Charles W. Hawes was born on May 3, 1852 in Logan County, Illinois to Peter J. and Julia A. (Bowles) Hawes. Peter and Julia came to Butler County in 1876, bringing with them their family of 8 children, Jesse, Isabella, Mary, Charles, Louisa, Joseph, Nancy and Marion. Prior to leaving Illinois, he served for two years in the Illinois legislature. He was considered as one of the pioneer members and elders in the Christian Church.
Charles was 26 when he came to Butler County, having married Emily Melrose on September 15, 1872 in Logan County, Illinois. They had seven children; however, only three were listed on the 1910 Federal Census: Josephine, Earl and Anna.
From 1876 through 1880, Charles was a harness maker in ElDorado. In 1880 he and the family moved to Augusta and he joined Andrew Ryan in his harness-making business. He continued working with Andy until 1904 when he was appointed to the position of Augusta Postmaster. Interestingly, Andy was also Postmaster just prior to Charles being appointed. Our photos of 1904 merchants of Augusta show both Charles and daughter, Anna. Anna was appointed as Clerk for the Augusta Post Office. Their family lived in the 600 block of Santa Fe across from the hospital.
Anna married Michael Merten and they had one son, Charles. At the time of her death in 1963, she lived in New York. Her son, Charles, had her remains brought back to Augusta and she is buried in Elmwood Cemetery next to her husband, Matthew, who died in 1949.
Josephine did not marry and upon her death in 1971 while living in Colorado, her body was returned to be buried in Elmwood Cemetery. Earl married three times, had three children and became a druggist in the Kansas City area. He passed away in 1949 and is buried in Kansas City.
In Laroux Gillespie’s Merchants of Augusta, Kansas: 1870-1880, he notes that in a 1900 newspaper an ad reflects: ‘The firm buys no goods whatever from the factories, everything in the harness and saddler line being made at their own establishment, under the personal supervision of Messrs. Ryan & Hawes, who are both practical harness makers.’
Burl Allison in Augusta, Kansas 1868-1990 indicated that around 1916 Andy Ryan and Charles Hawes had sold their harness shop to John Gibson, who had bought the Arnsteen harness shop too. Mr. Ryan planned to work with the Mutual Telephone Company and Mr. Hawes was campaigning for the position of County Treasurer. Charles served for 11 years on the Board of Education as well as the City Council. He was a prominent Mason, serving for two years as Master of the Masonic Lodge. He was a member of the Christian Church.
Charles died on March 1, 1918 and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery. His wife, Emily, died on June 18, 1935 and is also buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
Photos include: Family photo of Charles, Emily, Anna, Earl and Josephine; individual photos of Charles and daughter, Anna; Anna’s husband, Matthew; and, a photo of Charles’ father, Peter Hawes.