Continued: County. He is a native of New York State, born in the town of Deposit, Delaware County. His father, William Hawley, was born in Connecticut, April 26, 1789. He was reared in his native State, and when a young man went to the State of New York and settled in Delaware County, of which he became a pioneer. He bought a tract of timber land, cleared a farm, and was a resident there some time. and then moved to the town of Deposit, and kept a hotel there for a number of years. A few years before his death, which occurred Aug. 29, 1871, he moved to Elyria, Ohio, and there passed the remainder of his life. He was twice married. He was united to Esther Benedict June 12, 1812. She died Oct. 16, 1831. His second marriage was May 30, 1832, toElizabeth (Broade) Childs. She was born in Pennsylvania, May 30, 1792, and died Dec. 22,1862. There were four children by the first marriage. Our subject is the only child by the second marriage. Mr. Hawley was but six years old when his parents moved to the village of Deposit, and there he received his education in the public school, and at the academy in the same town. When he was eighteen years old he entered upon his mercantile career as a clerk in a general store in Deposit. In 1857 he started West to seek a home on the broad prairies beyond the Mississippi, intending to settle in Kansas, which was then the scene of the great emigration from the East and South, and the battleground of the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions. He traveled by rail to St Louis, and from there by boat to Sibley, a few miles below Kansas City, where he met an old townsman, Wheeler Brown. They bought some cattle together and a wagon, and drove to Kansas City to get a supply of provisions, and then proceeded on their way to Kansas. In the afternoon of the third day of their journey it commenced to snow and blow, and they thus had their first experience of a Kansas blizzard. At night they reached a vacant shanty that had been erected by Hackaday and Hull, mail-carriers. The sides and roof of the building were covered with shakes, riVed by hand, and there being no chimney, they built a fire on the ground in the middle of the shanty. They then rolled themselves in their blankets on the floor, and passed the night there. The next morning, the 12th of April, they started again, and had only proceeded a mile when they came to the locality known as Palmyra. There our subject made a claim, and was soon after appointed Postmaster of the town. In May he and Mr. Brown went to Linn County, and made a claim there on lan’d known as the Indian trust land, and soon after, when it came into the market, bought it at Government price. Mr. Hawley soon sold his land, however, and returned to Palmyra. only to find that in his absence someone had jumped his claim in that place. He then went to Kansas City, and was there appointed agent for the Missouri Express Company. Kansas City was then a small place of about 2.500 inhabitants, a frontier town, without any railway connection with the outside world, and with little promise of its .present greatness. All the business at that time was done on the levee. The first brick building for business purposes that was built in the city away from the levee was erected in 1857, by Col. Titus J. Nicaragua, for a billiard hall and saloon. in the fall of 1857 the Missouri Express Company sold to the United States Express Company, and our subject was employed as their agent until June, 1858, when he was sent to St Joseph to establish an express line from that town to Omaha for that company. He remained in charge in St. Joseph until March, 1859, when he came to Nebraska City to take charge of the company’s office here. Soon after he was appointed agent for the St Joseph and Hannibal steam packet company, and the Luckbaugh stage line. A short time after he formed a partnership with a Mr. Wooley, and engaged in the business of receiving and forwarding freight, N ebraska City then being the headquarters of the freighters, who took supplies to the different military posts, mining camps and towns further west. Their business assumed enormous proportions, and in 1865 the firm forwarded 250,000 bushels of corn and 13,000,000 pounds of merchandise and mining machinery. Corn at that time was worth 81.50 a bushel in Nebraska City, and 88.50 in the mountains. In 1864 the firm, in addition to their other business, concluded to try freighting, and consequently bought a lot of cattle and started two trains loaded with corn for Denver; one train of twenty-four wagons, with six pairs of oxen to a [graphic][graphic] [graphic][graphic] [graphic] [graphic][graphic] [graphic] [graphic][graphic] [graphic] wagon. and the other with twelve wagons, with four mules to each wagon. In 1865 potatoes were very scarce in Denver, selling at fifty cents a pound, and our subject and his partner, concluding that it would be a