Charles Thomas Ackley was born in Pittsfield, Otsego County, New York on July 23, 1833, the sixth child of James and Nancy Ackley. He moved to Iowa in 1855, where he started a farm about two miles south of Marble Rock. In 1863 he married Elizabeth Thayer of Otsego County New York. In December of 1863, Ackley enlisted in Company B, Seventh Iowa Volunteer Infantry. During his service he saw heavy action, fighting in many battles and participating in Sherman's march through Georgia. He was not injured, though he did contract some illnesses which remained with him for the rest of his life. He was discharged in July 1865. He died at the home of his daughter near Phillipsburg, Kansas on February 13, 1913.