Biographical Sketch of J. Watson Riley

J. Watson Riley, dealer in agricultural implements and farmer, Albion, has been in his present business over four years, handling over $5,000 in cash goods and $7,000 in commission goods per year. He employs one man permanently and several sub-agents. He is the pioneer hardware merchant of Albion. At first he carried on the business himself, afterward the firm was Riley & Gamage and afterward Riley & Clark. Since the spring of 1881, he has carried on the business himself, dealing in agricultural implements exclusively. He located near Albion in the fall of 1872, settling on the southeast quarter of Section 35, Township 20, Range 6, in Boone (formerly Manchester) Precinct. He has on his home farm 160 acres. He also owns the adjoining quarter section on the west. On the two farms, 145 acres are under cultivation. He was born in Leeds, Eng., February 16, 1830; immigrated to America in 1847; engaged in the manufacture of woolen goods in the State of Connecticut until 1856. He then moved to Dubuque County, Iowa; engaged in farming in that county until 1872, when he moved to Boone County, locating as before stated. He was married, at Rockville, Conn., January 1852, to Miss Jane E. Wardle, who is also a native of Leeds, Eng. They have seven children living–Jane E. (now the wife of William W. Baker, a farmer, living seven miles northwest of Albion), Frederick W., Samuel, Anna, Hattie, Lizzie and Minnie. He is one of the most prominent of the Republican leaders of Boone County, and has been twice elected County Judge of that county; was first elected in 1875 without opposition, and re-elected in 1877. He is a member of the Albion Lodge, No. 83, I. O. O. F.

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