Hon. William Haley. To give adequate expression to the influence a man exerts over his fellows it is necessary to delve into the motives which inspired him and the circumstances under which he acted. While his contemporaries are in most cases better able to judge him after he had passed from this world, some men so firmly mark their impress upon their community that their characters are capable of being determined while they are still in the heyday of life. Judged in such a manner, Hon. William Haley shows up very advantageonsly, for he is a man of alert capability who had always acted from the best of motives and who had faithfully performed whatever duties have been laid upon his shoulders. A resident of Ottawa County for forty-three years, and for the greater part of this time engaged in agricultural pursuits, he now makes his home at Delphos, where he had lived since 1907, and is accounted one of his community’s most substantial and infiuentlal citizens, being representative of the sixty-second district in the Kansas Legislature.
William Haley was born in Ontario, Canada, October 12, 1859, a son of James and Jane (Butler) Haley. His grandfather was William Haley, who was born in 1806, in Cornwall, England, and was reared and married in that country, where he was variously engaged as a general workman. In 1850 the grandparents immigrated to America, settling in Lower Canada, William Haley there following the pursuits of agriculture. He remained in Canada until 1872, when, feeling that a better future awaited him in the United States, he came to Kansas and filed on a piece of land. This he cleared and for some time cultivated, but finally sold his interests and went to live at the home of his son, with whom he spent his last years, dying in Ottawa County in 1879. Mr. Haley married Elizabeth Hamm, who was born in 1808, in Cornwall, England, and died in Ottawa County, Kansas, in the fall of 1875. Of their children there is still one son living; John, a resident of Bennington, Kansas, who was for years engaged in farming on the homestead which he took in 1870, but is now living in retirement.
James Haley, father of William Haley, was born in 1838, in Cornwall, England, where he was educated in the public schools. He did not join his parents in Canada until 1852, when he was fourteen years of age, and there he resided during the next twenty years, applying his emergies to the gaining of a competence in agricultural pursuits. In March, 1872, he came to Ottawa County, Kansas, where he homesteaded 160 acres three miles west of Delphos, which property is now owned by his son William. Mr. Haley became one of the well known men of his community, and was considered a reliable man of business and a public-spirited citizen. He was a republican, but did not seek preferment in public life, being content to devote his entire time and attention to the cultivation of his broad acres. Mr. Haley’s death occurred on the homestead farm in 1875. He married Jane Butler, who was born in 1841, at Duluth, Canada, and died at Fairview, Oklahoma, in November, 1913. There were eight children in the family, as follows: William; Susan, who died at the age of eighteen years; John, who is a retired farmer of Delphos; Elizabeth, who died when nine years old; Margaret, who is the wife of Frank White, a farmer living near Cleo, Oklahoma; Joseph, who is engaged in business as a miller at Fairview, Oklahoma; James, who is carrying on agricultural operations near Culver, Kansas; and Sarah Jane, who is the wife of William Cunningham, a farmer of Fairview, Oklahoma.
William Haley received his education in the public schools of Ontario, Canada, and Ottawa County, spending but one term in the latter and then beginning to give all his time to assisting his father and brothers in the work of the home place. He remained on the home farm until he had attained his majority, at which time he bought a homesteaded farm of 160 acres, a tract lying four miles west of Delphos, which he farmed until 1895 and then sold. Subsequently he bought out the heirs to his father’s farm, a tract of 160 acres, on which he carried on operations personally until 1907 and then came to Delphos. He is still the owner of this property, as well as another 160. acres lying eight miles northeast of Delphos, and also had his modern, comfortable residence and the 1 3/4 acres of land on Custer Avenue upon which it stands. Mr. Haley had always been an industrions man and the success that he had attained had come as a reward for the hard work he had done and the able manner in which he had carried on his operations and directed his transactions. A domocrat in politics, he is one of the strong men of his party in Ottawa County and held numerous offices while a resident of Stanton Township, ineluding that of township trustse. In 1916 he was the successful candidate of his party for the office of representative from the sixty-second district, and is now a member of the lower house of the Kansas Legislature. He is known as one of the working members of that body who had done much for his community and for his constituents and who had never betrayed a public trust. Fraternally Mr. Haley is a member of Delphos Lodge No. 122, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, of which he is past master; Delphos Lodge No. 128, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and other bodies.
Mr. Haley married in 1880, in Ottawa County, Kansas, Miss Macie E. Hoover, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Hendershot) Hoover. Mr. Hoover, who was a soldier of the Union, and while wearing his country’s uniform during the Civil war died at Little Rock, Arkansas. Mrs. Hoover passed away in 1902. To Mr. and Mrs. Haley there have been born three children, namely: Alice Jane, who died at the age of seven years; J. R., who is engaged in farming operations on his father’s property in Logan Township; and A. W., who is on the old Haley homestead place. The family is wldely and favorahly known in Ottawa County, and its members have always been held in the highest esteem as honorable citizens of the greatest integrity.