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Below is a family biography included in The History of Pulaski County, Missouri published by Goodspeed Publishing Company in 1889.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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Daniel B. Colley, a prominent farmer and stock raiser of Cullen Township, is a son of Judge Cyrus and Elizabeth (Howard) Colley, and was born in Pulaski County, at the mouth of Colley Hollow, in 1833. Cyrus Colley was born in York County, S. C., in 1800. He received a limited schooling, and his mother having died when he was quite young, he was bound out to learn the blacksmith’s trade, but owing to ill treatment he soon sought other employment. In 1825 he married Elizabeth Howard, daughter of William Howard, of Kentucky. She was born in Caldwell County, Ky., in 1805, where they lived after marriage until 1831, when they removed to Southern Illinois, and one year later located in what is now Pulaski County Mo. They finally settled in what is now known as Colley Hollow, which is one of the richest valleys in the county. There Mr. Colley improved a good farm, on which he spent the remainder of his life. He was one of the pioneers of Pulaski County, and in an early day served one term as county judge, holding the same office just prior to the war, during which time the railroad company endeavored to obtain support for the proposed railroad, to which Mr. Colley was actively opposed, and it is probably due to his perseverance and determined opposition that Pulaski County is without the burdensome railroad debt hanging over so many counties in Missouri. He was a man of great industry and endurance, and had the interests of the county at heart. He was an active worker in the Democratic party and one of the most enterprising farmers of his time. He died November 4, 1876. In a family of six sons and four daughters, Daniel B. Colley was the fifth. His education was that obtained in the common schools In 1860 he married Rachel Gillespie, whose father, William Gillespie, was a pioneer of Pulaski County. She was born in Pulaski County, and died in December, 1866, leaving one child, Clara, now the wife of Rev. L. H. Davis. September 10, 1871, Mr. Colley married Mrs. Margaret E. Hobbs, widow of Joseph Hobbs. She was born in Pulaski County in 1840, and has three children by her first husband viz.: Le Roy J., William W., and Josie J., who married James M. Colley. The parents of Mrs. Colley were Wilson and Elizabeth Tilley, natives of North Carolina and Tennessee, respectively who settled in what is now Pulaski County about 1829. Mr. Tilley was killed September 10, 1864, by a band of militia, who burned his house and robbed him of his money. His wife is still living, and of their twelve children four daughters and one son are still living, and rank among the highly esteemed families of their respective communities. The parents were members of the Methodist Church. Three children were born to Mr. Colley by his second marriage, only one of whom survives, Daniel Burkley. After the war Mr. Colley settled on his present farm, which adjoins the old homestead, and where he now has a well-improved farm of 140 acres, about sixty acres under cultivation. He engaged in farming until 1866, when, having been elected circuit and county court clerk, he removed to Waynesville. He held the office continuously for eight years, and at the expiration of the last term returned to his farm, where he now lives. In political faith he is a Democrat.

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This family biography is one of 80 biographies included in The History of Pulaski County, Missouri published in 1889.  For the complete description, click here: Pulaski County, Missouri History, Genealogy, and Maps

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