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Few men can recite the story of Kansas since statehood from their own recollection. One of these men is George W. Dailey, now a resident of Topeka. Mr. Dailey is a true pioneer of Kansas. He arrived when this and all the country west of the Missouri River was a wilderness. He bore the hardships and difficult circumstances of the frontier settler. He helped defend the country when there was danger, and a public spirit and willingness to sacrifice himself for the benefit of others had been one of the distinguishing traits of his character.
In March, 1860, he arrived in Topeka on horseback, he having traveled that way from Marshall, Missouri. He went direct from Topeka to Mission Creek, now called Dover, and with his cousin Charles W. Dailey acquired 800 acres of land in Wabannses county, just across the Shawnee County line. Thus he entered upon his life in Kansas on a comparatively large scale even for those days. After two years on that land he moved to Mission Creek and bought the Doty farm, now known generally as the Dailey farm. On March 7, 1862, Mr. Dailey married Eliza J. Doty.
For a quarter of a century Mr. Dailey found all his time and energies absorbed in the management of his extensive farming and stock raising interests in the vicinity of Dover. In 1885 he moved to Topeka, and that city had since been his home, though his interests are still represented in the country districts of Shawnee County.
George W. Dailey was born April 6, 1835, in Monroe County, New York, and grew up and received his early education there. His parents were Thomas and Lydia L. (Whitney) Dailey, and his grandfather Thomas Dailey was a native of County Tyrone, Ireland, where he was a weaver. Going from Ireland to to Scotland, he became a shepherd. was Mason, after coming to America He arrived in this country just prior to the Revolutionary war.
While living in New York state George W. Dailey acquired more of an education than most boys of the time and place enjoyed. He attended the Genesee Wesleyan Seminary and College and for four terms was a teacher in New York state. In March, 1857, he went to Albia, Iowa, where he followed teaching and also clerking in a store. Two years later he came to Kansas, and in this state found the arena of his serious efforts, which have been attended with a generous degree of prosperity.
In 1864 Mr. Dailey enlisted in Company D of the Seventeenth Kansas Volunteer Infantry, serving as commissary sergeant of his company. He was on duty as a guard at Lawrence immediately following the asking of that town. His business success had come from farming and cattle raising. For a time he operated a store at Dover with Harvey Loomis, and was also interested in a creamery. He is a charter member of the Doyer cemetery. Mr. Dailey is a member of Lincoln Post, No. 1, Grand Army of the Republic, of Topeka; had been member of the Masonic order since 1866; was a notary public while living on the farm; and had been a member of the school board for several years.
After a happy married life of almost fifty years, Mrs. Dailey died in February, 1912. She was the mother of seven children: Belle, now deceased, who married John Christian; Addie, who married James Riley and lives in Shawnee County; Thomas C., a resident of Topeka; Mattie and Hattie, twins, the former the wife of Frank McClelland and the latter the wife of William F. Riley, living near Dover; Lizzie, who died at the age of twenty-five; and Charles, of Topeka.