Francis Letter

An account of the trip from Jamestown, Wisconsin to Louisville, Kansas

by Frances Ann Carley Misamore (written in approx. 1940)

From Dr. Bryce J. Loder

On October 8, 1871, my Father, Thomas Carley and wife Rachel and six children, two of them twin boys, started on the long trek to the land of promise, namely, Kansas. We started shortly after noon having spent the forenoon packing. We had bedding, some cooking utensils and necessary clothes, two chairs, one on either side of the wagon stuck between the wagon cover and box. We drove that afternoon and slept in a schoolhouse yard that night. We were up early and crossed the Mississippi river on a ferry boat that ran form Dunleith, Illinois, to Dubuque, Iowa. (When I was back there in 1922 Dunleith was called East Dubuque.) We drove for several days till we came to Mt. Vernon, Iowa where Father’s brother, Sherman and family lived. Grandmother Carley who lived with them was 80 years old, but could read without glasses. Her sight had failed when she was about 50 years old. Then she had second sight. After we came to Kansas her sight failed again and she wrote to father to try to get a rattle snake and rend out the oil as she had heard that would restore failing sight. Uncle Sherman had a large wholesale and retail store and had had a mill, but that had been burned out. The brick walls were still standing. We stayed there several days; went to Sunday School with Lunetta and Carrie. There were two boys, Frank and Charley. I remember one day it rained and we stayed all day in a shed between two corn cribs. We had a tent and father and we children usually slept in that, but always tried to get a room in some house for Mother and the twins. One thing I distinctly remember – we struck a stretch of very heavy sand road, so we folks got out to walk. As walking in the sand was difficult, Mother and Carrie thought they would walk in the grass on the side, and the grass was sandbur grass. Mother and Carrie had on cloth top gaiters (they called them) and long skirts and each carrying a 15 pound baby. That was our introduction to sandburs in Iowa. We did find plenty in Kansas. Well, on November 6, 1871, we pulled in at Lot Carleys at sunset just as he was coming in with a big load of yellow corn, 29 days from starting. Lot lived one mile south of Mt. Union schoolhouse. Father bought out a homestead right from Ephriam Edwards for $125. The 80 had a one room log cabin on it but later Father bought a one room frame house with an attic from a man who had given up. (Morrison built the house.)

There was no school at first but Lot Carley and Albert Kersey, great uncle of Frank Ferguson, circulated a petition and got enough signers to organize a school district. Our first term of school was held in a 12' by 24' stone room on Mr. Atkinson’s place. In 1874 a stone schoolhouse was built on the east side of the road where the Baptist Church now stands. The frame one was built about 1890. My father helped to quarry and to haul the rock. Mr. Atkinson and Mr. Rawson built it. Lot and Lo Carley plastered it as that was their trade. Then it was dedicated as you would a church. Had a minister. Lots had a little melodeon and Margaret played it, the only musical instrument in the neighborhood. When Case Broderic represented Pottawatomie Co., and Jackson Co. in Congress he used his influence to get a Post Office which was held in a room in Mr. Atkinson’s house and it was called Broderick. But the school and church were named Mt. Union and has alwyas been a central place of meeting for the whole of Union Township. Elections are held there and it is one of the few country churches that still have a regular preacher.


by Frances Ann (Carley) Misamore

Thomas Alonzo Carley son of George Carley and wife, name unknown was born May 24, 1812 at Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York. From some data in a book that was lost George Carley was a soldier in the war of 1812 and his father was in the Revolutionary War. Samantha Clark Carley was born April 3, 1817 at Hamilton Oswego Co., New York.

Thomas Alonzo Carley and Samantha Clark were married January 1, 1835. To them were born seven children: Edwin Clark, Almon Alphonzo, Lawson Hannibal, Margaret Samantha, Mary Melissa, Cyrus Lorenzo, Williams Winfield. Edwin died at the age of 18. Mary Melissa and William Winfield died while small.

When Thomas and Samantha and their five living children moved from New York they shipped a car of their belongings and Almon Alphonzo was to come with the car but it caught fire. That was some time between 1850 and 1860. Everything was burned and they never heard of Almon.

The children who lived to maturity were Lawson H. or Lot as he was called, Margaret S., and Cyrus Lorenzo or Lo as he was called. Lawson H. Carley and Margaret A. Daigh (Pronounced Day) were married Sept. 21, 1864 at Dubuque, Iowa. Lot enlisted in the Union army at the beginning of the Civil War, served through the entire war and was a prisoner of war at Andersonville prison, was cited for bravery, and was a 1st Lieutenant when he was discharged or mustered out. They had three children: Eva May, Charles Leroy and Harry Legrange. Harry was a Dr. in St. Louis, was in the army in World War I but did not get sent overseas for the duration of war. Harry died in June 1925. Soon after his mother was in the hospital 3 months. Lot Carley died July 15, 1885 aged 45 years, 4 months, 19 days at Auburn, Nebraska. Lot’s wife Margaret Carley died April 26, 1925 aged 80 years at the home of her daughter Mrs. Eva Rightmire near Wamego, Kansas.

