Guide to the Ariosto Appling Wiley Collection

Guide to the Ariosto Appling Wiley Collection

Record Group 224

Date Span: 


Biographical Sketch:  Ariosto Appling Wiley (1848 – 1908) served in the Alabama legislature where he introduced the law that created Troy Normal School (later Troy University) in 1887.
Born in Clayton, Barbour Co., Alabama, Wiley moved with his family to Troy, Pike Co., before 1851. He graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1870, was admitted to the Alabama bar in 1871, and practiced law in Clayton before moving to Montgomery later that year. A Democrat, he served on the Montgomery city council, in the Alabama House (1884, 1885, 1888, 1889, 1896, and 1897) and in the Alabama Senate (1890-1893, 1898, and 1899). Elected to the US House in 1900, he represented SE Alabama there from 1901 until his death on June 17, 1908.

Wiley served in the Alabama militia, first as a captain of cavalry then as a lt. col. of the 2nd AL Infantry. On June 9, 1898, President McKinley appointed him to the lieutenant colonelcy of the 5th US Volunteer Cavalry. Wiley deployed to Cuba in the Spanish-American War then remained as legal counsel and chief of staff to General Lawson in Santiago. He also served with Gen. Leonard Wood to establish civil government in Cuba’s eastern province.

Wiley married Mary Ann Freeman Noble (1855-1935) in 1877. They had one child, Noble James Wiley (1878-1957) who retired as a colonel from the US Army in 1948.

Wiley’s brother, Oliver Cicero Wiley (1851-1917), was elected to fill the remaining few months of AA Wiley’s congressional term (November 1908 – March 1909). OC Wiley, from Troy, was president of the Alabama Midland Railway (1887-1892), president of the board of trustees of Troy Normal College, a director of the Farmers & Merchants National Bank of Troy, and an officer of Standard Chemical & Oil Company of Troy.

Wiley Biographical References:

“Ariosto A. Wiley.” In Northern Alabama: Historical and Biographical. Ed. T. A. DeLand and A. Davis Smith. Birmingham, Alabama: Smith and DeLand, 1888. Available from the Internet Archives.

“Ariosto A. Wiley.” Wikipedia. Accessed September 23, 2020.

Brown, William N. “Descendent Chart for Ariosto Appling Wiley.” Available in the Wiregrass Archives.

Haeuser, Erik. “Ariosto A. Wiley.” Encyclopedia of Alabama. Accessed September 23, 2020.

“Oliver C. Wiley.” Wikipedia. Accessed September 23, 2020.

"The State Normal School, At Troy, Alabama." The Troy Messenger. August 4, 1887.

“Wiley, Ariosto Appling (1848-1908).” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present. Accessed September 23, 2020.

Scope / Content Note:


Preferred Citation:  Ariosto Appling Wiley Collection, RG 224, Wiregrass Archives, Troy University Dothan Campus, Dothan, AL.

Access/User Limits?     Open per donor agreement



Series 1:  Scrapbooks and Photo Albums, 1890s-1910, 3 items

File ID                                          File Title

224-16-1108-001-001     Scrapbook, news clippings, obits, letters to and from AA Wiley, 1903-1905

224-16-1108-001-002     Scrapbook, personal account of trip to Far East w/ Sect. of War William Howard Taft, July-Sept, 1905

224-20-0906-Item-007    Leather-bound carte-de-visit album believed to belong to Mary Ann Freeman Noble Wiley, w 29 cartes-de-visit + 15 small portraits.


Series 2:  Photographs, 1858-ca. 1905, 14 items

File ID                                          File Title

224-18-0112-Item-001   "Photograph of AA Wiley in uniform, on horseback, framed. June 9, 1898, Pres. William McKinley appointed Wiley to Lt. Col. of US 5th Volunteer Cavalry that saw service in the Spanish-American War.

224-20-0402-Item-002    AA Wiley as a child (ca. 1858).  Scan.

224-20-0402-Item-003    AA Wiley at age 29 (ca. 1877).  Scan.

224-20-0402-Item-004    AA Wiley in his 30s-40s.  Scan.

224-20-0402-Item-005    AA Wiley ca. late 1890s.  Scan.

224-20-0402-Item-006    AA Wiley ca. 1900.  Scan.

224-20-0402-Item-007    AA Wiley after 1901.  Scan.

224-20-0402-Item-008    AA Wiley miniature for pocket watch or locket, copy of post 1901 photo.  Scan.

224-20-0402-Item-009    AA Wiley engraving based on post 1901 photo.  Scan.

224-20-0906-Item-001    AA Wiley portrait photo in frame (14.25 x 17.5")

224-20-0906-Item-003    AA Wiley, cabinet card photo, possibly copy of 224-20-0402-007 (Photographer CM Bell, see

224-20-0906-Item-004    AA Wiley, oval portrait (3.5 x 5") in dresser top stand

224-20-0906-Item-005    Mary Ann Freeman Noble Wiley, oval portrait, colorized, (3.5 x 5") in dresser top stand

224-20-0906-Item-006    Mary Ann Freeman Noble Wiley, copy of posed photo, standing, n.d. (late 1890s-early 1900s)


Series 3:  Writings by others, 1898, ca. 1950, 2 items.

File ID                                          File Title

224-16-1108-001-003     Transcript of remarks by Judge C. W. Buckley to Synod of AL, Nov 14-15, 1898

224-20-0402-Item-001    Wiley, Noble James. "Recollections."  ca. early 1950s.  NJ Wiley discusses his father and mother, AA Wiley and Mary Ann Freeman Noble Wiley in the early pages. Scan


Series 4:  Artifacts, ca. 1900-1910, 7 items.

File ID                                          File Title

224-16-1108-001-004     Crocheted bootie from 224-16-1108-001-001

224-18-0112-Item-002    Brass nameplate for AA Wiley, possibly his House of Representatives desk nameplate (Served 1901 until his death June 17, 1908).

224-20-0906-Item-002    Postcard, AA Wiley, Honolulu, to OC Wiley, Troy, AL, July 31, 1905

224-20-1013-Item-001    Crook handled gentleman's walking stick, engraved "Wiley" on side, ca. 35 inches

224-20-1013-Item-002    Knob handled gentleman's walking stick, engraved "Wiley" on top, ca. 36 inches

224-20-1013-Item-003    Gentleman's riding crop, gold handled, embedded w/ ca. 40 diamond chips, ca. 26 inches (broken).

224-21-0301-Item-001    Printing plate, oval portrait of AA Wiley, copper on wood block, 1.5" x 2" x 15/16", from DuBose, Notable Men of Alabama, 1904.

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