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HAYZLETT, George W., Hon.


Posted By: P. Bergmeier (email)
Date: 5/15/2005 at 19:17:54

Hon. George W. Hayzlett, of La Porte City, a man of remarkable personality and of signal achievement, in both business and political life, is one of the citizens of Black Hawk County, whose useful and eventful career has been of such a character as to bring this section into honorable prominence. Mr. Hayzlett has long been an active resident of this part of the State, and has been closely identified with its interests. His birth took place on a farm in the vicinity of Indianapolis, Indiana, February 16, 1837. His parents were Andrew and Elizabeth(Hughart)Hayzlett, natives of the Old Dominion.

Andrew Hayzlett was born in 1801, and his wife in 1803, and both died at Mount Vernon, Iowa, at the ages of 85 and 90 years, respectively. The family was made up of three sons and one daughter, namely: John G., William H., George W., and Ocea, wife of Rev. C.A. Hawn, of Mount Vernon. John G. Hayzlett served during three years in the Civil War as 1st Lieutenant of Company F, 24th Reg. Iowa Vol. Inf., and later engaged in farming and merchandising in Nebraska, and died at Marion, Linn County, Iowa, aged 72 years. William H. Hayzlett was also a farmer, and died at Walker, Linn County, aged 68 years.

The pioneering spirit of his parents, which led them to leave Virginia and seek a home first in Indiana and later in Iowa, made George W. Hayzlett a resident of the latter State in 1851, when he was 14 years of age. The parents settled on a farm in Linn County, and the son was place at school, spending two years in what was then the Iowa Conference Seminary, but is now known as Cornell College, an educational institution which has a reputation all over, and even beyond, the State.

At the age of 17 years, Mr. Hayzlett entered the mercantile establishment of N.W. McCain, of Mount Vernon, Iowa, and a year later became an employee of the firm of Waln & Willey, with which he continued three years. Then he formed a mercantile partnership with J.B. Barrett, and later with A.P. Risley, and was associated with them until 1860. At this date he purchased Mr. Risley's interest and removed the business to La Porte City, conducting here a general mercantile business until 1871. This long business career had been more or less interrupted by the changs and agitations brought about by the Civil War, in which both he and his elder brother took an absorbing interest, resulting in the enlistment of the former and his subsequent valorous military career, and the rejection of the latter on account of ill health. This did not, however, prevent Mr. Hayzlett from taking an active part in promoting enlistments, as he served at one time as assistant provost marshal, and promoted those necessary movements at home which made possible the success of the army at the front.

In 1868, Mr. Hayzlett was elected supervisor of Big Creek township, Black Hawk County. He has been an active and ardent supporter of the principles of the Republican party since becoming a voter, and has been an office holder under four Republican administrations.

In 1862, he was appointed postmaster at La Porte City by President Lincoln, an office he continued to hold under President Grant. He resigned it in 1873, in the fall of which year he as elected sheriff of Black Hawk County, and entered upon the duties of an office which he efficiently filled from January, 1874, to January, 1884, being elected for five consecutive terms. In 1874 his party brought him forward as their candidate for the State House of Representatives and elected him to the office with considerable eclat. During his incumbency, which continued until 1888, he made a record which reflects credit upon his party, his constituency and himself. During his whole political career, he has been a leading spirit in the councils of his party and, as a delegate, and a prominent committeeman, he has had much to do with the election of the highest officials in the country to their responsible offices.

Mr. Hayzlett has been financially interested in many of the business enterprises in Black Hawk County, one of these being the Union State Bank, which was organized in 1874, and of which he accepted the presidency, a position he filled until his appointment of a high official position which required years of absence from the city. It is easily recalled that Mr. Hayzlett started the first creamery in Black Hawk County. This industry was commenced in 1876, when he bought out a brewry, and, which the late Dr. Jesse Wasson, who was so well favorably known in this locality. He was the founder of this city, giving it the name of hiw own birth place, which was La Porte, a well known city of Indiana. For about eight years Mr. Hayzlett was also an active partner in an implement business at La Porte City, and many other successsful business investments have prospered partly on account of being backed by his counsel and finances.

In 1898, the late lamented President McKinley proffered Mr. Hayzlett the apointment of agent to the Navajo Indians, Arizona. After the reflection the offer was accepted and Mr. Hayzlett closed up his various business interests at La Porte City, and prepared for his residence of five years in the far away Territory. Among the many pleasant incidents of this time, and touching testimonials from his admiring fellow citizens, was the presentation to him of a fine gold watch, appropriately inscribed by the directors of the Union Sate Bank, with whom he had intimate relations so long. From this agency, Mr. Hayzlett has just returned, his mission accomplished, and has settled down again, a resident of Black Hawk County, occupying his farm, which is just within the city limits of La Porte City. His handsome home contains many beautiful and intersting fabrics manufactured by this strange old race of Indians, who, working as did their forefathers with many primitive tools, are still able to produce the blankets, coverings and artistic objects, which the cultivatd world is glad to purchase at high prices.

In 1868, Mr. Hayzlett was united in marriage with Malissa J. Waln, who was born April 15, 1840, near Sringfield, Ohio, and is a daughter of Elijah and Mary J.(Adams)Waln. The four sons born to this marriage were as follows: Charles A., a resident of La Porte City; Paris L., an attorney of La Porte City; John G., a farmer; and Earnest E., who died at the family home, aged 28 years. This bright young man was an expert telegrapher and was engaged on the Board of Trade, at Chicago, for two years. There he contracted the cold which subsequently closed prematurely what promised to be a very successful career.

Mr. Hayzlett has been prominently identified with the Masonic fratnerity in Iowa. He is a charter member of Trowel Lodge, No. 216, A.F. & A.M., and a member of the Chapter and Consistory at Waterloo, and of El Kahir Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine in Cedar Rapids.

History of Black Hawk County, Iowa, and Representative Citizens, edited and compiled by Isaiah Van Metre, published in 1904 by Biographical Publishing Company, Chicago, IL. , pp. 341-343.


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