William F. Riley

WILLIAM F. RILEY, is a well known banker of Topeka but he laid the foundation of his prosperity as a farmer and stock raiser in Wabaunsee County. He has been a resident of the state since 1883, and his family is one that has performed its full share of services in the development of the Sunflower Commonwealth during the last thirty-three years.

Born in Muskingum County, Ohio, January 10, 1871, William F. Riley is the youngest of eight children. His parents were John and Christiann (McDonald) Riley. During his residence in Ohio his father followed sheep raising and farming. On account of the health of his family he came to Kansas with them in 1883, locating near Eskridge in Wabaunsee County. There he acquired 640 acres of land. The price he paid ranged from $3 to $16 an acre. Thereafter he devoted himself to farming and the raising of cattle, but after three years moved to Mission Creek Township and located on the property now owned by his son William. In 1898 John Riley came into Topeka and died at his home in that city in September, 1910. He was a member of the Presbyterian Church and in politics a republican. In every way his life was a credit to his adopted state. He was public spirited, contributing liberally to the support of all laudable public enterprises, was honest as the day is long, and his influence in the community was always for good.

William F. Riley was twelve years of age when brought to Kansas. He had as a boy the advantages of the common schools, but wisely improved such opportunities and has always found himself able to meet the emergencies of life as they arise. His boyhood was spent on the home farm, and as a cattle herder.

On December 19, 1894, Mr. Riley married Hattie Dailey. Her father George W. Dailey located in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, in 1860, settling on Mission Creek, but he is now living retired a venerable citizen of Topeka. Mr. and Mrs. Riley have two children: Edward Stanton and Helen.

Mr. Riley has been president of the State Bank of Topeka since 1906, and has guided the affairs of that institution with much discretion and ability. However, he still keeps his home on a farm of 170 acres, and altogether he is the owner of 650 acres of Kansas land and is an extensive stock dealer. Fraternally he is a Mason, and politically a republican.


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 1997.
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