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Benjamin L. Wiley papers


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Adminstrative Information

Detailed Description





Benjamin L. Wiley papers, 1817-1946 | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

By Pam Hackbart-Dean

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Collection Overview

Title: Benjamin L. Wiley papers, 1817-1946Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1850-1869

ID: 1/6/MSS 099

Primary Creator: Wiley, Ben L.

Extent: 7.0 Boxes

Arrangement: Arranged into four series:  (1) Personal, (2) Business, (3) Legal, and (4) Historical

Date Acquired: 00/00/1986

Subjects: Illinois - History - 1865, Illinois - History - Civil war, 1861-1865, Mexican War, 1846-1848., United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865, Vicksburg (Miss.) - History - Civil War, 1861-1865, Wiley, Ben L.

Forms of Material: United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Songs and music

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Correspondence, military records, and financial and legal material document the life of Civil War veteran Benjamin L. Wiley. The Correspondence Series consists mainly of family letters to Ben or his wife, Emily Davie Wiley, with the bulk of the letters during the years 1853 to 1878. Of note are letters from Emily to Ben while he was serving in the Civil War. Also included in the Correspondence Series are family letters (1817-1822) to Winstead Davie (Ben Wiley's father-in-law) and general business letters to Ben Wiley, who was in business in Union County before becoming a successful farmer in Jackson County. Wiley was also active in Republican party politics (he ran for state office twice), and the series contains some political letters. Military Records contains some Mexican War items, but the bulk of material is from the Civil War period, tracing Wiley's movements in and out of the service from 1861 to 1865, including special orders, letters, and receipts.

Biographical Note

Ben Ladd Wiley was born in Smithfield, Ohio on March 25, 1821. In 1845 Wiley moved to Vienna, Illinois to be with his brother John where he taught school and worked as a carpenter. In 1847  Wiley enlisted in United States Army to fight in Mexico and was enlisted until 1848 when he left the service to return to Vianna. In 1849 Wiley settled in Jonesboro, Union County and worked for Winstead Davie as a clerk, worked as a carpenter, and at the Jonesboro Gazette. In 1850 he married Emily Davie, and three years later became a traveling salesman for the Davie's family. A year after that Wiley set up a real estate business with Colonel Lewis T. Ashley in Anna and began a partnership with Paul Frick, "Wiley & Frick", and sold hardware, argricultural implements, tools, etc. In 1856 Wiley ran and lost for a congressional seat on the Republican ticket, and went on to work for Lincoln in the senate election. In 1859 Wiley became a lawyer in Illinois and moved his family to a farm in Makanda and two years later he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel in the fifth Illinois Calvary Regiment, but resigned citing ill health and family issues in 1862. A year later he was able to return to his post, being discharged in 1865. After his military service, Wiley was appointed to the board to select a site for an insane asylum in Union County. In 1876 he ran again for congress, and was again defeated. He died in 1890.

Subject/Index Terms

Illinois - History - 1865
Illinois - History - Civil war, 1861-1865
Mexican War, 1846-1848.
United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865
Vicksburg (Miss.) - History - Civil War, 1861-1865
Wiley, Ben L.

Administrative Information

Repository: Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions: To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the World Wide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holder of the copyright.  Persons wishing to quote from this collection should consult Special Collections Research Center to determine copyright holders for information in this collection.  Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original.

Acquisition Source: Transfer

Acquisition Method: The Ben L. Wiley Papers is an artificial collection acquired from the University Museum and other sources over a period of years.  The first transfer was in 1986 and the last receipt of material was 2008.

