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History of Benton County, Iowa
The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, 1910; Luther B. Hill, Ed.

Pages 534-535

HAYS H. McELROY became postmaster of Vinton, February 8, 1909, by appointment from President Roosevelt. He has been an active business man and resident of Vinton for nearly half a century, having located here in May, 1861, and with the exception of the time spent in the army has lived here ever since.

He was born in Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, April 13, 1841. His father, James McElroy, was a native of Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, for many years was manager and bookkeeper at an iron works in that state, and died in 1888, at the age of eighty-four. The mother was Rebecca (Keith) McElroy, a native of Huntingdon county, where she died September 17, 1909, at the age of ninety-one. They had eleven children in all, and three sons and three daughters are living, Hays H. being the only one in Benton county.

Mr. McElroy spent the first twenty years of his life in Pennsylvania, and received a common school education there. On coming to Vinton to begin his active business career, he was first a clerk in Paul Correll's dry-goods store from May to September, 1861. He then enlisted in Company G, of the Thirteenth Iowa Infantry, and after twenty months' service was discharged on account of illness and disability. He was in the battle of Shiloh, and also in the fighting with guerillas at Henderson, Kentucky. On returning from the war he became a clerk in the drug store of W. B. Van Horn, and then for eighteen or twenty years was identified with the hardware business of George Horridge, after which he was a clerk for a while in F. D. Tonney's hardware business. With George Gale and S, F. Parzybok he then bought the latter business, and the firm continued that way five years, when it became McElroy & Lorenz, and later McElroy & Zollinger. Two years later the business was consolidated with the Iowa Hardware Company. Mr. McElroy was in the furniture business for a time until accepting the place of postmaster.

Mr. McElroy is a stanch Republican. For two terms he served in the city council of Vinton. He is a member of P. M. Coder Post No. 98, G. A. R., and formerly was affiliated with other orders. He and his wife are members of the Methodist church.  

He married, after returning from the war, Miss Sarah M. Redfield. Her parents came from Cazenovia, New York, to Benton county about 1856, and her father, Stephen D. Redfield, who was a shoemaker by trade, died in Yiriton in 1881, at the age of eighty-seven. He had served as first lieutenant of Company A, Thirty-seventh Iowa Infantry, this being the noted "Graybeard" regiment. Mrs. McElroy was a student in Cazenovia Seminary, and taught a term of school after coming to Benton county. Mr. and Mrs. McElroy have two children, Winnifred and George Dexter, the latter being mentioned below. Winnifred is the wife of D. C. Main, a banker of Wayne, Nebraska. They have three children, Hays M., Helen Marie and Winnifred Louise.



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