Leroy Andrew Carley

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Leroy Andrew Carley


Complied by Clark L. Carley Dec. of 1998

Leroy Carley

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                        This story goes with the following picture.
  In a radius of 50 air miles from Hays, Leroy Carley has traveled 632,417 miles by motor car in the last 20 years to carry the Daily News to cities north and west of Hays where it is distributed by carries each afternoon It was 20 years ago today. Carley first took the News to Plainville and, Stockton for distribution. For four and one half years this was his run, but for the last fifteen and one half years, Hill City, Palco, Zurich, Bogue, and Damar have been added have been added to the daily circulation list of the News and Carley has made the 153 mile trip each night, rain or shine to reach subscribers with the paper, some times the going has been rough, but it is notable of Lee Carley that the severest of snow and rain storms has never stopped him when it is time to be off with the route. Carley celebrates his twentieth anniversary with hauling the paper to Plainville, Stockton, Hill City, Palco, Zurich, Bogue and Damar.


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" LEE" Leroy Andrew Carley


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This is copy of above news story of the Kansas City Star and Times.

     Hays, Kas. Leroy Carley carrier of The Star and other newspapers in the vicinity twenty- six years, he has traveled 1,820.000 miles in line of duty. His transpiration has been by bicycle, Motel T Ford, modern cars and trucks.
     "Lee" as he is known by most everyone here, cycled his way in to the newspaper business when he became a substitute carrier for Jim Carston in the summer of 1928. He bought The Kansas City Star route from Jim Carston in March of 29 and in the next few years, he wore out three bicycles
     Foot note: He borrowed the money from Mother, Opal, $600.00 and she said he never did pay it back. Grin!! Some times when I was with him, which was a lot in my younger days, I was called. "Little Lee". by his friends.
In the early thirties Carley traded his cycle in for a second hand Model T Ford He would drive down the street grip a folded newspaper and heave it with practice aim, into the yard of a Star subscribe.
     Foot note: I have rode with him many a time, he could drive with his knees and make a U turn at a intersection with out touching the wheel and folding paper all the time too.

                                                              To a Better Car
    In about a year this car was traded of for another Model T which in turn gave way to a second hand Model A. In 1934 he purchased his first new car and from then on he traded about every six years.
     Tires were replaced about every 25,000 miles and if the body was still in good shape he put a new motor under the hood at about 90,000 miles. (It was a short block and he put it in him self, most of the time.) In 1938, Lee purchased a second car, to be used in emergencies. Now he had two trucks and a passenger car. The trucks are used for delivery and the passenger car for family transportation and bill collecting. (This means Mother driving me to collect, until I was old enough to drive my self.) (I have trouble with this part, in 1940 he bought a new 40 Chev and kept the 38 Chev. It did not have a front seat. We sat on a milk case as the passenger side had been used to stack paper for delivery. I learned to drive in it with Mother, setting on this milk case when we made Dads trip on the Plainville route.
     Carley has not allowed blizzards, tornadoes, floods or dust storms to delay his deliveries.
in the spring of 1935 when the "black blizzard" swept across the dry field of the Mid-West, Carley drove his 153 mile round trip with dust pitting the wind shield and visibility near zero.
One afternoon in the flood time, his 153 mile route turned out to be 325 miles because of the wash outs.
     Carley has been a friend in need" all along his route. He has delivered upholstered chairs, draperies, and other items to friends who couldn't get to Hays to pick them up Once in a emergency, he rushed a pair of dentures to a Hays dentist, repaired the teeth that night and the next afternoon Carley delivered them to the subscriber.

