Oliver A. Smalley was born on a farm near Wayne Center, Wayne county, New York, June 16,1848. When he was eight years of age his parents, Silas H. and Almira Smalley, removed to Manchester, Delaware county, Iowa, and there he lived until he was seventeen, receiving his education in the common schools of that place, supplemented with a course in the Commercial College of Dubuque, Iowa. Leaving home in 1865 he entered the office of the Dubuque & Sioux City Railroad Company, at Manchester, as assistant freight agent and baggage master, and remained in the employ of that company until 1868. In 1869 he removed to Missouri and located in Gallatin, engaging in the hardware business with his father, under the firm name of S. H. Smalley & Son. This firm continued to do business until 1862, when they closed out and the junior partner accepted a position as traveling salesman for Ladd & Talcott, of Quincy, Illinois, holding the position until 1874. From that date until 1876 he was variously employed, and in 1877 engaged in the butcher business, and from that time was employed as salesman in different houses in Gallatin until 1881, when he engaged with G. W. Henderson in his present business of dealing in flour, feed, grain, etc., under the firm name of O. A. Smalley & Co. In 1872 Mr. Smalley was appointed deputy sheriff by Thomas J. Flint; was afterward appointed deputy constable by Benjamin H. Stean, and in 1880 served as city marshal of Gallatin.
February 14, 1872, Mr. Smalley was joined in wedlock to Miss Margaret L. Jones, daughter of Robert E. Jones. By this union they have three children: Effie M., Roberta and William A. Mr. and Mrs. Smalley are members of the Christian Church of Gallatin.