Walter Frank Hayes

My Grandfather

This is information that I have received over the years while doing family research. By the time that I became interested in my family’s genealogy, my parents and grandparents had all passed. I wish that I had started looking into facts sooner.

So, let’s start with the fact that my grandfather Walter Frank Hayes was born on December 5th, 1892, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His parents were Joseph Henry Hayes and Sophia Wilhelmina Peters. Walter F. Hayes was the first of the four children born in the union of Joseph and Sophia. His brothers and sister were – Charles Henry Hayes, born August 9th, 1894: Jacob Martin Hayes, born July 8th, 1896; and Helen Elizabeth Hayes, born December 19th, 1898.

I must admit here at the start of my tale, that the marriage of Joseph Hayes and Sophia Peters was not a happy one. As I have found while doing my research, Joseph Hayes was not stable mentally. There were periods of time that he would ‘wonder’ from home and not know where he was. He also had a very bad temper and there were several times that Joseph would be abusive to Sophia and the family. The union of Joseph Henry Hayes and Sophia Peters started April 4th, 1892, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

According to the Michigan Marriage Records, Joseph was listed as being 28 and living in Grand Rapids with his occupation listed as ‘Showman’ and Sophia was also listed as living Grand Rapids at the time. Her age was listed as being 19 and her occupation was as a ‘domestic.’ On January 19th, 1899, Joseph was committed to the Asylum for the Poor of Allen County, Indiana. He was listed as insane (age 36). The union of Joseph and Sophia Hayes officially ended on January 17th, 1901. Sophia was granted a divorce because of Joseph’s abusiveness and his mental state. She was also granted custody of the children. On February 26th, 1901, Sophia Hayes married Plennie Addison Parker in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Parker family grew by another five (5) children from 1902 to 1914. That made for a bustling household for sure.

As you can see, my grandfather’s early life was not very good. He ‘made’ the newspapers on several occasions during the early years of his life. One of the earliest events immortalized in print was from the Fort Wayne Sentinel dated Friday, August 2, 1901, on page 3. It read in part –

“Local News – Walter Hays, a lad living at 108 Riverside avenue, was badly bruised up Thursday by a fall from an apple tree.”

Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

On May 30, 1904, Walter Hayes was once again in the newspapers. This time it was not a good article. From The Fort Wayne Evening Sentinel, dated Monday, May 30, 1904, on page 8.

“Hid Stolen Money in Chicken Coop – Walter Hayes Tapped a Till and Arrest Follows – Municipal Court. – Walter Hayes, ten years old and living at 332 Superior street, was in police court this morning on the charge of stealing $1.20 from the till at Phelps & Haddon’s newsstand in the Arcade and was given in charge of Probation Officer Patton. The lad sells papers for the firm and was left alone in the store a short time yesterday. He was suspected and when Detective Rulo accused him he dug up a dollar of the money from the chicken coop at his home and returned it. A few days ago the boy was taken to headquarters and questioned as to a lot of brass that had been stolen, but he stood pat on the police and nothing could be obtained from him that incriminated him or any of his companions.”

Fort Wayne Evening Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

From the Fort Wayne Daily News, dated Monday Evening, May 30, 1904, on page 4 –

“SMALL BOY TAPPED – Detective Rulo Makes Another Clever Catch”
“Detective Rulo made a clever catch last week and began the present week by capturing a young thief and locating the plunder. Early Sunday morning the Phelps & Haddon newsstand cash drawer was touched and a small amount of change taken. The case was turned over to Detective Rulo and he arrested Walter Hayes, a 12-year-old lad, whose parents reside at 332 East Superior street. He was under surveillance on a previous occasion under the belief that he had stolen some brass, but he refused to make any statement. Detective Rulo caught him Sunday so that he could not get out of the news stand robbery. He confessed that he had spent part of the money at Robison park and had buried the balance in the chicken coop at his home. This was found by the officer. The boy was turned over to the probation officer this morning.”

