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Richard Colley

Also Known As: "Fightin Dick"
Birthplace: Reed's Valley, Russell County, Virginia, United States
Death: March 16, 1858 (65)
Grassy Creek, Buchanan County, Virginia, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas E. Colley and Judith Colley
Husband of Christina Colley
Father of James Colley; Mary Anne Deel; John Colley; Matilda Anderson; Joshua Colley and 5 others
Brother of George Lewis Collie; Rachel Hammond; John Colley; Meshack Colley and Elizabeth Finney
Half brother of Rev. Thomas W. Colley; George Lewis Collie; Mildrich Colley and Shadrack Colley

Managed by: Private User
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About Richard Colley

Richard Colley BIRTH 1783 Dickenson County, Virginia, USA DEATH 16 Mar 1858 (aged 74–75) Dickenson County, Virginia, USA BURIAL Enoch Mullins Cemetery Breaks, Buchanan County, Virginia,

Richard Colley first appears as a head of household in the 1820 Census of Virginia, he is a resident of the Lebanon District of Russell County. Richard was known as "Fighting Dick Colley" and was the first permanent settler of the Dickenson County territory. He served in the War of 1812. He was a noted hunter and farmer and lived most of his life near Sandlick. Sources describe him as "a medium sized man with square shoulders; fast tempered, hard drinking and hard fighting." Living in his household in the 1850 Russell County, Virginia Census was: Elizabeth Ramey (age 14), Harvey Ramey (age 7), Catherine Colley(age 8), Jefferson Pressley (age 4), and Joshua Pressley (age 2). Richard is listed as age 54 and a farmer, the value of real estate owned was listed as $400.00 in 1850.

Richard served with Capt George Kindrick's Infantry Co., 72nd. Reg..

Prior to marriage, Dick Colley was the caretaker of a large boundary of mountain land belonging to Andrew Hebern at Sandlick, to which they moved and made their home. Here in the midst of the Sandy Basin wilderness they became the first permanent settlers in what is now Dickenson Co. Dick literally blazed a trail from the Clinch Settlements across Sandy Ridge and through a virgin wilderness fifty miles to the very border of Kentucky, and made his indelible mark as a community builder during its catalysmic change from a wilderness to a farming community. He was the moving force that secured the first public road to Sandlick. He owned and operated the first water mill in that section. In 1852, he was appointed one of the commissioners to divide Russell County into eight voting districts, and his home was established as one of the two voting places in the 4th (Sandlick) district. He did not perfect title to any land, but his sons owned many thousand acres in this section which he settled and helped to improve. In 1936, Hawk Fuller [E548], remembered his grandfather, "Fightin' Dick", as "medium sized, not large, but big square shoulders, bald-headed and smooth shaven." In a biography (Some Sandy Basin Characters - 1962) EJS stated: "Dick Colley was strong of limb, heart and temper. It took all that to conquer the wilderness. No one ever questioned his bravery, nor did anyone who ever felt the wallop of his bruising fist soon forget its crushing power. His hot temper, often unleashed and terrible, swung him from one personal encounter into another with his neighbors ... He was often wobbly with hard liquor, his heart and strength carried him through ... It seemed that he had more fights with John Fuller than any other man ... One day they met in the woods, and as usual got into a quarrel. John managed to get the first blow which knocked Dick almost unconscious. While Dick lay on the ground, John danced around him singing ...

'Poor old Dick he died of late; Straightway he went to Heaven's gate. There he met the Devil with a club, And drove him back to Beezlebub!'

By the time John had finished his song Dick felt he could handle him, and got up and won the fight."

He became a famous hunter and many thrilling tales about his hunting prowess are still recalled - the most famous being the time he killed a bear with his bare hands. He was a member of Capt. George Kendrick's Company of Infantry, 72nd Reg, in Russell Co., and was called into active service on Feb 4 1815, but the war of 1812 soon ended and he saw no further active service. He died while visiting his son Joshua on Grassy Creek and is buried there in the Mullins Graveyard. Christinia preceded her husband in death and is buried in the Colley Graveyard at Sandlick, just opposite the mouth of Lick Creek. - Some Descendants of John Counts of Glade Hollow by Elihu Jasper Sutherland Children were: James COLLEY, Mary Anne "Pop" COLLEY, Joshua "Josh" COLLEY, John COLLEY, Matilda COLLEY, Sarah "Sap" COLLEY, Margaret Jane "Pud" COLLEY.

Richard Colley BIRTH 1783 Dickenson County, Virginia, USA DEATH 16 Mar 1858 (aged 74–75) Dickenson County, Virginia, USA BURIAL Enoch Mullins Cemetery Breaks, Buchanan County, Virginia

He was born abt Abt 1783/1793 in Reed's Valley, Dickenson County, Va. He died at Sandlick, Dickenson County, Va.

He was the son of Thomas E. COLLEY and Judith FIELDS.

Married: Lucretia Christina COUNTS on 15 Mar 1813 in Russell County, Va.

Children James Colley 1815–1887

view all 13

Richard Colley's Timeline

March 16, 1793
Reed's Valley, Russell County, Virginia, United States
March 1, 1815
Virginia, United States
September 4, 1816
Russell County, Virginia, United States
Virginia, United States
Dickenson County, Virginia, United States
Haysi, Dickenson County, Virginia, United States
Haysi, Dickenson County, Virginia, United States
December 11, 1827
Russell County, Virginia
March 16, 1858
Age 65
Grassy Creek, Buchanan County, Virginia, United States