THE STALEY FAMILY
..taken from Press Observer May 13, 1976
Submitted by: Martha Kounse
Walter Hatten remembers that his Uncle James I. Staley, son of Solomon Staley (Mr. Hatten’s grandfather), “was better informed about the family than most of the others, being the eldest. He lived to be 97 years old. He told me that the Staleys first settled about Harper’s Ferry, WV, in Jefferson County before coming to Cabell County. He said they were well trained in military matters, probably having been trained in the German Army. They left Germany because they did not want to spend many years in military service.
Both Mr. Hatten and Robert Staley believe the Staleys previously had emigrated to Germany from England in search of religious freedom. Robert says, “Parish rolls in England show many Stephen Staley.” He hopes he can go to England some day to see if he can learn more about the Staley family there.
Have you ever noticed Staley Syrup in ads and on grocery shelves? Recently Harvey Staley told me that two uncles of his Grandfather Jacob Staley (who married Elizabeth Burks) went to Illinois and took up corn land. (I suppose that means they homesteaded it). They raised find crops, but had little sale for corn. Then they began making corn syrup and selling it, and this was the beginning of the Staley Syrup Company, which is still in existence. He thought their names were Jack and Daniel.
Long years ago, Pansy Stanley Kincaid first told me that two of Joseph Staley’s sons and/or their descendants were the original syrup manufactures. According to Colonel George S. Wallace, Joseph Staley, son of the first Stephen, “married a Miss Hiezey, a German, who family lived on Four Pole…The Hisey Fork of Four Pole gets its name from this family. Joseph Staley and his family moved to Urbana, Ill., and one of his sons, Calvin, became a Judge.” Joseph was married to Margaret Highs on Feb. 3, 1832 in Cabell County.
A friend searching the Ohio branch of the Bowmen family noted recently that in Lawrence County, Oh a Marriage License No. 77 was issued on Feb. 27, 1820, to Daniel Staley and Rebecca Bowen, and that they were married by Joel Bowen, J.P. Daniel was a brother of Joseph. Walter Hatten states, “This family moved West at an early date.” Harvey Staley believes they settled in the vicinity of Decatur, Ill. Possibly Joseph and Daniel’s families could have cooperated in the syrup venture.
Looking over Cabell County records, Mr. Hatten found listed among juror for the period 1814-1843 the following: Jacob Staley 1815, 1817; Stephen Staley 1814, 1818, 1830, 1836; Michael Staley 1833, 1843; Joseph Staley 1826 and Daniel Staley 1818, 1826. According to information on Stephen Jr’s tombstone, he was born Feb. 6, 1796, therefore would have been too young to serve in 1814, and only 22 in 1818. It seems likely that Stephen Sr., was the juror both of those years since he died before 1830, his son Stephen served in 1830 and 1836.
Solomon Staley, son of the second Stephen and his wife, Mary, was born on Whites Creek. After his return from service in the Union Army during the Civil War, he married Nancy Fuller on April 12, 1866. Nancy was born in Pike Co., KY and a daughter of John and Selie Anderson Fuller, and a sister of Hiram Fuller. During their later years, they lived on Gragston Creek. Children of Solomon and Nancy Staley were:
James I. Staley (m. Effie L. Lycan); William H. Staley (m. Judy Murray); Ralph Staley (m. Sadie Davis); John Staley (m. Nov. 5, 1910 Elizabeth Perdue daughter of Thomas Perdue and Cynthia Booth Perdue); Strother Staley (m. in Fort Wayne, Ind.); Mary Staley (m. Abraham Hutchison); Anna Staley (died young); Oceola Staley (m. James D. Hatten and were parents of Walter Hatten); Rosa Staley (m. James Pemberton); and Selia Staley (m. Wade Strother).
Stephen Calvin Staley (son of Jacob and Elizabeth A. Burks Staley) married first Julia E. Smith (daughter of the Rev. Harrison Smith, a brother to the Rev. Allie Smith). Their children; Marion Staley (m. Mary Walker on Nov. 5, 1898); Edward Staley (m. Virginia Mills, daughter of Kim Mills on Oct. 5, 1900); and Frankie F. Staley (m. Pearly Jackson).
Stephen C. Stanley married second, Della Sheppard, daughter of Harvey and ? Booth Sheppard on Sept. 10, 1891. Their children: Everett W. Stanley (m. Ligae Vaughan, daughter of Thomas Vaughan); French Staley (never married); Effie Staley (m. the Rev. George “Bud” Smith, a first cousin of the Rev. Allie Smith); Harvey Staley (m. Verna Mills, daughter of Milton J. Mills); Henry Burgess Staley (m. Eva Lester, and they had three children); and Kim Staley (never married.
Stephen C. Staley was the fourth generation in our area to bear the name Stephen. Information concerning his family was provided by Harvey Staley.
Another Staley family of interest to me because of many friendships among descendants is that of Jacob Staley (b. 28 Apr. 1817 to Stephen and Mary Staley of Whites Creek and marr. at the age of 29 on 15 Sep 1846 to Elizabeth Alice Burks). He died less than 15 years later (22 June 1861) at the age of 44, leaving a family of eight children.
Little has been learned about Elizabeth Alice Burks Staley. Who was she? What was her relationship (if any) to Edward P. Burks who married Margaret Chadwick, and to Leah Burks, who married Jesse Wright? We know that she was a loved Mother which is attested by a verse engraved on her tombstone:
A loved one is gone from our circle,
On earth we will meet her no more,
She has gone to her home in Heaven,
And all her afflictions are o’er.
Apparently her birth date has been lost from her gravestone, which was badly damaged by time, or other forces. Robert Staley says he had made extensive repairs to it. She lived less than 16 years after her husband’s death, (31 May 1877). Almost four of those years were during the Civil War, a time of hardship in Wayne County, as elsewhere.