Buena Vista County, IA
USGenWeb Project

Extracted from:  Wegerslev, C. H. and Thomas Walpole. 
 Past and Present of Buena Vista County, Iowa
Chicago:  S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1909, p. 354-55.

Transcribed by Paul Nagy

Biography of  William E. Haight

A well improved farm of two hundred and eighty acres, situated on section 18, Elk township, is the home of William E. Haight, one of the public-spirited and progressive pioneer settlers of Buena Vista county. he was born in Erie county, Ohio, February 22, 1847, a son of William and Rebecca (Blackman) Haight, the farmer a native of Orange county, New York, and the latter of Erie county, Ohio.  The father removed from the Empire state to Erie county, Ohio, when a young man and there met and married Miss Blackman.  For several years he was engaged in farming in Erie county but in 1861 continued his journey farther west to Muscatine county, Iowa.  He engaged in farming there for eight years and when Buena Vista county was opened up for settlement, Mr. Haight made his way here and homesteaded eighty acres of land.  He cleared and broke the virgin soil, which in due course of time brought forth rich harvests, so that his animal income therefrom soon enabled him to add to his original holdings an additional eighty-acre tract.  He spent his remaining years on that farm and died in November, 1897.  His wife still survives and yet makes her home on the farm.


William E. Haight is thoroughly familiar with pioneer life, for it was during his early manhood that the family located in Buena Vista county and he assisted his father in developing the home farm and he also homesteaded an adjoining eighty acres, which had to be cleared and developed into a cultivable tract.  As time passed and he prospered in his farming operations he added to his original claim until his farm now embraces two hundred and eighty acres.  He has built a good residence, barn and other outbuildings and has made the place a valuable property.  In addition to his general agricultural pursuits he deals quite extensively in stock, raising, feeding and breeding high grade animals.  He now has a herd of ninety head of shorthorn cattle, with a pure blooded registered male at the head of the herd.  He exhibits his stock at the county fairs and has made two excellent sales at the Alta fair.


Mr. Haight was married in 1877 to Miss Minnie Stevens, who was born and reared in Tama county, Iowa, and prior in her marriage was engaged in teaching.  This union has been blessed with eight children.  The sons are:  Clarence, who resides in Colorado; William, a young man at home; and Harry, Howard and Homer, also under the parental roof.  The daughters are:  Ida, the wife of Lester Stewart, of Oliver county, North Dakota; Myrtle, the wife of William Mann, a farmer of Cherokee county, Iowa; and Pearl, who died at the age of seven years.


Politically Mr. Haight is a republican and has taken an active and helpful part in political circles.  He has served as justice of the peace, as township trustee and for thirty-two years was township treasurer, his long retention in office indicating his capability and efficiency.  He has also served as a delegate to county conventions.  His fraternal relations are with Aurelia Lodge, K. P.  Since Mr. Haight settled here forty years ago he has seen a wonderful change. 

At that time there was but one house between Storm Lake and Cherokee and the village of Alta had not yet been laid out.  With other pioneers he met the problems and applied himself to the task which western life presented with steadiness and courage and his labors have been of material benefit in the work that has been accomplished along material, social and moral lines.