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Hiram HEATON's home - Woodthrush Park


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 5/2/2011 at 15:31:00

From “Our Fairfield” by Susan Welty
Publ. 1968, Page 428

Hiram HEATON ( born 1845 ) died in 1922 as the result of a fall while he was visiting in Washington, Iowa. He willed his twenty six acre homestead, with the little white frame house in which he had lived his solitary life, to Fairfield as a park for nature study, to be called Woodthrush Park Preserve. He had already made it an arboretum with many rare native wild flowers, trees, and shrubs, for he was an ardent nature lover and feared, rightly, that many might become extinct.

The city deeded the park, nearly ten miles from Fairfield, to 25 close friends of Hiram HEATON, as the “Hiram Heaton Park Association” so that they would look after it. They were all elderly, and by 1928 it was clear that they could not long continue their supervision. They offered the park to the State of Iowa, which accepted it and made it a state forest preserve. But by 1962 the State Conservation Commission found the park too small and isolated for good administration. It was deeded back to the Fairfield Community School District for conservation study.

Hiram HEATON’s little cottage, left uncared for, had become a home only for birds and animals, and was taken down.(about 1969) The one memorial to gentle, generous, public-spirited Hiram HEATON is the monument that marks his grave at Glasgow. On that, according to his will, is carved: “He memorized all of Tennyson’s IN MEMORIAM after (sic - in) his 50th year”.

(In 2011 the landowner is the City of Fairfield and it has become an overgrown mess with so many fallen trees, visited only by the many deer, squirrels, pheasants and in the fall season some area hunters. The county attempts to keep all the volunteer cedar trees trimmed back along the adjoining gravel road otherwise it would not even be visible to those driving by.)

Transcribed by Verda Baird and submitted for posting; no relation to the person mentioned.


Jefferson Documents maintained by Joey Stark.
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