George W. Chaney, cashier of the Miller & Chaney Bank of Newell, is connected with all those interests which feature in the development of the city in its political, material, intellectual and moral progress, while his extensive business interests make him one of the foremost representatives of commercial life in this community.
A native of Ogle County, Illinois, he was born October 8, 1856, of the marriage of Osborn and Amanda (Rice) Chaney. The paternal grandfather was of French descent and a native of Virginia, in which state he spent his entire life. His children were: James, Phineas, Richard, Osborn, Ralph, William, Eli, Mrs. Sophia Garlow and Mrs. Betsey Shannon. The maternal grandfather of George W. Chaney was Amos Rice, who was also born in Massachusetts and there followed the occupation of farming as a life work. He married Anna Norton, of Connecticut, who lived to the advanced age of ninety-seven years. They had a large family, including the following named: Alanson, now deceased, who resided at Marion, Iowa, where his family still resides; Erastus, William, Edwin and Emily, who have all departed this life; George, who died in Oklahoma; Amanda, who became the mother of our subject; Marana, deceased; Esther, who is also deceased; and Mary Ann, the wife of David Hayes, of Ogle County, Illinois.
Mrs. Osborn Chaney was a native of New York, while Osborn Chaney was a native of Virginia and he followed the occupation of farming in support of his family. He became one of the pioneer settlers of Ogle County, Illinois, living in that locality at a time when Chicago was but a village. However, it was the grain market of the locality and to that point he hauled his products by wagon. He lived to witness a remarkable development in the state, retaining his residence in Illinois until 1880. However, he left Ogle County in 1864 and removed to Rockford in order to educate his family. While in that city he engaged in the lumber business and he also operated a large sawmill at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, cutting the trees in the forest and taking them direct to the mill. As stated, he continued his residence east of the Mississippi until 1880, when he came to Buena Vista County, Iowa, and purchased two hundred and forty acres of land in Newell Township. The following year he brought his wife and children to the home which he had prepared but he was not long permitted to enjoy his new place of abode, for his death occurred on the farm in 1883, when he was sixty-five years of age. His wife died in Newell at the age of seventy-six years. They were Baptists in religious faith and were people of the highest respectability, enjoying in unqualified measure the confidence and friendship of those with whom they came in contact.
Their family numbered eight children, four sons and four daughters: Louise A., who resides in Ottawa, Kansas ; Edward O., a resident of Missoula, Montana; Alice C., the wife of Dr. E. K. Chandler, of Ottawa, Kansas; Mary E., the wife of Dr. J. D. S. Riggs, of Alton, Illinois; Harriet, who died at the age of eight years; George W., of this review; Morris J., a resident of Wauconda, South Dakota; and Harry E., a resident of Missoula, Montana.
When seven years of age George W. Chaney accompanied his parents on their removal from Ogle County, Illinois, to Rockford, that state, where he was reared to manhood, pursuing his education in the graded and high schools of that city. He afterward pursued a commercial course in the F. E. Arnold Commercial School in Los Angeles, California, and subsequently spent two years more in Rockford, while in 1880 he came to Iowa with his father. He then farmed for nine years, after which he removed to Newell and entered into partnership with D. C. Miller, in the Miller & Chaney Bank, of which he has since been the cashier. This is one of the safe, substantial moneyed concerns of the county and its conservative yet progressive business policy commends it to the confidence of all, so that its patronage is now extensive. In addition to his banking interests Mr. Chaney is secretary of the Newell Cement Tile Company and he also has extensive property holdings, owning one hundred and seventy-eight acres of land in Newell and Providence Townships, while he is also partner in a company owning twelve thousand twelve hundred acres of timber land in Grant county, Colorado.
On the 28th of June, 1887, Mr. Chaney was married to Miss Nellie T. Miller, a daughter of De Witt C. and Agnes B. (Lawson) Miller. There have been six children born of this union: Agnes A., Osborn M., Carlton L., Gerald W., Jessie M. and Carolyn L. The parents are members of the Congregational Church, in which Mr. Chaney is serving as deacon. They are prominent socially and their own attractive home is justly celebrated for its cordial hospitality. In politics Mr. Chaney is an earnest republican and that he stands high in the confidence and good will of his fellow townsmen is indicated by the fact that for fifteen years they have elected him city treasurer, in which position he is now serving."
1909 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa by C. H. Wegerslev & Thomas Walpole; Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909
Contributed by Juli Chaney Jarvis, Buffalo, WY
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