My Genealogy Hound

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.

* * * *

Hon. George W. Colley, ex-merchant, farmer and stock-dealer, of Waynesville, Mo., was born in Caldwell County, Ky., June 9, 1829. His father, Cyrus Colley, was of Irish descent, and was born in York County, S. C., in 1800, and when he was a small boy was taken by his parents to Caldwell County, Ky., where he grew to manhood and was married to Miss Elizabeth Howard. He was a carpenter by trade, but during the latter part of his life followed the occupation of farming. In 1832 he immigrated to the State of Missouri and located six miles west of Waynesville, where he became the owner of 300 acres of land in “Colley Hollow,” which was named in his honor, he being the first white man to settle there. He became a prominent citizen of Pulaski County, holding the office of county judge a number of terms, and was also appointed commissioner by the county court to sell the lots of Waynesville, having assisted in laying out the town. He was one of the first settlers of what is now Pulaski County, and his nearest neighbor, who was Isaac N. Davis, lived three miles distant. His next nearest neighbor was William Gillespie, who resided at a distance of five miles. His nearest milling point was twenty-five miles distant. His wife, who is yet living and resides with her daughter, Mrs. Sarah Christeson, was born in Caldwell County, Ky., in 1805, and became the mother of ten children, eight of whom are living. George W. Colley is their eldest son and third child, and was about four years of age when he was brought to Pulaski County, Mo. He grew to manhood on the old homestead, and received a fair common-school education, and at the age of twenty years began clerking in a general store at Waynesville, which belonged to his uncle, Silas Howard. After following the same occupation in Springfield for some time, he, in the fall of 1850, returned to Pulaski County and took charge of a store about one-fourth of a mile from his home, and in the spring of the following year established a store at Waynesville, his partners being his uncle, Silas Howard, and J. A. Rayle. At the end of one year Mr. Colley purchased his partners’ interest, and William Stewart became a member of the firm. Mr. Colley continued this business the greater portion of the time up to 1883, with different partners, and at that date sold out, and has since devoted his time to farming and stock dealing. He is the owner of the old homestead, and is one of the largest land-holders of the county, his acreage amounting to 1,000. In 1858 he was united in marriage to Miss Elwiza N. Mitchell, a daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth (Nash) Mitchell. She was born in Pulaski County in 1839, and is the mother of five children: Frank L., mail agent on the Missouri Pacific Railway; James M. and Charles H., who keep a livery and feed stable; Ida V., wife of H. E. Rollins, who is circuit court clerk of Pulaski County, and Alfie. Mr. Colley has been a life-long Democrat in politics, and has served his party as deputy sheriff two years, assessor and county treasurer, but resigned the latter office the same year he was elected (1856 ) In September, 1864, he enlisted in Company A, Forty-eighth Missouri Infantry, as sergeant, and served until he received his discharge at St. Louis, June 29, 1865. In 1865 he was appointed sheriff and collector of Pulaski County, and the following year was re-elected to the same office. Two years later he was elected to the State Legislature and served one term, and at the end of that time became county treasurer serving in this capacity until 1876. In 1885 he was appointed deputy collector of internal revenue of the First District of Missouri, but resigned the position at the end of two years. He is a member of the Masonic order, Lodge No. 375 of Waynesville (being a Master Mason), and his family are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.

* * * *

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

To view additional Pulaski County, Missouri family biographies, click here

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.