By Saturday June 4, 1904, Walter Hayes had been taken to juvenile court and the following was reported in the Fort Wayne Evening Sentinel on page3 –

“In the juvenile court Walter Hayes was found guilty of stealing $1 from the cash drawer at Phelps & Haddon’s news stand and sentence was suspended.”

Fort Wayne Evening Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

That wasn’t the only time that young Walter Hayes was written up in the newspapers. On Friday August 6th, 1915, the following ‘positive’ article was published in the Fort Wayne Sentinel on page 4 –

CANOEING DOWN THE MAUMEE – Two Fort Wayne Young Men Making River Trip to Toledo Walter Hayes and Art Westenfield, two Fort Wayne young men, who are making a canoe trip down the Maumee river to Toledo, reached Florida, Ohio, Thursday in the course of their journey, and write The Sentinel that they are having a delightful experience, save for the unfavorable weather that has marred part of it. The young men left Fort Wayne Sunday morning.”

Fort Wayne Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Two years later, Walter Hayes was once again in the newspapers. This time, however, it was a very happy occasion

From The Fort Wayne Daily News, dated Tuesday, June 12, 1917, on page 17.

THREE TO HILLSDALE – Fort Wayne Couples Choose the Michigan Route to Happiness (Special to the News)Hillsdale, Mich., June 9. – Three Fort Wayne couples were married Saturday in this city. Justice Weaver officiated for the wedding of Walter F. Hayes, employed in an iron store at Fort Wayne, and Miss Marie P. Hardesty. Rev. Mr. DeLamarter performed the ceremony for William H. Myers and Eva E. Freeze, and Frank Glenn, Jr. and Edith M. Emrick, all of Fort Wayne. Myers gave his occupation as a laborer and his address at 1817 Smith street. Glenn is employed at the General Electric works as an apprentice and lives with his parents at 2605 Lafayette street.”

Fort Wayne Daily News, Fort Wayne, Indiana

According to the Marriage records, Walter Frank Hayes was 24 and Marie Pauline Hardesty was 18 on their wedding day. Walter’s occupation was listed as a salesman and Marie’s occupation was listed as ‘housework.’

A Little Bit More information about the man that I called Grandpa. I don’t remember if I had a ‘nickname’ or anything other than ‘grandpa’ Hayes.

Grandpa Hayes’ education was provided by the educators at the St. Paul’s Lutheran School located in downtown Fort Wayne. The school went from 1st grade to the 8th grade. From what I have found, Grandpa Hayes did not attend ‘public schools’. Walter F. Hayes graduated from St. Paul’s School in 1905. He continued his education at Concordia College also located in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 1905, Concordia College taught students from the 9th grade to the 14th. He graduated from Concordia in 1911. According to the website – Concordia College | lost-colleges ( I found the following information.

“There Concordia operated two curricula—a Classical course to prepare students for study in the liberal arts and a Theological course to prepare Lutheran ministers. In 1847 the Lutheran Church moved the school to St. Louis. In 1861, the campus moved again—this time to Ft. Wayne, where it was combined with the Practical Theological Seminary there. In 1907 Concordia College became a military academy, so that it became a combination of a rigorous liberal arts college organized as a military school, whose graduates most often went on to seminary and the ministry. The Concordia Campus was located on a plot bounded by Maumee Avenue, Washington Boulevard, Anthony Avenue and Schick Street in Fort Wayne. “

After graduation, Walter F. Hayes went to work for the firm called Fort Wayne Iron Store Co. as a salesman. According to his World War I Draft registration, he was working for the Iron Store on June 2, 1914. Walter Frank Hayes also noted on the draft registration that he was a bugler while in college. That means that he was also a part of the military academy. From the information that I have found so far, Grandpa Hayes worked for the Fort Wayne Iron Store from 1912 to 1931.

