Hon. Ozro Amander Hadley Mora County, New Mexico

Hon. Ozro Amander Hadley, who has figured prominently in political circles in the southwest and is today a leading representative of ranching interests in New Mexico, was born in Cherry Creek, Chautauqua County, New York, June 30, 1826, a son of Alvah and Eunice (Bates) Hadley.

He was reared to farm life, and after acquiring his elementary education in the public schools of New York continued his studies in Fredonia Academy. In 1855 he removed from the east to Rochester, Minnesota, where he was engaged in the fire insurance business, and in 1860 he was elected auditor of Olmstead County upon the Republican ticket. So capably did he discharge his duties he was retained in that position for six consecutive years. In the fall of 1865 he made his way to the southwest, coming to Little Rock, Arkansas, there to engage in the cotton business. For sixteen years he remained in that state, and was one of the most prominent political leaders of the commonwealth. In 1868 he was elected on the Republican ticket to the state senate, becoming its president, and upon the election of General Powell Clayton, then governor of Arkansas, to the United States senate, and the resignation of the lieutenant-governor in 1871, Senator Hadley became governor and filled that office for two years. While serving as chief executive he was able to effect many compromises that proved of remarkable value to the state. In the incipient race war in Chicot County he effected a compromise between the parties there, and the difficulty in Pope County arising between the Federal and Confederate soldiers, who were about equally divided, among whom bitter feeling ran high, he also managed at length to restore peace. He had to send troops there, but no blood was shed. Governor Hadley made his way to the scene of the depredations and delivered a specific speech that tended largely to subdue the bitter agitation. He received most courteous and respectful treatment from all parties and from the people of the state at large while governor. He is a warm personal friend of Opie Read, whom he knew as a boy.

In 1873 Governor Hadley went to Europe, accompanied by his wife, and spent one year there on a business and pleasure trip. The following year was passed upon a plantation, after which he was appointed register in the United States land office, acting in that capacity for two years. By President Grant he was appointed to the position of postmaster at Little Rock, filling the office for five or six years, during which time he gave a public-spirited and efficient administration, but at length he resigned in order to remove to New Mexico. He has figured prominently, conspicuously and honorably in connection with national as well as state politics. In 1872 he was a delegate to the convention which nominated General Grant for his second term as president, and in 1876 he went as a delegate to the national Republican convention at Cincinnati, where Rutherford B. Hayes was nominated, but Mr. Hadley gave his support to Blaine. Again he was a delegate to the convention in 1880, when James A. Garfield was nominated. He has been a delegate to the New Mexico territorial convention, and has been chairman of the pension commission for six years.

Coming to the Territory, Mr. Hadley first located on Eagle Tail ranch, in Colfax County, which he purchased in 1879. He purchased a small herd of cattle at that time, after which he returned to his old home, but came again in 1880 on the first train which passed through the Raton tunnel. He has made his home permanently here since 1881, and has been identified with the interests of this part of the country since 1878, when he made his first trip to the district in company with Senator Dorsey. He remained a resident on the Eagle Tail ranch for four years, devoting his time and attention to the cattle industry, and in 1885 he removed to Dorsey ranch at Chico Springs, becoming its manager and at the same time retaining the ownership of the Eagle Tail ranch. He occupied that property until 1897, when he sold out. He continued as manager of the Chico Springs ranch until 1 89 1, but in the meantime, in 1889, came to Mora County, where he has since made his home upon the place formerly owned by William Tipton. He sold all of his cattle in the summer of 1905, and the ranch is now devoted principally to alfalfa. It contains nine hundred acres, with a main ditch of thirty-five hundred rods. He also leases twenty-five thousand acres of land, and is today the owner of one of the finest ranches in New Mexico, being a model property in all respects.

Mr. Hadley was married to Miss Mary Cordelia Kilbourne, a native of Chautauqua County, New York, in 1849, an for more than a half century traveled life's journey together, but were separated by the death of the wife in June, 1903. There were two daughters: Altie E., the wife of W. H. Hallett, deceased, and Addie A., who married General Keyes Danforth, and after his death became the wife of Louis C. Tetard, but she has now passed away.

Mr. Hadley holds an enviable position in public esteem. The life of no man is free from mistakes, but all accord to Mr. Hadley an honesty of purpose and devotion to the general good that is above question. Faultless in honor, fearless in conduct and stainless in reputation, he has been a firm supporter of the principles that he has believed to be right. Figuring prominently in political circles for many years, he is now devoting his attention to private interests, and that he maintains high ideals in this regard is indicated by the splendid appearance of his ranch.

 

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Source: History of New Mexico, Its Resources and People, Volume II, Pacific States Publishing Co., 1907.

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Created 1996 by Charles Barnum & 2016 by Judy White

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