Biography of George M. Hawn
Jefferson County, NY Biographies





George Malcom Hawn. - One of the most successful business men of Jefferson County is George Malcom Hawn, who is vice president of the First National Exchange Bank and also owner of the Clayton Manufacturing Company, of Clayton. He was born at Orleans, Jefferson County, Aug. 12, 1871, the son of Cyrus and Sarah (Griswold) Hawn.

Cyrus Hawn was born in Herkimer County and his wife was a native of Depauville, Jefferson County. Throughout his life he successfully followed farming and stock raising. His parents were John and Phoebe Hawn, who were natives of Holland and very early settlers of Herkimer County. They later lived in Jefferson County. Both Cyrus Hawn and his wife are deceased and are buried at Depauville. He was a Republican and an active member of the Presbyterian Church. To Mr. and Mrs. Hawn were born the following children: Ida, the widow of George Harter, lives at Watertown; Edward, lives at Watertown; Alice, married Milton Doxtater, lives at Evans Mills, N. Y.; Lincoln G., who is postmaster at Evans Mills, N. Y. and for many years supervisor for the town of LeRay; Minnie, married John Linstruth, lives at Evans Mills, N. Y.; George Malcom, the subject of this sketch; Clarence, lives at Evans Mills, N. Y., was the first mayor of the village and held the office for several years; and Elbert J., deceased.

The boyhood of George Malcom Hawn was spent at Pamelia, N. Y., and he attended the public schools. He became an agent for the Prudential Insurance Company at Utica, N. Y., and later was transferred to Rochester, N. Y., as assistant superintendent. He spent seven years on the home farm, after which he became associated with S. H. Vandergrift, at Grindstone Island. He then went with C. G. Emery, who was the owner of numerous business enterprises in Clayton, and Mr. Hawn took complete charge of his interests. In 1917 he became identified with L. E. Fry & Company, as builders of flying boats and pontoons for the U. S. Government. When the S. H. B. Company was removed to Clayton in 1919 Mr. Hawn became connected with it. Later, Mr. Hawn, W. H. Consul, L. E. Fry, Edward Denny, Sr., and Otto Schuman organized the Clayton Manufacturing Company and originally were manufacturers of slumber slippers exclusively. They are now widely known makers of bathing suits, sweaters, and sports coats. Mr. Hawn is now sole owner of the enterprise. Approximately 65 people are employed in the plant and the company's products have a wide sale throughout the world. He is also vice president and director of the First National Exchange Bank, having been formerly president of the First National Bank of Clayton until its merger with the National Exchange Bank.

In 1890 Mr. Hawn was united in marriage with Miss Grace R. Otis, the daughter of Levi C. and Mary (Gillette) Otis, who were natives of Depauville, N. Y., and now deceased. Their son, Clyfton, is deceased.

Mr. Hawn has always been a Republican and served as Clayton's first mayor. During his administration the city paving program was completed, and numerous other improvements were made. The most important factor in Mr. Hawn's career was the fact that during his time as mayor he was instrumental in bonding the village and paving the streets as they are today. All streets are paved and nearly all with curbing, as fine as any village in Northern New York. He takes keen interest in civic welfare and has done much in public life towards promoting affairs which have greatly benefited the village.

From:

The North Country
A History, Embracing
Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Oswego, Lewis
and Franklin Counties, New York.
By: Harry F. Landon
Historical Publishing Company
Indianopolis, Indiana 1932


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