JOHN H. HALE.
One of the early residents of Waukon and a man who has many claims to the honor and respect of his fellow citizens
is John H. Hale, who came to the city in 1865 after a long and honorable period of service in the Civil war and
who from that time to the present has been a central figure in mercantile circles here. For almost half a century
he has witnessd the work of development and progress which has transformed the community and to an important extent
has been identified with it, working along constructive and progressive lines through many active and honorable
years until today he stands among the substantial and successful men of the city he aided in upbuilding.
Mr. Hale was born in Hartford, Connecticut, September 26, 1838, and acquired his education in Wilson Seminary in
Massachusetts. He took a course in civil engineering and after completing it came west to Wisconsin in the fall
of 1856, locating in La Crosse on the loth of October of that year. He there engaged in important engineering work
on the Milwaukee Railroad and afterward was identified with the construction of the Root. River Valley Road. In
1859 he went to Texas and practiced his profession there until the outbreak of the Civil war. In 1861 he enlisted
in the Union army, joining Company D, Thirteenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and as a private was sent to the
front. He participated in numerous engagements, including the battles of Shiloh, Chickamauga and Mission Ridge
and was with Sherman on his march to the sea. At Chickamauga he received a gunshot wound in the leg. He came to
Waukon and married in February, 1864, and almost immediately afterward returned to the front and, rejoining his
command, served until the close of the war. He won promotion from the rank of private to that of second and then
first lieutenant and was afterward captain and acting major through the Carolinas. He marched with his regiment
to Washington, where he took part n the famous grand review, afterward receiving his honorable discharge at Jackson,
Michigan, on July 25, 1865. John H. Hale was related to Nathan Hale of Revolutionary fame.
With this credible military record Mr. Hale came to Waukon and soon afterward engaged in merchandising, an occupation
with which he has now been identified for forty eight years. Under the firm name of J H Hale & Company he established
a small business which he enlarged with his increasing trade until he now has one of the largest dry goods concerns
in the city. For years C. W. Jenkins was a member of the firm and since his death the name of the firm has been
J. H. Hale & Sons. A few years ago he erected a fine modern building to accommodate his growing patronage and
on two of the floors carries an immense stock of goods which is well selected and tastefully arranged. Each year
has seen an increase in the volume and importance of his business, which now amounts to more than fifty thousand
dollars annually. Many changes have been made in the firm name since 1865, the title being today J. H. Hale &
Sons, assumed when Mr. Hale admitted his two sons as partners.
Although he has won notable success as a merchant Mr. Hale has done equally important work in civil engineering
during the years of his residence in Waukon. When the Waukon & Milwaukee Railroad was built into the city by
private subscription he had charge of the engineering and construction work and he was also assistant engineer
in charge of the construction of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the Wisconsin Central. In his early years
he delighted to leave his store and go into the open to work on engineering projects and he continued his activity
in this line until 1905, when he met with an accident, having been run over by an engine and sustaining the loss
of his right arm. He is numbered among the notably successful men of Waukon, owning, besides his business and the
property upon which his store is located, a fine modern residence.
In February, 1864 Mr. Hale married Miss Henrietta M. Huestis, a native of Nova Scotia, who came here with her parents
when young, and they have three children: Emily H., the wife of E. F. Wedary, of whom further mention is made elsewhere
in this work; and Charles J. and W. H., partners in their father's business. Charles J. Hale is married and has
four children, three sons and a daughter. Mrs. John H. Hale has since been called to her final rest.
Mr. Hale has been for many years identified with the republican party and is in sympathy with the progressive wing
of the organization. He is a member of the Loyal Legion of Honor. His wife belonged to the Methodist Episcopal
church. He has been at all times interested in the welfare of the city and has given his active cooperation to
many movements for the public good, while his efforts in behalf of general improvement have been effective and
far reaching. Living in Waukon for forty eight years, he is one of the best known citizens in the locality, being
widely recognized as a man of tried integrity and worth, of business enterprise and unfaltering diligence. His
fellow townsmen honor and respect him and wherever he is known he has an extensive circle of friends. Moreover,
he deserves mention in this volume as one of the veterans of the Civil war, to whom the country owes a debt of
gratitude that can never be fully repaid.
Past and Present of Allamakee County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievemant
By: Ellery M. Hancock
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Allamakee County, IA
For all your genealogy needs visit Linkpendium