Ashe / Alleghany County, North Carolina
(ed. note: this biographical sketch was taken from
A Memorial And Biographical Record Of Kansas City And Jackson County, Missouri, written in 1896 -
while Wyley Wyatt was still living.)
A member of a large family, thrust upon his own resources early in life, a sufferer of untold hardships during the Civil War, in which he was a participant, a man who has risen above adversities, and one who ranks today both in wealth and influence with the leading citizens of his community - this is Wyley Wyatt.
The above outline affords ample material for the biographer to enlarge upon, and if space were no consideration he might go on indefinitely. In a work of this character, however, only the most succinct review can be presented. Wyley Wyatt was born in Alleghany County, North Carolina, October 12, 1839, youngest son and child of William and Mary (Landreth) Wyatt, both natives of Ashe County, North Carolina, the former born in 1782 and the latter in 1792. His parents were married in their native county, now known as Alleghany County, February 11, 1808, and made it their home until 1851, when they emigrated to Missouri, their journey hither being made by wagon. Arrived in Jackson County, Missouri, they settled on a rented farm on section 11, Washington Township, and the next year removed to section 26 of the same township.
In this county the closing years of their lives were passed and here they died, his death occuring August 25, 1856, and hers February 21, 1861. They were the parents of fifteen children, and besides rearing their own family they brought up two grandchildren. The names of their children are as follows: Solomon, Zebedee, Burgess, Louis, John L., Nathaniel, William, Jonathan, Calvin, Jane Williams, Catharine Williams, Mary Maxwell, Nancy O'Brien, Eveline and Wyley. All are deceased except the eldest and the youngest! The former, Solomon, was born June 1, 1809, and is a resident of Washington township, Jackson County, and the latter is the subject of this article.
At the time of the removal of the Wyatt family to this state Wyley was a youth of twelve years. Jackson County was then inhabited chiefly by Indians and wild animals, wolves being in abundance here, and life on the frontier had many attractions for him. But the family were poor, and the children as soon as they were old enough had to scatter and do for themselves. Wyley, being the youngest, remained with his mother after his father's death and took care of her as long as she lived. He was married December 21, 1859, to Miss Sarah Maxwell, a native of Clay County, Illinois, and a daughter of Alexander and Susannah (Tolliver) Maxwell. Her father was a brother of E. C. Maxwell, a well-known citizen of this county.
Her parents were married in Lawrence County, Indiana, and from there moved to Illinois on horse-back. Her father died in the latter state August 18, 1853, and her mother survived him until February 27, 1893. They had four children that grew to maturity, viz.: Mrs. Wyatt, born October 11, 1842; William, born February 21, 1847, is a resident of Clay County, Illinois; Rebecca Ann, born November 17, 1848, is deceased; and James R., born March 10, 1850, is deceased.
A record of the children born to Mr. and Mrs. Wyatt is as follows: Mary Susan, born November 11, 1860, is the widow of M. T. Sharp and has three children; William G., born January 3, 1863, married Miss Jessie McPherson, and has three children; Sarah Elizabeth, born December 9, 1864, died June 19, 1889; Robert E., born August 30, 1866, married Miss Jennie Shelton, and has one child; Anna M., born August 17, 1870; Lorena E., born December 22, 1872, is the wife of Dr. A. M. Harrison; Ada M., born July 4, 1876; Lettie C., born February 21, 1879; George W., born May 5, 1881; Joseph C., born November 9, 1883; and Stella J., born November 27, 1886.
After his marriage Mr. Wyatt settled in Johnson County, Kansas, where he bought eightly acres of wild land on time, and on it made his home until 1861, when he had to leave because of war. During the Civil War his family were without a home and lived about from place to place where they could find convenient shelter. He was among the first to enter the Confederate ranks. Indeed, necessity almost compelled him to take this course, and valiantly did he fight for the southern cause. He joined the command of Colonel Upton Hayes in General Shelby's army. The first engagement in which he participated was a skirmish on his brother's farm in this township.
Then followed numerous other engagements, prominent among which were the following: Springfield, Missouri; Cross Hollows, Arkansas; Pea Ridge, White Oak, Rock Ford, Lone Jack, Hickory Grove, the three battles of Newtonia, the three of Cane Hill, Prairie Grove and others. In the spring of 1864 he returned from Arkansas to Missouri, and was a participant in the battle of Springfield. After this he was one of a scouting party that started out on a ninety-days reconnoitering expedition, and with only a peck of parched corn as rations for each man. He took part in the Marchfield engagement, after which he returned to his family and kept himself in hiding.
When "Order No. 11" was issued his wife secreted him in a wagon-box and drove to Clay County. From there they went to Caldwell County, where they remained two years. During that time he rented what was known as the Solomon Young farm. People in general, and Mr. Wyatt in particular, saw some pretty hard times then - times that can better be imagined than described. At the end of the two years, knowing that a move could not make his condition any worse than it was, and hoping to better himself, he went back to Johnson County, Kansas, where he built a little shanty, 12 x 14 feet, and where he continued to abide until 1879.
That year he came to his present location on section 22, Washington Township, Jackson County, Missouri, and here he has since resided. His persistent efforts and good management, together with the dawn of better days, have brought about a marvelous change in his financial condition. Now he is the owner of 351 acres of choice land, 300 of which are under a high state of cultivation. He has a confortable residence, good barn and other improvements, and the stock in his broad pastures and his well tilled fields all give evidence of prosperity. He has given his children good educational advantages, has both a piano and organ for his daughters, and has a home and a family in which he has every reason to take a just pride.
He and his family are identified with the Methodist Church, south, at Martin City, he being a trustee and steward in the same. Politically, his influence and vote have ever gone to the support of the Democratic Party, and in all public issues, and especially those of a local nature, he takes a laudable interest. Thus in financial, political and religious circles he occupies a prominent place, and he stand high in the estimation of his neighbors and many friends.
(from A Memorial And Biographical Record Of Kansas City And Jackson County, Missouri - published in 1896.)
This page was last updated July 27, 2007.