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Benjamin B Wiley


Posted By: County Coordinator (email)
Date: 4/12/2010 at 13:57:25

Few business men of Boone are better or more favorable known than Benjamin B Wiley, the manager of the Arie Opera House. Not only is Mr Wiley achieving individual success in that position, but he is rendering a service to the general public of his city by providing amusement and entertainment to its people.
He was born in Waterloo, Iowa on January 16, 1864, and is a son of Tobias Wile, a native of Stuttgart, Germany. Ther father was an officer in the German army and participated in the great war against France. His birth occurred about 1824 and he received an excellent education, entering upon military life before he was married. He held commissioned rank for six years. At the end of that term he crossed the Atlantic to New York, whence he made his way to Cincinnati. Not too proud to earn and honest dollar by any means that were honorable and taking advantage of opportunities as they presented themselves, he peddled goods in that city in order to procure a living. He married Miss Julia Rosenstock, a native of Alsace-Lorraine, who emigrated to the United States at the age of eighteen, leaving behind her parents, who both died in Alsace. From Cincinnati the father went after his marriage to Waterloo, Iowa, where he bought and sold stock. He often drove overland to Chicago in the pursuit of this businesss. Later he turned his attention to the clothing trade in Waterloo and conducted a store with great success for a number of years. The last years of his life he lived in retirement and died in 1889, in Waterloo, his widow surving him but three months. His burial took place in Dubuque. The parents of our subject had the following children: Moses, a capitalist of Warrenbsburg, who married a Miss Roberts, Sarah who is now Mrs Edward Hopkins of Duluth, Louis, of Minneapolis, who is engaged in business in that city, Max, R of Chicago, Benjamin B of this review, Fanny who is Mrs I B Myers of Memphis, Tennessee, Mayme, Sophia, and Hattie, the last three make their home in Chicago.
Benjamin B Wiley attended the public schools of Waterloo till he was fourteen years of age. At that early age he took upon himself the responsibilities of life, becoming an employe of M Hellman, a clothing merchant of Omaha, for whom he clerked for ten eyars. He spent two years at Yankton, South Dakota, for the same company and for three years was located at Grand Island. At the end of that time, in August 1901, Mr Wiley with three of his sitsters came to Boone and opened a racquet store. Subsequently Mr Wiley assumed the management of the old Phipps Opera House of Boone, and it may be mentioned in this connection that while in Omaha he acted as treasurere of Boyd's Opera House there, fulfilling the duties of this office during the evenings. In Boone he subsequently became a partner of James J Kirby, in the management of the opera house and the bill-posting businesss and successfully continued so for seveen or eight years. The partnership was then dissolved and during this time the old opera house was remodeled and the name changed to the Arie Opera House, the building having been bought by B Arie, upon Mr Kirby leaving the firm Mr Wiley assumed the entire charge and management, and he has since successfully conducted the estabishment. He is well versed in all the details connected with the business and has proven himself an efficient manager and a farsighted business man.
In November 1899, Mr Wiley married Miss Edith Foster, who was born in Boone in 1881 and is a daughter of William and Matilda Foster. To this union the following children were born: Max, thirteen years of age, Harold, who is eleven, Julia, nine, Benjamin B Jr, six, and Margorie aged four. The famiy reside at 1324 Green street and occupy one of the largest and most handsome homes in Boone. Mr Wiley has always been an ardent democrat and cast his first vote for Grover Cleveland. Locally, however, he is independent in his support of candidates and even in national politics he rather prefers to follow his own judgment nowadays. Mr Wiley is a public-spirtied citizen and has contributed much toward the growth and development of his city, being ever ready to give financial and moral support to all those measure which promise to be a value to the city and its inhabitants.

1914 Boone County History Book


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