An article dated Saturday, February 18th, 1922, found in the Fort Wayne News Sentinel on page 17, recounts that the business was twenty years old. The article states the following: –

“Twenty years ago the Fort Wayne Iron Store company started in the heavy hardware jobbing business in the old Third Presbyterian church. They started on a shoe string and a lot of enthusiasm, but they had one great asset – a thorough knowledge of the business.
The members of the firm, with the assistance of one clerk and a stenographer, did all the work. They went out on the road and sold the goods and then came in and got out the orders, packed and shipped them. They ‘cleaned the windows and they swept the floor and they polished up the handle of the big front door.’ Only there wasn’t any front door. The office was in a small room, up a winding stairs behind the belfry, and visiting salesmen frequently wandered about the place for half an hour before finding it.”… “Eight years ago (1916) they added a full line of automotive equipment and supplies, and this is today the big end of their business. They are very particular in protecting their dealers and they sell no goods at retail. Their business being absolutely one hundred percent wholesale. They now travel 10 salesmen, all of whom drive cars, and cover a large part of Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan.”
In 1931, Walter Hayes moved over to a newly formed firm call Motor Parts and Equipment Company. Not only was he a salesman, according to his obituary, he was also a board member. Walter then went on to work for a company called Becker Paper Company as a salesman. He was with Becker Paper until 1935.

Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

As the depression changed the United States, so did the job fortunes of Grandpa Hayes. He moved on to work for the WPA as a ‘Timekeeper’. According to my Uncle Jack Hayes, grandpa became associated with the Fort Wayne Waterworks (City Utilities). There he was a meter reader and an inspector. During his years with the Waterworks, he worked alongside his good friend George Bond.
As I was talking with Uncle Jack Hayes concerning Grandpa Hayes, he mentioned that it was George Bond who persuaded grandpa to run for public office. He felt that Walter Hayes had the ability and skills to do a great job during the current events during the Depression.
Walter Hayes ran in the primary of 1938 and won the Republican race for Wayne Township Trustee in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After winning the candidacy for the Trustee position, he had to come up with a campaign. He came up with a newspaper campaign that was geared toward the residents of Wayne Township. The following is an advertisement that was placed in several newspapers throughout the summer and fall. It was found in the News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana on Saturday, November 5th, 1938 (just before the election on the 8th of November).

– Republican Candidate for TRUSTEE Wayne Township”
“To The Voters of Wayne Township:

I want to be your Trustee, because: I am qualified by education and experience to serve you well, in that office. I believe my program will save the taxpayers money, and at the same time give deserving relief clients better care.
My Pledges
1 – Efficient, business-like methods will be installed in the administrative and purchasing departments
2 – Every merchant in Wayne Township will be invited to participate in the business originating in the Trustee’s office. Relief clients will be served by their own grocers, fuel dealers, druggists, shoe repairers and various other merchants and dealers.
3 – I will co-operate with the medical and dental societies in their efforts to maintain doctor-patient relationship with lowest possible cost to the taxpayer.
4 – I will co-operate with the Federal, State, and Local Authorities in all efforts to give humane relief to the needy and distressed. The Trustee’s office will co-operate with all organized Social-Welfare groups, in any efforts to give immediate relief in case of emergency. Courteous and sympathetic consideration will be given all applications for relief.
5 – Without political bias, I will maintain a high standard of education in the township schools, and will co-operate at all times with patrons in making improvements and changes if needed and advisable. 6 – I will invite constructive criticism, but I will not relinquish any powers given this office by the Constitution. I will be your Trustee in fact – not in theory. Walter F. Hayes
This Advertisement Donated by Republican Friends.

News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

The results from the General Election of 1938 were as follows: Wayne Township Trustee – Democrat – Joseph R. Crowley – 22, 073 — Republican – Walter F. Hayes – 27,633 — Independent – Paul A. Thompson – 56.

