26 Apr 2005
Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, IL
Originally published 1885 Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL
Transcribed by: Becky Jones
Richard Arey, retired farmer, residing at Rock Falls, was born at Cape Cod, Wellfleet, Mass., Aug. 13, 1809. His parents, Reuben and Sally (Brown) Arey, were also natives of the Bay State. His father was a tanner by occupation. He made his home with his father until 24 years of age, receiving a common-school education, occasionally going to sea. He spent two years in Boston with B. & L. on Commercial Street, in the wholesale and retail of West India goods. Next, building a wharf in South Wellfleet, he engaged in the business of mackerel-packing and furnishing fishermen with their outfits, for ten years. Selling this position, in 1844, he came to Rapid City, on Rock River and purchased a farm comprising a quarter-section, one-half of which is now in town lots in the village of Rock Falls. He commenced business here in the line of sheep-raising, but the disease called “foot-rot’ prevailed so extensively among his stock that he was compelled to abandon it. He followed agricultural pursuits on his first purchase of land until 1872, since which time he has been enjoying a retired life, still occupying the dwelling he purchased in 1844, and the only resident remaining of all there were here when he came.
In his political views, Mr. Arey is a Republican, and, with his wife, belongs to the Congregational Church. He was the first Supervisor elected from Coloma and the first Justice of the Peace in Rapid City, later called Coloma. He has also held various other offices. He has for a long time been a leading and influential citizen.
For his first wife, Mr. Arey married Martha Davis, daughter of Rev. T. Davis, of Massachusetts, in 1832, and they had ten children, seven of whom are still living, --John D., James C., Kathren D., Richard, Mary, Ezra W, and Martha. Mrs. Arey died in 1852, a great loss to the family and to the community.
In 1861 Mr. Arey married Lydia A. King, a native of Vermont, a most excellent and highly esteemed lady, a loving wife and a priceless mother-in-law.