A Narrative History
The People of Iowa
SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN
EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY,
EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M.
Curator of the
Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc.
Chicago and New York
HON. W. C. HAYWARD left a strong impression upon the commercial life of his
home City of Davenport and over the state at large. He is recalled for his
leadership in the Republican party and particularly for his service as secretary
of state for many years.
W. C. Hayward died September 17, 1917, at the age of seventy years. He was
born in Cattaraugus County, New York, November 22, 1847, and was of English
and Scotch ancestry. In 1864, when he was seventeen years of age, his parents
moved out to Hancock County, Iowa, and in 1867 the family settled in
W. C. Hayward had the school advantages such as most boys of the Middle West in his generation were able to secure. His experience included farm work, clerking in a store, teaching two or three terms of school. At the age of
twenty-one he enrolled in the first class at the opening of the Iowa State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts at Ames and remained in that institution until the middle of his junior year.
After leaving college he had a career of varied and increasingly useful service. He was surveyor of Winnebago County, was a half owner of the Winnebago Press, and in 1873, at Garner in Hancock County, bought the Hancock Signal and was editor of the paper and postmaster for eleven years. He helped organize the City Bank of Garner and became its cashier. This was later merged with the Hancock County Bank, becoming the First National Bank.
W. C. Hayward subsequently became associated with William Finch in the firm
of Finch & Hayward, dealers in grain, coal and live stock. In 1886 the firm
moved their headquarters to DAvenport, and that was the home and business
center of Mr. Hayward the last thirty-five years of his life. The firm operated
a line of twenty-five stations in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota. Mr.
Hayward also helped organize and was one of the officers of the company that
built the so-called "Slippery Elm" railroad from below Eldora to Iowa Falls and
Alden. He was one of the organizers of the Union Savings Bank of Davenport,
served as its president for some years and was president of the Davenport
He was a member of the Davenport school board nine years, serving as president of the board for seven years of this time. A staunch Republican, he enjoyed the confidence of party leaders and his presence was regarded as indispensable in all the councils of the state party. In 1897 he was elected a member of the State Senate, and reelected in 1901, serving in the Twenty-seventh, Twenty-eight, Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth and Thirty-first General Assemblies. In 1906 he was called to the responsibilities of the office of secretary of state at Des Moines, and was twice reelected to that office. After retiring from politics Mr. Hayward concentrated his attention upon his business affairs, giving his attention largely to the Davenport Ladder Company, of which he was president and principal owner. His son Verner E., is now president and treasurer of this company.
W. C. Hayward married at Forest City, Iowa, May 1, 1872, Miss Della M.
Draper. They became the parents of four children. The son Roy F. Hayward was an attorney at Bremerton, Washington, and died in 1928. Another son, Burt W. Hayward, is in the real estate business at Long Beach, California.
Verner E. Hayward, who now represents the family at Davenport, was born in that city, was well educated and as a young man became associated with his father in the Davenport Ladder Company. He became president of the business in 1917, after his father's death. Mr. Verner Hayward married, in 1904, Kate Ford, a native of Manchester, Delaware County, Iowa, and daughter of John Ford. They have three children: William Ford Hayward, vice president of the Davenport Ladder Company; Katherine B. now Mrs. Vernon W. Furrow, of Witten, South Dakota; and John.
Verner E. Hayward has many of the social and civic characteristics of his
honored father. He has attained the supreme honorary thirty-third degree in
Scottish Rite Masonry, was master of Davenport Lodge No. 37 in 1911, is a
member of Davenport Chapter, Royal Arch Masons, St. Simon of Cyrene Comandery, Knights Templar, and has been presiding officer of Zarephath Consistory. He is a member of Kaaba Temple of the Mystic Shrine and was president of the Masonic Temple Association during the construction of the splendid new temple at Davenport. He has for several years been a member of the Davenport school board, of which he is now president. Mr. Hayward is a past president of the Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Outing Club, Contemporary Club. He and his family are Methodists.
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