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Rev William Goff Caples
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Birth: Apr. 23, 1819
Ohio, USA
Death: Oct. 19, 1864
Howard County
Missouri, USA

Reverend William Goff Caples by R. E. Bayley (425 Manzanita 3, Central Point, OR 97502) published in the MoSGA Journal, Summer 1997, pg. 140-141

Born April 23, 1819 in Jeromeville, OH
Died Oct 11, 1864 in Glasgow, Howard Co., MO, at age 45 years
He was called one of the co-founders of Central (Methodist) College

Early Days

Caples began to move toward ministry while in his teens in Ohio. He had been a store clerk, worked on the family farm in Ohio, studied for Law in Findlay, Ohio 1836-37. He married young and came with his bride and her parents to near Westport (now in Kansas City) in 1839. He became a minister of the Missouri Conference (all of MO North of the MO River) in 1839 and was pastor 1839-40, of the Plattsburg circuit and 1840-41, the Western Circuit. Impoverished and in debt, he briefly left the ministry to cut woods all winter and sell it to pay off his debts.

From Apr 1842 to Aug 1844, he pastored in Keytesville, as later so did his stepson, Rev. A. V. Bayley.

He pastored, 1844-46, at Huntsville, and 1846-48, at Glasgow, where he returned 2 Nov 1863.

His wife died and while he was pastoring 1848-50 in Brunswick; he married a widow, Julia Spencer Bayley (Bob Bayley's younger brother, born in 1929, was Spencer Bayley, and one of his sisters, born in 1937, was Julia Bayley). The Spencers were landed and also merchants in Brunswick.

In 1850-52, he pastored in Hannibal. For two years in the 1850's, Caples was his conference's agent for Central College.

Caples is described as about 5' 9", 150-60 pounds, with a great sense of humor. This writer possesses a picture of him that shows a good-looking man. Some thought his eyes were black but as Marvin says they were a deep brown. His hair was the same color. He had no beard.


Caples was 3 times a Presiding Elder (now called District Superintendent), 4 years on Weston District, 1 year Fayette District, and 3 years Brunswick District.

Bishop E. M. Marvin, author of the "The Life of William Goff Caples" gives Caples the most credit for working long and hard for the creation of Fayette's Central College, as well as for several high schools. Marvin also credits Caples for leading the decision to locate the college in Fayette rather than in St. Charles.

Caple's son, William and stepson, A. V. Bayley both followed W. G. Caples into the MO Conference Ministry. Caples was the only non-bishop to chair an annual conference - in Glasgow, 1861. W. G. Caples was preeminent as both pulpit man and in other pastoral services and might well have soon became a bishop had he survived the Civil War.

Civil War and Death

Caples became a Confederate Army Chaplain in the Civil War, under and with General Sterling Price. He was captured and soon paroled; he returned to his family and church 2 Nov 1863. He was fatally wounded by an errant cannon shell in Shelby's attack on Glasgow in Oct 1864.

Caples's body was buried beside his first wife's in Brunswick.
Elliott Grove Cemetery
Brunswick Township
Chariton County
Missouri, USA
Plot: Div. 3, Blk. 23, Lot 3, Subl. 6
Maintained by: Mindy
Originally Created by: Sylvia Whaley
Record added: Jan 16, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 32957044
Rev William Goff Caples
Added by: Mindy
Rev William Goff Caples
Added by: Sylvia Whaley
Rev William Goff Caples
Cemetery Photo
Added by: David G. Stuart
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Rest in peace.
 Added: Dec. 29, 2012
Remembering and Honoring A True Southern Hero, A Confederate Soldier. Deo Vindice.
- Tony Smith SCV Camp 38, North Charleston S.C.
 Added: Dec. 13, 2009

- Barry White
 Added: Nov. 4, 2009
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