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The pioneer in the woolen industry in Idaho is Edmund Buckley, an enterprising and progressive business, man who is now carrying on operations in the line of woolen manufactures near the town of Franklin. A native of Yorkshire, England, he was born April 25, 1839, of English parentage, and was educated in the land of his birth, where he remained until 1863, when he sailed for America, Utah being his destination. In 1856 he had been converted to the faith of the Latter Day Saints, and taking passage on the Atlantic, a sailing vessel, he arrived at New York after a voyage of seven weeks. In England he had married Miss Alice Green, and he brought with him his wife and their first child. They crossed the plains with ox teams to Utah, and while en route a young lady in their party was killed by lightning, near Fort Laramie.
After reaching the end of their journey Mr. Buckley conducted a carding mill, making rolls in the old way. The following season he came to the Cache valley, settling at High creek, where he made rolls for W. D. Hendricks. Subsequently he went to Brigham City, where he operated the woolen factory for a few years and then went to Logan to establish a factory there, but the new enterprise fell through and he came to Franklin, where with six others he formed a company and obtained a roll mill. Business was begun on the site of his present factory in 1878, and was conducted by Mr. Buckley for three years, when the plant was sold to the Franklin Cooperative Company. At that time our subject went to the east with S. R. Parkinson and purchased the machinery for the present woolen mill, and in 1897 he bought out the other partners and has since successfully conducted the enterprise alone. He manufactures blankets, yarns, linsey, flannels and hosiery and also makes wool batting, scours blankets and cleans cloth, carrying on a general woolen business with the farmers and turning out an excellent quality of goods made of pure wool. The mill has a capacity of thirty thousand pounds of wool per annum, and is a valuable accession to the industrial interests of this section of the state.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Buckley have been born five children, as follows: Edmund; John; Joseph; Mary Ann, now the wife of George Housley; and Eliza Ann, wife of Joseph Hulse. The following children have also been born to Mr. Buckley: Hugh Gould, James Waterhouse, Hiram Smith, George Albert, Laura Jane, Zina and James. Mr. Buckley, his wife and children are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is a member of the high council of the stake, is a high priest, and has held various positions of trust in the church, both in England and in this country. In politics he is an independent Democrat, but has never been an office seeker, preferring to devote his time and energies to his business interests, in which he is meeting with creditable success.