Joseph F. Nicely, of Osawatomie, was born in the Winchester valley, six miles from Charlestown, Va., now West Virginia, July 14, 1851. He is a son of George W. and Mary (Davis) Nicely, the former of whom was a native of Virginia and the latter of Maryland. The father was a merchant tailor and his whole active career was spent in the mercantile business. He was postmaster at Leetown, W. Va., from a time before Buchanan's administration until that of Cleveland's first, he and wife spent their entire lives in Jefferson county, West Virginia, where his death occurred in 1906, at the advanced age of ninety-three, surviving his wife many years, she having passed away in 1853. Joseph F. Nicely was about ten years of age at the outbreak of the Civil war and his Virginia home was in the heart of the war zone. He was educated at Baltimore and when about nineteen years of age went to Philadelphia to engage in the wholesale hat business, having received previous experience along that line while assisting in the retail business of his brother at Baltimore. After remaining in Philadelphia one year he decided to come west to a field of greater opportunity, and accordingly came to Kansas, locating on April 29, 1875, at Paola, where he became vice-president of the Andrews Mercantile Company, and in 1889 removed to Osawatomie, as resident manager of a branch house for the same company. In 1893 he entered upon an independent business career, engaging in the general mercantile business at Osawatomie. His business was located on the north side of Main street until 1905, at which time he opened another store on the south side of the same street, where he handles men's and boys' clothing, furnishings, boots and shoes. It is without doubt one of the best stocked and equipped stores of its kind in Miami county, carrying a high class line of clothing and shoes, and its cabinet appointments being of the most modern and approved style. In the old store he carries dry goods, ladies' and misses' shoes and ready-to-wear garments. The basis of a successful business must be fair dealing and integrity of purpose, which are evidently the principles adopted by Mr. Nicely, for his stores retain a large and representative patronage and he is recognized as one of the most capable business men known to Osawatomie. He placed his dependence upon the safe and sure qualities of untiring labor and perseverance and thereby builded his success. He was married in 1879, at Paola, to Miss Alice Quinn, a native of Indiana, but a resident of Kansas. They have two daughters, Pearl and Naomi, the former the wife of H. H. Reed, a successful druggist at Osawatomie.
While Mr. Worley has been unremitting in his energy and close application to his business interests, yet his efforts have also been directed toward the public welfare, as well as toward individual success. He is a Democrat in his political views and has taken an active interest in party affairs ever since a resident of Osawatomie. He is progressive in his ideas of political usefulness and lends his influence toward all movements for the welfare and betterment of his community and state. He is now serving his second term as a member of the city council, but has persistently refused to accept the numerous nominations tenured him for political office. He has represented his party as a delegate to the state conventions a number of times and has also been a delegate to the Democratic national convention. He is a member of the state and national Retail Mercantile associations and is, at the present time, a member of the state association's executive committee, being prominently known throughout the state in this relation. He has attained a high place in Masonic circles, being a member of the Blue Lodge, Chapter, a Knight Templar, a Thirty-second Degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a member of the Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He also affiliates fraternally with the Modern Woodmen of America, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, being a charter member of the latter order in Osawatomie. His family are members of the Presbyterian church.Pages 180-181 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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