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Hanyan Family papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS-0004

Scope and Content

The collection contains biographical and historical information on early Guthrie County, Iowa, businesses and inhabitants; financial ledgers for the Hanyan and Nichols Flour Mill, the Jackson and Garlow Hardware Company, the Garlow and Hanyan Hardware Company and the Sylvester E. Hanyan Hardware Company; and a correspondence book from the Jackson and Garlow Hardware Company and the Garlow and Hanyan Hardware Store. Contained in the biographical and historical information are photocopies from History of Guthrie and Adair Counties, Iowa, 1884, and Guthrie County Centennial: 100 Years of Progress, 1951. The photocopies document the history of the Hanyan family in Guthrie County, Iowa. The financial ledgers document the account activity of customers of the Hanyan and Nichols Flour Mill (1864-1872, 1885), the Jackson and Garlow Hardware Company (1875-1879), the Garlow and Hanyan Hardware Company (1885-1888), and the Sylvester E. Hanyan Hardware Company (1899-1902, 1903-1905, 1907-1910). The correspondence book contains copies of correspondence written by the Jackson and Garlow Hardware Company and the Garlow and Hanyan Hardware Store to vendors and business associates.

For additional information about the Hanyan family see A Glimpse Into the Past: History and Reflections of Sylvester E. Hanyan and Panora, Iowa by Mary C. Gift which can be found by searching the library catalog.


  • 1864-1910

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Issac Howard Hanyan was dispatched from New York City in 1856 by the United States Government as a millwright to establish mill sites and rebuild early mills in Iowa. Hanyan’s wife, Eliza Elliott, and their children Sylvester E. and Esther A. accompanied him to Iowa. Issac’s first assignment was to rebuild the Adel Mill in Dallas County; his second assignment was to build the Pearson Mill in Guthrie County. While the Pearson Mill was under construction, Hanyan and his family lived at West Milton, Iowa. In 1857 Hanyan moved to Panora, Iowa, and purchased one-half interest from a Mr. Beaman in the Anderson Mill, which was built by John Anderson in 1852. It was the first saw mill west of Des Moines, Iowa. The mill was converted to a gristmill during its first year of operation. During Hanyan’s partnership the mill was rebuilt and equipped with new machinery. A frame building was constructed near the mill to provide overnight accommodations for customers and housing for mill employees.

Samuel D. Nichols, Issac Hanyan’s future son-in-law, moved to Panora, Iowa, in 1857, and worked as a surveyor and attorney. He started the Guthrie County Ledger newspaper and served as a First Lieutenant in the 4th Iowa Volunteer Infantry, Company C, during the Civil War. Following his return from military duty, Nichols was appointed District Attorney of the Guthrie County Judicial District, and served in that capacity for three years. Nichols purchased Mr. Beaman’s portion of the Mill in 1864. In 1878 Nichols became sole proprietor of the mill. In 1875 he was elected to the Iowa State Senate, and reelected in 1879 serving a total of eight years.

Sylvester E. Hanyan purchased a one-third interest in 1877 in the Jackson and Garlow Hardware Company, which was established in Panora, Iowa, in 1875. In 1879 Sylvester purchased the Jackson portion of the business and became sole owner in 1899 when he acquired the Garlow interest in the business. Hanyan managed the store until 1943 when his daughter, Vessie Hanyan Dickson, assumed management responsibilities. She managed the store until December 1, 1950, when it was sold to Hugh Teale, Jr.


2.25 Linear Feet (1 document box, 2 half-document boxes, and 1 oversize box)


The collection is arranged chronologically.

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

MS-0004. Hanyan Family papers, 1864-1910
December 12, 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672