Biography of William A. Quigley

William A. Quigley. A varied and eventful career had been that of Mr. Quigley, the efficient and popular cashier of the Kansas National Gas Company in the offices of this corporation at Independence, Montgomery County. Mr. Quigley claims the old Hoosier State as the place of his nativity, was there reared and educated and it was given him to represent that commonwealth as one of the valiant soldiers of the Union during the major portion of the Civil war. His activities in the business world have been diversified and he had been a resident of Kansas for the past thirty years. His paternal grandfather was born in Pennsylvania and passed the closing years of his life near Cincinnati, Ohio, where he settled in 1816 in the pioneer days. The original American progenitors of the Quigley family came from Ireland and settled in Pennsylvania prior to the war of the Revolution.

William A. Quigley was born in Jefferson County, Indiana, on the 19th of July, 1842, and is a son of Hiram and Melvina (White) Quigley, the former of whom was born near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1812, and the latter of whom was born in Jefferson County, Indiana, in 1823.

Hiram Quigley was about four years old when his parents removed from Pennsylvania and settled near the present Village of North Bend, Hamilton County, Ohio, in 1816. There he was reared to adult age, and there, in the City of Cincinnati, he served a thorough apprenticeship to the trade of carpenter and steamboat joiner. He became a specially skilled artisan as a woodworker and he continued to follow his trade in Ohio until 1835, when he removed to Jefferson County, Indiana, and became one of the pioneer settlers of that section of the Hoosier State, where he passed the remainder of his long and useful life, his death having occurred in 1880. He was originally a whig and later a republican in politics, and both he and his wife were earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Mrs. Quigley continued to maintain her home in Jefferson County after the death of her honored husband, but she died while making a visit in Southern Illinois in 1887. Of the children the subject of this review is the first born; Mary frances died in childhood; Samuel White, who during his active career was a successful carpenter and builder, is now living retired at Kansas City, Missouri; Martha died at the age of two years; and Miss Fannie resided at Ridgefield Park, New Jersey.

William A. Quigley acquired his early education in the common schools of his native county, where he became a student in the high school at Madison, but he left school at the age of fifteen years and at Madison turned his attention to learning the jewelry and watchmaking business, with which he continued to be identified for a period of seven years–both before and after the Civil war. In August, 1862, at the age of twenty years, he tendered his services in defense of the Union by enlisting as a private in Company C, Sixty-seventh Indiana Volunteer Infantry, his having been the company that bore the colors of the regiment. In September, 1862, Mr. Quigley was captured while on duty in Kentucky, and shortly afterward he was parolled, his exchange having been effected in the following December, after which he rejoined his command, with which he continued in active service, mostly in detached duty, until the close of the war. He was with his regiment on the Red River campaign and at the battle of Sabine Crossroads, Louisiana, in the spring of 1864, he was wounded. His injury did not long incapacitate him and he continued in service for several months after the surrender of General Lee, he having been mustered out September 4, 1865, and having duly received his honorable discharge. Mr. Quigley not only made in the Civil war a record that shall reflect lasting honor upon his name, but that he had also retained deep interest in his former comrades is shown by the active and influential part he had played in connection with the Grand Army of the Republic. He had the distinction of being affiliated with McPherson Post No. 4, Grand Army of the Republic, one of the oldest in the State of Kansas, and is past commander of the same.

For a short period after the close of the war Mr. Quigley continued his association with the jewelry business, and after passing one year in the City of Louisville, Kentucky, he returned, in 1867, to Madison, Indiana, the ensuing nine years having found him continuously identified with railway service, mostly in a clerical capacity. After his retirement from this line of occupation he followed various vocations at Madison, including the insurance business, until 1886, when he came with his family to Kansas and engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Ottawa. Fifteen months later he removed to Topeka, where for the ensuing six years he was employed in the general offices of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. He then resumed his activities in the real estate and insurance business, with which he continued to be associated at Topeka until April, 1904, when he removed to Independence, where he had since given most effective service in the office of cashier for the Kansas Natural Gas Company. In politics Mr. Quigley had never faltered in his allegiance to the republican party and both he and his wife are active members of the Christian Church.

At Madison, Indiana, the year 1870 recorded the marriage of Mr. Quigley to Miss Helen Virginia Hurlbut, daughter of Hiram and Eliza Hurlbut. Mr. and Mrs. Quigley became the parents of three children, of whom two are living: Alice is the wife of Frank C. Palmer, chief stereotyper in the offices of the Jersey City Journal, one of the leading newspapers of New Jersey, and they maintain their home at Ridgefield Park, a suburb of Jersey City; Howard H. died at the age of five years; and Mabel is the wife of Sydney I. Holland, who had been for the past thirty years a contracting agemt for the R. G. Dun Commercial Agency, the home of Mr. and Mrs. Holland being at Highland Park, one of the attractive suburbs of the City of Chicago, Illinois.


Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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