A Narrative History of The People of Iowa


ROY B. GAULT.  The increasing importance of the subject of automobiles, with its innumerable complexities, has resulted in the establishment in practically all states of the Union departments entirely devoted thereto.  Even the merest layman, whose only personal interest may be centered in the ownership of a car, can appreciate the importance of the duties of the head of such a department.  Sound judgment, great tact, a thorough knowledge of conditions, strict justice and high integrity, combined with moral courage, are necessary qualifications for the proper handling of the problems that constantly are arising and for the successful upholding of such laws and regulations as already have been inaugurated.  In this connection it is apropos to sketch briefly the career of Roy B. Gault, who since 1928 has been head of the motor vehicle department of the State of Iowa.

Mr. Gault was born at Cromwell, Union County, Iowa, January 3, 1887, and is a son of James and Madge (Long) Gault.  His paternal grandfather, Miria Gault, was born in Ireland, an don coming to the United States settled near Morning Sun, Louisa County, Iowa, where he spent the remainder of his life in agricultural operations.  James Gault was born in Ireland, and was a child when brought by his parents to the United States, his boyhood and youth being spent on the home farm and his education being acquired in the rural schools of his day.  He became a pioneer settler of Union County, where he was first engaged in general farming, but later centered all of his activities in the grain and live stock business, in which he was successfully occupied for a long period of years, but at present is living in comfortable retirement at Creston, Iowa.  He still has large interests and is accounted one of the substantial men and good citizens of his community.  He is a Republican in politics and an active member of the Congregational Church. In Iowa Mr. Gault was united in marriage with Miss Madge Long, who was born in Pennsylvania, a daughter of Rev. David Long, also a native of the Keystone State, and for many years a minister of the United Brethren Church.  Mrs. Gault died February 11, 1902, in the faith of the Congregational Church, having been the mother of four children:  Roy B., of this review; George B., a livestock buyer and shipper at Creston; Earl, who is engaged in the stock business at Des Moines; and Grace, the wife of Earl Trenholm, cashier of the Gas and Electric Company, of Lincoln, Nebraska.

The public schools of Creston furnished Roy B. Gault with his educational training, and his first employment was with his father in the grain and livestock business, which he followed until the United States entered the World war.  He had become a member of the Iowa National Guard at the age of eighteen years, and in 1917 went with his command to Camp Mills.  In November of that year he went overseas with the One Hundred and Sixty-eight Infantry, Forty-second Division, A. E. F., and remained with that outfit until March, 1918, when he was transferred to the Division Headquarters, and served until the close of the war, with the rank of captain.  On his return to the United States he rejoined the One Hundred Sixty-eighth Infantry, but again was transferred to Division Headquarters, and still is a member of the Iowa National Guard.

Upon resuming the duties of civilian life Mr. Gault again engaged in business with his father, which he followed until 1924, when he was appointed United States marshal, following the duties of this office for one term.  He then took charge of the motor vehicle department of the State of Iowa, and since March 1, 1928, has centered his entire abilities and activities in discharging its responsibilities.  He has established an excellent record for steadfast and intelligent handling of the duties of his department, and has the confidence of the public and the respect and esteem of his associates.  Mr. Gault is a member of the Congregational Church, and as a fraternalist is a Knight Templar Mason and a Shriner, and is also a past exalted ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.  He is a past commander of Champaign Post, American Legion, at Creston, occupying this office for one and one half years, and under his administration the general condition of the post was greatly improved, and its financial affairs placed upon a firm and substantial basis.  He also served as president of the Creston Chamber of Commerce, and took an active part on the civic welfare of the community.

On June 22, 1922, Mr. Gault was united in marriage with Miss Maude Heflen, who was born on a farm in Union County, Iowa, a daughter of Frank Heflen, a railroad engineer in the service of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.  Mr. and Mrs. Gault have no children.


~ source: A Narrative History of The People of Iowa with SPECIAL TREATMENT OF THEIR CHIEF ENTERPRISES IN EDUCATION, RELIGION, VALOR, INDUSTRY, BUSINESS, ETC., by EDGAR RUBEY HARLAN, LL. B., A. M. Curator of the Historical, Memorial and Art Department of Iowa Volume IV THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY, Inc. Chicago and New York. 1931
~ transcribe by Debbie Clough Gerischer for the Great War