Orville Jack Wegley

Orville Wegley (went by Jack) was born on October 26, 1920 and he died on July 4, 1995. He was born and died in Williston, North Dakota where he and his family lived all of their lives and his father Joseph Wegley served as the town’s mayor.

He is the youngest child of Joseph Wegley and Tena (Olson) Wegley.

Orville (Jack) Wegley served in the United States Army from June 2, 1939, to April 10, 1944. This means he served during World War II which took place from Sep 1, 1939 – Sep 2, 1945.

On February 10, 1941, he shows to have enlisted in the National Guard in the infantry branch. I’m not sure how that works since at the time he was already in the Army.

As soon as he was discharged from the military he married Nadine Melland on May 29, 1944.

Joseph Wegley


Joseph Wegley is the son of Jonathan George Wegley and Sarah Circle. He was born on March 29, 1866, and died on January 5, 1946, in his hometown of Williston, North Dakota. Joseph is my 1st cousin 3x removed.

Joseph Wegley married his wife Tena Olson, who was 14 years younger than him. He first married her when he was 28 and that means she would have been 14. Yes, that is the correct spelling of her first name. I verified the spelling with multiple sources.

Together they had at least 9 children.

  • Cloyd J. 
  • Joe A.
  • Howard Joseph 
  • Edna Josephine
  • Theodore J.
  • Lester J.
  • Charles Joe
  • Dora V. 
  • Orville Jack

There was some confusing information about their children. I had to do a lot of digging and cross-referencing to get their children’s name down right.  In the 1920 US Census, we can see all of their children listed minus their youngest, Orville who wasn’t born yet.

If you have any children (aother than the 9 from above) listed for Joseph and Tena Wegley then you are mistaken and need to re-verify your information.

They lived at 211 East 2nd Street in 1911. right down the street from his brother Fred and his wife Alice, who lied at 223 East 2nd Street. We know this from the town directory which the local paper published from time to time.

Thanks to the US Census records we know that he owned his home and it was valued at $1,500. It was a farm, and he owned a radio (like us having a TV today). He did not go to school but he can read and write.  

 

 

‘Grand Forks Herald’, Grand Forks, North Dakota.  8 Nov 1907

Williston, N. D., Nov. 7 – A warrant has been issued for Fred Wegley, a brother of the mayor, the charge being the illegal sale of intoxicating liquors in what is commonly known as “Wegley’s Pig,” the joint in the lower regions of the concrete building on East Broadway.  The warrant was issued this morning and is now in the hands of the sheriff, who will serve it as soon as the defendant can be found, the understanding being that he has left the city temporarily.

‘Grand Forks Herald’, Grand Forks, North Dakota.  10 June 1909

Williston, N. D., June 9 – Fred Wegley has been acquitted.  The jury in the case was out just three minutes this morning when it returned a verdict of not guilty.  This case has attracted attention for the last year and a half on account of the accused being a brother of Former Mayor Joseph Wegley, who has the reputation of being the man who cleared Williston of blind pigs, and it was asserted that the mayor was protecting his brother and allowing him an exclusive righty to conduct a “pig”.

  The accused was tried three times before justices of the peace and each time found not guilty, and then was indicted by the grand jury, on which indictment he was just found not guilty.

  The outcome of the case convinces Wegley’s friends that the case was only a piece of spite work on the part of those opposed to Mayor Wegley to throw suspicion on the sincerity of his administration.

Here’s a crazy story about how he became mayor in the first place.

Fact: First North Dakota mayor accused of horse rustling

 

 

Williston’s first mayor, William Denny, did a lot to make it the state’s fastest-growing city during the first decade of the 20th century, growing from 763 people in 1900 to 3,124 in 1910, a rate of more than 300 percent. Denny was also suspected of being the ringleader of a large horse-rustling organization.
 
Denny established the first bank in Williston when he arrived in February 1899. He also had a large ranch on which he raised horses and Hereford cattle. He had connections in Montana where large numbers of horses were brought to his ranch and sold to him at $10 to $30 a head. Because northwestern North Dakota was rapidly filling up with homesteaders, Denny was able to sell each of the horses to the settlers for $150. Initially, most Williston residents considered Denny a shrewd businessman.
 
