submitted by Neal Carter, Sept. 28, 2007

April 5th, 1891

Rev. James B. Hawley, who for over forty years had been a resident of this county, died at his home (the Morford place) near this city at 12:10 p. m., yesterday, of la grippe, with which he had been suffering in addition to the infirmities of age for several weeks.

Mr. Hawley was born in Oneida county, New York, March 8, 1809, and was consequently in his 82d year. His father was a soldier of the war of 1812. When the son was 21 years of age he emigrated to Ohio and six years later to Lee county, Ills., where he entered land and developed a farm upon which he built a log cabin and there passed many happy years with his first wife, whom he married in Ohio. In 1852 Mr. Hawley came to Muscatine, where he engaged in mercantile business for a short time. Selling out, he embarked in the business of making stoneware near Fairport. In 1862 he enlisted as a private in the 37th Iowa (“Greybeard”) regiment, remaining in the service till 1863, when he was discharged at Columbus, Ohio, on account of physical disability.

There were born to Mr. Hawley by his first wife (nee Rhoda Colver) nine children, four of whom are living – Clarinda H. Robinson, and Henry B., living near Sioux City; Huldah Spencer, at Springfield, Ohio, and Clarissa, wife of W. P. Egbert, at Atlantic, Iowa. Mrs. Egbert was with him in his last hours, having arrived last Saturday. His daughter Mary, wife of George Robey, was burned to death in the great prairie fire near Highmore, Dakota, in the summer of 1889. The mother of these children died in 1860 and Mr. Hawley afterward married Margaret I. Warren, widow of Sylvanus Warren, and her death occurred in 1868. He was in 1870 married to Mrs. Sarah Morford, widow of Thomas Morford, who survives him, though she is now supposed to be on her death-bed and is so feeble that she has not yet been informed of the death of her husband.

The deceased was ordained as a local preacher of the Methodist church many years ago but of late years his feeble condition had prevented him from doing much active work for the church, to which he was devotedly attached and in which his life and conversation had been consistent with his professions. His friends and neighbors, who knew him best, feel that a good man has gone to his rest.

The funeral will probably be on Wednesday. Fixing of the time is deferred in expectation that Mrs. Clarissa Smith, Mrs. Hawley’s daughter, who lives in California, will arrive to-morrow evening, so as to be present.

And his host of friends are willing that the honor of being Iowa’s oldest son should rest with one, who, in all the qualities and relations of a noble citizenship has reflected honor upon this commonwealth.

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