Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The John Wiley Question?

Was John Wiley Hanged in the Gainesville Hangings?

The following information was sent by a John Wiley descendant.  Some in the Wiley family feel that their ancestor, John Wiley, was one of the men hanged during the Gainesville Hangings in 1862.  Wiley is included in James L. Clark's list of men who were hanged.  In addition, Wiley is mention in the 1880 Galveston news article about the hanging.  But, he is NOT reported in Diamond's Account as having a trial, nor is he included in McCaslin's list, "Forty-Two Executed by the Citizens Court at Gainesville."

Information from a descendant:
"I have been seeking more information relating to John M Wiley [1812-1862]. I found one unverified source that indicated that his middle name was Malcolm. He was married to Elizabeth "Eliza" "Lizzie" Ann McCulloch [1820-1877] and there were six known children, five girls and one boy. Avaline [B1837], Mary Jane [B1840], Eliza [B1841], Isaac [B1843], Sarah Ann [B1845] and Maria Louisa [B1849] All the children were born in Missouri. The family was living in Jefferson County, Missouri in the 1850 census. They moved to Grayson County in 1854 and were in the Grayson County census in 1860."

Wiley is not on Diamond or McCaslin's hanged lists, but is mentioned by Clark and in the article by the Galveston News Weekly in 1880 as being hanged.

The following is from a descendant:
"The widow, Eliza was living in the 1870 Grayson County census with her son Isaac and an 8-year-old child named James M Wiley who may be the child of Isaac and the grandchild of Eliza. None of the girls are in the home. It appears that the family did not flee the area after the hanging but stayed in Grayson County. Isaac was born 1843 and died in 1924. He was married to Margaret Ellen Hutton and they had several children. They apparently lived near Collinsville in Grayson County and are both buried in the Collinsville Cemetery.

Eliza Wiley died in 1877 and was buried in Wiley Cemetery near Collinsville near her husband, J M Wiley. This cemetery is small with maybe 5 or 6 graves and located about 2 miles SE of Collinsville. None of the graves there appear to be on Find-A-Grave website. Not sure if they are marked or not. Clark calls him "old man Wiley-landowner" in his account.

The only reference I can find about John M Wiley in Diamond's account is that he was present at the Dye meeting on the night of 1 October 1862. This was mentioned in testimony in one of the first seven trials. There is no evidence that Wiley had a trial, but he was hanged on the 12th, so would likely have been one of the 14 men that was selected from a list by a representative of the citizens mob provided to them by the jury for lynching. It does appear however, that he was picked up by his family or friends and buried in a traditional manner by his family and not in the mass grave on the banks of Pecan Creek."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can you elaborate more about John M Wiley's burial. Who took his body back to Collinsville and where is he buried. You mention a head stone, is he listed on FAG? Thanks. Information about his hanging is very sparse.