In June 1904, Denny was elected mayor and went to work to provide electricity and running water for the residents. He ran unopposed for re-election in 1905, and later that year, Denny was arrested, convicted and sentenced to prison for being the fence of a large horse-stealing enterprise in Montana. He appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court for a retrial, which was granted to him since key pieces of evidence against him had disappeared. With the major evidence missing, a new trial never occurred, and Denny was set free.
 
William Henry Denny Jr. was born in New Auburn, Minn., on March 17, 1870, to William Sr. and Marian (Joslyn/Josline) Denny. William Sr. was a gunsmith, and the family moved to the larger town of Glencoe soon after William Jr.’s birth. In 1885, William Jr. attended Anoka Business College and after graduating two years later, “worked at various stores in St. Cloud.” In the fall of 1889, he traveled to Montana and found work as a ranch hand on the Diamond G Ranch, which was owned by J. D. “Dad” Williams. Also working for Williams was “Dutch Henry” Jauch (pronounced Yaw), who later organized “the largest horse stealing operation in eastern Montana.”

Williams found Denny to be trustworthy and asked the youngster to drive horses to central North Dakota to be sold. On his drives, Denny established friendships in Benson County, and he developed a romantic interest in Kate Huffnail, a school teacher in Minnewaukan. He moved to Minnewaukan in 1897 and, in July, went to work for the Benson County State Bank.

After working for a couple of years, learning how to operate a bank, Denny began exploring new opportunities. Seeing that the Great Northern Railway had reached Williston in 1898 and that it was about to establish branch lines from there to towns in the northwestern part of the state, he knew that settlers were soon to follow. Williston did not have a bank, and the town was ideally located, near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers.

In 1898, Denny contacted Charles Hilton Davidson, a wealthy Canadian real estate dealer, and Thomas L. Beisaker, a Fessenden banker, who also owned a number of other banks in North Dakota and Minnesota, and the two men agreed to finance the establishment of a bank in Williston. When the Williams County State Bank opened on Feb. 19, 1899, Denny was named cashier and manager. Feeling financially secure, he married Kate on March 8.

From the money Denny was making at the bank, he began purchasing land, between Williston and the Montana border, on which to raise cattle and horses. His plan was to buy horses brought in from Montana and sell them to the homesteaders who were coming into northwestern North Dakota. Denny also began selling real estate and, in 1903, established the town of Trenton on his property.

On Feb. 3, 1904, Williston was incorporated as a city, and four months later, the newly elected councilmen chose Denny as mayor. According to Joseph Wegley, Denny’s successor as mayor, Williston was a wild-west town. Wegley wrote, “There were eleven saloons or blind pigs on Main Street and lots of them in the alleys … blind pigs prevailed and ruled the city.” Wegley also pointed out that Denny was in support of the saloons.

In 1905, Denny was re-elected, and he sent out bid proposals for the construction of city waterworks and an electrical plant. Besides serving as mayor, he also was kept busy buying and selling horses. On Oct. 26, law officers from Montana went to Denny’s ranch and discovered stolen horses. Denny and Art McGahey, the man who delivered the stolen horses, were arrested. Denny’s lawyers pointed out that the lawmen had presented insufficient evidence, and the arrest was rescinded.

Suspicion that Denny was the fence and possibly the kingpin of a large horse-rustling organization surfaced in September when Jack Teal, a Montana lawman, and George Hall, the stock inspector for the Montana Stockmen’s Association, arrested a horse thief. When the thief tried to escape, he was shot and killed. Teal and Hall went through the dead man’s belongings and discovered a letter that named Denny as the “chief fence” for stolen horses.

This information was corroborated by George Miller, a saloon owner whose establishment had recently been robbed by horse thieves. He told Hall and Sheriff William Griffith about an incident in which Tom Ryan, who had injured his writing hand, had Miller write a letter to Denny. “Ryan was the major rustler in eastern Montana now that Jauch had disappeared.” The letter stated that Ryan was having McGahey deliver horses to Denny.

Miller agreed to work with the lawmen. To make certain that the horses had been delivered, he went to the mayor’s ranch, posing as Ryan’s friend. Denny confirmed to Miller that the horses had arrived and had been sold. Denny also told Miller to tell Ryan to stop visiting his bank because “Montana authorities were breathing down his neck.”

Armed with this additional evidence, law officials returned to Denny’s ranch in mid-November to arrest him, but he was gone. He had been tipped off and fled to Benson County. The lawmen located Denny in Churchs Ferry and arrested him, but they were unable to take him into custody because the district judge, John Cowan, issued a habeas corpus decree declaring Denny needed to appear in court before he could be detained.

