Early and Recent History and Genealogical Records
of Many of the Representative Citizens
REUBEN J. HIATT. While such men as the late Reuben J. Hiatt are not landed in the public press as the leaders of world's workers, yet they perform their roles in life's drama quite as successfully and are just as necessary in the general scheme of things as their more famous compeers, for it was Longfellow who wrote that "each thing in its place is best," and might as well have said that each person in his place is best, for mother Nature designed each of us for a specific niche in the world and it is our fault if we do not fill it properly and faithfully. Mr. Hiatt was a man of many strong natural characteristics and he tried to do his best in whatever capacity he was placed, and his life, which has been closed by the common fate awaiting all that is mortal; was a useful and successful one.
Mr. Hiatt was born, March 27, 1860, in Crab Orchard, Kentucky, where the Hiatts had long been well established. He was a son of Ormstrom and Elizabeth (Roberts) Hiatt, both natives of Kentucky also, where they grew to maturity, were educated in the old-time schools and were married and established their home. Ormstrom Hiatt has been engaged in active farming from his boyhood until the present time, and is still living near the town of Crab Orchard, Kentucky. His family consisted of twelve children, four of whom are still living. He is now advanced in years.
Reuben J. Hiatt grew to manhood on the home farm in Lincoln county, Kentucky, near crab Orchard, and there assisted his father with the general work during the summer months, when he became of proper age, and in the winter time he attended the district schools, receiving the usual education of farmer boys of that period. He remained in his native community engaged in farming and stock raising until he was about twenty-six years of age, then came to Missouri, first locating at Liberty, Clay county, where he remained until his removal to Springfield, this being his home until 1901, when he went to Dallas, Texas, where he spent five or six years, then returned to Springfield, where he spent the rest of his life.
In his earlier career he was engaged in the sewing machine business, and was very successful in the same; later he traveled for a well-known piano house. He gave his employers eminent satisfaction in every respect and was regarded as one of their most faithful, efficient and trustworthy employees, and he remained a traveling salesman the rest of his life. He was widely known over the territory which he made and was popular with the trade, being a genial, obliging and friendly gentleman who made friends easily.
Mr. Hiatt was married to Minnie Cravens, who was born in Daviess county, Missouri, October 6, 1857. She is a daughter of William and Rebecea (Bryan) Cravens. The father was born in 1835, died in 1883, and the mother was born in 1838 and died in 1888. These parents spent their active lives on a farm. They removed with their only child, Minnie Cravens, who became the wife of our subject, to Springfield, Missouri, about forty-six years ago, when the town was small. Here Mrs. Hiatt grew to womanhood and received her education in the common schools.
Four children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hiatt, named as follows: Emma, born December 31, 1886, married Jerry Cravens, and they live in Chicago; Homer, born December 17, 1890; Thelma, born September 11, 1894, and Wilbur, born September 4, 1895; the last three children live with their mother at the family home on St. Louis street.
Politically, Mr. Hiatt was a Democrat. He was a member of the Woodmen of the World and the Christian church.
The death of Mr. Hiatt occurred in 1906, at the early age of forty-six years.
Springfield-Greene County Library