Page 588-590, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.


H. C. Staley, an early pioneer of Butler county is now living retired at Rose Hill, after an active and successful business career. Mr. Staley was born in Chatham county, North Carolina, June 3, 1845, and is a son of G. W. and Margaret (Hinshaw) Staley, both natives of North Carolina, and descendants of Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors. They spent their lives in North Carolina.

H. C. Staley was reared in his native State, educated in private schools and Guilford College, near Greensboro, N. C. He was conscripted during the Civil war and forced into the Confederate service, and served for a time as a sort of a cabin boy on a receiving ship at Wilmington, N. C. At the battle of Fort Fisher, young Staley rowed


ashore with some officers and after landing, went on home, which ended his military career unceremoniously. He remained at his North Carolina home until 1870, when he went to Indiana, and after remaining there one summer, came to Emporia, Kans., which, at that time, was the end of the railroad. He remained there during the winter of 1870 and 1871, and in the spring, came to Butler county, driving from Emporia. He preempted a claim one mile east and two miles north of the present site of Rose Hill. Soon after coming here, he built a house which was blown away by a cyclone in 1879. He also built a store a mile east of where Rose Hill now stands, and conducted a general mercantile store there, and was postmaster for six years. He then engaged in buying and shipping grain and stock, and, for a number of years, did an extensive business in those commodities, and was the largest dealer in that section of Butler county, although, for the last few years, has been practically retired. He is now one of the large land owners in that section, owning three quarter sections, and his son owns eighty acres.

When Mr. Staley came to Butler county, he colonized a settlement of Quakers in 1871 near Rose Hill, Kans., who were among the substantial early settlers of the southwestern part of the county. When he came here there was not a house in sight, in the vicinity of where Rose Hill now stands. Nothing could be seen but the tall waving blue stem, and Mr. Staley was very much impressed with the luxurious growth of grass and the fertile appearance of the country. Wichita was just in the beginning, and it had a population of about 665, and Augusta boasted of a population of only a few, while the now thriving city of Winfield had one house, a log structure, and one day when Mr. Staley was there, a man was digging a trench, and Mr. Staley asked him what he was doing. He said he was building a hotel. Mr. Staley couldn't see any good reason for a hotel there, but he says he supposes the fellow went on and built it, as Winfield rapidly developed into quite a town shortly after that. When Mr. Staley came here, there was plenty of deer and antelopes and some buffalo, but the buffalo was rapidly disappearing about that time, but could be found farther west, and Mr. Staley went on one buffalo hunting expedition after coming here, but never aspired to be much of a hunter.

Mr. Staley was married September 29, 1869, to Miss Cox, a native of North Carolina, and a daughter of Isham and Lavina (Brower) Cox. Her father was the man who raised the money from all parts of the county to build Guilford College, which is located near Greensboro, N. C.

To Mr. and Mrs. Staley have been born three children, as follows: C. W., resides near Lane, Kans.; F. B., connected with the Union Stock Yards at Wichita, and Fred, a farmer and cattleman, Rose Hill, Kans.; Louie G., deceased.

Mr. Staley is a prominent factor in the business and civic affairs of


Butler county and has always taken a commendable interest in public affairs since coming to Kansas. He has served as justice of the peace for twenty-eight years and as an illustration of the confidence in his integrity and judgment, of the many cases that have been tried in his court, not one appeal has been taken from his decision. In the early days Mr. Staley was a Republican, later a Prohibitionist, and in the evolution of political events, he has finally become a staunch supporter of the policies and principles of the Democratic party.

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