HAYS H. McELROY
became postmaster of Vinton, February 8, 1909, by appointment from
President Roosevelt. He has been an active business man and resident of
Vinton for nearly half a century, having located here in May, 1861, and
with the exception of the time spent in the army has lived here ever
He was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, April 13, 1841. His
father, James McElroy, was a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania,
for many years was manager and bookkeeper at an iron works in that
state, and died in 1888, at the age of eighty-four. The mother was
Rebecca (Keith) McElroy, a native of Huntingdon county, where she died
September 17, 1909, at the age of ninety-one. They had eleven children
in all, and three sons and three daughters are living, Hays H. being
the only one in Benton county.
Mr. McElroy spent the first twenty years of his life in Pennsylvania,
and received a common school education there. On coming to Vinton to
begin his active business career, he was first a clerk in Paul
Correll's dry-goods store from May to September, 1861. He then enlisted
in Company G, of the Thirteenth Iowa Infantry, and after twenty months'
service was discharged on account of illness and disability. He was in
the battle of Shiloh, and also in the fighting with guerillas at
Henderson, Kentucky. On returning from the war he became a clerk in the
drug store of W. B. Van Horn, and then for eighteen or twenty years was
identified with the hardware business of George Horridge, after which
he was a clerk for a while in F. D. Tonney's hardware business. With
George Gale and S, F. Parzybok he then bought the latter business, and
the firm continued that way five years, when it became McElroy &
Lorenz, and later McElroy & Zollinger. Two years later the business
was consolidated with the Iowa Hardware Company. Mr. McElroy was in the
furniture business for a time until accepting the place of postmaster.
Mr. McElroy is a stanch Republican. For two terms he served in the city
council of Vinton. He is a member of P. M. Coder Post No. 98, G. A. R.,
and formerly was affiliated with other orders. He and his wife are
members of the Methodist church.
He married, after returning from the war, Miss Sarah M. Redfield. Her
parents came from Cazenovia, New York, to Benton county about 1856, and
her father, Stephen D. Redfield, who was a shoemaker by trade, died in
Yiriton in 1881, at the age of eighty-seven. He had served as first
lieutenant of Company A, Thirty-seventh Iowa Infantry, this being the
noted "Graybeard" regiment. Mrs. McElroy was a student in Cazenovia
Seminary, and taught a term of school after coming to Benton county.
Mr. and Mrs. McElroy have two children, Winnifred and George Dexter,
the latter being mentioned below. Winnifred is the wife of D. C. Main,
a banker of Wayne, Nebraska. They have three children, Hays M., Helen
Marie and Winnifred Louise.