A well known name associated with the agricultural development of Crawford county is that of Hayes, the family continuing to be ably represented in the person of Thomas Hayes, who owns two hundred and eighty acres of land in Nishnabotny township, in the cultivation of which he engages.
He was born in Monona county, Iowa, on the 22d of January, 1860, and is a son of Thomas and Emily (Riggs) Hayes. The father was a native of New Jersey, but of Scotch extraction in both the paternal and maternal lines, his mother having been a McMurty prior to her marriage. Thomas Hayes, Sr., was a shoemaker, following his trade while journeying from village to village through New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Illinois, arriving in Chicago about 1835 or 1836. From there he proceeded to Burlington, where he located about 1838, continuing to make it his home for fifteen consecutive years. In 1853 he removed to Monona county, Iowa, settling in the vicinity of Onawa, where he resided for thirteen years, then came to Crawford county, first locating in Denison.
He purchased land in what is now known as Hayes township, which was later named in his honor because he broke the first prairie there. He settled upon the place and engaged in its cultivation in the fall of 1869, his family, however, did not arrive until later, continuing to make it his home until 1875, when he passed away and was buried in the township which bore his name. Mr. Hayes was always one of the prominent and highly respected men in his community, ever taking an active and helpful interest in the political affairs of the township, having served as justice of the peace and in other minor offices. His wife was a native of Kentucky but migrated to Iowa with her people in 1838, and here she met the man whom she subsequently married. She survived her husband for over twenty years, her demise occurring in 1898.
Ten children were born unto Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, the order of their birth being as follows: Amelia, deceased; Sarah, who is the wife of M. G. Wiggins. of Dow City, Iowa; Henry, a resident of Oklahoma; Martha, who has never married and is living in Omaha, Nebraska; Emma, deceased; Thomas, our subject; Callie, who married J. B. Milligan, of Nebraska; Silas, who is living in South Dakota; the ninth, who died in infancy; and James, also deceased.
The district and public schools of Hayes township and Denison provided Thomas Hayes, Jr., with his education and he determined to become an agriculturist. He remained a member of the paternal household until he had attained his twenty-third year, at which time he left to begin his career. The unsettled districts of the west had as great a fascination for him as for his father before him, so he went to Nebraska, locating upon a farm in Cuming county, which he cultivated for nine years. Returning to Iowa at the expiration of that time he purchased land on section 21, Nishnabotny township, which has continued to be his home for nearly twenty years. He has made all of the improvements upon his farm, which is one of the best in the vicinity, the buildings all being substantially constructed and well repaired.
Success has attended the efforts of Mr. Hayes and he has added to his original tract until he has acquired two hundred and eighty acres of land. He engages in general farming and stock-raising, having. a fine breed of registered shorthorns, and makes a specialty of feeding stock for the market, being one of the most extensive feeders in the township.
In 1883 Mr. Hayes was united in marriage to Miss Mary M. Milligan, a native of Pennsylvania, and they have become the parents of the following children: Clarence L., a resident of Nishnabotny township; Mabel, the wife of George Massie, of North Dakota; and Howard, Thomas, Ruth, Joseph, Katie and Irma and Enid, twins, all of whom are at home.
In politics Mr. Hayes is a republican, having served in some of the minor township offices, but his own interests have absorbed so much of his time and attention that he has never been prominently identified with public affairs. He is one of the energetic and enterprising agriculturists of the . community, whose capable direction of his affairs is bringing him a goodly measure of success.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.