It’s 1916. The Riley children were coming of age, with weddings, jobs, and school. Will and Josie Riley were enjoying the fruits of their labor. Will was age 53, Josie was 47.
It’s 1916. Let’s check in on each of the Riley children. Then we’ll see what Will and Josie are up to.
Sedalia’s growth slowed in the first decade of the 1900s, up slightly to 17,800. It was still a railroad center, but the new-fangled automobile was beginning to make itself known.
Sedalia’s population growth had slowed in the last decade, but it reached 16,000 in 1905.
It was a cosmopolitan town, with streetcars, electric lighting, and two telephone companies.
The Missouri State Fair began in 1901 and has been held in August every year since.
Anything you needed could be found for sale in downtown Sedalia.Continue reading
January 1, 1900, rang in a new year and a new century.
Josie and Will Riley were in their forties. They had a lovely home and three children. They had a telephone, and perhaps electric lights.
William Riley celebrated his 18th year working for E.G. Cassidy.
It seemed like a long time ago and a world away when Josie Pensa arrived from Italy with her family forty-one years ago. And Will had been born on his family’s Missouri farm during the Civil War.Continue reading
It’s 1891. We’ve met Will Riley’s family. Josie Pensa is spending a lot of time in Sedalia. They’re an item.
They want to get married.Continue reading
It’s 1890. Sedalia remained a railroad hub, although the cattle trailhead had moved on.
There were still seedy joints and houses of ill-repute, but they were now localized along West Main Street. Downtown Sedalia was safe and respectable.Continue reading
The Civil War was over. John Riley had been ordered to active service for a short time, perhaps even multiple times. But for the most part, he was home. And busy.
Two years after the Rileys settled in Pettis County, Missouri, war broke out between North and South in 1861. Sedalia had been founded in October 1860, just six months earlier.
Border states like Missouri allowed slavery but did not secede from the Union.Continue reading
William Joseph Riley was born September 9, 1863, on his parents’ farm in Pettis County, Missouri. The farm was just three miles north of Sedalia, Missouri, near the small settlement of Georgetown.
His parents were John Riley and Ann McMurrough Riley.