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BIOGRAPHY: Aristo Appling Wiley born 1848 – photograph

Aristo Appling Wiley
Aristo Appling Wiley

ARISTO APPLING WILEY

BIOGRAPHY and GENEALOGY

(b. 1848 -d. aft. 1901 )

BARBOUR, PIKE, MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Hon. Aristo Appling Wiley congressman from the second district o£ Alabama was born in Barbour county, reared in Pike county and was the son of Judge James McCaleb and Cornelia Ann (Appling) Wiley of Troy, Ala.


The children of James and Cornelia Wiley include:

Aristo Appling Wiley ( b. ca. 1848 Barbour Co., Alabama) married Mittie Noble (b. ca. 1858) their children include Noble J. Wiley (b. ca. 1878 AL)

Oliver Ciceero Wiley (b. Jan. 31, 1851 Pike County, Alabama-) married Augusta Murphree -their children include Olive Wiley (b. ca. 1880) :James Wiley (b. ca. Aug 1882): Lois Wiley and Julia Wiley (b. July 28, 1890 – Feb. 27, 1975)

Julia Lamar Wiley (b. ca. 1853 – d. 1918) m. Llewellyn Bowles (b. ca. 1845)

Aristo was the gr-gr-gr-grandson of John Appling, Sr. (b. 1728 VA – d. 1775 VA) a Revolutionary War Soldier who married Martha Grubb (b. ca. 1733 – d. 1790) and died in Virginia. Aristo graduated from Emory and Henry college, Va., June, 1871, and in October, 1872, located in the city of Montgomery, and engaged in the practice of law. He formed a partnership with Chief Justice Samuel F. Rice and Judge Thomas G. Jones.

In 1882, Aristo was elected to the legislature from Montgomery county, and almost continuously from that time until elected to Congress he served in the general assembly of the State either in the house or the senate.

At the time of his election to the fifty-seventh Congress he was a State senator from the twenty-eighth district and chairman of the judiciary committee. For five years he was captain of the Montgomery rifles; was on the staff of Governors Seay, Oates, Johnston and Samford.

President McKinley appointed him lieutenant- colonel of the Fifth regiment United States volunteer infantry with the rank of colonel of cavalry on June 9, 1898. This was one of the ten regiments organized under a special act of Congress that served for eleven months in Cuba. He was legal adviser and chief of staff to Henry W. Lawtor at Santiago and assisted Gen. Leonard Wood in the establishment of civil government in the Eastern province.

Aristo was elected to the fifty-seventh Congress on Nov. 6, 1900, receiving about 2,500 more votes than were polled for the Democratic Presidential electors, and was re-elected to the fifty-eighth Congress, received the largest majority of any member returned at that time from this State. His career at the bar and in the halls of legislation was well known to the people of Alabama, but in the city of Montgomery, where he lived for more than a quarter of a century, he was best known for enjoying the fullest confidence and esteem of his neighbors and friends.

For fifteen years he was a member of the city council from ward five, and everywhere was observed substantial evidence of his enterprise and public spirit, coupled with his rare taste and good judgment in the beautifying of the capital city. He was a successful lawyer of commanding ability and influence. He possessed a rare facility of speech, an earnest and eloquent delivery, while his addresses always abounded with brilliant thoughts and beautiful imagery.

It was in the field of legislation that he first “won his spurs,” and achieved his reputation. His military services as civil governor of Santiago provinces, during the Spanish-American war added to his fame as a lawyer and legislator and no doubt contributed to his first election to Congress. During his first term he made a number of speeches on leading matters before the house. He helped draft the bill to promote the efficiency of the military organizations, and was selected as the Democratic member of the committee to make the argument in favor of its passage. This bill, at the time, was regarded the only measure that ever made proper or adequate provision for the maintenance, discipline and efficiency of the State troops.

His crowning act of glory as a congressman, however, was in securing the enactment of a law for the relief of certain homesteaders in Alabama, who had entered on what is commonly known as the Mobile, Girard, Coosa & Tennessee railroad grant lands, by the terms of which the homes of many hundred poor but deserving people were saved to them. His part in that contest attracted wide attention stamped him as an able parliamentary leader.

Aristo secured an appropriation of $75,000 to enlarge the custom house at Montgomery to meet the exigencies of the public business. He secured for the Alabama river all the money which the engineer in charge reported to the river and harbor committee was necessary to be expended either in improving the stream or deepening its channel. He obtained an appropriation of $10,000 with which to make a preliminary survey of Fish river in Baldwin county, with the object in view of determining whether or not this stream is worthy of governmental improvement.

He introduced the bill to increase the per diem compensation of Federal jurors from two dollars to three dollars which passed both houses of Congress. He procured the passage of a bill giving to the State of Alabama the spars taken from sunken Spanish battleships, and brought to this country from the Caribbean sea and Manila bay, commonly designated as “the Hob- son mast.” He introduced a bill which passed both houses of Congress with “an amendment” conferring upon the Federal courts jurisdiction concurrently with the State courts to apprehend, try and punish railroad marauders in certain cases.

He introduced the bill to increase the per diem compensation of Federal jurors from two dollars to three dollars which passed both houses of Congress. He procured the passage of a bill giving to the State of Alabama the spars taken from sunken Spanish battleships, and brought to this country from the Caribbean sea and Manila bay, commonly designated as “the Hob- son mast.” He introduced a bill which passed both houses of Congress with “an amendment” conferring upon the Federal courts jurisdiction concurrently with the State courts to apprehend, try and punish railroad marauders in certain cases.

He introduced a bill, and labored untiringly until he secured its enactment into law, authorizing a compromise and the settlement of the Beebe-Henshaw litigation, involving title to the Southern cotton oil property at Montgomery, which had been in wearisome litigation for more than fourteen years. He gladdened the hearts of many a worthy man and woman throughout this district by obtaining pensions in various forms and shapes.

When he was elected to Congress there was not a single rural free delivery mail route in the second district. Through his endeavors, many routes were already in operation, and inspectors reported favorably on a large number of others, which would be established later. He was most untiring in his efforts to serve his constituents, and won their applause and good opinions.

On Nov. 6, 1877, he was married to Mittie A. Noble, (b. ca. 1855 – d. Dec. 25, 1935 AL) of Montgomery, Ala., by whom he had one son, Noble James Wiley, who became a lieutenant in the Fifth regiment United States army infantry.

 

Aristo Appling Wiley died June 17, 1908 at Hot Springs, Bath County, Virginia. He is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Alabama.

 

SOURCES

  1. Notable Men of Alabamaedited by Joel Campbell DuBose
  2. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~gacolum2/earlywillAandB.htm
  3. Find A Grave Memorial# 6432434 # 5847844 # 5847847 # 5847876 # 5847871 # 5834023 # 5834024 # 5847838 # 5911268 # 5911381 # 108687320

This biography is included in the Book Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Vol. III

 

Biographies of Notable and Not-so-Notable Alabama Pioneers Volume III (Kindle Edition)


By (author):  Donna R Causey
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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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