Page 416-418, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Butler County, Kansas by Vol. P. Mooney. Standard Publishing Company, Lawrence, Kan.: 1916. ill.; 894 pgs.

Robert H. Hazlett


Robert H. Hazlett.—Success in any occupation, in any avenue of business, is not a matter of spontaneity, but represents the result of the application of definite subjective forces and the controlling of objective agencies in such a way as to achieve desired ends. Mr. Hazlett has realized a large and substantial success, not only as a banker, farmer and breeder of cattle of pedigree, but as a lawyer; and his career has well exemplified the truth of the foregoing statements. He occupies a prominent place in the financial circles of Kansas, is the controlling force in one of the leading banks of Butler county, owns and operates one of the largest agricultural enterprises in the State, and is one of the most prominent breeders of Hereford cattle in America. Progressive and energetic in the management of these varied affairs, loyal and public-spirited as a citizen, he holds a secure position in the confidence and esteem of the community, and is recognized as one of the first citizens of southern Kansas.

Robert H. Hazlett was born on his father's farm in Christian county, Illinois, his paternal ancestry dating from colonial times, with residence in North Carolina. His grandfather, Robert Hazlett, was a native of Virginia, who came to Illinois in 1828, and located near Springfield, where he was one of the pioneer settlers, followed farming as an occupation and became a prominent and influential citizen. The parents of Robert H. Hazlett were William Phe and Zerelda (Haggard) Hazlett, the father a native of Virginia and the mother of Kentucky. William Hazlett was a farmer. He was identified with the early development of Christian and Sangamon counties and realized a substantial success in his pursuits. He died at the advanced age of eighty-one.

Robert H. Hazlett was educated in the public schools of his native county, in the Springfield (Ill.) High School, and spent two years, 1868 and 1869, in the literary department of the University of Illinois, at Champaign. He then taught school two winters, in the meantime devoting his spare moments to the study of law and was graduated in the law department of the University of Michigan with the class of 1872. He was admitted to the bar at Springfield, Ill., in the same year, and practised his profession in that city from 1874 to 1885. As a Democrat he was elected State's attorney of Sangamon county, Illinois, in 1876, and was reelected in 1880. During the early eighties, Mr. Hazlett had purchased lands in Kansas and Nebraska, and when his second term as State's attorney expired, in January, 1885, he came west and located in El Dorado, where he engaged extensively in the real estate business,


buying and selling lands, and also practiced law. In 1887, he associated himself with the Hon. C. L. Harris, under the firm name of Hazlett & Harris, a partnership which continued until 1889, when he removed to Leadville, Colo., where he had important mining interests. He took active charge of these properties, developed them successfully, and in the fall of 1892, sold them for a highly satisfactory figure. He returned to El Dorado in January, 1894, and began investing the comfortable fortune he had acquired from his Colorado mining properties in adding to his previous holdings in Butler county lands, and also made his initial banking investment. He purchased a large interest in the Merchants State Bank, was elected president, and shortly afterward converted it into a National institution, under the name of Farmers and Merchants National Bank of El Dorado. He was elected president of the new, organization and remained at its head, except for one year, until June, 1909, when he disposed of his holdings. On July 1, 1909, he was elected president of the El Dorado National Bank, of which he had purchased a majority of the stock, and under his management, it has grown to be one of the strong financial institutions of southern Kansas.

Mr. Hazlett is known to the banking world as an able and discriminating financier and has brought the administrative policy of his bank up to the point of highest efficiency. He was the organizer of the Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of El Dorado, and has served as its president for many years. As an owner of farm lands Mr. Hazlett ranks first in Butler county and among the leaders in the State. His Butler county holdings embrace over 10,000 acres, operated under his personal supervision. "Hazford Place," the summer residence of the family, is situated two miles north of E Dorado, and here he maintains the large breeding establishment devoted to registered Hereford cattle. A private water system furnishes water for all purposes; electric current is obtained by a private wire from El Dorado and is used for light and power, the residence, tenant houses and barns being equipped with this light. The lands lie along the Walnut river, and the hill slopes contain an abundance of limestone, which gives added strength to the natural grasses and the fertile bottom lands. The silt from the hillsides is not surpassed elsewhere, and doubtless much of the success in the development of the Herefords is due to the limestone grasses and the aflalfa.[sic]

In 1898 Mr. Hazlett made his first purchase of pedigreed Herefords. A lover of fine stock, his purchase was from a desire to have, in a small way, a breeding establishment, where he could, during his spare hours, enjoy the pleasure of ownership and improve his herd. That he has succeeded beyond his expectations is in all probability true. Among those who should know, he is credited with having the best herd of Hereford cattle in America. Beau Brummel 10th, No. 167719, is the sire of most of the females in the herd. Beau Beauty, No. 192235, and Caldo, second, No. 260440, have also added to the strain. The herd numbers some


200, only those animals being retained which show high class. Mr. Hazlett is a director of the American Hereford Cattle Breeders' Association, is a member of the executive committee, and served as president of the association, in 1908-09. He is also a director and president of the American Royal Live Stock Show, and has done as much, if not more, to draw attention to Kansas cattle than any other breeder in the State.

On January 7, 1884, Mr. Hazlett married Miss Isabella, daughter of Col. James Bradford, of Springfield, Ill. They have no children, but have reared a nephew of Mrs. Hazlett, Robert Hazlett Bradford, cashier of the El Dorado National Bank. The town house of the family is the largest and most substantial residence in the county. It was built of native limestone, and is finished in hardwoods, grown on the home farm, "Hazford Place."

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