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Genealogy Profile: Walter Martin Hawley (1864-1929)

Pam Hawley Marlin   October 2020


The following genealogy profile is based on research compiled by the author. Walter Martin Hawley is the author's grea t-great-grandfather. View the Hawley Family Tree.

Walter Martin Hawley


Beginnings - Michigan to Kansas

Walter Martin Hawley, the author's great-great-grandfather, was born to Martin Gilbert Hawley and Adelaide Amanda Richardson in Porter (near Lawton), Van Buren County, Michigan on March 14, 1864. This Hawley family consisted of Martin (father), Adelaide (mother), Mary Lou or Louie (wife), and children, Bertha, Myrtle, Lloyd, and Opal.

This line of Hawley men (John Sr., John Jr., Martin and Walter) made their living as farmers. Each one of these men owned many acres of farmland in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, and Kansas as the family migrated west. It was not unusual for the Hawley patriarch and his sons to establish their homestead on the same farmland for a time before the eldest son would venture out on his own.

During Walter's childhood, his father, Martin, and grandfather, John Jr., owned 120 acres of adjacent farmland in Porter, Van Buren County, Michigan. Walter himself became a farmer when he settled his own homestead in Garnett, Kansas.

Van Buren County, Michigan, Land Ownership Map, 1873. Walter's grandfather, John Hawley, Jr, owned 80 acres of farmland. Martin, Walter's father, owned 40 acres across the road (S. Phillips on map) and Walter's uncle, Eugene Hawley, owned 40 acres.

This was the home of Martin and Adelaide Hawley in Porter, Van Buren, County, Michigan. Walter Hawley was probaby born in this house. P Marlin 2021

A barn and grapes vines located on the same property as the house above. P Marlin 2021

Walter is listed as a student at Kinney School (also known as Adams School) in Porter, Michigan.

At the age of four years old, Walter's parents relocated to Buffalo, Iowa. Walter's uncle, Quartus Ely Cleveland (grandmother Jerusha Cleveland's brother), had moved to Iowa and encouraged other family members to do the same. Walter's father, Martin, bought farmland in Iowa and settled for a few years.


Martin, Adelaide, Walter and Jay Hawley in the 1870 Buffalo, Iowa Census.


Childhood home in Garnett, Kansas

In January 1887, Walter's father, Martin, bought 80 acres of a quarter section of the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston (L.L. & G.) railroad land near Garnett, Kansas and built a house. Walter was about 13 years old when the family moved into this house. I visited the house and property in 1985 when the house was still standing, and again in 2019 when it was gone (photos below). There is a cellar built into a small hill behind the house. This cellar was used for storage as well as a storm shelter and is referred to in the below article as a 'cyclone' cellar. Martin sold this house to his son, Eugene (Walter's younger brother), in the early 1900's.

L.L. & G. Railroad warranty deed to Martin G. Hawley. Anderson County Courthouse in Garnett, Kansas.


Walter's childhood home in 1985.

Walter's childhood home is gone in 2019.

Martin and family in the 1880 Kansas census.


Marriage to Mary Lou (Louie) Stilwell

On November 29, 1883, Walter married Mary Lou (Louie) Stilwell. Walter and Mary Lou had five children, Bertha, Myrtle, Opal, Lloyd and Guy (Guy died in infancy).

Walter and Mary Lou with daughters, Bertha and Myrtle.

Marriage license.

Garnett Journal, December 8, 1883.


Walter and Louie's Home

In 1893, Mary Lou (Louie) Hawley, wife of Walter, purchased property across from the property her and Walter already owned (see land ownership map below) in Union Township, near Garnett. The Walter and Louie Hawley house (photo below) was built the following year. When I first visited the property in 1985, the house was already gone. I visited the property again in 2019. See comparison photos below.

Walter and family in the 1900 Anderson County, Kansas census.

Van Buren County, Kansas 1900 Land Ownership map.

The Walter Hawley homestead in Union Township, Kansas (near Garnett).

Hawley property. Walter's property is located to the right along this road. Martin's home is further down on the right.


Old stone at Walter's Home

Notice the old stone in front of the house in the original photo above. Only scattered remnants of the stone remain in 2019. The stone stood near the old porch.

The original old stone is visible in 1985.

The old stone is scattered in pieces around a tree in 2019.


Old Porch Entryway at Walter's Home

Next to the old stone was the porch. The steps to the porch then and now.

Steps and foundation in 1985.

Steps and foundation in 2019. Notice the 1964 etched on the bottom step, maybe after new concrete was laid.


Old Cellar at Walter's Home

The old cellar was located near the house. Somewhat intact in 1985, it is now totally fallen.

Old cellar in 1985.

Old cellar in 2019.


Old Outhouse at Walter's Home

Amazingly, the old outhouse is still standing.

Old outhouse in 1985.

Old outhouse in 2019.


Old Well at Walter's Home

The old well was located directly behind the house.

Old well in 1985.

Old well in 2019.


Daily Life told through Newspaper Clippings

When Walter took a break from farmer duties and traveled into Garnett, he occasionally took opportunity to stop in at the newspaper office.

The death of son Guy Hawley. Independent Review March 17, 1905.

The Garnett Evening Review March 11, 1907.

The Garnett Evening Review April 7, 1911.

The Garnett Evening Review December 2, 1911.

The Garnett Evening Review December 29, 1921.



On June 17, 1912, Walter and his family were caught in a storm. As mentioned in the article below, Walter and his family were trying to make it to Walter's brother, Eugene's house (previously Martin's house as seen in photos above), when a storm overtook them and they had to seek shelter in a culvert. When I visited Eugene's property in 2019, I was able to see the cellar or 'cyclone' cellar because the original house was gone.

The Garnett Evening Review June 17, 2012.


Cyclone Cellar

The author in front of the 'cyclone' cellar.

The 'cyclone' cellar.

Inside the 'cyclone' cellar.


Journey's End

Walter Martin Hawley died on June 1, 1929 at his homestead. He was buried in the Garnett Cemetery.

Walter Hawley Obituary.

Walter Hawley gravesite in Garnett Cemetery.