Pages 280-281, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.




JAY McCARLEY—The late A. Jay McCarley, of Iola, among the best known cattle men of Iola and ex-County Commissioner of Allen County, came to the county in 1860. He had resided in McLean County, Illinois, just prior to his entrance to Kansas, having taken up his residence there in 1853. He was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, and was a son of Samuel and Celia (Harris) McCarley. He was one of seven children, as follows: Mary, wife of Holman Dean, residing in Kentucky; Sarah, who married J. C. Todd and lived in Iola; Samuel McCarley, residing in San Jose, California; James McCarley, of California; Eliza, married Dorus Stevens, of Lexington, Illinois; A. Jay, and LaFayette C. McCarley, deceased.

Jay McCarley received only a passably good education and began his life work as a farmer. He entered into a partnership with his brother, Lafe, at an early date and the two were engaged prominently in dealing in stock until death separated them. They owned farms adjoining, had the fullest confidence in each other and had no differences except in politics. A. J. McCarley was elected Commissioner of Allen County in 1879 and was re-elected in 1882, serving two full terms. He made a most conscientious and efficient official. With county matters he was as devoted as to his private matters, and when his services ended it was with a consciousness of having merited the plaudits of his whole county.

Jay McCarley was no ordinary man. Coming here when a young man of twenty-three he was, during all the years that passed, a prominent, respected and influential citizen. He was a fine business man, as his success in farming and dealing in stock testified, and he was generous and public-spirited to a marked degree. He had no political ambition, but upon the demand of the people he served his county two terms in one of its most important offices. He brought to the Board of County Commissioners the same energy, zeal and clear-headed sagacity that marked the management of his personal interests. He had no religious professions but was a friend to the widow and the fatherless. His door stood open for any whose condition made them seek shelter there, and his purse was never closed against the appeal of the distressed. His hand was never withheld when


its strength was needed to sustain the weak. He never defrauded any man; he never went back on a friend. Many loved him and all his acquaintances liked him.

Mr. McCarley was married October 18, 1863, in Neosho Falls, Kansas, by Squire Phillips to Hannah Goff. J. R. Goff, Mrs. (McCarley) Robertson's father, was born in Maine, was married to Cynthia Noyes and died at Stillwater, Minnesota, in 1884. Their children were: Sidney, Eliflet, Rufus and Horace Goff, of Stillwater, Minnesota; Mrs. Eli Ratliffe, of Iola; Diana, deceased wife of Henry Clark, of Superior, Wisconsin; and Mrs. Robertson. The last named was born in Piscataquis County, Maine, January 8, 1839. She was married to C. T. Robertson in 1893.

Jay McCarley died April 9, 1892. He left no heirs but was fond of children and he and his worthy wife reared two children of his sister, Mrs. Todd, viz.: Rice Todd and Mary, widow of John Beggs, of Chicago. Willie Briggs and Emma Lucas were also members of this hospitable household. Alfred, Luther and Ella McCarley, children of Lafe McCarley, make their home with Mrs. Robertson since the death of their parents.

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