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Below is a family biography included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published by Biographical Publishing Co. in 1894.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

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GEORGE W. STALEY. Among the thriving establishments of which Chester possesses her due proprotion may be numbered the tailoring establishment conducted by the gentleman whose name introduces this sketch. Mr. Staley launched out in this business in 1875, and since that time he has grown in popularity and has acquired an enviable reputation as a man of honor and excellent judgment.

August 12, 1816, our subject was born in Jefferson County, Va., to Peter and Christiana (Krepps) Staley. The father, who was a millwright by trade, was the son of Stephen Staley, of German descent, while on his maternal side his ancestors came from Holland. Our subject’s father dying when he was a lad of eight years, he was not permitted to attend school much after that time, and being obliged to earn his own living, apprenticed himself to learn the tailor’s trade.

Having heard such glowing accounts of the country further west, our subject in 1837 went to Ohio, where he remained a short time in Cincinnati, and the same year came to Randolph County. Settling in Kaskaskia, he opened a shop and commenced to work at his trade, continuing thus engaged for ten years. At the expiration of that time he embarked in the general mercantile business in the same place, and was there residing when, in November, 1867, he sustained a heavy loss by the burning of his store and stock of goods, on which he carried but little insurance.

In 1870, the date of Mr. Staley’s advent into this city, he formed a partnership with Charles Wassell, and for four years they continued to carry on a merchant tailoring establishment. At the end of that time he disposed of his interest in the business to his partner, and in the fall of the succeeding year opened a shop of his own, which he is conducting at the present time.

June 1, 1843, George W. Staley and Miss Harriet L. Feaman were united in marriage. Mrs. Staley was born in Kaskaskia, this county, and was a daughter of Jacob and Sarah Feaman. Their union was blessed by the birth of seven children, of whom two sons and two daughters are still living, viz.: Clarence L., who is in the insurance business; William M., who is at present engaged in the mills of H. C. Cole & Co.; Laura, who is the wife of Abel Jones, and Hattie L., who is keeping house for her father. Mrs. Staley, who was a most estimable woman, departed this life December 9, 1889.

Our subject is a Democrat in politics, and supports that party not only by his ballot, but also by his influence and the presentation of his party’s principles to his acquaintances. He has been called upon by his fellow-townsmen to represent them in various positions of trust, and for twelve years served as Alderman of Chester. Socially, he is a member of Kaskaskia Lodge No. 86, A. F. & A. M., of which he was Master for over a quarter of a century. He is connected with Herman G. Reynolds Chapter No. 84, R. A. M., and Randolph Council No. 44, and is also an influential member of Cyrine Commandery No. 23, at Centralia.

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This family biography is one of 679 biographies included in The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois published in 1894.  View the complete description here: The Portrait and Biographical Record of Randolph, Jackson, Perry and Monroe Counties, Illinois

View additional Jackson County, Illinois family biographies here: Jackson County, Illinois Biographies

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