Biographies in Various Crawford County Newspapers

Biography of Peter KALEY and his wife Mariah (REINOEHL) KALEY, published in The Robinson Constitution, 15 Jan 1888
   Peter Kaley - A bio.
   Married August 1st, 1830, Peter Kaley to Miss Mariah Reinoehl, of Lebanon, Wayne county, Ohio. But few people are permitted to enjoy so long a life of wedded bliss; they will pass the fifty-first mile stone of married life August 1st, 1888. Mr. Kaley moved to New Hebron, Crawford county, Illinois, in the year of 1855, where he has since resided. He kept the first hotel in the place. Uncle Peter, as he is called, is in his 76th year, yet hale and hearty. He has been an ardent admirer of democracy and voted the straight Democratic ticket all his life, and is anxious to once more cast his vote for the next president "Grover Cleveland." Mrs. Mariah Kaley, wife of Peter Kaley, is in her 69 year, like Uncle Peter hale and hearty. They have had born unto them eight children, and only one death in the family. Mrs. Kaley is a remarkable woman, noted for her many christian virtues; her charity has no bounds, ever looking out to the needy, always administering to the sick and afflicted, and when she has been called to join those gone before, sadly will she be missed, her ennobling virtues will live long after she is numbered with the blest. She has been a live and consistent member of the United Brethren church for thirty years. And in the culinary department she has no equal, as many citizens of Robinson can attest, even now in her old age she has no equal.

Birthday notice for Peter KALEY, published in The Robinson Constitution, 27 Jun 1888
   Peter Kaley, the venerable hotel keeper, of New Hebron, celebrated his seventy-sixth birthday on last Friday. He came to New Hebron in 1835, from the home of his birth in Schafferstown, Pennsylvania. He set up in the hotel business immediately upon his arrival and is still catering to the wants of the inner man. Many a famous man has, in early times, sat down to his table and rested in this comfortable beds, and today his excellent spring chicken is as appetizing as ever it was which fact many persons in Robinson who have enjoyed a surfeit at Uncle Peter's board, can testify. The old gentleman has been blessed with four sons and three daughters, all of whom are living but one son. He has been a reader of the Constitution since it was founded and has always voted the straight Democratic ticket. May the showers that fell on the anniversary of his birth revive Uncle Peter to the vigor of his youth and may his usefulness be spared to us for many years to come.

Biographical sketch of John PARKER, published in The Robinson Constitution, 24 Apr 1889
   On Tuesday of last week, at the laying of the corner stone of the new Lawrence county court house, at Lawrenceville, by the Masonic fraternity, in the write-up of the occasion by a representative of that bright and newsy paper, with such a suggestive name, Truth, published at Vincennes, Indiana, by Mr. Howard S. Rudy, we find the following sketch concerning one of Crawford county's highly respected citizens, and mason, who was in the procession, and who has lived within its borders for more than half a century:
   Uncle John Parker, of "Dipend," the name given a certain stretch of country lying both within the counties of Lawrence and Crawford, was in Lawrenceville Tuesday, when that village was reveling in the delights of a brass band and a big procession of honorable Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons; and in a perfect delirium in the knowledge that this day signalized the end of a protracted feud - that the hatchet was buried in the path leading from the teepee of the Sumner brave to the wigwam of the Lawrenceville Sachem, there to remain forever. But it was not his first visit to the ancient village. For fifty years he has made periodical visits to that place; and no living man ever saw him in the enjoyment of the comfort attending the wearing of a hat.
   There is a tradition connected with old Uncle John Parker, who will be 80 years of age next August; that when he was an infant terrible - when the aborigines prowled through the primeval forest, and the cry of the catamount was the music to which tired mothers rocked their babe - there is a tradition that he owned a hat. But chancing to let it get burned up in a brush heap, he registered a vow never to wear another. Tradition also has it that he never had a hat on his head till after his family had become numerous. He started on a visit to relatives in Kentucky. Before his departure a counsel of war was held, and it was concluded that Uncle John must wear headgear. So a chapeau was purchased for him. Pleading to be permitted to go as nature had provided him till he entered upon the world at the Lawrenceville depot, the boon was granted and the traveler's sorrow was turned to joy. Once out of sight of the home-birds the obnoxious hat was hidden under a brush pile, where it lay undisturbed till all vestige of its fiber had been scattered to the four winds of heaven; but Uncle John had an enjoyable visit.
   Time has laid his heavy scythe on the old man's head, and a bald spot has crept through the hitherto luxuriant capillary adornment. Neither the hot suns of summer nor the biting winds of winter have any effect on him. Uncle John Parker has lived four score, and never wore a hat.

Article regarding James McCORMIC, published in The Robinson Constitution, 29 Mar 1893
   The Oldest Democrat... To the Editor of the St. Louis Republic
   Darwin, IL, March 16.
   I see in your paper of this week an article containing the biography of Edward Embry, as the oldest Democrat in the United States.
   The oldest Democrat in the United States lives in Darwin, Clark county, Ill. His name is James McCormic, and he was born March 9, 1783, being 110 years old last Thursday. He cast his first vote for Thomas Jefferson, and fought the Indians under General William Henry Harrison. He has several knife wounds, received from Indians, and was twice tied to the stake to be burned. Mr. McCormic was well acquainted with Lafayette, and has a 25 cent silver piece given him by the famous Frenchman on his visit to America in 1824. He was wounded in the battle of Lundy's Lane, in 1814, but draws no pension. He chews tobacco and votes the Democratic ticket.
   R. L. Hutchison


This page last updated on February 05, 2015.