Biography of David R. Hawley
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

DAVID R. HAWLEY. The distinctive feature of the career of David R. Hawley, so well known in Cleveland, was his fifty years of active association with the hotel business. For the greater part of that time he was in Cleveland, and since retiring from the hotel business, has continued active in local business affairs as a real estate man. Of all the hotel men in Cleveland in 1866 he is the only one now living. Mr. Hawley has seen many hotels come and go in this city.

He was born in Thurlow Township, Hastings County, Ontario, Canada. His father, Davis Hawley, was born in the Township of Fredericksburg, Ontario. David R. Hawley was reared on a farm in Canada. He was educated in the public schools, shared in the labors of the home, and at the age of sixteen began an apprenticeship to learn the trade of harness and saddle maker. He served four years, but did not follow his trade, finding a more congenial opportunity at Rochester, New York, as inside steward in the Clinton Hotel. The duties of the inside steward were to have charge of the store rooms and supplies. From Rochester Mr. Hawley went to Chicago in the fall of 1865, and served as inside steward at the old Briggs House, then one of the most popular hotels of that city. In January, 1866, he went to the Huff, which later became known as the Transit House. In the spring of 1866 Mr. Hawley came to Cleveland, and has now been a resident of this city ever since.

His first connection in Cleveland was with the Weddell House, then the leading hotel of the city, under landlord Kirkwood. After a short time he went with the City Hotel, of which H. C. Brockway was proprietor. Five years later he formed a partnership with A. M. Lowe to operate the Clinton Hotel, at the corner of Seneca and Champlain streets, now West Third and Columbia streets. In 1879 Mr. Hawley bought the City Hotel, at the corner of Seneca and Rockwell streets, but in July, 1880, sold out to H. B. West and on January 1, 1881, took charge of the Streibenger House on Michigan Street. In October, 1881, he sold this to John B. White, and early in 1882 formed a partnership with his brother, Davis Hawley, and Mr. John Langton. On April 1, 1882, this new firm started the building of the Hawley House at the corner of St. Clair Avenue and Seneca Street. It became one of the very prosperous and popular hotels of the city. At the death of Mr. Langton the brothers bought his interest, and in 1901 David R. Hawley bought his brother's interest and became sole proprietor and continued the Hawley House under his individual management until 1912. He then leased the hotel for ten years, and at the expiration of the lease sold it to the Bolton estate.

Since 1912 Mr. Hawley has devoted his time to a successful business as a realtor. He is a member of the Hotel Men's Mutual Benefit Association of the United States and Canada, and has served as vice president and president of the Ohio State Hotel Men's Association. He is an associate member of the Cleveland Real Estate Board and is a charter member of the Hawley Family Association, whose headquarters are at Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is a member of the old Board of Trade, now the Chamber of Commerce, and he and his wife attend the Second Presbyterian Church.

In 1867 Mr. Hawley married Miss Mary Morey, a native of New York State, who passed away May 14, 1880. In December, 1891, he married Miss Ellen R. Rouse, who was born at Richfield in Summit County, Ohio.

The only living son of Mr. Hawley is Frank M. Hawley, by his first marriage. He was educated in the public schools of Cleveland, in the Kenyon Military Academy and Kenyon College, and for five years was employed by the Euclid Avenue Trust and Savings Company. He then became associated with his father in the hotel business and since then in the real estate business. The son joined the Cleveland Grays as a private in 1901, and in 1908 was promoted to captain and was in service with that famous military organization until 1912. Frank M Hawley married Miss Marian Geiger, daughter of David and Ruth Geiger. They have a daughter, Ruth G. Hawley.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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