The term for the office of Township Trustee was for four (4) years and they could hold the office for only two terms for a total of eight years. After that time, they could work in the Trustee’s office as an assistant Trustee. George Bond was his chief deputy during his terms in office. Walter F. Hayes ran again in 1942. Because he had done a great job, he was re-elected for four more years. The results for the 1942 General Election of the Wayne Township Trustee were the following: Democrat – Otto F. Strodel – 14,761 — Republican – Walter F. Hayes – 22,726. Yes, he was re-elected for four more years. Again, George Bond was his assistant.

Since, Walter Hayes could not run again as the township trustee, he ran for the Republican nominee for County Treasurer in the 1946 primary. According to a newspaper article found in the Fort Wayne News Sentinel dated January 31, 1946. In the article it said

“Walter F. Hayes, Wayne Township Trustee – today announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination as Treasurer of Allen County. He will complete his second term as Trustee of Wayne Township this year. At the time he took office the school township was bankrupt with claims of non-payment of rentals on Hillcrest and Elmhurst schools outstanding. All claims have been satisfied and the school corporation has advanced from a second class to a first class rating.
Mr. Hayes instituted a lunch program, in co-operation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in schools of the township, including the city of Fort Wayne. He was appointed as consignee by the Indiana Department of Welfare and USDA to distribute surplus to all schools in Allen County.
Through Mr. Hayes’ efforts, the first Food Stamp Office in Indiana was set up in Fort Wayne and later the first Cotton Stamp Office in the Midwest was established here. Under his administration, $1,153,576 worth of food stamps and $20,460 worth of cotton stamps were issued to Wayne Township and Allen County welfare cases for the purchase of food and material from local merchants.”

Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

There were four other candidates for this position. They were John Brewer, Samuel Cook, Walter Hayes, and Walter Elebe. When the results came in on primary night, Walter F. Hayes had 3294 votes and the winner Samuel Cook had 4319 votes. In 1946, George Bond ran for the office of Wayne Township Trustee, and he won by almost 9,000 votes. Grandpa Hayes became his chief deputy for the four years. He took the position after losing the County Treasurer’s race in the Primary Election.

Walter Hayes did not give up on public office after losing the 1946 primary. He made a bid for the Office of Mayor of Fort Wayne in the May primary on May 6th, 1947. The following is from a political newspaper advertisement in the Fort Wayne News Sentinel dated May 3, 1947.

“PUBLIC STATEMENT By Walter Hayes – Republican candidate for Mayor

The Officers of the Property Owners and Taxpayers Association publicized that Democratic candidate was the only candidate who was opposed to the construction of the Super-Highways as Proposed. They are in error on this statement.
I also informed them that on all major projects, the citizens of the city had a right to a referendum.
I do not believe that any minority group has a right to force the expenditure of large sums of the taxpayer’s money.
I do not believe in Progress; therefore, I also do not believe that any minority group has the right to hinder Progress.
Fort over thirty years the citizens of Fort Wayne have been endeavoring to have the Mayor and City Council pass an ordinance authorizing a referendum for the elevation of the Nickel Plate Railroad. There is no doubt that if this subject had been placed on the ballot, especially during the depression period, the Nickel Plate would already be elevated.
I do not believe in Minority Rule.

Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Unfortunately, he did not win in the Republican Primary vote. This was his last run for public office. Grandpa Hayes remained in the Wayne Township Trustee’s office until his passing on February 14th, 1954

Doing the Job
While doing research I found the following newspaper articles concerning Walter Hayes and his role as the Wayne Township Trustee.
From the Fort Wayne News Sentinel, dated November 1, 1938, on the opinion page.

“Private Opinions Publicly Expressed
(continued from page six) The countless people who know Mr. Hayes know that he will keep his campaign promises. There will be no “remote control” of township affairs with Walt Hayes as Trustee, and the indications are that he will be elected by a Landslide. By David Hogg.”

Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Fort Wayne News Sentinel dated December 21, 1938, on page 1

“County Medics Will Consider Township Plan”

Trustee-Elect’s Proposal for New Doctor-Patient Setup To Be Discussed
A proposal to establish a doctor-patient health plan to succeed the present clinic program in the Wayne Township Trustee’s office will be considered at a meeting of the Allen County Medical Association at the Chamber of Commerce next Tuesday night. The proposal to provide persons with more adequate individual care by a physician of their own choice was suggested during the recent election campaign in the platform of Walter Hayes, successful candidate who will assume office January 1.” “Under the recommendations of Mr. Hayes, the plan would be supervised by a joint board of the Wayne Township Trustee’s office and the Allen County Medical Association.” “At present, persons cared for by the trustee’s office receive medical care from the township clinic, 921 Barr Street, which is comprised of a clinic physician and two associates. (Now) Persons receiving attention and assistance from the township trustee’s office would be permitted the selection of their family doctor or any physician of their choice.”

Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

In a letter to the Editor of the Fort Wayne News Sentinel that was printed on January 27, 1939, page 6, the following was stated by M.E.B

“Defends Trustee”
I was very much amused when reading our News-Sentinel for January 19, and finding such an article about Mr. Walter Hayes, our Wayne Township Trustee.
This is an absolute falsehood about Mr. Hayes. Some people would not be satisfied even though they had the world with a gold fence around it. Now I am on direct relief and I was never treated any more considerately than by Mr. Hayes, thought I don’t know the man personally and never saw him, but the courtesies of his office are supreme. I do think Mr. Hayes should have all protection possible. Such jeopardy is serious, and I think the writer of the threatening letter should be found, and punished to the full extent of the law.
Under the former trustee we did not have the privilege of choosing our own grocery’ after January 15, 1939, we were eligible to this opportunity., which we never had before. Remember, Mr. Hayes took office January 1, 1939, and he has given us one-longed for opportunity. Why should so much more be required of Mr. Hayes than Mr. Fox…. Looks like more is required of Mr. Hayes in the few days of his term than was expected in the eight years of Mr. Fox’s team.”

Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

In another news article found in the Fort Wayne News Sentinel dated November 28, 1939 on page 1

“Trustee Planning Convalescent Home for Indigent Sick”
“Possibility of establishing a home to care for indigent sick persons during periods of convalescence is being studied by Walter F. Hayes, trustee of Wayne Township. Present plans are to make the home a WPA project sponsored by the Wayne Township. The home would be used for patients who have not been receiving hospitalization and those who are released from hospitals but still need professional labor and nursing service and the township would supple materials and practical work.”

Fort Wayne News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, Indiana

What else have I found about my Grandfather Walter F. Hayes.

Grandpa Hayes was very active in several organizations during his lifetime. Here are a few that I have found:

  • 1) Maumee Lodge, F&A.M 725 – where he earned the lodge’s Super Excellent Degree
    2) Fort Wayne Chapter No. 19, Royal Arch Masons
    3) Fort Wayne Commandery No. 4, Knights Templar
    4) 32nd Degree Scottish Rite, Valley of Fort Waye
    5) Council 212, United Commercial Travelers, for 35 years
    6) Fraternal Order of Eagles
    7) Member on the board of directors of the Community Chest for 5 years, and several others

When doing genealogy research, I found that the U.S. Census forms were very interesting. Not only did I find the members of the Hayes family in the census year, I was also found their ages and occupations at the time.

Here is what I found :

1900 – The family lived in Washington Township, Allen County, Indiana. I assumed it was the 108 Riverside Avenue location. By 1904, they moved to 332 Superior Street.

Helen Hayes – Daughter – Age 1 –

Members of the household for the Census report:

Elizabeth Peter – Head – Age 63- occupation -none listed
Sophia Hayes – Daughter – age 25 – occupation Servant
Walter Hayes – Son – Age 7 – – in school
Charles Hayes – Son – Age 5 – in school
Helen Hayes – Daughter – Age 1 –

1910 – The family lived at 102 Riverside Avenue, Washington Township, Fort Wayne, Indiana. According to the US Census, their Uncle Jacob Peters (age 40) lived at 106 Riverside Avenue. Just a few doors down the street.

