Headley, Ezekiel W.


Ezekiel W. Headley was born in Franklin County, Ohio on 19 December 1830. He was the seventh of eleven children born to William D. and Mary (Havens) Headley, both natives of New Jersey. The family settled in Ohio in 1811, and the community they helped found became known as Headley’s Corners. William ran a sawmill, a gristmill, and served as postmaster. Ezekiel’s family was prosperous, and Ezekiel attended school as a boy.

In 1849, at the age of eighteen, Ezekiel left Ohio for California. According to a family history, he returned to the United States in 1854 with $5000 worth of gold dust. Ezekiel spent the next five years both teaching school and attending college. In 1859 he traveled to Pike’s Peak, Colorado, where he established a grocery store and restaurant. Ezekiel then invested his earnings in a ranch in Ray County, Missouri.

Ezekiel served in the Union Army during the Civil War. Following the war, he returned to farming and stock raising in Missouri. Ezekiel moved to De Kalb County, Missouri in 1868, where he lived with his widowed sister, Electa, and her three children.

In 1883, at the age of fifty-two, Ezekiel married twenty-six-year-old Mary M. Foster. The couple had three children—Charles, Ward, and Orloff—born in Missouri between 1885 and 1890.

Ezekiel was seventy-nine years old in the 1910 Census and continued to farm with two of his sons, Ward and Orloff. Mary filed for pension benefits as a veteran’s widow in 1918.


1880 Missouri Census (E.W. Headley, Grant, De KalbCounty, 219A).

1900 Missouri Census (Ezekiel Headley, Holt County, E.D. 88, sheet 6, line 62).

1910 Missouri Census (Ezekiel Headley, Holt Couny, E.D. 111).

1920 Missouri Census (Ward Headley, Holt County, E.D. 141, sheet 2, line 17).

National Archives and Records Administration. Civil War Pension Index. [database online] Provo, UT: Ancestry.com, 2000.

Fretz, Rev. A.J. A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of Leonard Headley. Milton, New Jersey: Joseph W. Headley, 1905.