As I watched TV tonight, I started searching rootsweb for McCarleys. I haven't checked it in a long time and basically was just wasting time. Except it wasn't a waste of time. I found an obituary for M.W. McCarley. I already knew most of the information. Mitchel Wilbern's granddaughter was a young girl when he died but she told me that he was visiting her house when he got sick and died. She said he rode a horse from Nocona where he lived to where she lived at Christmas. It was snowing and cold when he arrived. He got sick and died. He was buried there because the weather was too bad to take him home. The obituary confirmed what she told me. The obituary didn't mention that he looked like Santa Claus. His granddaughter said his full white beard made her think he was Santa Claus when he first arrived at their house.
I did learn one important thing from the obituary. His sister, Martha Paralee McCarley White, was living in McCauley, Fisher County, Texas. I have not been able to find her and I couldn't confirm her husband's name. The obit confirms her married name is White and gives me a place to search. There is an interesting family story about her that I will share in another post. Her story inspired me to choose the name Paralee for my SASS alias.