A trial was scheduled for August 1906, but Montana authorities did not believe justice would be served. In December 1905, Montana’s governor, Joseph Toole, made a request to Elmore Sarles, governor of North Dakota, that Denny be extradited, and Sarles agreed. However, Denny’s lawyers were able to get the extradition order rescinded.

At his trial on Aug. 9, 1906, Denny was found guilty of selling stolen horses and sentenced to three years in prison. However, Denny’s lawyers appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court for a retrial. The letters showing Denny’s involvement disappeared, before the court met on Oct. 11, 1908, and the court ordered a retrial. Since the prosecution no longer had their most important evidence, a new trial never occurred, and Denny no longer feared conviction.

Although Denny was basically free, “he was a broken man and he never recovered.” He resigned his positions at the bank and as mayor. Denny remained in Williston and sold real estate until the 1930s, when he lived in Montana and California for short periods of time. He returned to Williston where he died on July 9, 1936.

Olive Alta Wegley

Olive Alta Wegley is the youngest child of Jonathan George Wegley and his wife

She was born on February 2, 1884, in Washington, Ohio and died on August 25, 1960.

Her grave shows her name as Olive A., however, the Ohio Births and Christenings Index (1774-1973) shows her name as Alta Olive Wegley. It’s most likely just a mistake in transcription but I did want to make my readers aware of this.

Olive married her husband Pearl Cloyd Rasor on December 25, 1901, when she was just 17 years old. Together they had at least two children, a son, and a daughter.

  • Herman James (March 21, 1905 – December 13, 1985)
  • Dorothy Miriam (February 25, 1908 – September 8, 1996)

In the 1930 US Census, we learned that her husband ran a grocery store and she worked as a saleswoman in the store (Unpaid worker, member of the family).

When her husband passed away, she remarried (she was 66 at the time). The marriage to her 2nd husband (Charles Trushel) took place on November 9, 1951.

 

Minnie Marie Hoag

Minnie Marie Hoag was born on January 9, 1925, in Monessen, PA. She did on February 10, 2000, which she was 75 years old.

Her mother is Emma Marie Assel and her father is Robert Thomas Hoag.

Here we have Minnie in the 1930 US census when she was just about 5 years old. She is living with her parents, her baby sister Elsie Jane Hoag and someone named James. This is not her youngest brother Robert Thomas Hoag Junior since he wasn’t born yet.

James is probably her uncle James William Hoag (1894-1940) – brother of Robert Thomas Hoag (Minnie’s father).

Minnie Marie Hoag married Samuel Caruso and they had at least two children, Samuel Caruso Junior, and Paula Marie Caruso.

She died on February 10, 2000, in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

 

Robert Thomas Hoag

Robert Thomas Hoag was born on March 3, 1900, in Fayette City, PA. We can verify this is his date of birth thanks to his World War 1 Draft Registration Card.

Robert Thomas Hoag married Emma Marie Assel on May 20, 1924, in Monessen, PA.

Together they had four children, only three of which who lived, Minni Marie Hoag, Elsie Jane Hoag, and Robert Thomas Hoag Junior.

Here is a death certificate issue for a stillborn child, born on October 23, 1931. This means the child would have been younger than Elsie and older than Robert Thomas.

He died on November 13, 1961. we know this because we have a copy of his death certificate.

This document also confirms for us that his father’s name is Walter Hoag. When Robert Thomas Hoag died he was living at 1614 Maple Avenue, in Monessen, PA. It’s a small 2 bedroom house that is still around to this day. (Directions)

His death certificate also tells us that he died of pancreatic cancer, something of which he was diagnosed with just two months prior to his death.

 

 

Emma Marie Assel

Emma Marie Assel was born on April 18, 1905, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. She died on May 16, 1988, in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

Emma Marie June 1986

Emma Marie Assel is the wife of Robert Thomas Hoag. Together they had four children, only three of which who lived, Minni Marie Hoag, Elsie Jane Hoag, and Robert Thomas Hoag Junior.

Here is a death certificate issue for a stillborn child, born on October 23, 1931. This means the child would have been younger than Elsie and older than Robert Thomas.

The death certificate didn’t list the sex of the child but did bury him (or her) at the Grandview Cemetery in Monessen, PA.