                                            New Kind of Errand
One of his most unusual errands was when a friend in Plainville sent him to a Hays department store to purchases for her a foundation garment. With strict instruction as to the style, size and brand. Lee approached the clerk. The clerk, with embarrassed curiosity, filled the order and sent Carley on his way with a firm foundation clasped under his arm.
     College students, to broke to afford a buss ticket home have often hitched a ride with the Star carrier. Sitting astride the piles of papers. The folded the papers to pay for their ride.
     Many a salesman has sent his company reports to Hays via Carley. Wedding flowers have been in is deliveries. On several occasions, he has arrived on the scene of a car crash and taken the injured to the hospital.
     Mr. Carley has proven that this business of satisfying customers and getting the news on the road is no small enterprise and can become big business if taken seriously..
                                                                 Maurine Rergland


January 12, 1967
Dear Friend:
     We are enclosing your group hospitalization insurance certificates. You may want to fill out and carry with you the attached identification card in the event of an emergency.

     You are insured under group policy numbers GH 70340, and if you are under 65 years of age, under GM 310.
     The Kansas City Star is happy for the opportunity to arrange for this group protection, and to absorb half of your individual premium cost.
     We are also sending along a claim form which should be completed by your doctor and the hospital and mailed to BMA in the event of a claim.
     In the event of a claim, you must list in the upper right hand corner of your claim form the policy number shown on the front of your certificate before submitting to BMA.
     If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Yours very truly,

J. R. O'Donnell
Circulation Manager

Drives Almost Million Miles Delivering Hays Daily News

Hays Daily News, Sunday, May 17, 1959
     When Lee Carley returned to Hays Friday night from making delivery of the Hays Daily News to communities, north and west of here he chalked a quarter century of service to subscribers in Plainville and Stockton.
     Reminiscing yesterday, Carley said that when he first started making the daily trek there was only 7 miles of blacktop highway on the 42 mile route from the News office to his destination in Stockton. Carefully calculated figures disclose that in the 25 year period he drove 707,300 miles going to and coming from these cities. Nine years ago he added Zurich, Palco, Damar, Bogue and Hill City to his route, but won't "figure the mileage on these for another 10 or 15 years."
     During the quarter century he has traveled the north route there have been few times he failed to get through with the papers. On several occasions he says he was held up when the Highway Patrol blocked the roads in time of storm, but he added "once or twice I sneaked around them, to my regret."
     Carley recalls nights spent stuck in the mud on the old road, but the dawn usually found him on his way again, late but headed in the right direction. As he heads for the half - century mark the veteran newspaperman says he intends to complete 50 years on the route "although I may be delivering them from a helicopter by then."

Our Goings Goer
     Today marks the 27th anniversary of service for the News' travelingest delegate at large. The gent is LeRoy Carley who has peddled more papers, not only for the News but also for other publications worming their way into this neck of the woods, than any other human, breathing or buried.
     On the fifteenth day of May in 1934 Mr. Carley loaded down his Harley-Davidson yes he drove a motorcycle then--with copies of the Hays Daily News and inaugurated the paper's first delivery routes in Plainville and Stockton. Since that two-stand beginning he has expanded his routes and since the war has been pony express not only for his original destinations but also Zurich, Palco, Damar, Bogue and Hill City.
     Like Lt. Rowan's message to Garcia, Mr. Carley has through the years displayed an uncanny ability to get the word "through." Only 5 times, so he tells us, has bad weather--wind or fog, snow or sleet, hail or heat--kept him from making his appointed rounds. On one occasion, and this has been many years ago, he traversed a side road to prevent the highway patrol from turning him back when a blizzard threatened. Several times it should be added, he has spent the night shivering in his car, held up somewhere between towns.
     During these many years we wouldn't hazard a guess as to how many miles he has driven in the line of duty, probably a million or two or more. Whatever the total may be, he has proven himself an able and skillful driver. In all the time and miles he has never been involved in a chargeable accident.
     And so with this, knowing a good thing when we have it, we say; "onward, LeRoy, ever onward."

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Leroy Carley to whom the delivery of the news is the most important duty, there is. Carley has never let wind whether deter him in the delivery of Hays Daily News to
communities far removed from here Storms mean nothing in his life. Hays News photo.