Members of the household for the Census report:
Plennie Parker – Age 34 – occupation – Wagon Driver
Sophia Parker – Age 31 – occupation – none
Walter Hayes – Age 17 – occupation – Laborer at a Hardware Store
Charles Hayes – Age 15 – occupation – Stage Hand at a theater
Martin Hayes – Age 13 – occupation – Worked as a helper on a dairy farm
Helen Hayes – Age 11 – occupation – in school
Malinda Parker Age 8 – occupation – in school
Paul Parker – Age 4 –
Sophia Parker – Age 2 –

1920 – The Census family became that of Walter F. Hayes. They lived at 705 St. Mary’s Avenue, Fort Wayne city, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Date of the census was taken January 20th, 1920.

Members of the household for the Census report:
Walter Hayes – Age 29 – occupation – Salesman for the Iron Store – Commercial Traveler
Marie Hayes – Age 22 – occupation none
Arthur Hayes – Age 1 5/12

1930 – The Census family increased. They now lived at 1056 Delaware Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana
The census was taken on April 17th, 1930. According to the Fort Wayne News Sentinel dated March 24, 1930, Fires damage a number of home in Fort Wayne including that of Walter Hayes, 1056 Delaware Avenue with $5 in damages.

Members of the household for the Census report:
Walter F. Hayes – Age 37 – occupation Salesman for the Iron Store
Marie P. Hayes – Age 31 – occupation none
Arthur C Hayes – Age 11
Walter Jr. Hayes – Age 8
Barbara J. Hayes – Age 6
Dorothy M. Hayes – Age 3 11/12
Jack E Hayes – Age 1

1940 – The Census Family increased on this census. They continued to live at 1056 Delaware Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The census was taken on April 10th, 1940. In a newspaper article in the Fort Wayne News Sentinel dated March 12, 1940 on page 28, it stated: Fire Alarms 11:35 a.m. today 1056 Delaware Avenue, Walter Hayes, sparks, $150 loss on building and $25 loss on contents

Members of the household for the Census report:
Walter F. Hayes – Age 47 – occupation Trustee (Township)
Marie P. Hayes – Age 41 – occupation none
Arthur C Hayes – Age 21 – occupation Bill Passer – City Utilities
Walter Jr. Hayes – Age 18 –
Barbara J Hayes – Age 16
Dorothy M Hayes – Age 13
Jack E Hayes – Age 10
Beverly A Hayes – Age 9

1950 – The Census family was reduced down. They continued to live at 1056 Delaware Avenue, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The census was taken on April 13, 1950. Mr. Ward Staley lived next door to the Hayes family. He also worked at the Small Motors Division-Factory- Tool Gauger.

Members of the household for the Census report:
Walter F. Hayes – Age 57 – occupation Township Trustee office
Marie P. Hayes – Age 51 – occupation Small Motors Division-Factory-Place Stators
Jack E. Hayes – Age 20 – occupation Building Contractor – Laborer
Beverly A. Hayes – Age 19 – occupation Sales Clerk – Retail Department Store

As I may have mentioned before, I do not have any distinctive memories of my Grandpa Hayes. I have been able to find various photographs that involve my grandmother and grandfather Hayes.

Unfortunately, I was seven years old when my Grandpa Hayes passed away. I have talked with my cousins over the years and found that they also felt that the Hayes family had been very close growing up. I have always felt loved by all of my Hayes relatives. My grandmother Hayes was the main pillar of the family. It seemed that growing up I was with her or Aunt Beverly almost every week Since my mother did not drive, we depended upon Grandma Hayes or Aunt Beverly to take the family various places around Fort Wayne until 1963. In that year, I learned to drive.

Here are a few photos of Grandpa and Grandma Hayes:

Walter Hayes Jr.
Arthur Hayes Sr.
Jack Hayes
Barbara Hayes
Dorothy Hayes
Beverly Hayes