History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts- Cyrus Colley

Pulaski County Missouri History and Heroes

Cyrus Colley is the namesake of Colley Hollow, west of Waynesville in Pulaski County, Missouri. Colley settled on 300 acres of land there in 1832.

1. “Cyrus Colley found on his farm an artistically made rock pipe-bowl, so well preserved that one of his ‘hired men’ fixed a stem to it and enjoyed a modern weed, smoking in its bowl, as no doubt some ancient weed comforted its ancient owner- Mound Builder or Indian, as he may have been.”

2. Colley was appointed by the Pulaski County court to sell the lots of Waynesville. He had assisted in “laying out” the town.

3. “When the Texas agitation began to spread over the country, Pulaski County took up the cause as vigorously as any part of the Union. Mass-meetings were held in two different places; one at Bates’ (now Bartlett’s) Mill, and another at Waynesville. At the latter place a company was made up and organized by Cyrus Colley. They kept regular muster days for a time, but as no call was received from the authorities, they were disbanded.”

4. On January 30, 1857 Missouri Governor Trusten Polk signed “An Act to Incorporate the Waynesville Academy. The legislation named Colley and other prominent Pulaski County pioneers as “trustees of the Waynesville Academy.” A lot for the Academy was secured on the hill south of the courthouse and the lumber was on the ground at the site. However, the Academy was not constructed, and the materials were later sold at auction.

5. Colley, along with George M. Jamison (Crawford County) and Gideon R. West (Osage County) was appointed to locate the seat of Phelps County in November 1857.

Sources:
History of Laclede, Camden, Dallas, Webster, Wright, Texas, Pulaski, Phelps and Dent Counties, The Goodspeed Publishing Company, 1889, Reprinted 1974. Available online at: http://cdm16795.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/mocohist/id/71191
Rolla Herald (Rolla, Missouri) 28 August 1941

History & Heroes: Five Fast Facts is an occasional series of interesting facts regarding namesakes and historical figures in Pulaski County, Missouri.