Biography of Albert M. Hadley

Albert M. Hadley, a pioneer settler and owner of 160 acres of farmland in Eureka township, has witnessed the transformation of a frontier district into a prosperous agricultural area. Born in Indiana in 1854, he began farming in Iowa after reaching the age of twenty. In 1875, he settled in Adair county, rented land, and eventually purchased his present property. Hadley has made significant improvements on his land, raising thoroughbred shorthorn cattle and Poland China hogs. As the oldest resident of the township, he has played an active role in local politics, serving as a justice of the peace and a member of the school board.

Albert M Hadley family
Albert M Hadley family

Albert M. Hadley is the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of excellent farmland in Eureka township, his home being on section 21. He is one of the pioneer settlers of this part of the state and has been a witness of the many changes which have occurred, transforming a frontier district into a prosperous agricultural section. At the time of his arrival here deer were running wild over the prairie and on their land a little house had been built to show that the work of improvement and civilization had begun. Mr. Hadley relates many and interesting tale concerning the early days, for the history of Adair count y is largely familiar to him. A native of Indiana, he was born in Hendricks county on the 6th of October, 1854, and is a son of Jonathan and Emeline (Marshall) Hadley. The father was a native of that county and a shoemaker by trade, but after working at the last for some time he took up the occupation of farming, following his removal to Iowa. It was in 1863 that he came to this state, settling first in Guthrie county, where he engaged in farming for a year. He then went to Dallas county and purchased a farm east of Dexter, spending the remainder of his days there, his death occurring in May, 1875. His wife was a ntive of Indiana and they were married in Hamilton county, that state. Her death occurred in Tama, Iowa, December 8, 1912, at which time she was making her home there with her daughters.

Albert M. Hadley remained under the parental roof until he reached the age of twenty years and then began farming on his own account, renting land in Madison county for a year. In 1875 he arrived in Adair county and for thirteen years rented land in Eureka township on section 10. He afterward purchased eighty acres of his present place and took up his abode thereon. All of the improvements have been placed there by him and he has erected a new residence and substantial barns. In 1910 he added to his original purchase a tract of eighty acres on the northwest quarter of section 21. He carries on general farming and stock-raising and breeds thoroughbred shorthorn cattled and Poland China hogs. He began breeding high grade stock in 1885 and has ever kept his herds up to the best. He sells his cattle to feeders, but feeds hogs himself for the market, and he cultivates his entire track of one hundred and sixty acres with the aid of his sons. When he arrived in the county forty years ago nearly all of the distict was raw prairie. Eureka township contained only twenty-nine voters, none of whom are now left, save Mr. Hadley, who is today the oldest resident of the township. Conditions are very different now from what they were when he arrived, for the deer ran wild over the land and there was not an improvement upon the place where Mr. Hadley now makes his home. When he first came here he was offered one hundred and sixty acres of land at six dollars per acre on twenty years time, but was afraid to make the investment, fearing that the land was not worth it. Much land at that time sold for from six to ten dollars per acre and the most farsighted could scarcely have dreamed that the property would ever attain the value which it has today.

In 1877 Mr. Hadley was united in marriage to Miss Cliste Diddy, a daughter of Peter and Jane (West) Diddy. She died February 21, 1910. There were eight children of that marriage: Aura, the wife of R. B. Smith, of Des Moines; Claude D., who died at the age of sixteen years; Delman E., a farmer of Grove township, who married Iva Reed; Bertha J., the wife of Jesse Handley, a farmer now living near Council Bluffs, Iowa; Pearl, the wife of J. R. Russell, a farmer of Eureka township; Leslie E., who is engaged in farming in that township; Wilbur, who follows farming in Prussia township; and Walter J., who assists his father in the operations of the home place. On Christmas Day of 1912 Mr. Hadley again married, his second union being with Mrs. Amelia J. Burns, the widow of Henry T. Burns, of Dallas county. By her first marriage Mrs. Hadley had four children: Matie, who is now the widow of Edward McClure and resides in Dallas Center; Henrietta, the wife of Joseph P. Fox, of Stuart; Harry, living at Dallas Center; and Ruth, also residing at Dallas Center.

In his political views Mr. Hadley has been an earnest republican since age conferred upon him the right of franchise. He firmly believes in the principles of the party and does all in his power to secure its success. He is now filling the office of justice of the peace, serving for his tenth year. He has likewise been officially connected with the schools as a member of the school board, serving now for the third year as treasurer of the township board. He holds membership with the United Brethren church of Eureka Centerr, taking an active interest in its work. He has been a factor in advancing the material, intellectual and moral progress of his community and as one of the honored pioneer settlers he is most widely and favorably known.


Kilburn, Lucian Moody ed.; History of Adair county, Iowa, and Its People; Pioneer Publishing Co., Chicago, 1915.

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