Biography of J. W. Remley

J. W. Remley. The winning of a comfortable prosperity after many struggles with fortune and the establishment and provision for a home and place as an honored and influential citizen of his community is short measure of the accomplishment of J. W. Remley, who for many years has been identified with Champaign County.

Mr. Remley is proprietor of the Pleasant Vale Stock Farm in Harwood Township, in section 14. He was born in Ross County, near Chillicothe, Ohio, a son of Alexander and Cutright Remley. His parents were also natives of Ohio. There were five children in the family and they were educated in district school No. 4 of Springfield Township in Ross County.

When J. W. Remley was sixteen years of age, in March, 1875, his mother died and later his father married again. At the age of twenty-three J. W. Remley left home for Indiana. When he reached Indianapolis he was persuaded by his sister to come on to Champaign County, Illinois. When he first came here it was with the intention of remaining only a year, but he became so well satisfied with the country that it took a hold upon him as. a permanent residence.

Two years after coming to Champaign County Mr. Remley established a home of his own by his marriage to Miss Amelia A. Reynolds. She was born in Knox County, Illinois, five miles north of Oneida, daughter of Hanford and Antoinette (Roberts) Reynolds. Her father was a native of New York and her mother of Indiana. Her mother came to Illinois with her people at the age of eight years and was married in Knox County, and when Mrs. Remley was one year of age the family came to Champaign County.

After their marriage Mr. and Mrs. Remley rented land four miles north of Gifford in Harwood Township. They remained five years on that place end while those were years of considerable self-denial and of struggles to make both ends meet, they were altogether extremely happy. At the end of five years Mf. and Mrs. Remley bought eighty acres, a portion of the land they had rented, comprising the northeast eighty of section 14. Mrs. Remley’s father had bought this tract when she was one year old. Subsequently Mrs. Remley received as her share of the inheritance other land, so that the estate now comprises 200 acres, under the name Pleasant Vale Stock Farm. This name was given to the community by Mrs. Remley’s mother when she first settled here.

As a stock farmer Mr. Remley is widely known in Champaign County. He raises chiefly Percheron horses of French imported stock. He has had a large number of these splendid animals.

Mr. and Mrs. Remley are the parents of Hanford Alexander, Orizada Alice, Maple Almond and Minnie Melvina. One other son, Amasa Roswell, died at the age of three years. These children were educated in the Pleasant Vale school. Orizada also took a four years’ correspondence course from the institution at Kimberline Heights, Tennessee. Hanford A. Bernley married Anna Belle Bailey of Rantoul, and they have a bright young daughter, Esther Irene, now six years of age. Their home is two miles north of Rantoul on a farm. Orizada A. is an agriculturist east of Paxton, and married Allan J. Davis. They have two sons, Oscar Remley and Herchel J. Maple A. Remley married Laverna Riblet, and they are practical farmers on a portion of the Remley estate. They have a young son named Devalson. Minnie M. Remley married Allan Dennis, and they live at Oxford, Indiana. Their’ three sons are named Mahlon Bay, Leon Allan and Orville Roswell.

Mr. and Mrs. Remley are active members of the Mount Olivet Church of Christ, a country church in Ford County. In politics Mr. Remley renders support to the Republican party, and is thoroughly progressive in his attitude. He feels that politics and the law should keep pace with the other marvelous improvements in the world. He also believes that the best laws ever formulated for this country had their birth in the Republican party. In citizenship he has been honored with those positions of trust and responsibility that furnish large opportunities for service, and was for six years assessor, township school trustee six years, and school director twenty-seven years. He and his two sons are active members of Camp No. 1047 of the Modern Woodmen of America at Gifford and he has been through all the chairs of that order. Mrs. Remley is a member of the Royal Neighbors of America. Mr. and Mrs. Remley have been closely identified with the life and times of Champaign County for many years. They have always kept a most hospitable home and are people implicitly trusted for their integrity and their high mindedness.

Mrs. Remley is a member of the Reynolds Family Association. This association traces its ancestry back to the year 1634, when the first of the Reynolds family came to America from England. No one is eligible to membership in the association except those of the name who can prove that their ancestors came to this country before 1660. Mrs. Remley’s father was educated in New York, and was a successful teacher in that state and in Illinois and also was a practical surveyor and a most capable farmer and business man. During the last two years of his life he suffered impaired health and had his home with Mr. and Mrs. Remley until his death, September 26, 1917.



Stewart, J. R. A Standard History of Champaign County Illinois. The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York. 1918.

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