Viewing James A. Carley (1869-1952).
At a memorial service for James A. Carley, who died on May 14, 1952, at age eighty-three, Martin Healy, a friend and fellow member of the Wabasha County bar, remarked that he was "destined for a long public life." In a profession not known for understatements, this certainly was one. By rough calculation, from his graduation from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1894, to his death, he held public office for about forty years. He was county attorney, village recorder and mayor of Plainview, state representative for one term, state senator from 1915 through 1929, and again from 1935 to 1952, when he died in office. But he may be remembered less for his legislative accomplishments than for a tract of land near Plainview that he and others donated to the state in 1948. Today, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources describes the Carley State Park as being "located in the Bluffland Landscape Region. Towering white pines stand amid an oak forest at this beautiful park. Delicate wildflowers bloom in April and May and the trail winds around the north branch of the Whitewater River."