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James W. Wiley, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, USA: A Biography

Source: Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Transcribed and Submitted by
Annie Crenshaw
Formatted by
Jim McKane, Ontario, Canada


Source: Biographical and Portrait Cyclopedia of Fayette County, Pennsylvania
Editorially managed by John M. Gresham
Assisted in the compilation by Samuel T. Wiley
A Citizen of the County
Compiled and Published by John M. Gresham & Co.
407-425 Dearborn Street, Chicago, 1889

pages 404-405 (viewable on Google Books)


JAMES W. WILEY, a good business man, a successful coke operator of Fayette county, is a son of Sampson Wiley and Sarah (Todd) Wiley, and was born in Sewickley township, Westmoreland county, Pa., October 17, 1845.

Sampson Wiley, Sr. (grandfather), was a native of county Tyrone, Ireland, where he owned a farm of forty-five acres whose title made it his while “grass grew and water ran.” He emigrated to Westmoreland county in 1790, where he died in 1825, at fifty-six years of age. He married Miss Jane McGrew, a member of the old and well-respected McGrew family, of Westmoreland county.

Sampson Wiley (father) was born in Westmoreland county, in 1805, died January 3, 1888, was a farmer until 1840, when he engaged in merchandising, and continued successfully in the merchandising business till 1870, when he retired from active life. He was a democrat, was several times elected to local offices in a strong republican township, but always declined to accept them. He married Miss Jane Todd, daughter of Henry Todd, a native of Ireland, and a farmer in Westmoreland county early as 1812. They had ten children. One of their sons, Sampson M., enlisted in Company A, One Hundred and Fifty-fifth Pennsylvania Volunteers, was in the battle of Gettysburg, and died soon afterward with typhoid fever. Mrs. Wiley was born in 1809 and lives at Everson.

James W. Wiley was reared in Westmoreland county, attended the common schools until twenty years of age, when he engaged as bookkeeper of the Youghiogheny Coal Company and remained with them till 1873. Three years of this time, he served as United States gauger at their distillery. From 1873 to 1877 he was engaged in general mercantile business in the firm of S. Wiley & Son. In 1877 he became a member of the mercantile firm of Wiley & Sherrick, and also engaged in the coke business. In 1881 Mr. Wiley withdrew from the mercantile firm, buying out Mr. Sherrick’s interest in the coke works, and forming a partnership with J. R. Staufer in the same business. The firm Staufer & Wiley are successfully engaged in the coke business.

In 1868 he was married to Miss Jennie, daughter of William Gallagher of Latrobe, Pa. They have seven children: Sadie T.; Carrie M.; Margaret O.; Minnie; Charles S.; Sampson M., and James W., Jr.

James W. Wiley is a democrat, and has served continuously as a justice of the peace for ten years. He is a member of the Masonic Order, a stockholder in several banks, and is a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal church. He is a well known and intelligent citizen of Upper Tyrone and has been remarkably successful in all his business ventures.