History of Black Hawk County, Iowa - 1915 - H

Black Hawk County >> 1915 Index

History of Black Hawk county, Iowa, and Its People
John C Hartman, supervising editor. Vols. I & II Chicago: S J Clarke Publ Co., 1915.


Unless otherwise noted, biographies submitted by Dick Barton.

Edward H. Headford

Ability and worth have constituted the foundation upon which Edward H. Headford has builded his success. He is now president of the Headford Brothers & Hitchins Foundry Company and as such is in control of a constantly developing business, which was established in Waterloo in 1903. a native of Dubuque, Iowa, he was born September 4, 1862, a son of William and Elizabeth (Robinson) Headford, both of whom were natives of England. They came to America, however, in childhood days with their respective parents, who settled with their families in Iowa, the marriage of the young couple being celebrated in Dubuque where the families took up their abode about 1854. William Headford was a foundryman and was foreman of a large plant in Dubuque for many years, being thus actively identified with the industrial interests of that city. He died there January 9, 1905, and is survived by his widow, who makes her home in Dubuque.

Edward H. Headford spent his youthful days in his father's home and worked his way upward through consecutive grades in the public schools until he had become a high-school pupil. Afterward he studied in Bayless Commercial College of Dubuque and in 1878, when sixteen years of age, he entered upon an apprenticeship to the molder's trade. He worked in the Novelty Iron Works of Dubuque until 1887, when he was offered and accepted the foremanship of the Iowa Iron Works, at that time the largest establishment of the kind on the upper Mississippi river. He continued to fill this position, which was one of responsibility and importance, for two years but, ambitious to engage in business on his own account, he carefully saved his earnings and at length joined his brother, W. t. Headford, in establishing a foundry of their one at Dubuque under the firm style of Headford Brothers. In 1892 they were joined by F. O. Hitchins, since which time the business has been conducted under the firm name of the Headford Brothers & Hitchins Foundry Company. They remained in Dubuque until 1903, when the plant was removed to Waterloo and since that time their establishment has been classed by reason of the volume of their trade and the importance of their business as one of the leading industrial enterprises of the city.

In 1886 Mr. Headford was united in marriage to Miss Lotta B. Way, of Warren, Illinois. He is a valued member of Helmet Lodge, No. 89, K. P., and he holds membership also in the Royal Arcanum. He and his wife attend the Congregational church, of which Mrs. Headford is a member.  His political allegiance is given to the republican party and for one term he served as alderman at large. He keeps well informed upon the questions and issues of the day and is ever ready to support his position by intelligent argument. In community affairs he is known as a supporter of measures and movements for the public good and he holds membership in the Chamber of Commerce and in the Town Criers Club of Waterloo, organizations for the benefit of the city and the expansion of its business relations. His success is the merited reward of his industry and determination. Gradually he has worked his way upward and may truly be counted among the self-made men of Waterloo.  

W. T. Headford is vice president of the Headford Brothers & Hitchins Foundry Company of Waterloo, owning and operating the largest foundry in Black Hawk county. The business has been one of the foremost productive industries of this section of the state since 1903 and in the intervening period has enjoyed continuous growth, owing to the capable management and enterprise of the officers. Mr. Headford is a native son of Dubuque, born October 22, 1867. There he was reared and educated, passing through consecutive grades in the public schools and supplementing his high-school study by a year's course in a business college. He entered upon the active duties of life as an employe in the Novelty Iron Works of Dubuque, with which he was connected for six years, becoming largely acquainted with business methods as well as the practical phases of that specific interest during that period.

Mr. Headford learned the foundry trade in all lines and in 1892 became one of the organizers of the Headford Brothers & Hitchins Foundry Company, which began business on a small scale in a shop about forty foot square. They remained in Dubuque until 1903 when they acceded to solicitation and removed to Waterloo. They had won a well merited reputation for fine work in castings and the growing business made theirs an institution of value to any community in which their plant would be located. Accordingly, in 1903, they removed to Waterloo and now have the largest foundry in the county. They located on Westfield avenue in a foundry one hundred and twenty by three hundred feet. Their business has steadily grown and after some years they built a second plant on Vaughan street, one hundred and ten by four hundred and fifty feet. This is supplied with all the most modern equipment known to foundry work in the present day. They have everything that recent day invention has brought forth in electric and air hoists and motors.  Their business has now assumed extensive proportions and their large annual shipments are sent over a wide territory.

In 1891 Mr. Headford was united in marriage to Miss Annie Stellenberg, who was born in Galena, Illinois, and they have two children: Pearl, who is the wife of Ralph Williams, of Chicago; and Edward William, who is in the office at Waterloo. The parents are members of the Congregational church and Mr. Headford belongs to eh Benevolent Protective Order of Elks and to the Royal Arcanum. His friends, and they are many, find him a genial, courteous gentleman, obliging in manner and kindly in spirit. His business associates find him alert, energetic and resolute and in his career he has brooked no obstacles that could be overcome by persistent, earnest and honorable effort.  Thus it is that he has steadily advanced and is now numbered among the leading and representative business men of Waterloo as vice president of his company.  


Among the important industrial enterprises of Waterloo is that of the Headford Brothers & Hitchins Foundry Company, of which F. O. Hitchins is vice president. The business has been conducted in Black Hawk county since 1903, and through the intervening years has steadily grown and developed. It was originally a Dubuque enterprise and it was in that city that F. O. Hitchins was born and reared, his natal day being March 9, 1865. He was educated in the schools of Dubuque and in 1881, when sixteen years of age, entered the employ of the Iowa Iron Works at Dubuque, there learning the foundry trade. Gradually he worked his way upward, winning promotion from time to time until after eleven years' connection with that line of business he became in 1892 one of the organizers of the Headford Brothers & Hitchins Foundry Company of Dubuque.

The business was there conducted for eleven years and in November, 1903, the plant was removed to Waterloo, where during the preceding summer the firm had erected a fine cement block building one hundred and twenty by three hundred feet on Westfield avenue, where they have since been located. In 1911 they greatly enlarged the scope of their business through the erection of a plant on Vaughan street one hundred and ten by four hundred and fifty feet. They employ one hundred and ten men in the plant on Westfield avenue and about one hundred and fifty in the plant on Vaughan street. Their business has thus become one of extensive proportions and their manufactured products find a ready sale on the market. The firm has gained a well earned reputation for reliability as well as enterprise and from the beginning they have shown in the conduct of their business that they realize the fact that satisfied patrons are the best advertisement.

In 1897 Mr. Hitchins was united in marriage to Miss Minnie Broadhurst, of Dubuque, and to them have been born two children, Gerrilda Marie and Owen Stanhope. If one analyzes the life record of Mr. Hitchins it is evident that earnest, persistent effort has been the basis of his advancement and growing success. Starting out in the business world at the comparatively early age of sixteen years, he recognized the fact that industry is the basis of all worthy advancement and industry became the beacon light of his life, guiding him to his present creditable position as a representative of the manufacturing interests of Waterloo.