The key descendant in tracing this branch of the Laney family is David Housel Laney, born to John
and Catherine on December 15, 1821 in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. [For some reason,
David's middle name is given as "Harper" in Arnon Laney's family Bible.] David grew up and received
his education in his native state and then migrated to Louisiana. David was 27 years old when he was
ordained a deacon in the Methodist Episcopal Church in the Mississippi Conference, December 17,
1848. His ordination gave him authority to administer baptism, marriage, bury the dead and, in the
absence of a pastor, to feed the flock of Christ. Two years later (December 8, 1850) David was
ordained an elder and served as a circuit riding Methodist minister.
I am privileged to be the heir of a patch work quilt presented to D. H. Laney in 1853 by the ladies on his
circuit. The needlework inscription reads, "The world for my parish." The quilt was given to me by
David's granddaughter, Frances Laney (daughter of Arnon and Florence Laney) in recognition of the
fact that I share my great, great grandfather's profession.
Just prior to the Civil War David returned to Pennsylvania and engaged in the drug business. The
journal containing his drug business records is with Dick Laney in Odessa, Washington. In 1863 David
sold this business and journeyed west to Andrew County, Missouri. An interesting item appeared in the
Andrew County Republican (July 2, 1897) titled "Action of the M.E. Church." It seems as though our
ancestor was accused of fraud by Rev. A. J. Brock in the sale of some sick chickens. The matter was
investigated and a church trial was conducted. Five witnesses were heard, but there was
disagreement among them. In spite of this, David was found guilty and suspended from the ministry. In
a July 30th (1897) article, the preacher defended himself against the charges and sought an appeal,
but it appears that the appeal was never heard. D. H. Laney lived out his last days on the Crab
Creek Ranch in Odessa, Washington and died on October 28, 1916 at the age of 95. But we
are getting ahead of the story.
On July 7, 1857 David H. Laney married a widow, Martha Ann Waugh Culbertson (born July 20, 1827).
Waugh was her maiden name and Culbertson was the last name of her first husband. She had a son,
Joseph (Josie) by her first husband. Martha died on January 28, 1887 after almost 30 years of
marriage, and was buried in Savannah, Andrew County (plot 13, block 22).
David and Martha Laney had six children: Clara (3/14/1859), Arnon (3/7/1861), John Waugh
(11/22/1863), Annie Jane (3/31/1867), Emma (4/5/1870), and David Alfred (4/28/1873). Here we
introduce something of a family mystery. A picture of David A. Laney which appears in the Arnon
Laney family album has this note on the back: "Alfred Vanderhoof, Dasie [a nick name], adopted as D.
A. Laney." We know none of the details concerning this apparent adoption. We are left with a bit of a
mystery since the man certainly looks like a Laney!
Daughter Clara married Ben Myers on January 4, 1882 in Bozeman, Montana. Ben had a cattle ranch
at Livingston, Montana on the Shields River and moved there in 1894 from Miles City. Clara sold the
ranch in 1914 returning to Miles City. Ben and Clara had three daughters, Ruby, May, and Hazel, and a
Arnon Laney, born in Ligonier, Pennsylvania (3/7/1861) married Florence Owsley on October 20, 1891
in Glasgow, Kentucky. Florence was the daughter of Dr. W. T. Owsley, born in Stanford, Kentucky.
Arnon was the first of the Laney brothers to move to Montana, arriving there in the spring of 1882.
Arnon purchased the old U (Seven-U) Ranch across the Powder River from the mouth of Horse Creek.
In 1883 he put 700 head of sheep on the place.
Arnon and Florence had two children, Joseph Culbertson (9/16/1896) and Frances Williard. In 1908
Arnon sold his holdings in Montana for about $60,000 cash and moved to Kentucky. In the fall of 1910
he joined his brothers, John and David, in purchasing the ranch on Crab Creek in Lamona,
Washington. To avoid possible confusion, we should note that Lamona exists no longer and the closest
town to the ranch is Odessa. As we shall later see, this ranch was to have a very significant part in our
Laney family history. Arnon's son, Joe, married Margaret Ann Stewart (sister of Harriet Stewart Laney),
the sister-in-law of his cousin, Carl Laney. For many years Margaret and Joe operated a fine dairy
farm on the Crab Creek Ranch.
Annie Jane Laney, David and Martha's second daughter, married a man by the name of Triem. Emma
Laney never married. David Alfred Laney, youngest son of David and Martha, married Margaret
Brown. They later joined the Laney brothers in the sheep ranching business on Powder River. David
and Margaret had two daughters, Daisy and Audrey. Audrey married George Williams and Daisy
married Jacob Woitt.
In 1863, David and Martha Laney moved from Pennsylvania to Andrew County, Missouri. It was on
November 22 of that same year that John Waugh Laney was born. He became the father of my
grandfather, John Carl Laney.
|David Housel Laney
|Martha Ann Laney
|David Housel Laney