WILLIAM ALGERNON RILEY, a prominent stock farmer of Benton county, was born in Iowa county, Iowa, April 26, 1864. His father, Tarlton Riley, was born in Ross county, Ohio, and came to Iowa county, in 1851, and there married Nancy McRoberts, by whom he had nine children. Talton Riley's father, fought gallantly in the war of 1812.
William A. Riley was reared on a farm an received his education in his native county, in the district schools. A part of the farm he now occupies formerly belonged to his paternal grandfather Alexander Riley who settled in Iowa in pioneer days. Tarlton Riley died on the home farm quite suddenly, in 1896, and his wife died in 1888. On reaching his majority Wm. A. Riley worked out as farm laborer three years and then purchased eighty acres of land, which he carried on for himself. He has been very successful and has been able to add to his land, now being the owner of one hundred and sixty acres. He feeds a good many cattle for market every year, and is a man of good business judgment in the conduct of his affairs. He is of a cheerful, optimistic disposition, and is generous and broad-minded in his views. He has always paid close attention to his financial interests, and is energetic and industrious. He displays great enterprise in the conduct of his farm, and has made many improvements. Politically he is not closely affiliated with any party, but holds himself free to vote for the best man to fill an office. He has never aspired to office for himself, but lends his support to persons he considers worthy. Besides his farming interests Mr. Riley is trustee of the Lennox Mutual Fire Insurance Company and stockholder in the First National Bank, of Norway, Iowa. He belong to Florence Lodge No. 404, Independent Order of Odd Fellow.
June 7, 1894, Mr. Riley married Elizabeth, daughter of William and Elizabeth Buchan, of Canada; she died June 16, 1902, leaving three children, all living at home, Chester, Lucille and Wallace.