Hon. Gus Hadwiger. Whether as jurist, legist, soldier or citizen, the record of Hon. Gus Hadwiger, of Alva, Oklahoma, is one which reflects honor upon him and entitles him worthily to the confidence and esteem so freely granted him by his fellow-citizens. The present county judge of Woods County was born May 31, 1869, in the State of Moravia, Austria, and is a son of Augustine and Louise (Heinz) Hadwiger. His parents came to the United States in 1878, locating on Government land in Barton County, Kansas, but subsequently removing to Harper County, where they engaged in farming. Augustine Hadwiger died at Attica, Kansas, in 1896, at the age of sixty-two years, while the mother still survives at that place and is seventy-five years of age. They were married in 1868, and eight children were born to them, namely: Gus, of this notice; Louise, who is the wife of Jacob Beberstein, a farmer of Harper County, Kansas; Frank, who is engaged in farming at Ashley, Oklahoma; Albertina, who is the wife of Joseph Baird, a farmer of Attica, Kansas; Augustina, who is deceased; Ralph, a farmer of Alfalfa County, Oklahoma; Odella, who is the wife of John Yoocum, of that county, an agriculturist; and William, who is also engaged in farming there.
Gus Hadwiger commenced his education in the schools of his native land, which he attended for three years. On coming to the United States he went to the district schools of Barton and Harper counties, Kansas, and when he was only eleven years old went to Pueblo, Colorado, where be started life as a newsboy, and continued to be so engaged for two or more years. From that time forward he was engaged in a variety of pursuits, accepting whatever honorable employment would give him advancement, and in 1893 made the run from a point near Kiowa, Kansas, at the opening of the Cherokee Strip, and settled on Government land in old Woods County, near the present Town of Ingersoll, which at this time is in Alfalfa County. In 1895 Mr. Hadwiger was appointed deputy sheriff of Woods County, a capacity in which he served for three years, and at the same time acted as United States deputy marshal.
On July 30, 1899, Mr. Hadwiger enlisted as a private in Company F, Thirty-second Regiment, United States Volunteer Infantry, and went from Alva with the only organized detachment from Oklahoma to the Philippine Islands, at the time of the native insurrection. He served with this regiment until May 8, 1901, and rose from private through the various grades from corporal to second lieutenant, being one of the only three promoted from the ranks in the regiment. He participated in eighteen engagements and skirmishes, and his various promotions all came as a result of bravery and gallantry in action. On being mustered out of the service he was recommended for and was tendered a commission in the regular United States Army, but declined. In 1908, on examination by a board of regular army officers, he was awarded a certificate of eligibility for captain of infantry of volunteers, in case of another war, issued by the United States Secretary of War. Mr. Hadwiger was commissioned second lieutenant in the Oklahoma National Guard in 1905 and has since been promoted to captain and quartermaster of the First Infantry. As a member of the Oklahoma Rifle Team, he attended the National Rifle Shooting Tournaments, in 1908, 1909, 1910 and 1912, at Camp Perry, Ohio; in 1913 he was coach of the Oklahoma Rifle Team, and in 1911 and 1913 was captain of the Evans Skirmish Match Team, winning second prize in the former year, and the first prize, the Evans Skirmish Match Trophy, in 1913.
After his return to the United States in 1901, Mr. Hadwiger settled again in old Woods County, where, in 1904, he was elected sheriff, an office in which he served for three years. He was then engaged in farming for a time, but finally decided upon a career in the law, and accordingly entered the Valparaiso (Indiana) Law School, from which he was graduated in 1910 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws. After an examination before the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, Mr. Hadwiger was admitted to the practice of his profession, and at once settled at Alva, where ha continued in the enjoyment of a constantly-increasing professional clientèle until 1914, when he was elected county judge of Woods County, a position which he still retains. As a judge he has shown himself possessed of a thorough knowledge of the law, as well as a fairness and impartiality that makes him one of the most popular judges in this part of the state. He is a republican in his political views, and has long been a distinct influence in his party, but has not allowed partisanship to enter into his judicial decisions. His fraternal connection is with the Masons.
Judge Hadwiger was married April 29, 1896, at Alva, Oklahoma, to Miss Elizabeth Braden Smith, who was born in Sullivan County, Missouri, March 15, 1871, a daughter of Liberty R. Smith. To this union there has come one son: Robert Lee Spence, who was born July 17, 1902.