JAMES T. RILEY. - At this point attention is directed to a brief history of the career of James Thomas Riley, one of the pioneers of Wyandotte county, where he is the owner of a fine tract of twenty acres of land, the same being located on the Rock road, near the electric line. Mr. Riley devotes the greater portion of his time and attention to the raising of corn and potatoes and in this line of enterprise he has achieved remarkable success. Though never a politician, he manifests a deep and sincere interest in all matters affecting the good of the general welfare and gives freely of his aid and influence in support of good government.
James T. Riley was born in Clay county, Missouri, in 1849, and he is a son of Milton D. and Sarah (Malott) Riley, both of whom are deceased. The father was born in Tennessee, in 1820, and the mother claimed Kentucky as the place of her birth. Mr. and Mrs. Milton D. Riley moved to Missouri and settled on a farm in Platte county, where the family home was maintained until 1868. Mr. Riley served with valorous distinction as a soldier in the Civil war. He enlisted as a member of Company F, Sixteenth Kansas Infantry, in 1863, and continued as a gallant and faithful soldier until the close of the war. He participated in a number of important engagements marking the progress of that sanguinary conflict and after the close of the war returned to his home in Platte county, Missouri, whence he removed to Wyandotte county, Kansas, in 1868. Settling on a farm in Quindaro township, he engaged in agricultural pursuits until his death, in 1882. His cherished and devoted wife, who survived him thirteen years, passed to the Great Beyond in 1895. Mr. and Mrs. Riley became the parents of six children, whose names are here entered in respective order of birth: John, James T., Martha (deceased), Mary (deceased), George and William.
To the public schools of Platte county, Missouri, James Thomas Riley is indebted for his rudimentary educational training, the same consisting of such advantages as were afforded in the district schools of the locality and period. When his parents removed to Kansas, in 1868, he accompanied them and after being associated with his father in the work and management of the home farm for a few years he began to engage in farming operations on his own account. He is now the owner of twenty acres of finely improved land situated near Bethel, and on the same raises corn and potatoes. He was honored by his fellow citizens with election to the office of road overseer, serving in that capacity with the utmost efficiency, for some three or four years. He is essentially loyal and public spirited in his civic attitude and no project advanced for progress and improvement fails of his heartiest support.
In the year 1873 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Riley to Miss Emma Moon, who was likewise born in Missouri. To this union have been born four children, concerning whom the following brief data are here recorded: Myrtle, wife of Bert Reynolds; James Allen; Robert D.; and Cora, wife of Andrew Peck. In their religious faith the Riley family are devout members of the Primitive Baptist church, in the various departments of whose work they are most active and zealous factors.
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