good speculation to send some to that point, early in the spring of 1866 started a train loaded with the tubers. Before their train arrived, however. potatoes had been carried into the city from other sources, and the prices had consequently been greatly reduced. But the trainmaster had been instructed by Mr. Hawley not to sell for less than fifteen cents a pound. but to leave them with a commission dealer, and the latter concluded to take them at the price asked. In 1867 the Union Pacific Railway had extended its lines to the North Platte, and the occupation of the freighter was gone from that time forth. Mr. Hawley and his partner then turned their attention to mercantile pursuits, and opened a general store, having commenced the sale of farm implements in 1859, and they continued that also. Our subject soon bought his partner's interest in the business, and soon after discontinued all but the sale of farm implements, in which branch of business he is still engaged, selling farm implements great and small, including wagons and carriages, and doing an extensive business. In 1859 he sold the first harvesting-machine ever sold in Nebraska.- south of the Platte River, and probably the first ever sold in the State. Mr. Hawley was married, in 1859, to Miss Henrietta Sheldon, and six children have been born to them, three of whom are living—Florence, Fanny and Henrietta. Jay Sheldon, their only son, died _ when thirteen years of age; Janie died in her eighth year, and Lizzie died in infancy. Mr. and Mrs. Hawley are members of the Presbyterian Church, and are workers in the Sundayschool. In politics Mr. Hawley is one of the leading Democrats of the city, and he has always affiliated with that party. He has been prominently connected with various enterprises tending to develop the city and benefit the surrounding country. He was one of the incorporators of the Midland Railway Company, which Was the nucleus of the various railways that now enter the city. He is a member and director in the Building and Loan Association, and is President of the Board of Trade; he is also President of the City Council. In 1872 he was elected County Commissioner, and served three years. When the State was admitted to the Union in 1867, Mr. Hawley was much interested in the location of the capital, favoring and working for Lincoln. In the fall of 1867 he attended the sale of lots in that‘city, and in company with his partner, J. M. Burke, erected the second business building ever built in Lincoln. Coming to this portion of the country at an early day, and seeing much of the aboriginal owners of the land, becoming conversant with their manners and customs, Mr. Hawley has gained a clear idea of the Indian question, and can tell many interesting things concerning the red man. He relates that in 1860, the Indian agent, Maj. Dennison, lived in Nebraska City, and that the last boat that came up the river in the fall of 1859 had brought him 840,000 to pay to the Indians that were living on the reservation at Salt Creek. In March, 1860, five Indian chiefs, with about twenty-five braves, appeared in the city and complained that the money had not been paid to them. The citizens called upon the Major for an explanation. He coolly remarked that he made his report to the Government, and not to citizens. The following-day the Indians captured Mr. Dennison, bound him with ropes,and took him to the court-house, where a council was held, consisting of five whites and five Indians. The Major finally consented tomake a statement of what he had done with the money. It seems that he had made many charges against the Indians, of which the following is a sample: For a certain depredation of the Indians they were charged $1,500. One of the chiefs explained that the braves had been out hunting, and being unsuccessful, on their return had killed a cow belonging to a white settler, and that they expected and intended to pay for it whatever it might be worth, probably not more than $20. And there were many other such charges that took up the greater part of the money. The Indians, however, secured some, and returned to their reservation. There was quite a feeling among the citizens regarding the capture of the agent by the Indians; some declaring whatever he might have done the Indians ought not to have molested [graphic] I him, while others were moved to pity by the distress and sufiferings endured by the Indians who had depended upon the money for support during the winter. Mr. Hawley is a gentleman of pleasing address, of ripe culture, and of rare energy and stability of character, traits well fitting him for the responsibilities of the important offices that he holds. In him we have the rare example, worthy of being widely followed, of a business man without stain, a wealthy man without selfishness, a charitable man without ostentation. MW
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