Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh'sBiographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.

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BENJAMIN P. MORLEY.

The Morleys were a New England family. The paternal grand-parents settled in Ohio in an early day where B.P. Morley was born in 1835, and where he lived until coming to Kansas in July, 1863. Mrs. Morley was born in the state of New York but moved with her parents when an infant six months old to the state of Ohio, and settled in Ashtabula county, on the shores of Lake Erie, where her father operated a saw mill and woolen factory near Kingsville. Mr. Morley obtained employment at her father's mill and this was the beginning of an acquaintance which brought about their marriage August 1, 1859. They emigrated to Kansas in 1863, With their little family of two children and stopped enroute at Junction City, where Mrs. Morley had a sister living. They visited her family while Mr. Morley located a homestead in Washington county. Returning to Junction City, he filed on his land and removed his family to their new western home. Mr. Morley's parents were filled with a desire to join them on the frontier and followed their son soon afterward. Father Morley while driving up the cows one evening saw his first buffalo. He became very excited and though a pious man not given to profanity or rough language, shouted out, "Benjamin! come and bring your gun if you want to see the devil." There were two of them and the next day they killed them both, and feasted for days on buffalo meat, that would have brought forth praise from the most epicurean taste.

The Morleys lived in a log house with the Brooks family while their house was in course of construction. While unpacking dishes they moved the barrel containing them from its corner and there lay coiled beneath it a huge rattler. Mrs. Morley made a hasty retreat, but upon being told the grass was full of them she chose the least of the two evils and returned. During their first autumn in Kansas the winds blew so furiously they were compelled to put up their hay at night and served midnight suppers for the hay makers. The following April they attended divine services for the first time, in the new settlement in an old log hut where Clifton now stands. R.P. West ministered to the congregation; and he was described as dressed in blue denim overalls and a blue checked shirt. The women of the congregation wore shawls over their heads; blankets and every conceivable sort of thing were donned as wraps. Mrs. Morley wore her usual "go to meeting clothes," and the settlers gazed at her with astonishment as if she might just have escaped from a menagerie, but withal they were an excellent people. This day is remembered by the pioneers as the "Black Sunday." On their return from church just as the team was being cared for an inky darkness overspread the sky, the rain came down in torrents and necessitated the lighting of candles, which were made of buffalo tallow. Almost every old settler has some particular kindness or incident to relate of R.P. West, whose name was a household word in every pioneer's home. The Morleys' little daughter was ill and they had resorted to everything their wits could supply, and had given up all hope of her recovery, when that good man visited their home and through his skillful efforts the child was saved.

When Mr. Morley had secured his homestead he did not have a dollar left, but those goodly settlers gathered together and helped erect their cabin. They were neighbors in the truest sense of the word, and when one killed a hog or a beef, each of the settlers for a radius of miles came in for his share. The Morleys came to Clyde in 1877, and in 1892, bought the Judge Borton residence, a commodious house of ten rooms.

Mr. and Mrs. Morley are the parents of eight children. They have buried three sons; one an infant, one at the age of eleven years and one a young, man of promise. Their eldest son, Charles, is a newspaper man and edited a paper in Clyde for several years. He is at present in the office of the Clyde Voice. William M., is a resident of Omaha. Their three daughters are married. One is living in Omaha, one in Arkansas and the other in Clyde.

Mrs. Morley's paternal ancestors were from England and emigrated to America in the early settlement of this country. She is a daughter of Martin M. and Esther Jeaneth (Reynolds) Manning. The Reynolds were of Scotch origin. Mrs. Morley taught several terms of school in the early settlement of the country. The district then included a part of Washington, Clay and Cloud counties. Mr. Morley's father was Anson Morley. He was born April 7, 1798, in Barnstable, Massachusetts, and emigrated with his father's family to Ohio in early manhood. From Ohio he walked to the state of Vermont where he met and married Lorenz Cutting on October 30, 1822, and from this union ten children were born. They left Vermont in their early married life and settled in eastern Ohio where he cleared his land and tilled the soil for forty-one years. They came to Kansas in 1863, and settled in what is now Elk township. Mrs. Morley died March 15, 1877, and her husband January 29, 1885.

Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.

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Return to Clyde Biography Listing
1903 Cloud County Kansas History

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