This death certificate is important because it verifies other facts for us such as the fact that Robert Hoag was born in Fayette City, PA and that Emma Assel was born in Pittsburg, PA and they were the parents. It also tells us that on the date of the child’s death they were living at 105 Reed Ave., in Monessen, PA (directions) –  a house that still exists to this day.

It’s a small 2 bedroom house

 

Theophilus Richardson

Theophilus Richardson was born on December 22, 1633, and died on December 28, 1674. He was born in Woburn, Mass and also died there.

In 1890 a man by the name of Edward Francis Johnson published a  book called “Births, Deaths, and Marriages of Woburn, Mass from 1640 to 1873.” It’s this book that we are able to document so many in our family tree from that time period.

It’s thanks to this document we know that Theophilus and his wife had 8 children with his wife.

  • Ezekiel (Oct 28, 1655)
  • Mary (Jan 15, 1658)
  • Sarah (April 23, 1660)
  • Abigail (Oct 21, 1662)
  • Hannah (Apr 6, 1665)
  • John (Jan 16, 1668)
  • Hesther (Jun 25, 1670)
  • Ruth (Aug 31, 1673)

Woburn, Mass records of births, deaths, and marriages
Woburn, Mass records of births, deaths, and marriages

Some say that Bridget Richardson born March 17, 1674, is also Theophilus’s daughter, but she wasn’t listed in the Woburn book.

However, I found a document called “Massachusetts Town Birth Records – Vital Records of Chelmsford” which states that she was born on March 17, 1674, in Chelmsford and that he father is James, not Theophilus.

Theophilus Richardson is the son of my 11th great-uncle, Ezekiel Richardson. Theophilus’s grandfather is Thomas Richardson of Standon, my 12th great-grandfather. So while he’s not in my direct line, he’s still a blood relative that lived in the same small town that my other family members did. For reference … here’s my direct family line.

Thomas Richardson of Standon had 7 children, one of which was Ezekiel (Theophilus’s father) and the other being Samuel, which is my family line. These 7 children would be the last generation born in England. From there the kids would all move to America and have children of their own, who will become the first generation of American born Richardson’s.

John Wesley Wegley

John Wesley Wegley was born on March 5, 1923, in Charleston, West Virginia. He is the 2nd John Wesley Wegley in my family tree. This particular John Wesley is my great-uncle – the older brother of my grandfather.

His father was Fredrick Wegley and his mother Tillie Blanch Edwards.

Although John Wesley was born in West Virginia, he wasn’t there long. By 1930 we find him with his family already living in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, thanks to the 1930 United States Federal Census.

He was 7 years old at the time and as you might expect, attending school. He, however, wouldn’t graduate from high school. Times were hard in this period in history and he had to quick high school after his 2nd year.

At 17 years old he was working in a glass factory just like his father.  This was a new job for him because we can see in 1939, he had listed 0 hours work and that is usual occupation is “new worker”.

On February 12, 1943, John Wesley Wegley enlisted in the US Army. His enlistment term was for the duration of the War or another emergency, plus six months, subject to the discretion of the President or otherwise according to law.

It is on his draft registration card that we learn he was 5 foot 5 inches tall with light complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes.

He obtained the rank of Staff Sergeant in the United States Army. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, his official enlistment date is February 20, 1943, and his release date was December 6, 1945.

At the age of 23, John Wesley Wegley married Norman Jean Pocky. She was 21 years of age at the time. Their marriage took place on April 1, 1946, in Virginia.

John Wesley Wegley Marriage Certificate

It is in this document we get further proof that his parents were Fred and Tillie Wegley.

Together John Wesley and his beloved wife Norma Jean had four children, Lynn (born in 1947) and Wesley (born in 1952), Janine (1955) and then Donald (1959).

 He died on November 1, 1982, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. He was buried at the West Lawn Cemetery in Henryetta, Oklahoma. 

Lewis Weighley

Lewis Weigley is the child of John Weigley and Elizabeth W. Croft. He is my first cousin, 5x removed. You may ask why I would care about someone not in my direct line, well quite honestly because sometimes we find documents in side-branches of our family tree that help us prove the identity or dates of those family members in our direct line. Such is the case with Lewis or Louis Weighley.

He married Eve Beeghly (Weighley?) on October 2, 1831.

  • B:16 Feb 1810 in Brothers Valley, Somerset, Pennsylvania, United States
  • D:25 Dec 1885 in Milford, Somerset, Pennsylvania, United States

He is buried in the Pleasant Hill Brethren Cemetery in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.

