Lee County Biography

Anderson Clayton Radley


Anderson Clayton Radley was one of the successful farmers of Lee County, and may well be classed among its pioneers, although not one of its earliest settlers, as he has aided in the development of its agricultural resources, and has improved a fine farm in Wyoming Township that compares with the best in the locality in point of cultivation and the substantial character of its improvements.

Mr. Radley was a descendant of one of the old Holland families that played so important a part in the early settlement of the Empire State, and he was a native of that Commonwealth, born in the town of Florida, Montgomery County, January 14, 1827. His great-grandfather, John Radley, who was born either in Holland or near Albany, was one of the pioneers of that county. He secured a tract of heavily timbered land, and erected a log house in the primeval forests, which were then inhabited by Indians, and deer, bears, wolves and other wild animals often prowled around his home in the wilderness. There were no railways or canals in that part of the country for years, and in fact, for a time there was no wagon road, he having to go to mill, market and elsewhere on horseback. He cleared a large and valuable farm, becoming one of the most prosperous settlers in that locality, and he gave each of his five children a farm when they came to settle in life. He had three sons, John, Jacob and Andrew, and two daughters, Catherine and Mary. His old age was serenely passed in the home that he had planted in the forest wilds where he had labored to such good purpose.

Jacob Radley, the grandfather of our subject, was born in the pioneer home of his parents in Montgomery County. When he began life for himself his father gave him a tract of timber land, which he cleared and made into a good farm, upon which he lived until death called him hence. He married Catherine Vinton, who is thought to have been born in Schenectady County, N. Y., and died on the farm where she had helped her husband to build a home. She was the mother of eight children that grew to maturity, as follows: John J., William, Rachel, Catherine, Andrew, Mary, Thomas and Rebecca.

John J. Radley was the name of the father of our subject, and he was born on his father's farm in Montgomery County, July 4, 1804. He grew to manhood in the home of his birth, and was married in his native county to Miss Sarah Thomas, who was born in the same town as himself July 21, 1809. So far as known, her father, John Thomas, was a native of that same town, where he was engaged for man)' years as a miller. His last years were passed with his children in Albany. The parents of our subject began their wedded life on a part of his father's estate that he had inherited, and they resided thereon until 1855, when they came to Lee County to cast in their lot with its pioneers. They located in what is now Wyoming Township, but after a few years' residence there removed to the adjoining township of Earlville, in La Salle County, where they lived respected until they closed their eyes in death, and in dying left behind them records of lives well spent, his death occurring February G, 1884, and hers September 26, 1889. They reared a family of six sons and three daughters, who are well known and esteemed citizens of this and other counties of Northern Illinois, namely: Anderson C, Catherine, (Mrs. Pulver), Rebecca, Jacob, James, Joseph, Elizabeth. John and William.

The boyhood days of our subject were passed in his native town in securing an education, and in helping do the farm work, whereby he acquired a good experience in the calling that he was to adopt for his life-work. At the age of twenty-two he left the parental home to begin a life of independence as a farmer on his own account by renting land in Schenectady County, of which he was a resident until 1856. In April of that year he came to Illinois and farmed as a renter in Batavia for a year. In 1857 he came to Lee County and bargained for a tract of land within its bounds, and built necessary buildings. He failed to obtain a title to that place, and in 1859 bought the land in Wyoming Township that forms the present farm, upon which he has reared a comfortable home. When he first came into possession of this property it was in its natural condition, but by his skillful and unwearied labors he has wrought a great change and brought it into a fine condition, placing the land in a high state of cultivation, erecting a neat set of frame buildings, and adorning the place by fruit and shade trees set out by his own hand.

Mr. Radley was first married December 14, 1862, to Miss Mary V. Hayden, a native of Jackson County, Mich. She died October 7, 1865, after scarcely three yean of wedded happiness, leaving One son, Jay II., who is now a talented young physician, practicing his profession in New York City. He commenced his medical studies with Dr. Atherton, and subsequently entered the College of Physicians and Surgeons, in Chicago, from which he was graduated with honors in the Class of '89, and received the gold medal. By his second marriage May 9, 1866, to Miss Martha McBride, our subject has found an amiable and devoted wife. Their only grief in their married life has been in the death of their only daughter, and the only child born of their union, Ulali B., at the age of six months.

Mrs. Radley was born in Limestone Township, Columbia County, Pa., September 3, 1838. Her father, Frederick McBride, was a native of Whitehall, Pa., and a son of James McBride, who, it is supposed, was a native of New Jersey. He was a carpenter and carried on his trade there, and made it his home until death called him hence. The maiden name of Mrs. Radley's mother was Mary B. Runyan, and she was also a native of Columbia County. Her father, George Runyan, was born in New Jersey, and was a pioneer farmer of Pennsylvania County. lie spent his last years near Jerseytown. The maiden name of his wife was Hannah Davis. She was born in New Jersey and died on the old homestead in Columbia County, Pa. Since he became a citizen of Wyoming Township, Mr. Radley used his influence to advance its social and religious interests, as well as to promote its material welfare. He was reared a Presbyterian, and has remained true to the faith. He was one of the leading members of the church of that denomination at Paw Paw, which he assisted in organizing, and he has served as Elder ever since. Socially, he is a member of Anchor Lodge, No. 510, I. O. O. F. Mrs. Radley was brought up in the Baptist fold, and is a consistent member of that church. Mr. Radley died December 30,1891, leaving many friends to mourn the loss of one of their best citizens.

Portraits and Biographical Lee County IL 1892

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