Biography of Hiram Mendenhall
Audubon County, IA Biographies

The career of Hiram Mendenhall has been a strenuous and varied one, entitling him to honorable mention among the representative citizens of his day and generation in the county with which his life is so closely identified. Although his life record is chiefly written and the period of his active career is nearing a close, Mr. Mendenhall, as an inventor, is known to countless thousands throughout this country, the story of his successs reading more like a romance than a statement of facts. Mr. Mendenhall is one of the wealthiest men in this section of Iowa and he has done what few men are able to do, make an inventive turn of mind pay handsome royalties. His success may be attributed to his ability to discern what things were most needed and he has been possessed of the mechanical genius to turn out those devices. Throughout the many years of his active career he has applied himself diligently to his business interests and is one of the best known and most highly respected citizens in this section of Iowa. Hiram Mendenhall owns a whole city block in the city of Audubon and two hundred acres of land in Douglas township and has spent fifteen thousand dollars in improving his two farms.

In 1886 Hiram Mendenhall patented and sold the Mendenhall hog trough, of which he sold thousands of dollars worth. Later he patented the gravity lock and is one of the patentees of the Boss hog trough and the Daisy hog trough. He is the patentee of the Dandy pig taker and the owner of the Boss pig taker and has shipped his products to Central America and throughout Canada. Mr. Mendenhall was one of the patentees of the One Minute washing machine. There are at the present time twelve different companies paying him royalties on the manufacture of this machine. The first company which began manufacturing the One Minute washing machine paid Mr. Mendenhall over thirty five thousand dollars in four years and this was only one half of the royalty paid by that company. Mr. Mendenhall is secretary and treasurer of the Iowa Washing Machine Company, which controls the patents which pay Mr. Mendenhall his royalties. He has recently patented an ironing board which he expects soon to market. This last device he has promoted in company with his son in law, Albert Killinger. Mr. Mendenhall also has pending a patent for a folding workbench, which he expects to put on the market very soon.

Hiram Mendenhall was born in Randolph county, Indiana, on August 2, 1848, the son of Nathan and Mary (Beach) Mendenhall, natives, respectively, of Clinton county, Ohio, and of New York state, who were married in Ohio and from that state moved to Indiana, where they spent the remainder of their lives. Nathan Mendenhall was a farmer and miller and died on April 27, 1861, at the age of fifty two. At the time of his death he was the owner of two hundred and forty acres of land in this county and two hundred acres in Dallas county, this state. Nathan Mendenhall's first wife was accidentally killed in 1858, thereupon he married again. By the first marriage he was the father of ten children and one by the second, the children of the first marriage being Thomas, Hannah, Amanda, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Nathan, John, Hiram, George and Timothy, of whom Thomas, Hannah, Amanda, George and Timothy are deceased. The child by his second marriage was Rebecca.

Hiram Mendenhall was educated in the common schools of Indiana and Iowa. He began working out by the month when he was thirteen years old and has been an industrious worker ever since. He took up farming early in life and has been active during the entire period of his life. He is an extensive breeder of Poland-China hogs, having been active in the hog business since he was eighteen years of age. Mr. Mendenhall came to Audubon county in 1877 and has been here since that time. The first spring Mr. Mendenhall spent in this county he had his corn in by the 11th of May. On that date six inches of snow fell and froze so hard that for three days Mr. Mendenhall could not take out a team.

On October 27, 1872, Hiram Mendenhall was married to Angeline Johnson, who was born in Indiana, her parents having been natives of Ohio, and to this union five children have been born, Rosa. Nora. Alda B., Hiram, George and Myrtle. Rosa married William Brockway, a carpenter and painter, of Audubon, and has four children, Lawrence, Mabel, Hiram G. and Kenneth. Nora married Thomas Swezey, a livery man of Audubon, and has six children, Leola, Dollies, Wayne, Wilma, Wyman and Thelma, the last three named being triplets. Alda B., who lives in Douglass township, married Maude Burkey and has two children, Margarette and Frederick. Hiram George married Alta Berger and has four children, Lester, Pearl, James and Olivine. Myrtle married Albert Killinger and has three children, Albert M., Velma and Francis W.

Hiram Mendenhall is independent in politics. He believes more in the virtue of measures and men than he does in parties and party emblems. He served as trustee of Douglass township at one time. Mr. and Mrs. Mendenhall and children are members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Mendenhall is not a member of any lodge.

History of Audubon County, Iowa
Its People, Industries and Instutions
H. F. Andrews, Editor
B. F. Bowen & Company, Inc.
Indianapolis - 1915

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