers than would otherwise have been called forth. His earlier efforts were as a bootblack and newsboy in Cincinnati. After the war he labored two years on a farm in Dearborn county, Indiana, and then went to Missouri, where he farmed a short time, but in 1869 he pushed farther westward, locating in Wilson county, Kansas. For a number of years after that he was a cowboy, driving cattle from Texas to the Indian Territory. He engaged in the cattle business independently for two years and then went into the mercantile business, at Oak Valley, Kan., where he remained two years. In 1883 he removed to Longton, Kan., where he purchased the I. B. Walten interest in the State Bank of Longton and has since been identified with that institution, which is now the Home National Bank. Mr. Worley is president of this bank and gives to it the benefit of his shrewd business judgment and energetic management of affairs. It is capitalized at $25,000 and has average deposits of $100,000.
Mr. Worley has been twice married. His first wife was Miss Celia Sewell, whom he wedded in 1886 and who bore him one child, Ethel, the wife of John Kaff, a druggist at Atchison. The mother of this daughter died and, in 1890, Mr. Worley married Miss Lucy Motsenbacker, daughter of John Motsenbacker, a native of Kentucky. Of this second marriage has been born one daughter, Edna, now in school. Mr. Worley has always given his allegiance to the Republican party and in 1910, as his party's candidate, was elected to the state legislature, where he made a very creditable record and served as a member of the insurance committee. Fraternally he is a member of the Masonic order.Pages 631-633 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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