Irving Beech Hiett, founder, and president of the Irving B. Hiett Company since its organization, is one of
Toledo's foremost reactors, whose career of more than forty years in real estate circles in this city, has been
a contributing factor to Toledo's growth and development. He was born in Maumee, Ohio, October 8, 1862, a son of
John W. and Mary E. (Beecham) Hiett. The family is of English lineage and was established on the American continent
over two hundred years ago, settlement being made originally in the Shenandoah valley of Virginia. That representatives
of the family were strong in their endorsement of law, order and good government is indicated in the fact that
they were among the organizers of the first anti whisky and anti slavery societies of the Old Dominion.
George and Lydia Hiett, grandparents of Irving B. Hiett, were Quaker people, who removed from Virginia. to Ohio
during the early boyhood of their son, John W. Hiett, who was born in Jefferson county, Virginia, November 11,
1834, and who accompanied his parents when they became residents of 'Seneca county, this state. There he was reared
in the midst of what was then a frontier district, with limited educational opportunities but learning many valuable
lessons from nature and in the school of experience. He was a youth of fifteen when the family returned to Virginia
and there he had the opportunity of attending the Jefferson Academy, from which he was graduated and then became
a teacher. In 1851 he returned to Ohio as a student in Oberlin College and was afterward superintendent of the
public schools in Fremont, Sandusky county, where he organized the graded school system. Later he was a student
and teacher in the Normal department of the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware and afterward served for ten years
as one of the trustees of that institution. In 1860 he established the Elm Grove Normal School at Maumee, which
became the Central Ohio Conference Seminary. Ill health caused his removal to Toledo in 1864 and he became one
of the owners of the Toledo Commercial, while at the same time he was actively interested in various other business
activities, becoming widely known as a real estate dealer. His keen interest in the public welfare along other
lines was also manifest. He was for many years a member of St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal church, served as a teacher
in the Sunday school and was active in all branches of the church work. He was married August 3, 1858, to Mary
E. Beecham. who was born in Plymouth, Ohio, January 14, 1835, a daughter of Joseph and Mary Beecham, who were among
the early English settlers of this state. Like her husband, Mrs. Hiett shared actively in the work of St. Paul's
Methodist Episcopal church and for several years she directed the work of the Maternity Hospital and the Flower
Home for Girls, and was a director of the Adams Street Mission. She also took helpful part in promoting the interests
of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, thus doing much good along benevolent and humanitarian lines, as well
as carefully rearing her family, three of whom survived her, namely: Irving B., Oliver N. and Ella F. Hiett.
Irving B. Hiett was but a child when his parents came to Toledo, where he received his education, graduating from
the old Central high school with the class of 1880. Among his early business connections, was that of employe of
The Blade Printing and Paper Company, where he began as an office boy, later became stock clerk and subsequently
cashier. His father was then in the real estate business and from him Irving B. Hiett acquired his first practical
experience in that line.
On October 1, 1883, he began that business for himself and opened an office in the Boody House on St. Clair street.
Mr. Hiett at that time was about twenty one years old, yet his business venture was a success from the start. In
1906 the business, which was then known as Irving. B. Hiett & Company, was removed to the street floor of the
Nicholas building on Madison avenue, where it has remained. The Irving B. Hiett Company was organized and incorporated
in 1907, with a capital stock of two hundred thousand dollars, for the purpose of handling real estate, insurance
and rentals, and the company confines its operations entirely to Toledo. While it handles all kinds of property,
a considerable volume of business is done in high class business realty. More than sixty subdivisions have been
handled by this firm, including a number of the city's most attractive residential additions, and the construction
of more than six thousand homes represent still further its contribution to Toledo's growth. When the Wabash Railroad
Company planned to connect its line with the Wheeling and Lake Erie Railroad, by building the Toledo Central Station
Railway, Mr. Hiett's company was commissioned to secure the right of way. This was a tremendous task, but successfully
performed and fully ninety per cent of the negotiations were handled through it. Among other operations Mr. Hiett
opened up a large amount of up river property.
Personally and with his friends he has figured in many of the most important real estate transactions in Toledo
during the past thirty five years. In 1888 he owned personally the fee on which now stands the Nicholas building,
also that now occupied by the Toledo Railway and Light Company. Mr. Hiett's long experience in the real estate
circles, has given him a wonderful information on realty values wherein his judgment probably carries as much significance
as that of any man in Toledo. He possesses, apparently, the even balance of those qualities necessary for the successful
real estate man - judgment, foresight, intelligent courage and ability to analyze conditions correctly.
Extensive and important as have been the real estate operations of the Irving B. Hiett Company, it also owns and
controls various other commercial interests, including the business conducted under the name of the Erie Paint
& Paper Company and the Swan Creek Lumber & Supply Company. Mr. Hiett is president of the Investors Realty
Company, the Realty Trust Company, the Monroe Building Company, the Reserve Building Company, the Buckeye Realty
Company, the Combined Realty Company and the Allied Realty Company. No man in Toledo has been more active than
Mr. Hiett in those organizations and reforms that have had to do with placing real estate business on the high
plane it now occupies and the practices of no realtor in the city have done more to dignify the business. He was
one of the organizers of the Toledo Real Estate Board, of which he became first president; he served as president
of the National Association of Real Estate Boards from July 1, 1921, to July 1, 1922; and is a member of the Ohio
Association of Real Estate Exchanges. In 1921 Mr. Hiett was appointed by. Secretary Hoover of The Department of
Commerce, as a member of the advisory committee on zoning. He is a member of the American Construction Council
and is also serving as chairman of the committee from the National Association of Real Estate Boards that is cooperating
with the United States government departments, covering all the real estate transactions of the government. He
was the vice president of the old Chamber of Commerce, which was succeeded by the present Commerce Club, and he
became one of the five charter members of the Rotary Club. He is also a member of the Toledo Club and the Country
Club. His activities have thus reached out along many lines and while being rewarded by individual gain, have also
contributed in a large measure to the progress, development, and upbuilding of the city and the maintenance of
high civic standards.
Mr. Hiett was married December 8, 1886, to Miss Gertrude Boake of Toledo, who was born in Lebanon, this state.
They have two sons living and a daughter that is deceased: Donald F. was educated at Asheville Preparatory School
and Cornell University. He is now associated with his father in business. Nellie G. was educated at Ogontz College
of Pennsylvania, arid Miss Finch's School in New York. She married L. G. Reynolds, and left a son, Irving Hiett
Reynolds, at the time of her death in 1920; Irving B., Jr., is a student at Hotchkiss. The family attend the First
Congregational church and Mr. Hiett turns to golf for recreation.
Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
BY: John M. Killits, A.M., LL.D.
S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Chicago and Toledo
Lucas County, Ohio Biographies
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