WADLEY, WILLIAM M., 1813-1882.
William M. Wadley papers, 1869-1882

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/900ct


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wadley, William M., 1813-1882.
Title: William M. Wadley papers, 1869-1882
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 727
Extent: .75 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Abstract:Papers of the William Morrill Wadley family of Savannah, Georgia including financial records, diaries, and photographs.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Related Materials in This Repository

Raoul family papers and Sarah Lois Wadley papers.

Source

Gift, 1989, with subsequent additions.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], William M. Wadley papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Barbara J. Mann, April 1992.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

William Morrill Wadley, railroad executive, was born November 12, 1813, at Great Hill, in the township of Brentwood, New Hampshire. He was the son of Dole (1782-1826) and Sarah Colcord (1791-1862) Wadley. Upon reaching adulthood, Dole Wadley had changed the original spelling of the family name, Wadleigh, to Wadley for greater ease in writing. His descendants are the only branch of the family to have this modified spelling.

He learned the blacksmith's trade and at the age of twenty, Wadley came to Savannah, Georgia, and worked for six years on Cockspur Island where Fort Pulaski was being built. He went from blacksmith to superintendent of the public works on the Island.

Wadley's next venture was to build a bridge over the Savannah and Ogeechee canal at Savannah. Upon completion of this project, he contracted to build a railroad bridge across the Oconee River, which was completed three years later (1844) for the Georgia Central Railroad.

Wadley's association with the Georgia Central Railroad continued as he served as Road Master (ca. 1844-1849) and General Superintendent (1849-ca. 1851). He then became Superintendent of the Western and Atlantic Railroad (1852), but returned to the Georgia Central Railroad with an increase in authority (1853).

In 1858, when Wadley became the Superintendent of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad (ca. 1858-1859), the Wadley family moved to Amite, Louisiana, taking their slaves with them. He then became Superintendent of the construction of the Southern Railroad (ca. 1859-1860), moved on to become Superintendent of the Vicksburg and Shreveport Railroad (ca. 1860-1861), and then president of this road (1861-1865). During this time the Wadley family moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi (January 1860), and a year later moved across the Mississippi River to Onachita Parish, Louisiana, remaining there until after the Civil War. They returned to Georgia in 1865 and Wadley became president of the Central Railroad and remained in this position until his death (1866-1882).

During the Civil War Wadley received an appointment as Colonel in the Adjutant General's department of the Confederate Army (November 29,1862- May 22,1863). His duties were to supervise and direct the transportation of the Confederacy on all of its railroads. The Confederate senate failed to confirm this appointment and his commission was terminated.

Wadley was involved in other ventures during his lifetime, including the building of steamship wharves (1872-?) which was organized into the Ocean Steamship Company (1874). He then served as President (1874-1882). The Ocean Steamship Company built steamships including the "City of Macon" and "City of Savannah".

Desirous of a permanent home, Wadley bought a plantation of thirteen hundred sixty acres in Monroe County, near Crawford's Station, on the Atlanta division of the Central Railroad. It was named the Cotton Place (1873). Soon after this purchase the name of the railroad station was changed to Bolingbroke.

William Morrill Wadley died August 10, 1882 in Saratoga, New York, and his body was brought home to be buried on the grounds of his plantation.

Wadley married Rebecca Barnard Everingham (May 12, 1819 - June 4, 1905), daughter of John and Sarah Weber Barnard Everingham, on November 12, 1840. They had nine children, William Oconius (1841-?), Sarah Lois (1844-1920), John Dole (1846-1846), Mary Millen (1848-?), Rebecca Everingham (1850-?), unnamed daughter (1852-1852), Loring Reynolds (1853-?), George Dole (1857-?), John Everingham (1860-?). The source used to compile this biographical note was "A Brief Record of the Life of William M. Wadley" by Sarah Lois Wadley (1906).

William Morrill Wadley, railroad executive, was born November 12, 1813, at Great Hill, in the township of Brentwood, New Hampshire. He was the son of Dole (1782-1826) and Sarah Colcord (1791-1862) Wadley. Upon reaching adulthood, Dole Wadley had changed the original spelling of the family name, Wadleigh, to Wadley for greater ease in writing. His descendants are the only branch of the family to have this modified spelling.

He learned the blacksmith's trade and at the age of twenty, Wadley came to Savannah, Georgia, and worked for six years on Cockspur Island where Fort Pulaski was being built. He went from blacksmith to superintendent of the public works on the Island.

Wadley's next venture was to build a bridge over the Savannah and Ogeechee canal at Savannah. Upon completion of this project, he contracted to build a railroad bridge across the Oconee River, which was completed three years later (1844) for the Georgia Central Railroad.

Wadley's association with the Georgia Central Railroad continued as he served as Road Master (ca. 1844-1849) and General Superintendent (1849-ca. 1851). He then became Superintendent of the Western and Atlantic Railroad (1852), but returned to the Georgia Central Railroad with an increase in authority (1853).

