Charles H. Overly

CHARLES H. OVERLY is associated with Owen A. Thompson at Independence as co-inventor and active partner in the Safety Pulling Machine Company, and while Mr. Thompson superintends the manufacture of that useful device he has exercised his abilities as a salesman in distributing it throughout the oil fields of the country.

Mr. Overly was born near St. Mary's, Ohio, September 8, 1865. His ancestors came from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to Ohio in the early days of the latter state. His father Joseph K. Overly was also born near St. Mary's, Ohio, and died at Lamont, Oklahoma, April 1, 1916. As a young man he enlisted in the Union army in Company C of the Thirty-first Regiment of Ohio Volunteer Infantry. In 1885 he moved out to Kansas, and was a farmer in both the southern and northern sections of the state until he removed to Oklahoma in 1908. Joseph K. Overly married Eliza Meyers, who was a native of Ohio and died in Colorado in 1903.

Their only child Charles H. Overly gained his education in the public schools of Ohio. At the age of fourteen he began the struggle for his own livelihood and encountered and overcame many obstacles in his path. He was ambitious for a better education, and at the age of twenty-two he took a course in the Ohio Normal University at Ada. He first became acquainted with Kansas in the fall of 1885, when he located at Leon in Butler County. A year later he returned to Ohio, but in 1894 established himself on a farm at Sabetha, Kansas, and followed farming there until 1900. After that he made several excursions to the Pacific coast engaged in the lumber and milling business, but in 1913 located at Independence and was associated with Mr. Thompson in inventing the safety pulling machine and since the incorporation of the company has directed the sales.

Mr. Overly has been twice married. By his first wife he has two daughters, Edith and Alta, both married and living in Ohio. The maiden name of his second wife was Lola E. McNary, a daughter of William and Mary McNary. Her father is deceased, having died in California after a career as a farmer, while her mother now resides at Chehalis, Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Overly have the following children: Randolph, who is employed in the Larimer Grocery at Independence; Esta, Hazel, Fred, Cecil, all attending the public schools at Independence and Harry.


A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, copyright 1918; transcribed October, 1997.
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Tom & Carolyn Ward
Columbus, KS

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