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History of Greene County, Pennsylvania


LEM H. WILEY, musician, Peoria Ill., was born in Greene County, Penn., April 17, 1844.  He acquired a common school education, and worked at the blacksmiths trade with his father.  In 1862 he went to Peoria County, Ill., and in the fall he enlisted in the Seventy-seventh Regiment Illinois Volunteers, as chief musician, being then only eighteen years of age.  This position he filled faithfully until the regiment was mustered out of service at the close of the war.  Upon returning home, Mr. Wiley became a member of the celebrated Light Guards Band of Peoria, with which he remained nine years, during which time he also opened a music business.  In 1872 he was one of the twenty-four cornetists at P. S. Gilmore’s World’s Peace Jubilee at Boston; and has been a member and leader of a number of the noted bands in the United States.  He was married, August 17, 1872, to Miss Alta, daughter of Levi Wilson, of Peoria, Ill.  In 1880 he became a leader in Haverly’s Original Mastodon Minstrels, organized in Chicago, and remained with them five years, during which time he played in all the large cities in the United States and most of the principal cities in the old world.  In January, 1885, he became manager of the new Grand Opera House in Peoria, Ill., a position he still holds.  Mr. Wiley is considered by the world a thorough musician and remarkable cornetist.


Page 637


History of Greene County, Pennsylvania

Samuel P. Bates

Nelson, Rishforth & Co., Chicago. 1888


Transcribed by Annette Bame Peebles

The Greene County, Pennsylvania Biographies Project –

Date of Transcription: 2 September 2007

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