JAMES S. WILEY. The subject of the following history, one of the prominent business men of Martin Township,
is at present quite extensively engaged as a grain dealer, having his headquarters on the line of the Illinois
Central Railroad, at Colfax. He is a gentleman in the prime of life, active, energetic, and with a clear head for
business, and has for many years been closely identified with the business interests of this section. He is a native
of this county, and was born near the present site of Colfax on the 8th of November, 1852. His parents, William
and Nancy S. (Hopkins) Wiley, were natives respectively of Lexington, Ky., and Spencer, Ind. William Wiley was
born in 1813, and the mother of our subject in 1824. The latter was a daughter of Robert Hopkins, one of the early
pioneers of McLean County, who entered the land which is now occupied by John Gregory in Money Creek Township.
The grandfather of our subject, John R. Wiley, emigrated to Illinois and located in this county in 1830, the winter of which year was made memorable by the great snow which occasioned much privation and suffering among the early settlers. He located in Money Creek Township, not far from the present site of Lexington, and died about the year 1854.
James S. Wiley pursued his early studies in the district schools and later attended Wesleyan University [ed., Illinois Wesleyan University], where he took a two years' course, and then engaged in teaching. Soon after the establishment of the town of Colfax and the Kankakee & Southwestern Railroad, which was a branch of the Illinois Central, Mr. Wiley removed to that place and entered the employ of E. D. Churchill &, Son, grain buyers, of Chenoa, where he received his first lessons in the business in which he is now engaged. He soon afterward purchased the interest of the Churchills in the business, and forming a partnership with J. W. Bechtel, operated with him under the firm name of Bechtel & Wiley, until the present time. In addition to his grain dealings, Mr. Wiley is operating as a hardware merchant, carrying a fine stock of stoves, tinware, and everything pertaining to that branch of trade. This he established in 1881. Mr. Bechtel is at present also a partner in this business.
The marriage of our subject with Miss Hattie Dennis, of Chatsworth, Ill., took place at the home of the bride's parents in August, 1881. Mrs. Wiley is the daughter of William F. and Maggie F. Dennis, and by her union with our subject has become the mother of two children, a son and daughteróCharles E. and Maggie. Mr. Wiley, socially, is connected with the I. O. O. F. , Martin Lodge No. 715. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Colfax, is connected with the School Board and is Treasurer of the Colfax Coal Mining Company.
Portrait and biographical album of McLean County, Ill. : containing full page portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the county, together with portraits and biographies of all the governors of Illinois, and of the presidents of the United States. (Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887), 618. Transcribed and annotated by Judy Rosella Edwards