L.Q. Hoggatt


Lucian Q. Hoggatt

Lucian Quincy Hoggatt arrived in Story County from Indiana in 1860, eventually settling north of Lincoln Way.  When the area between the Skunk River and Squaw Creek was sited as the possible location for the advancing rail line, Hoggatt, and several other landowners in the area, opposed selling to the railroad, not wanting the “monster at their door.  When an inquiry to purchase was forwarded by Cynthia Duff “for her uncle back east, he sold land between Grand and Burnett to her.  It is well known that Cynthia Duff's uncle was indeed the railroad.  Hoggatt's land was eventually crossed by two railroads, which he came to support.

In 1861 Hoggatt was elected the fourth sheriff of Story County.  During his term, he enlisted in the Union army, but his Civil War service was cut short by a farming accident shortly before his departure, resulting in the loss of his leg.  He was denied his fighting career, but not one in politics.  He was known as a fiery and spell binding orator who was not above confusing the issues when opponents rose to debate.  He often managed to divert attention by driving pins into his cork leg white the other fellow was talking.

In 1862 Hoggatt School was built on land given by the Hoggatts.  In 1863 he was re-elected sheriff.  By 1866 Hoggatt was a partner in a grain warehouse, among the first commercial ventures in Ames.  He served as Ames' second postmaster in 1869.  In 1874 he was elected as the representative from Story County to the 15th General Assembly of Iowa, serving two years.  In 1878 at age 63, he was the greenback candidate for the 9th District congressional seat.  Though defeated, he toured Iowa in his famous one-horse buckboard, delivering impassioned speeches to advocate the adoption of paper money.

Born in 1815, Hoggatt died just short of his 81st birthday in 1896.  He lived by these words: Augment the happiness and decrease the woes of mankind.  Although his schooling ended at age 13, he was an avid reader and possessed a prodigious memory, making him a formidable foe in debates.  His interest in public questions never died, and he would often change sides depending on the issue at hand.  His expressed wish during his last illness was that he might live to cast one more vote and see the results of another election.

Lucian and his wife, Abigail, raused a family of nine children.  In 1873 the Hoggatts built a magnificient house on the site of the present day Pyle Office Park.  This sturdy brick structure was added to in 1890 with a two-story connecting, balconied hallway.  The house proudly held the second bathtub in Ames!

The road at the western edge of Ames leading to Hoggatt's farm was called Hoggatt Street.  Despite its formidable namesake, local humorists referred to the land as Pig Alley.  Residents petitioned to have the name changed.  In 1909 Hoggatt Street became Grand Avenue.

Taken from: Faces of our Founders: the early Leaders of Ames, Iowa, compiled by the Ames Heritage Association. Ames, Iowa : The Association, 1991.  pp. 9-10.