Sunday November 13, 1955


Ex-Teacher Defies Elements To Keep Daily Appointments.
By Maurine Bergland- November.
     Come rain or hail or snow or sleet . . . it is true that nothing stops The United State mail so that it has been true for that for over twenty-six years , nothing has stopped Leroy Carley of Hays from getting the "news" through to impatient subscribers.
     "Lee" as he is know by most of the people in the community, c cycled his way into the newspaper business when he became a substitute carrier for Jim Carston, the regular distributor for the Kansas City Star As a student at Kansas State College in Hays he need all the extra money to help him with college expenses. When Carston needed some one to fill in for him for vacation in the summer of 1928, Carley, a big broad shoulder, six foot from Plainville offered his service. He threw the big cloth bag, filled with papers over the rear fender of his bicycle peddled of into what has now ??? been for the past quarter of a century, a substantial livelihood.

                                           36 and 1/2 Students
     In the fall of 28, Carley went to Yocemento, a small village a few miles west of Hays to teach school 35 1/2 reluctant farm youths the principals of reading 'ritin' arithmetic. Mr. Carley insists that the 1/2 pupil which he attempted to instruct was one lad who was only half there most of the time and the half was unwilling. For five months (which was considered a complete year in county in those days) he pushed these youngsters through the doors of knowledge , sometimes with the help a cottonwood branch or a threatening look.
     On the first day of March, 1929, Lee borrow money from Opal Burdue of Jetmore, Kansas to whom he had been secretly married for almost a year (in those days school boards it unwise to hire married women teachers) and bought the Star route from Carston.
     At the end of the school year Mrs. Carley came to Hays with her husband and soon became chief assistance folder supernatant of complaints department and trouble shooter for the organization. She still sooth the angry subscribers and often papers it replace those that have been shredded by dogs of the neighborhood had fallen into snow banks.

                                                 Fair Swap
In the early thirties Carley traded his bicycle in for a Model T Ford and with a great deal of pride, he drove the route reaching into the back box (which had replaced the trunk of the car) and in one complete movement grip a folded paper and heave it with practice into the yard of a Star fancier.
     Fortunately, for the people of Hays and the surrounding community Carley decided to make a career of the newspaper business.

                                        Black Blizzard Days
In the spring of 35 when the "Black Blizzards" when they swept across the dry fields of the midwest, Carley loaded his merchandise into his Model T and with the dust pitting his windshield and visibility almost zero part of the time, he made his scheduled route.
     The floods of 51 when his own house had several feet of water on the main floor found him still folding and delivering the daily news. Some time during the 'damp'

Footnote. We did not get water on main floor, basement full up against the floor. Seems we were about the highest house in the block as most all others in that block did have water on their main floors. I carried Grandmother Burdue to the second story of the house across the street. Water was up to my waist. I tried to wade out toward 6th street. Ending up handing onto a tree and a boat came along and got me. It got higher towards town. Cars washed every where. Strong current. We had the only phone in that part of town that you could call. We could not call out. Dad would call us as he could not get home. Mother woke all of us and the water chanced the last one of us up the basement steps.!

     Days which followed that deluge of water, he would carry the paper to the porches of the scriptures to keep them from falling into muddy pools left on the lawns of so many homes in the south par of town.
     Many is the times that his faithful vehicle has stalled just outside of Hays in blizzards and he has had to walk into Hays arriving home after dark with frost bitten ears, nose and toes.

