Clifford HAWS, a capitalist who has figured prominently in the business circles of Henry and of Marshall county, was born in Magnolia, Putnam county, Illinois, August 8, 1874. He is a son of Captain William HAWS, who was born in Orange county, Virginia, September 23, 1800, and who in 1805 was taken by his parents to Ohio, where he remained until he attained his majority. On the 27th of August, 1821, he became a pioneer of Sangamon county, Illinois, where he conducted a tannery for a time, and in 1826 he went to Putnam county, settling on section 26, Magnolia township, which was at that time, however, a part of Tazewell county. He built the first log cabin between Ottawa and Washington in 1826 and was one of the first residents in this part of the country. His life was devoted to fanning and he became the owner of a number of farms, embracing several thousand acres of land. He also contributed in substantial measure to the reclamation of his part of the state from the dominion of the red race, and aided materially in converting it into uses of civilization. He was a man of benevolent and charitable spirit, and built a church in Magnolia and paid its pastor out of his own funds. His political allegiance was given to the democracy. He won his title as commander of a volunteer company in the Black Hawk war, and thus he aided in the subjugation of the Indians who resented the encroachments of the white man upon their hunting grounds. At his house, in 1831, Putnam county was organized, and he served on the first grand jury that here convened, the first term of court being held at the old traveling house near Hennepin. Governor Ford was then prosecuting attorney of the district.
Captain HAWS was twice married. He first wedded Lucinda SOUTHWICK, a native of New York, who was a typical frontier woman, brave and fearless, and shared with her husband in all the trials and privations of pioneer life at a time when Indians were more numerous than the white settlers and many wild animals were to be seen in the forest or on the prairies. Her death occurred July 4, 1867, and Captain HAWS afterward wedded Mrs. Louisa MOFFITT (nee DEFENBAUGH), a native of Illinois. There were five children by this marriage, of whom two are living: Clifford, of this review; and Joel, who is now living retired. He is quite active in local political circles and is serving as supervisor. The father died in December, 1884, and the mother's death occurred in 1882.
Clifford HAWS, whose name introduces this record, acquired his early education in the public schools of Magnolia, Illinois, and afterward went to the east, continuing his education in Boston and in Tufts College at Medford, Massachusetts. He afterward spent two years and a half in the employ of the Smith-Premier Typewriter Company of Boston, Massachusetts, and then came to Illinois to supervise his property interests, having inherited a goodly estate from his father. For five years he resided upon a stock farm near Magnolia, where he was engaged in the breeding and raising of pure bred cattle, and he is still the owner of that property and business. He is now engaged in the sale of automobiles in Henry and has a fine garage here. Personally he owns a machine, the Rambler, of forty-five horse power, and touring over the country is to him a chief source of delight and recreation. In the management of his business affairs he has ever displayed keen discernment and ready sagacity, and his investments, being judiciously placed, have brought to him a very gratifying annual return, while his holdings number him with the capitalists of Henry.
Mr. HAWS was married in 1895 to Miss Roberta CHAPIN, of Boston, Massachusetts, and they have four children, Una Louise, Barbara Vicher, Gertrude and Roberta. In politics Mr. HAWS is an independent democrat. He belongs to the Peoria Auto Club and is prominent socially. He has had time and opportunity to cultivate the social and intellectual graces of life which, owing to the stress of circumstances, were denied the pioneer settlers on the frontier, and is one in whom learning and culture have vied to make an interesting and entertaining gentleman.
Extracted July 2011 by Norma Hass from
Past and Present of Marshall and Putnam Counties