During the Civil War Sarah
(1836-1920) lived in a one-room log
cabin about six miles up
Piney. She was a
mother lived with them for a time,
but nothing is known of her, except that she is buried near
Although the distance was only twenty miles, we think Sarah never saw
the Ohio River. Tom saw it often — he walked!
To this union three children survived:
Mary Elizabeth (later known as "Aunt Betty" or ("Aunt Molly") and
(Mac) named for a Civil War general.
Mary Elizabeth married Isaac
Benton Wiley (Bent)
and moved to Ross
on the right hand branch of Piney,
near a school and church. Mail was delivered from Pine Grove by
horseback. Here she saw the oil field bring money to
and the building of the Shortline
railroad bring the outside world nearer.
She passed on to her son, Thomas Bert
Wiley her great respect for education. He
had only an eighth-grade education, because the nearest high school was at
However, he never ceased to read
and learn, and encouraged his three children to get masters degrees.
At eighteen he passed an exam and became a teacher in a one room school.
Later he learned telegraphy and worked for Eureka Pipe Line Company. He was
greatly interested in conservation, and was one of the founders of the
Community Sportsmen Club in Pine Grove.
He first married Muriel
Collins, whose family was from
Pennsylvania. They had three daughters, Ada
Elizabeth, Mary Catherine, and Muriel Mae.
Mary died in infancy, a
common happening in those days, and the mother died in childbirth
during the terrible flu
epidemic of 1920.
graduated from the University of
and taught in Pine Grove, Hundred, and
and as a civilian employee of the Air Force in
Muriel attended the
of Pittsburgh, and graduated from
University. She taught at Otter Den,
one of the last one-room schools in
County. Later she helped organize
the Special Education class at Valley High before the idea became a state
and national program.
"Bear Wallow" on Loman
Ridge, and carrying canned
milk and cocoa
to heat on
pot-bellied stove long before anyone dreamed of the hot
To this union came one son, Thomas Stanley Wiley. After
graduating from Pine
Grove High School
(now Valley) he went to West Virginia
University, where he met
Fredeane Cark of
After graduation he joined the Air Force, married, and began a flying
career which took him from Wetzel
to the Philippines,
England, and the
They had two children, Janet Sue and Joseph Thomas.
Both entered the Air Force Academy where Jan graduated in 1981 with the second
class to graduate women. She is now married and an Air Force pilot. Joe will
graduate from the Academy in 1984, also starting an Air Force career.
So through six generations
County has gradually changed from a
time when one walked or rode horseback twenty miles to get to the
county seat, to a time when women pilots fly across the
United States in a few hours.
Muriel Wiley 1983