Wayne County Family Biographies

The Wadley Family of Clyde, N.Y.

By Sheila H. Biles

I have recently starting digging for my Wadley family who are from Clyde. Those from Clyde died before I was born; therefore, I did not know anything of them except the name of my g-gf, Charles A. Wadley. From the Wayne county cemetery webpage, I found 3 Wadley's listed, one of them named Charles. All I knew of him was he was a lawyer and married to Eliza Bostwick, Long Island.

I made a short visit in October, 2000 to the Wayne Co. historical society to see if I could learn anything else that would help me in my search. I had no idea of the wealth of family info there. Not only did I discover those listed in Maple Grove were his father and gf but also his nephew, George O. Wadley, was the Mayor of Clyde back in 1936.

Apparently, there is no obituary for Charles. All I could find was a death notice published in the Long Island Press (d.1931). Also, he did not file a will. However, I was able to find a bio published in "Portrait and Biographical Record of Queens County, NY," Chapman Publishing Co., 1896.

I am sending a electronic copy of this bio since it has much mentioned on his father, Martin Wadley, who was a policeman in Clyde, and his grandfather, Nathaniel Wadley. (reprinted below)

I have not figured who Nathaniel's wife was except her name was Ellen (according to will on file there). They had 3 children, Martin, George (family moved to Michigan - haven't found him yet) and Rachael who married George Horn(e) also from Galen. They adopted Frederick (??) who also moved to Michigan. I've learned that Nathaniel's parents were Joseph Waldleigh (Nat changed the spelling) and Betsey Ingalls, from Sutton NH. Joseph moved to (I think) Black Lake around 1800 with a family of 12.

Anyhow, I just wanted to share with you what I was able to find and hope you can use it. Many thanks to all who helped make this info available. Will be back.

Sheila H. Biles

Biographical Sketch of Charles A. Wadley

CHARLES A. WADLEY. In every department of human activity Long Island City has contributed successful and prominent men, whose superior talents and researches have promoted the world's progres, whose abilities have won wide recognition and whose culture has brought them the admiration of many to whom they are personally unknown. Such an one is Mr. Wadley, assistant district attorney of Queens County, and it is therefore fitting that in this volume mention should be made of his eventful career.

Our subject was born in Clyde, Wayne County, N.Y., June 8, 1859, the son of Martin Wadley, a native of South Butler, that county, whose birth occurred in October, 1832. Grandfather Nathaniel Wadley was born in Vermont, whence he later removed to Watertown, N.Y., where for many years he followed contracting. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and, being captured at the battle of Sackett's Harbor, was held a prisoner of war in Canada for six months. Later he became one of the earliest settlers of South Butler, N.Y.,continuing his contract work there until his removal to Clyde. At one time he was in the employ of General Adams, who had the building of the Sodus Bay Canal, by which project it was intended to connect Lake Ontario with the Erie Canal, but the canal was never completed. The grandfather lived in Clyde until ready to retire from active life, when he located on a farm near that place, remaining thereon until his decease, in 1878.

The Wadleys are an old New Hampshire family, and many years ago the name was spelled "Wadleigh," but it was changed by the grandfather of our subject. The latter is able to trace his ancestry back to England, from which country two brothers set sail for America, first livng in Boston, Mass. One of them later made his home in New Hampshire, and subsequently drifted to Vermont, finally settling in this state. From this branch our subject is descended.

When young in years Martin Wadley began life for himself, working on the Erie Canal, first as a tow-boy. His worth, however, was soon recognized and he was promoted step by step until he had a good position and commanded reasonable wages. On leaving the state he went to Ohio, and at Ravenna learned the glassblower's trade. This brings us up to the time of his marriage, May 15, 1853, soon after which event he returned to New York and obtained his old position on the canal. Being industrious and economical, he later became owner of a boat which he commanded until the outbreak of the Civil War. He then sold his vessel and in August, 1862, volunteered, being mustered into ser vice as a member of Company H, One Hundred and Thirty-eighth New York Infantry, under Col. Joseph Welling. During the winter of 1862-63 the regiment was incorporated with the Ninth New York Heavy Artillery, commanded by Col. Fred Seward. Mr. Wadley was in the service for a period of three years, or until the establishment of peace.

The first engagement in which Mr. Wadley took part was at Cold Harbor, where he was wounded in the right hand, causing the loss of his middle finger. After this he was detailed for service in the quartermaster's department, where he remained until his regiment was mustered out. After the war he found that the injury which he had received kept him from working at the glassblower's trade, hence he went into the oil regions, and for the succeeding year was the proprietor of an hotel at Pithole City. He then returned to Clyde, where he was variously employed in merchandising, jobbing and contracting until retiring from work of any kind. He still makes his home in that place, among whose residents he is one of the most substantial. He is a Grand Army man and an enthusiastic Republican. In the affairs of his community he has always taken a very active part and for many years served acceptably as constable.

