HON. WILLIAM H. HAYES.
There is no record that the American public holds in as high honor as that of the self-made man–the one who, though handicapped in youth by lack of advantages, works his way steadily upward and by the force of merit and ability wins success. Such is the record of the Hon. William H. Hayes, now mayor of Laramie, who has made for himself a creditable position in commercial circles and at the same time has been accorded the highest gift within the power of his fellow townsmen to bestow.
He was born in Hillsdale, Columbia county. New York, November 3, 1861, a son of the late Thomas S. Hayes, a native of New York, and a grandson of Hiram and Mary A. (Lee) Hayes both of whom were of English birth. They became the founders of the American branch of the family and on crossing the Atlantic settled in Columbia county, New York. The grandfather there conducted a cotton mill at Red Rock and became a prominent manufacturer of that locality. His son, Thomas S. Hayes, was a shoe merchant in Hillsdale, New York, in his earlier manhood, and in later years became a grain dealer in Brookston, Indiana, where he continued his residence until called to his final rest, passing away November 1, 1916, when he had reached the ripe old age of eighty-one years. He was a republican in his political views and filled the office of postmaster in Brookston under President McKinley, serving in that position for two terms. He married Adealia Stickle, a native of Columbia county. New York, and a daughter of William E. and Mary (Sharts) Stickle. Her father was also a representative of one of the old families of the Empire state and he became a successful and prosperous farmer. To Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Hayes were born three children, two daughters and a son: Lillian A., who is the widow of Edward Pettit, a resident of Brookston, Indiana; Mary E., who is librarian in charge of the Carnegie Library in Brookston; and William H., of this review.
The last named was educated in the public and high schools of Brookston, Indiana, and in the schools of New York. He was nineteen years of age when he left the parental roof and started out to make his way in the world. After being employed for a time by his father in connection with the grain business he became station agent for the Chicago, Indianapolis & Louisville Railroad at Brookston, occupying that position for thirteen years. He also engaged in the real estate and insurance business at that place for ten years and on the 27th of September, 1909, he arrived in Laramie, where he opened a real estate and insurance office, which he has ever since conducted. He has been very successful in handling many important realty transfers and also in writing a large amount of insurance annually. He is thoroughly familiar with local property values, knows what is upon the market and has so directed his efforts as to contribute to the development of the city as well as to his individual success. Aside from his operations in that field he is the secretary of the Laramie Telephone Company.
On the 28th of November, 1889, Mr. Hayes was married in Brookston, Indiana, to Miss Olive S. Brandon, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Brandon and a representative of one of the old families of that state. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes have become parents of a son, William Donn, who is with the Universal Film Company as a successful movie actor. He married Ada Doza and has one son, William Donn, Jr.
Mr. Hayes belongs to the Masonic fraternity, in which he has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and has also taken the degrees of Royal Arch Masonry and of the Mystic Shrine. He is now serving as secretary of Laramie Lodge, No. 3, F. & A. M. He is a veteran member of the Knights of Pythias, having been identified with that order for a quarter of a century. He belongs to the First Presbyterian church and is interested in all that pertains to the advancement and moral progress of his community. In politics he is a republican and while a resident of Indiana was very active as a party worker, there filling the office of town chairman of the republican party. In June, 1917, he was chosen mayor of Laramie by a vote of the city council, to succeed G. U. Shoemaker. Mayor Hayes has given the city a businesslike and progressive administration. He has not disappointed the hopes of his friends in this office. He has brought keen discrimination to bear upon all municipal questions and has done everything in his power to further the welfare of the city and uphold the highest civic standards. His record is indeed commendable and all who know him speak of him in terms of high regard.