Friday, June 26, 2015

James Buckley

As a continuation of an intriguing search for unique characters in Fairfield's history, I happened upon a somewhat complex family tree of James Buckley, who August Reifel calls "a worthy scion of one of the oldest families of the county."

It was for that reason that Reifel was grateful to be able to include Buckley's profile in his 1915 tome on Franklin County.

As usual, the biography is short on zing and long on tedium, but it does illustrate how families of substance and depth could end up in such places as Fairfield.

It also proves that Fairfield did, in its time, have a particular appeal.

The Buckley name is also connected to the Harrell and Irwin families.

According to Reifel's history, James Buckley was born in 1847 in Fairfield Township on the family farm. His father had come from Connecticut, his mother (Jane Harrell) from the then-rustic area of Fayette County.

It's to be noted that Reifel says the family name was originally spelled "Bulkley," so if you are inclined to search, try that as an option.

It helps trace the family back to England -- the days of Queen Elizabeth (the original) -- to 1583. I suppose all families go back that far, but that the Buckleys were able to prove it made them compelling as a study. Their Connecticut roots are as far back as the 1630s, or just a few years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

James Buckley, the story goes, helped build up a furniture manufacturing company and established his prominence as a result of that.

"Mr. Buckley has always given his hearty support to the Republican party, although he has never been inclined to take an active part in political affairs. He is a director of the Brookville Telephone Company and is a director and treasuer of the Indiana Hardwood Lumber Association."

That made him a "worthy scion."

The Buckley family lived in Fairfield at the end. Methodist Church services were enhanced by the organ playing of Stella Buckley, whose son Wright was a businessman.

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