In 1858, when Wadley became the Superintendent of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad (ca. 1858-1859), the Wadley family moved to Amite, Louisiana, taking their slaves with them. He then became Superintendent of the construction of the Southern Railroad (ca. 1859-1860), moved on to become Superintendent of the Vicksburg and Shreveport Railroad (ca. 1860-1861), and then president of this road (1861-1865). During this time the Wadley family moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi (January 1860), and a year later moved across the Mississippi River to Onachita Parish, Louisiana, remaining there until after the Civil War. They returned to Georgia in 1865 and Wadley became president of the Central Railroad and remained in this position until his death (1866-1882).

During the Civil War Wadley received an appointment as Colonel in the Adjutant General's department of the Confederate Army (November 29,1862- May 22,1863). His duties were to supervise and direct the transportation of the Confederacy on all of its railroads. The Confederate senate failed to confirm this appointment and his commission was terminated.

Wadley was involved in other ventures during his lifetime, including the building of steamship wharves (1872-?) which was organized into the Ocean Steamship Company (1874). He then served as President (1874-1882). The Ocean Steamship Company built steamships including the "City of Macon" and "City of Savannah".

Desirous of a permanent home, Wadley bought a plantation of thirteen hundred sixty acres in Monroe County, near Crawford's Station, on the Atlanta division of the Central Railroad. It was named the Cotton Place (1873). Soon after this purchase the name of the railroad station was changed to Bolingbroke.

William Morrill Wadley died August 10, 1882 in Saratoga, New York, and his body was brought home to be buried on the grounds of his plantation.

Wadley married Rebecca Barnard Everingham (May 12, 1819 - June 4, 1905), daughter of John and Sarah Weber Barnard Everingham, on November 12, 1840. They had nine children, William Oconius (1841-?), Sarah Lois (1844-1920), John Dole (1846-1846), Mary Millen (1848-?), Rebecca Everingham (1850-?), unnamed daughter (1852-1852), Loring Reynolds (1853-?), George Dole (1857-?), John Everingham (1860-?). The source used to compile this biographical note was "A Brief Record of the Life of William M. Wadley" by Sarah Lois Wadley (1906).

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of William M. Wadley from 1869-1882. Series 1 contains the materials relating to William Morrill Wadley (Box 1-Box 2: folders 1-8) mainly in the form of cashbooks and manuscript diaries dating from 1869-1882 kept by Wadley (Box 1-Box 2: folders 1-5). The diaries record family and business events, weather, gardening, and personal observations. Loose items laid in the diaries have been removed and placed in the same folder and include one manuscript letter from William Lawson to McPherson B. Miller, July 19, 1853, which discusses a slave named Bob and a ledger sheet (Box 1: folder 2); a receipt from A. M. Gould to Wadley, July 20, 1871 (Box 2: folder 1); an application for membership in The National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution for Mary Millen Wadley Raoul, April 16, 1894 (Box 2: folder 2); and a ledger sheet (Box 2: folder 4). Also found in the 1882 cash book and diary were three manuscript letters from Rebecca Wadley written to J. M. Frazer, August 26, 1882; A. C. Knapp, August 26, 1882; and R. P. Moore, August 31, 1882; acknowledging memorial resolutions written after the death of her husband, William (Box 2: folder 5).

Other items relating to William Morrill Wadley are a photocopy of "A Brief Record of the Life of William Morrill Wadley" written in 1906 by his daughter, Sarah Lois Wadley (Box 2: folder 6), The Life and Labors of William M. Wadley, with an Account of The Wadley Memorial Association and the Ceremony of Unveiling the Statue edited by T. B Catherwood, 1885 (Box 2: folder 7), and a corrected typescript carbon of biographical information on Wadley compiled by an unidentified source (Box 2: folder 8). The last folder in Series 1 (Box 2: folder 9) relates to Wadley's Civil War service and includes official correspondence from the Confederate States of America War Department first appointing Wadley Colonel, Adjutant General's Department (November 29, 1862) and then rescinding this appointment because the Senate refused to confirm it (May 11, 1863). The last item in this folder is Wadley's letter to General Cooper resigning his commission (May 22, 1863).

Series 2 contains a manuscript diary, genealogical information, and photographs of other family members (Box 2: folders 10-13). The diary is a ledger-size volume kept by Rebecca Barnard Everingham Wadley, February 6, 1878 -May 4, 1881 (Box 2: folder 10). Genealogical information is about the descendants of Joseph Wadleigh (1712-1792), paternal great grandfather of William Morrill Wadley, in an article published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, July 1978 (Box 2: folder 11). The photographs are of family members and include a reproduction of a photograph of Sarah Colcord Wadleigh, mother of William Morrill Wadley, and a cabinet card of George Dole Wadley, brother of William Morrill Wadley (Box 2: folders 12-13).

Arrangement Note

Organized into two series: (1) William M. Wadley papers and (2) Other family members.


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