Laney Belle Atwood was my husband’s first grand-aunt. She was born on 2 December 1885 in Stephens County, Texas, one of the daughters of William Payton Atwood and Ellen Elizabeth West. By 1900 she was in Callahan County, Texas with her family. Nine years later on 2 Jan 1909 at the age of 23 she married Joseph Leland Staley (1885-1966) in Abilene, Taylor County, Texas. Laney and Lee had two children: Frieda Corrine (1910-1975) and James Leland (1916-1976). Wanda Atwood Hollis has fond memories of her Aunt Laney: It used to seem like a day’s trip, and WAS , for us to go to Aunt Laney’s for the day! She had a rock fish pond with fish in it. Of course, the house was old and sparsely furnished…but she and cousin Frieda did the most beautiful handwork – crochet…they made big bedspreads and beautiful quilts.
Laney Atwood Straley lived with her husband in Callahan County until her death on 7 Jun 1959 in Oplin, Callahan County, Texas. Laney’s obituary as published in the Abilene Reporter-News on 8 Jun 1959 reads as follows:
Mrs. Straley Dies; Oplin Rites Slated: Mrs. Laney Belle Straley, resident of the Oplin community for about 5 years, died at 9 p.m. Sunday at her home residence at Oplin after a long illness. She was 73.; Funeral will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday at the Baptist Church at Oplin. Burial will be in Oplin Cemetery with Wyllie Funeral Home in charge. Born Dec. 2, 1885 in Stephens County, she married Lee Straley, Jan. 1, 1909 at Abilene. She was a member of the Baptist Church. Surviving are her husband; one son, Leland Straley of Austin; one daughter Freda Straley of Oplin; three brothers, John Atwood of Lubbock; Claude Atwood and Gene Atwood, both of Abilene; two sisters, Mrs. Ches Barr of Cross Plains and Mrs. W. E. Jones.
- William Payton Atwood and the Sam Bass Gang (curbowfamily.wordpress.com)