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. Scanned from a copy held by the State Library of Kansas.
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Charles Smitley, an old soldier and resident of Cloud county, was born in Mercer county, Ohio, in 1838. He is of German origin. His grandfather and four brothers crossed the water to America during the Revolutionary war, took diverging paths and never met again. Mr. Smitley's father was Frederick Smitley. He was born in Ohio in 1807, and died there in 1894. Mr. Smitley's mother was Katherine Hanger, of Ohio. She was born in 1815, and died in 1884. She was of Ohio birth and German origin. The Hangers were Vermonters and her mother's people, the Eagles, were early settlers in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Smitley was living in Ohio when the war cloud arose over the country and at the age of forty years he enlisted in the Thirty-fourth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, under Captain James and Colonel Alexander Platt. He entered the service in 1861, and served three years. He was in the army of the Shenandoah, which confined its principal operations to the states of Virginia and West Virginia. The hardest warfare he ever encountered was on Hunter's raid at Lynchburg. They were without rations and when retreating were on the verge of starvation. Raw potatoes, raw onions and green apples no larger than hazel nuts were staple articles of food for several days. He was in the two battles of Winchester, Charleston (South Carolina), Fayetteville, Salem, Martinsburg, Chapmanville (West Virginia), Long Bridge, second battle of Princeton, Cotton Hill, Charlestown (West Virginia), Manassas Gap, Wytheville, Cloyd Mountain, Cove Mountain, New River, Panther Gap, Piedmont, Buffalo. Lexington, Buckhannon, Otter Creek, Lynchburg, Liberty, Monocacy, Snickers Gap, Snickers Ferry, Kerntown, Summit Point, Halltown, and Berryville. His regiment was known as the Platt Zouaves. They were mustered in September 2, 1861, at Deninson, Ohio, by T.W. Walker, captain of the Third Infantry United States Army, and were mustered out in July, 1865. His company was in the enemy's land the entire time and saw continued and active service.

After the war Mr. Smitley returned to Ohio, where he farmed until coming to Kansas. He has never claimed any other home than these two states. He took up a homestead in Arion township, where he now lives with his son, who practically owns the farm.

Mr. Smitley was married in 1873, to Sarah Francis Custer, of Ohio. To them have been born four children, two daughters, Mary and Grace, who were bright and promising young girls, died at the ages of sixteen and seventeen years. Allen G., was born in Mercer county, Ohio, in 1878, and came with his parents to Kansas when an infant six months old, and has grown to manhood on the farm where he now lives. He received his education in Glasco, and began life by making egg cases at one and one-half cents each, when about nine years of age. He then worked on a farm by the month and secured a team; from this he has grown to be a successful man and one of the most useful citizens of Arion township. June 24, 1901, he married Miss Mary Owen, a most estimable young lady and an excellent housewife. She is a daughter of Nefi and Elzira Owen, who came to Kansas from Indiana, and settled on a farm in Mitchell county, where Mrs. Smitley was born. Her mother died in 1882. Her father and sister, Opal D., aged fifteen, are residents of Topeka.