Our subject's mother, formerly Emily Butler Wheeler, was born in Ravenna, Ohio, July 27, 1834. She was the daughter of Frederick William Wheeler, a resident of that place, but a native of Belfast, Ireland, having been born there October 1, 1787. During the religious rebellion in his native land he enlisted in the British navy and shipped on board a man-of-war with an uncle. After following the sea for many years he finally left the service and came to America, locating in Canada prior to the War of 1812. While there he was impressed into the British Naval Service, but succeeded in effecting his escape while stationed on the Detroit River. Being able to cross the line into the States he located in Ravenna, Ohio, where he met and married Miss Rachel R. Ward, a native of Westmoreland, Pa. They made their home in Ravenna continuously until their death, the father passing away October 1, 1872, when eighty-five years of age and his wife survived until July 26, 1882, aged eighty-four years. Frederick William was the eldest son of John Wheeler, a country gentleman residing at Belfast, Ireland, who married Elizabeth Blackwood. Frederick William became the father of eight children, of whom two sons served as soldiers in the late war.

There were born to Mr. and Mrs. Martin Wadley three children, of whom Frederick James is traveling salesman for W.P. Hollister, of Detroit; and Frank Weston makes his home in Albany, this state. The subject of this sketch, who was the second of the family, ha very vivid recollections of camp life in Washington, D.C., when his father was with his regiment in the winter of 1862-63. The greater part of his childhood days were, however, spent with his parents in Clyde, where he was educated in the high schools. In 1872, when a lad of thirteen years, he tended Clyde Lock on the Erie Canal, doing a man's work. His next work was in driving a team for his father, who was engaged in contracting, and later, when his father became proprietor of a grocery, he entered the establishment as clerk.

Being desirous of gaining a better education, young Wadley began attending school again in the fall of 1875. During the winter of the following year he assisted his father, who was watchman on the principal streets of Clyde, doing duty every other night. While thus engaged he carried a Latin grammar in the pocket of his big overcoat and whenever an opportunity presented itself opened it and began studying. He continued to go to the public schools in the winter months until the spring of 1878, when he obtained a position as bookkeeper for H.C. Hemingway & Co., being thus engaged during the summer months and teaching school the rest of the year. Some time thereafter he was taken sick and after fully recovering his health began the study of law in the office of Vandenburg & Saxton, the junior member of the firm now being lieutenant-governor. He continued to read Blackstone in their office for several months, in the meantime doing odd jobs whenever he could find them, as he had to support himself. For two summers he ran a twenty-eight-foot sloop on Sodus Bay, but each fall found him back again in the office.

In September, 1882, Mr. Wadley came to New York City and took a position with John Matthews, manufacturer of soda water apparatus. He remained in the latter's employ as storekeeper until September 29, 1884, when he entered the law office of Judge L.N. Manley. Since 1883 he had made his home in Long Island City and had always kept up his study of law. September 23, 1886, he was admitted to the bar in Brooklyn and continued with Judge Manley until 1887, when he was taken into partnership with that gentleman, the firm becoming Manley & Wadley, general law practitioners. March 1, 1894, our subject was appointed assistant district attorney for Queens County by the attorney, Daniel Noble, and since entering upon the duties of his office has filled all required of him in a thoroughly efficient and praiseworthy manner. His success in life is but another example of what untiring industry will accomplish for a young man possessing good habits with a proper aim in life. Although scarcely yet in life's prime, he is in the possession of a lucrative practice, is well connected socially, and financially ranks among the most active business and professional men of the city.

February 9, 1888, in Clyde, N.Y., Mr. Wadley was married to Miss Lillie May Salzman, a native of New York City, who departed this life in Long Island City February 28, 1892. Two children were born to them: Charles S., January 12, 1890, and Anna Lillian, January 21, 1892. October 30, 1895, Mr. Wadley married Miss Eliza L. Bostwick.

Our subject is a staunch Republican in politics and has been an active member of the party for some time. At one time he was United States supervisor of elections, in charge of Long Island City, under Allen of Brooklyn, and has been an officer of elections every year since. He takes a very prominent part in county and city conventions and is at all times interested in the success of his chosen party. Socially he is a member of Mariners' Lodge No. 67, F. & A.M., of New York City.

pp. 294-296


Maple Grove Cemetery

Wadley plot: the tall one in the back (middle) seems to be for Nathaniel and wife

Tall Wadley Memorial at Maple Grove Cemetery

Back View of Wadley Stones at Maple Grove Cemetery

Contributed by Sheila H. Biles

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Created: 11/5/00
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