Related Materials: VFM 977

Preferred Citation: [Item], Benjamin Wiley Papers, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal, 1817-1878],
[Series 2: Business, 1850-1869],
[Series 3: Legal],
[Series 4: Historical, 1859-1945],

Series 4: Historical, 1859-1945Add to your cart.
This series contains broadsides, pamphlets, memorabilia and oversized materials.  There are also some World War II ration books in these materials.
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 1: PoliticsAdd to your cart.

broadside, The People's Ticket, n.d.;

broadside, against W. K. Murphy, 187_;

broadside, pro W. K. Murphy, 1882

Folder 2: Sesquicentennial, 1937-1939Add to your cart.

advertisement, The Shrine of the Constitution, 1935;

broadside, Proclamation, 1937;

pamphlet, "The heart and soul of the constitution," Sol. Bloom, 1937, 8 p.;

broadside, Constitutional Sesquicentennial Information Sheet #9, 1936;

broadside, Constitutional Sesquicentennial Information Sheet #35-36, 1937

Folder 3: Jackson CountyAdd to your cart.
bond, Jackson County Founding Bond, 1877
Folder 4: Mt. Vernon Ladies AssociationAdd to your cart.

letter, Elizabeth W. Barry, Vice Regent for Illinois, Chicago, February 14, 1859 to ?;

act of incorporation, Mt. Vernon Ladies Association, [185?];

constitution and by-laws, Mt. Vernon Ladies Association, 1858;

appeal for funds, Mt. Vernon Ladies Association, 1859

Folder 5: Grand Army of the RepublicAdd to your cart.

advertisement, music "The Banner of Beauty & Glory," n.d.;

advertisement, dedication of Lookout Inn, Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, 1887;

program, Fifteenth National Encampment, Louisville, KY, 1896;

souvenir, St. Paul Encampment, 1896;

souvenir, St. Paul Encampment, 1896;

souvenir, Fifteenth National Encampment, Louisville, KY, 1896;

advertisement, Torsch & Lee, Baltimore, manufacturers of silk badges for G.A.R, n.d.;

souvenir, 31st National Encampment, Buffalo, NY, 1897.;

program, 48th National Encampment, Detroit, 1914

Folder 6: Memorial DayAdd to your cart.

circular 84, Memorial Day, 1915, State of Illinois;

circular 136, Memorial & Peace Day, 1919, State of Illinois.;

circular 153, Memorial & Peace Day, 1921, State of Illinois;

circular 1922, Memorial & Peace Day, 1922, State of Illinois

Folder 7: World War IIAdd to your cart.

War Ration book 2;

War Ration book 3

Folder 8: Woodbridge, William Channing. Modern Atlas, Hartford, Connecticut:  John Beach., 1831Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Plates and Diagrams Accompanying Part II of Report on Mortality and Vital Statistics, 1880Add to your cart.
Folder 10: McNally, Francis. National Geographical Series, Number 4, An Improved System of Geography New York:  A. S. Barnes and Burr., 1864Add to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 1: B.L. Wiley's obituary, The Talk, Anna, Illinois, Emily; Davie Wiley's obituary, The Talk, Anna, IL, 1890 March 28; 1920 February 13Add to your cart.
Folder 2: B.L. Wiley's obituary, Jonesboro Gazette, 1890 March 29Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Plot map: Plot 13S 3W and 11S 4W, Union Co., undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Plot map: Ben Wiley's addition to the town of Anna, Union County, (drawn by Wiley), 1857Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Map: Anna, Union County, 1881Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Broadside: rations table, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Broadside: Union Co. Mutual Protection Assoc. Against Horse Thieves, 1895Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Certificate: Ben Wiley's appointment as Lt. Col. to IL State Militia, 1861 October 9Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Land grant to Ben Wiley by Millard Fillmore, for service in Mexican War, 1851Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Plot map: Union County, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 11: 3 issues of Farmer and Fruit Grower, 1885 July 15Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Marion Monitor (1 issue), 1878Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Southern Illinoisian, (1 issue), 1853Add to your cart.
Folder 14: The Talk (from Anna, Illinois, 1 issue), 1899Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Ledger page from Southern Illinois Coal and Manufacturing Company (Wiley and Frick), 1856Add to your cart.
Box 7Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Wiley and Frick ledger, 1854-1855Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Cash book, 1883-1909Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Union County Industrial Protection Association minutes, 1919Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Winstead Davie ledger, 1832Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Day book for Wiley and Frick, 1855-1857Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal, 1817-1878],
[Series 2: Business, 1850-1869],
[Series 3: Legal],
[Series 4: Historical, 1859-1945],

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