Footnote.  I recall one time he fell on ice at St. Anthony Hospital steps. The put him on crutches and told him to stay of his feet and keep his legs up. He did keep them up part of one day, threw the crutch away after a couple of days and just kept on going. He said they were to much trouble.
     His car left in some snow bank and would have to be shoveled out the next morning before he could get back to work.
     In all of the 70,000 miles he traveled each year (and incidentally, this adds up to about 1,830,000 miles in 26 years.) Never has he had a serious accident A dented fender or a bashed in tail light every now ant then, but only one has he had a accident that was listed a chargeable, This might be some kind of record for the safety division of the Kansas Highway Commission.
Footnote.  I recall one in which he hit a parked car in a blizzard, which was stalled in the middle of the highway between Hays and Plainville. On one was with the car and no lights. Was he upset over being charged with that. State Police ruled he should not have been on the road in the blizzard.
     Lee has been a "friend in need" to a great many people along his route. During his service, he has delivered upholstered chairs, draperies, and other items for friend that couldn't get to Hays to pick them up. One time he was called upon to rush a pair of dentures into a Hays dentist from one of his customers. The dentist repaired the teeth that night and the next afternoon Carley delivered them to his "toothless" friend
     One of the most unusual errands was when a good friend in Plainville sent him to a Hays department store, their to purchase for her a foundation garment, with strict instructions as to the style size and the name of the girdle. Lee approached the clerk . The clerk filled embarrassed curiosity and sent him on his way with a firm foundation clasped tightly under his arm.
     A frantic your mother who had been visiting in Hays from a nearby and had returned home, leaving the necessary articles for keeping her baby happy, called Leroy to help. With out delay, the "newsman" loaded his papers, picked up the "seat covers" and set off with speed to see that the baby had the necessary change by the time it was needed.
     Mr. Carley has had several demands from customers but the most frequent is that he put the paper between the screen and the front door…. And "don't step on the lawn."
     Several evening and just at dusk and accident were coming on, Lee would be the first to arrive upon the scene of a "crash" and has brought the injured, often stretched out unconscious, upon the floor of his truck, into a hospital in Hays.

                                               Paying Hobby
  Mr. Carley, has as a paying hobby, the only public address which is for rent clubs, church and schools in Hays. He and his son will set up the equipment in a stated place for a performance no mater whether it be PTA, carnivals, foot ball games,    
     Churches Bazaars, rodeos, dray races, micro midget races, county fairs, or memorial service for "All Soul Day."
     Carley has certainly proved to the new boy of today that this business of satisfying customers and getting the news on the road is no small enterprise and can become a "big business" if taken serious.

Footnote. It has been necessary to correct some spelling even in these newspaper stores.! Also the grammar checker in the computer ask for some punctuation.

                       Wins Prizes
Winners of prizes given away at the Grand Opening of Purdy's Pharmacy in Hays were: television set, LeRoy Carley of Hays; Timex electric watch, Mrs. T. A Stark of Ellis; vaporizers Mrs. John M. Mathews and Roy M. Crabtree of Hays; and a child's Timex watch, Mike Schmeidler of Catherine Rte.

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Carley Wins but Turns Down 10-Day Trip to Hawaii
Hays Daily News, Nov. 1960
    Leroy Carley 406 West 4th, distributor for The Hays Daily News and other publications, was named Sunday as winner of an all-expense paid 10-day Hawaiian Holiday sponsored by The Hutchinson News. Carley was selected as one of two newspaper carriers to make the trip as a Reward for bringing in the most new subscribers. Carley will not make the trip, however, due to duties of his job and the expense of arranging for substitutes to carry his route during his absence.
     George Alden, circulation manager at The Hutchinson News told Carley he would arrange some sort of cash prize for Carley in lieu of the trip.
     Fifty-four persons are scheduled to fly to Honolulu next Sunday for the 10-day holiday. This is the largest tour sponsored by The Hutchinson News and the largest tour ever sponsored in Kansas.
     They'll have sweet smelling leis draped around them and they'll eat luau which is native pig and all the fixings and they'll have an opportunity to eat foreign foods even if they are in the 50th state.  
     After that they'll visit three other Hawaiian islands, flying all the way on Aloha Airlines planes.
And they'll be back home Tuesday, Dec. 6. Six persons who went on The Hutchinson
     News European tours last spring will be on this tour. E. Lawson May of the News, who will be tour conductor as he was on Tour 3 to Europe; Mrs. May, Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Pivonka, LaCrosse, and Mr. and Mrs. Levi Scott, Burlington, Colo.
     The travelers will be conducted over Hawaii by experienced guides. They will live in the Coco Palms in Honolulu. Note to Carley: Members of The Hays Daily News staff wish to extend both congratulations and regrets.

Copyright by Clark L. Carley 1998

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