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Edgar Hayden, after long years of active connection with agricultural interests, is now living a retired life in Lowell and belongs to a family of prominence in the county--a family that has taken a very active and helpful part in the work of public progress and improvement. He was born in West Creek township, October 16, 1846, and in a family of thirteen children is the eleventh in order of birth. His parents are Nehemiah and Harriet Kitchell Hayden, and the family history is given in connection with the sketch of Joseph Hayden on another page of this volume.
No event of special importance occurred to vary the routine of farm life for Mr. Hayden in his youth. In his boyhood he pursued his education in a log schoolhouse, which had a puncheon floor and was seated with slab benches. He attended through the winter months, and when spring came he assisted in the work of plowing and planting in the fields, continuing their cultivation until after crops were harvested in the late autumn. He started out to earn his own living when a mere boy, working by the month as a farm hand, and thus he was employed until 1861, when he was married and began farming on his own account. He secured as a companion and helpmate for life's journey Miss Rachel Knisely, as sister of the wives of Jacob and Lewis Hayden. She was born in New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas county, Ohio, February 16, 1841, and is the third in a family of five daughters.
The young couple began their domestic life in Yellowhead township, Kankakee county, Illinois, just across the state line that divides Illinois and Indiana. His barn, however, was located in Lake county, while the house stood in Kankakee county. Mr. Hayden was there engaged in farming for a quarter of century, and during that period he transformed his land into very arable and productive fields, making his property one of value and also of attractive appearance. When twenty-five years had passed he put aside farm labor and took up his abode in Lowell. He at one time had two hundred and sixty acres of land, but has since sold one hundred acres, and he now rents the remaining quarter section. His first purchase of land comprised sixty-five acres, for which he paid fifteen dollars per acre, and the greatest price which he ever paid was thirty-seven dollars per acre. He sold one hundred acres in October, 1903 for one hundred dollars per acre, a fact which indicates how well he had improved the property. He began life a poor man, but by his own energy and unflagging perseverance, supplemented by the assistance of his estimable wife, he has become the owner of a valuable farm and is to-day enjoying the fruits of his former toil in a comfortable home in Lowell, his competence being sufficient to enable him to surrounding himself and family with the necessities and many of the comforts and luxuries of life. To Mr. and Mrs. Hayden have been born two children, Nellie, who is now the wife of Charles Beebe, who is living a half mile west of Lowell upon a farm in West Creek township; and Seigel, who resides in Lowell.
Mr. Hayden is numbered among the honored pioneer settlers of Lake county. The family was established here in 1837, and since that time has been closely identified with the improvement and upbuilding of the county. In the family were eight sons and five daughters, most of whom have remained residents of this county. When a boy Edgar Hayden drove ox teams to Chicago, taking grain and hogs to the city market in that way. There were no railroads at that time and he did teaming to the city even after his marriage. His political views have ever been in harmony with the principles of the Republican party, but he has never sought or desired the honors or emoluments of public office. He has endeavored to live peaceably with all men, and has himself been engaged in no lawsuit. He is now a member of the town council of Lowell and is deeply interested in everything pertaining to its progress and upbuilding.
Ball, T.H., Encyclopedia of Genealogy and Biography of Lake County, Indiana, Lewis, 1904, pp 496-497]
Submitted By Philip L. Ritter
Email philr@leland.Stanford.edu