Joseph Riley, farmer of Frazeysburg, Ohio. Among the prominent pioneer families of Muskingum county, Ohio, the Rileys take a foremost place. Joseph Riley's grandfather, William Riley, came from the north of Ireland and was of Scotch-Irish descent. He emigrated to America at a period antedating the Revolutionary war, served as a soldier in the struggle for independence, and was under Mad Anthony Wayne, against the Indians. He was married in the Old Dominion and became the father of seven children: John, William, Mariah, Robert, Hannah, Polly and Samuel. When an old man he came to Muskingum county, Jackson township, Ohio, and settled north of Frazeysburg. He brought all his family with him except Samuel, and lived to be quite aged. He had been wounded when a soldier and always felt the effect of this. He lived the life of a true Christian and was honored and respected. His son Samuel, father of our subject, was born in Washington county, Penn., October 30, 1796, received but little education, and came to Muskingum county, Ohio, in 1813. He married Miss Anna. K. McDonald, daughter of Joseph McDonald, who was originally from Ireland. After coming to the United States, the latter settled in Muskingum county, Ohio, and was among the early pioneers. The Catholic church now stands on the land which was part of his farm. he was a Presbyterian and an elder in the same for many years. He was the prime mover in building the old log Presbyterian church, the first in the township, and Mrs. Riley, when a girl, cooked for the men who built the church. Mr. McDonald's children were Margaret, Anna K., Rev. John (Presbyterian minister), and James. Mr. McDonald lived to be an old man and was well respected. To Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Riley were born nine children - George, Mariah, John, Joseph, Aaron, Alexander, Charles, Emily and Eliza are those who lived to grow to maturity. Mr. Riley settled on the farm now occupied by his son Charles, and as there was but little of the land cleared at that time he went actively to work to make improvements. He soon accumulated a handsome property and owned at the time of his death, which occurred on the 17th of September 1879, over 400 acres of excellent land. He began with nothing, and all that he accumulated was the result of his own industry and good management. In politics he was a republican and a strong Union man, during the was, sending three of his sons to fight for their country. Aaron enlisted in the Ninety-eight Ohio Volunteer infantry, served three years, and was in many battles. Charles was in an Ohio regiment. Alexander also served three years. Mr. Riley was a man well known and respected among the old pioneers. His son, Joseph Riley, was born June 25, 1833, on the farm in Muskingum township, and received an ordinary education in the district schools. On the 8th of September, 1865, he married Miss Frances Spencer, who was born on the 15th of July, 1842, and who was the daughter of Wilson and Sarah (Cole) Spencer. Wilson Spencer was the son of Foreman Spencer, who was of the early settlers of Muskingum township [See sketch of Joseph Spencer.] To Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Riley were born eight children: Wilson, Sarah K., Odessa, Joseph E., Orie F., Rose F., Laura S. and John T. After his union Mr. Riley settled on land purchased from his father, and gave his entire attention to tilling the soil. He is a prominent man of the county and is enterprising and industrious. he has educated his children and Orie F., after graduating from the high school in Frazeysburg, is attending school at Ada, Ohio. Mr. and Mrs. Riley are descendants of pioneer stock, and are held in high esteem by all.


Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Muskingum County, Ohio: Chicago, 1892: The Goodspeed Publishing Co.