Lewis Weigley Grave

He and his wife had quite a few children.

  1. Elizabeth Weighley (1831-1909)
  2. John S. Weighley (1835-1918)
  3. Mary Ann Weighley (1838-1918)
  4. Joseph Weighley (1840-1844)
  5. Sara Weighley (1844-??)
  6. Ezra J. Weighley (EJ) (1846-1913)
  7. William Lewis Weighley (1849-1928)

In the 1850 US census, we get a confirmation of this. We know that Lewis is 39 at the time. He lived with his wife Eve who as 38 and then 6 of his children, the youngest of which was only 1 years old.

The one child not there was Joseph who died when he was only 4 years old (1840-1844).

Lewis Weigley 39
Eve Weigley 38
Elisabeth Weigley 17
John Weigley 14
Mary A Weigley 12
Sarah Weigley 6
Ezra Weigley 3
William Weigley 1

 

  • Here is the death certificate for his youngest child, Ezra who was also known as EJ.

Here is the death certificate for his youngest child, Ezra who was also known as EJ.

Here is the marriage application for John Wegley (son of Lewis). John married Emma when he was 62 and she was 60.

So speaking of documents, what is his name? Lewis or Louis? It looks like it is in fact Lewis. Here, in fact, is his wife’s death certificate to clear up the matter.

Stephen Richardson (Senior)

Stephen Richardson was born on February 7, 1674 in Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts. He died on February 4, 1752.

The first bit of verifiable information comes from the book – A genealogical dict. of the first settlers of New England, showing three generations of those who came before May, 1692. By James Savage. Boston. 1861. (4v.)v.3:536 — volume 146 page 1.

Next, we have The Richardson Memorial, Part 1 of 2, John Adams Vinton, Brown Thurston & Co.  Portland, ME, 1876, pg 186-187. It tells us —

1555.

JOSEPH RICHARDSON,2  brother of the preceding, and second son of Samuel Richardson,1 was born in Woburn, July 27, 1643; married, Nov. 5, 1666, HANNAH GREEN,2 born about 1647, daughter of Thomas1 and Elizabeth Green, of Malden.

Thomas Green, her father, was born in England, probably about 1606.  He came to this country probably before 1640; lived in the north part of Malden, now the town of Melrose; was a selectman in 1658, and died Dec. 19, 1667.  For a further history of him and his numerous descendants, see the Green Family, in the VINTON MEMORIAL, by the compiler of this volume.

Joseph Richardson dwelt in Woburn; was admitted freeman of the colony, May 15, 1672, and was, therefore, a member of the church.  He was one of Major Samuel Appleton’s soldiers, and was engaged in the fierce assault on the Narraganset fort, Dec. 19, 1675,  In that severe encounter six brave captains fell, and eighty privates were killed.  He was a selectman of Woburn, 1693, 1694, and 1702.

He died in Woburn, March 5, 1717-18.  His will is dated June 24, 1717; proved April 22, 1718; recorded Midd. Prob. Rec., xv. 143.  He provides very carefully and liberally for his “well-beloved wife Hannah,” and, among other things, that his son “Joseph shall find her a horse, and keep the same for her use, and a man or himself to ride before her on Sabbath days, or where she shall have occasions to go, all during her natural life, if she remains my widow.”  He also mentions his five children, as in the sequel.  His widow Hannah died May 20, 1721.

Their children, all born in Woburn were:

  • +1567  Hannah3, b. Oct. 22, 1667; m Daniel Baldwin.
  • +1568  Mary3, b. March 22, 1668-69; m. first James Fowle; second, Samuel Walker
  • +1569  Elizabeth3, b. June 28, 1670; m. first John Coggin; second, Jacob Wyman.
  • +1570  Joseph3, b. May 19, 1672; m. Mary Blodget.
  • +1571  Stephen3, b. Feb 7, 1673-74; m. Bridget Richardson.

I found this document created by another person doing research. Please keep in mind, just because someone says something doesn’t make it true. However, I did want to include it for your reference. Just don’t consider it 100% factually true unless you personally verify the information.

Next, we have a record of those buried in Woburn. Notice you’ll see Stephen Richardson died on February 4, 1752.

 

Sometimes we can spend hours and hours researching and keep running up against a brick wall. What we know for sure about Stephen Richardson is provided in part by his last will and testament.