A builder of modern Toledo, Irving Beecham Hiett*, through his forward-looking social consciousness, did much to shape the life of his city, both in his own time and afterward.
Head of the Irving B. Hiett Company, which he established in 1883, and credited with having built over 6,000 homes and developed more than 60 subdivisions, Mr. Hiett began his business career as an office boy in a printing company. One of the organizers of the Toledo Real Estate Board and twice its president, Mr. Hiett was also one of the five charter members of Toledo's Rotary Club and a vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce. He was active in the setting up of his city's zoning ordinance and in forming its city planning measures.
As president of the National Association of Real Estate Boards, of which he was a founder member, he urged all local real estate boards to do their utmost to bring about scientific planning and zoning in their own communities, and he appointed the Association's first committee on city planning. After a conference with Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, President Hiett appointed an Association committee on Federal co-operation, to serve as a point of contact between the government and the Association and as a framework for the collection of national data to be used as a basis for legislative action affecting the real estate field.
As a member of an advisory committee appointed by Secretary Hoover, Mr. Hiett had an important part in framing the model enabling act for city planning and zoning issued by the Department of Commerce in 1928. During the First World War, Mr. Hiett was one of the leaders of the Association who spent many weeks in Washington, giving their time without compensation in the big job of investigating and purchasing real estate required by the government.
Source: Presidents of the National Association of REALTORS®, (Chicago: NAR, 1980).