Eva May Carley and Milton Rightmire wre married at the home of her Uncle Lo Carley near Westmoreland. They had one son Ralph who served 18 months in the World War. Ralph was married to Margaret Plesse in 1916 a few months before he went overseas. They had one daughter, Ann Margaret who graduated from K.U. last June and went to Dallas, Texas the very evening of graduation to train for an airline hostess. Has been promoted and now makes 7 trips a month from Dallas to Chicago.

Margaret Samantha Carley and Hugh Wiley were married about the beginning of the Civil War as Mr. Wiley was a soldier. They lived in Iowa and when they grew old lived at the Soldiers Home in Marshallton, Iowa. She died July 10, 1926 at Marshallton aged 83 years. I do not know how much of a family they had.

Cyrus Lorenzo Carley and Mary Elizabeth Humsted were married in Pottawatomie Co., Kansas on September 21, 1873. They had 5 children: Della, Roscoe, Maz, Walter and Libbie. Della married Charley Carter and lived in Colorado. Roscoe married a teacher who taught in the Westmoreland schools. They moved to Osage Co. She was County Superintendent of schools for two terms. Libbie married a man from Topeka. I cannot think of his name although I was at the wedding. This is all I can think of the history of father’s first family. Harry Carley married a girl in St. Louis. They had two girls Lucille and Elizabeth. Father was a cooper by trade.


Written by Frances Ann Carley Misamore

Rachel McCormick White, eldest daughter of George and Sarah McCormick White was born July 8, 1830 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Her father George White was a native of Ireland and an iron roller in the Sligo Iron Works at Pittsburg. Sarah McCormick’s parents were Scotch Irish. She was a cousin of Cyrus McCormick of reaper fame. Rachel’s mother died when Rachel was 4 years old leaving her and her younger brother Cyrus.

Rachel McCormick White, eldest daughter of George and Sarah McCormick White, was born July 8, 1830, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her father, George White was a native of Ireland and an iron roller in the Sligo iron works at Pittsburgh. Sarah McCormick's parents were Scotch-Irish. She was a cousin of Cyrus McCormick of reaper fame. Rachel's mother died when Rachel was 4 years old, leaving her and her younger brother Cyrus. Afterwards her father married again, but her stepmother died when she was 12 years old. She then went to live with some relatives by the name of Lowry. Mr. Lowry was a lawyer and she always spoke of him as a Judge. She lived with them until she was 20 years old. She learned the tailoring trade but did not like it very well. She got a position as governess to the two children of a Dr. Walters in Pittsburgh. She was with them 4 years. The children died of scarlet fever. Then she went with a sister of Mrs. Walters, Mrs. McMillan, a lawyer's wife to Minnesota. Mrs. Walters' and Mrs. McMillan's father was a Major in the army and while staying with them she became acquainted with a soldier, William George Woodall. His mother was a nurse in an army hospital. They went to Iowa after their marriage, to live. Her husband and his Mother were very cruel to her and treated her more like a slave than a wife. They were married October 14, 1856. In 1857 she went back to Pittsburgh where Caroline was born on October 4. She then got a divorce. She taught school in Iowa and Wisconsin until October 4, 1862, when she was married to Thomas A. Carley. To this union were born six children, Frances, George, Sherman, Thomas and Alonzo--twins, and John. After we came to Kansas I do not know so very much about Mother's family. I know her Mother had two sisters, Ann and Rachel, for whom Mother was named. Rachel married a man named Ashcraft and a son of hers was a teacher among Indians and used to write for Sunday School papers. Ann married Robert Dalzell and she had two children, James and Mary. James became a lawyer and was elected as representative from Noble Col., Ohio, to the state legislature. When Roosevelt died he wrote a poem entitled "Roosevelt, the Peacemaker". He served in the Civil War. Wrote a book of his experiences in the war. Also some poetry which he sent to Mother after we came to Kansas. Mother lost track of them or they of us, and we did not hear from him or his sister for a number of years. Then mother saw an advertisement asking for information of the White family and she answered it and her letter came into his hands. He was working in the Treasury Dept. at Wahington. So he and his sister corresponded with her as long as she was able to write. His sister's daughter, Mary Brown, was a nurse, and she was nursing a man with Typhoid fever, and he got out of his head and attacked her and nearly killed her.

Mother had a sister Caroline who married a man named Marsden. Had two girls by him. He died and afterward she married John Marks. She had 4 children: Ida, Mattie, Hattie, and Frank. They lived at Andrew Carnegie's iron and steel works at Homestead Pennsylvania. Ida was a school teacher. Mattie and Hattie were trained nurses. Hattie married Herman Furlong who was an engineer and worked for the government while bulding the Panama Canal. Frank was a mail carrier. Mother's brother, Cyrus, was in the Civil War and was quite crippled when mustered out. He became a mail carrier.

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