Biography of Herbert Glaisyer of Hawley Minnesota

Herbert Glaisyer, an influential citizen of Hawley, Minnesota, was born in Brighton, England, in 1847. His paternal lineage includes several generations of druggists. Educated in England, Glaisyer spent thirteen years at sea, achieving the rank of first officer before immigrating to the U.S. in 1874. Settling in Clay County, he later opened a successful drug store in Hawley in 1880. Glaisyer served as village treasurer, justice of the peace, postmaster, and president of the school board. A dedicated Mason, he was the master of Lodge No. 256. He married Emma Caroline Plummer in 1878, and they had seven children, many of whom pursued notable careers.

Herbert Glaisyer, one of Hawley’s influential citizens, comes from English lineage and traces his maternal ancestry back to Queen Mary’s time in the fifteenth century. His paternal ancestors for several generations were druggists, with his great grandfather named John, his grandfather also named John, and his father Thomas Glaisyer, who married Phoebe Lucas, were all druggists and men of high standing. Herbert was born in Brighton, England in 1847 and was given every educational privilege, attending the best schools of Hartford and finishing his studies at Weston. After leaving school, he followed the sea for thirteen years, rising from midshipman to the rank of first officer.

He was on one of the first steamships that passed through the Suez Canal, and in his travels, he visited all quarters of the globe. In 1874, when he was twenty-seven years old, he came to the United States. He went directly to Clay County, Minnesota, and bought a farm within two miles of the present site of Hawley. Government land was plentiful in that region at the time. In 1876, he visited his home in England, but the following year, he returned to his farm, which he improved with comfortable buildings and cultivated until 1879. Leaving his farm in 1880, he opened a small drug store in Hawley. Starting small, he expanded his business as the town grew, and after about ten years, he replaced his store building with a larger one suited to the needs of his growing trade. In 1909, his business was still thriving. Throughout the thirty years he has been in business in Hawley, Mr. Glaisyer has been actively involved in the town’s material development and has always been engaged in civic affairs. He served as village treasurer for fourteen years, from 1882 to 1896, and was also a justice of the peace for two years. He was the second postmaster of Hawley, serving for four years under appointment by President Cleveland. Prior to the formation of the independent school district, he served twelve years as the clerk of schools. In 1909, he was elected president of the school board and served on the building committee for the construction of the high school building. He is a member of the Masonic Order and currently serves as the master of his lodge, No. 256, in Hawley.

In 1878, Mr. Glaisyer married Miss Emma Caroline Plummer, one of the pioneer teachers of Hawley. They had seven children together. Arthur R., the eldest, is a graduate of the high school and a college in England. He is now a veterinary surgeon in the service of the United States army in the Philippines. Earnest L., the second child, is also a veterinarian and is employed by the government in Salt Lake City. Phoebe is married to Mr. Frank Wood and resides in Bismarck, N.D. Wallace Victor, a veterinarian, is in the government service in Oregon. Violet Maud, a high school graduate, lives at home. H. T. Bernard is a civil engineer, and Harold Roland, the youngest, is nearly finished with high school.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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