Search billions of records on


Through long years of connection with the agricultural interests of Nemaha county, James M. Graney succeeded in gaining a very comfortable competence, and thus was enabled to leave to his family at his death a valuable property. He also left to them that good name which is rather to be chosen than great riches, for his career was ever straightforward and honorable. He was born in county Galway, Ireland, and came to America in 1848, locating in New York. There he was employed by the government and was sent as a teamster to the West, in which capacity he participated in the Ute war in 1857. He first became the owner of a farm in 1860, when he purchased a tract of wild land in Richmond township, Nemaha county. He still, however, continued to work as a teamster for the government in the civil war, after which he turned his attention to the development of his farm, transforming the wild prairie into richly cultivated fields. He married Miss Ann Daly, and in a log cabin in Nemaha county they began their domestic life. There Mr. Graney successfully carried on agricultural pursuits for a number of years, becoming the owner of four hundred acres of valuable land. He was accounted one of the most practical and progressive agriculturists of the community, and in the work of general progress and improvement he took an active interest, withholding his support from no measure or movement which he believed would prove of benefit to the community. For a number of years he held the office of justice of the peace, and in his political affiliations he was a Democrat. His death occurred on the 21st of January, 1899, and the community thereby lost one of its valued representatives.

His widow, who is still residing on the old homestead, was born in county Longford, Ireland, on the 22d of March, 1829. Her father, Bernard Doyle, was a native of that county, and a farmer by occupation. He died at the age of seventy years, and his wife died in the Emerald Isle when sixty-five years of age. She bore the maiden name of Bridget Scolly, and was also born in Longford county. In their family were nine children, of whom two died in childhood, while all have now passed away with the exception of Mrs. Graney. She came to America in 1848, landing in New Orleans, where she made her home for six years. In that city she became the wife of Jeremiah Daly in 1854, and two weeks later they removed to Texas, where Mr. Daly engaged in teaching school for two years. He then joined the army and went to Florida, but after a short time was transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he was stationed with his command from 1857 until 1860. He then removed with his family to Nemaha county. Kansas, locating on a farm in Nemaha township. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Daly,: Mary, John and Anna. The first named was born in Bastrop, Texas, April 4, 1855, and was a little maiden of five summers when brought by her parents to this state. She pursued her education in the Atchison convent and also in the public schools, and at the age of sixteen years began teaching, which profession she has since followed with the exception of a period of three years. During the greater part of this time she has been connected with educational work in Nemaha county, but for a time was located at Seneca. She is now teaching in Kelly, and is recognized as one as one of the most successful educators in that locality. She was married in 1879 to Milton Todd, who is a teacher in the Seneca high school and for four years was the county superintendent of Nemaha county. He holds a life diploma from the state of Kansas, being one of the first twelve to whom such a diploma was granted. He was born in Canada September 9, 1844, and pursued his education in Jefferson College, of Michigan, in the Normal School at Leavenworth, Kansas, and at Holton. His wife also was a student in the Normal School at Leavenworth. Socially he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and is a very prominent Mason, having attained the Knight Templar degree of the York rite, and the thirty-second degree of the Scottish rite. Both he and his wife are widely and favorably known and occupy a very enviable position in social circles, where true worth and intelligence are received as the passports into good society. They now have three children: George Emerson, who is a graduate of the Seneca high school and is now a student in the State University at Lawrence, Kansas; Marie, who is now teaching at the age of sixteen years, and will graduate in the Seneca high school in the class of 1901; and Paul Edward, attending school in Seneca.

In 1864, Mrs. Daly became the wife of James Graney, and their union was blessed with five children. Rosa died at the age of nine years. Agnes is the wife of John Keegan, of Marshall county, Kansas, by whom she has three children -- Lillie, Jay and Milton. Jay was born in Nemaha county, November 26, 1868, and was reared on the farm where he now resides. He married Maggie Baker, a native of this county, and they had two children -- James, deceased. and Edward. He operates his mother's farm and is accounted one of the leading and enterprising farmers of the community; Ellen was born in Nemaha township, and is the wife of Fred Hartmann, of Washington township, Nemaha county, by whom she has two children -- James and Winifred; and Edward died at the age of ten years.

The Graney family is numbered among the early settlers of Nemaha county, and its representatives enjoy the warm friendship of a large circle of acquaintances. Mrs. Graney occupies the home farm and owns one hundred and fifty-one acres and a life interest in eighty-nine acres. The son Jay has a farm of one hundred and twenty acres, and Mrs. Keegan has forty acres. At one time Mr. Graney owned the entire four hundred acres, but he sold eighty acres of this to his son Jay. He placed the farm under a high state of cultivation, making it a valuable property, and although it is now divided into three different tracts it is still well improved by the present owners. The family are members of the Catholic church at St. Benedict, and Mrs. Graney contributed liberally to the building of the house of worship there.