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Rev. Thomas Culley Obituary

Rev. Thomas Culley Died

Rev. Thomas Culley was born in Posey county, Indiana, December 14, 1819 and died February 13, 1908, at Nickerson, Kansas, at the home of his son-in-law, W. H. Howell, with whom he had been making his home the past sixteen years.

Rev. Culley was an unusually strong and rugged man, physically, and often made the remark that if he lived until he wore out, he would be a century old. But thro a sudden attack of la gripp, death claimed him twelve years sooner. He was a minister of the Christian Church, being called to this work at the age of 25, and for 63 years has preached the Gospel. He flat-boated up and down the Mississippi river to New Orleans, in the early days long before steamboats navigated this stream, and when the country on each side was a wilderness and most in possession of the Indians. In 1871 the wife who had been his greatest inspiration to acts of goodness and mercy, was stricken and soon called to the great eternity. She was the mother of Mrs. U. L. Means of Kansas City, Mrs. W. H. Howell of Nickerson, and Mrs. F. H. Butler of Clyde, Kansas, and her sons were W. H. Culley of Mattoon, Illinois, and T. P. Culley of Washington, D. C. Soon after the death of his wife, Rev. Culley became a traveling evangelist through northern Illinois.

In 1877 he married Miss Josephine Cooper. To this union were born three children: Mrs. Will Draper of Sylvia, Mrs. Pearl Dennis of Loveland, Colorado and Frank Culley of Washington, D. C.

Although Rev. Culley was then sixty years old, yet in his body there was the vigor of youth and his ambition drew him westward once more to the very outposts of civilization. He homesteaded in Reno County, Kansas, one of the very first settlers in Medford township and like all early settlers, made a comfortable home from the sod that was covering some of the most fertile soil in the world. Then began a series of struggles and hardships still vivid in the memories of the old settlers. School houses were built before churches and Rev. Culley drove far and near with his yoke of oxen, until there is hardly a district in Reno county where he did not at one time gather the settlers together and teach them from the Gospel.

For over 88 years he has walked upon the earth under the watchful eye of Him who constantly watches over all. He has met with reverses in life and made some mistakes, as everyone is bound to do, but thro it all he never made that greatest of all mistakes, of forgetting his Lord, for he clung to HIm with that tenacity that bids well to bring the "peace that passeth all understanding". His last words were, "What a blessing to live so that you may die happy; for I am going to my happy home."

Submitted by
Rose Stout on March 29, 2005.

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