William Wallace Hays Obituary

Below is the text from Haysville’s founder’s obituary. Thank you to Sue Wilson. See notes at bottom.

Wichita, Eagle? about May, 1916 (Exact date unknown)


Pioneer Settler and One Time Sheriff Expires At His Home in Tacoma, Wash.


W. W. Hays, pioneer Sedgwick county miller, and for whom Haysville, Kan., was named, died at 9 o’clock Wednesday night at his home in Tacoma, Wash. He was 76 years old. Before going to Tacoma nine years ago, Mr. Hays had resided in Sedgwick county nearly 35 years. While here he helped to build up the community, both commercially and politically.

Word of the death reached Wichita early yesterday morning in a telegram to Mrs. Charles Knorr, a daughter who resides at 1618 Fairmount, avenue

W. W. Hays was born near Jacksonville, Ill. in 1840. In 1870 he came to Sedgwick county with his wife and two children, settling on a claim on the land which later was incorporated into the town of Haysville. He operated a ranch on his claim for several years, but in 1876 he decided to plunge into the milling business. When he began building a water-powered flour mill on the Cowskin the natives laughed. They had never seen such a plant before in this part of the world, and declared there was not enough water to develop power in the old Cowskin. But Mr. Hays showed them. He built the mill, and operated it successfully. Later he built two more such mills, this time on the Ninnescah. He operated all three successfully until the spring of ’77. One morning after a deluge, Mr. Hays awoke to find three of his mills gone. They went down the rivers on the crest of a flood. The mills were never rebuilt.

Later that same year President Hayes was petitioned to place a postoffice at Haysville, and to appoint W. W. Hays postmaster. The idea struck the President as a novelty, so he acted on the request. President Hayes appointed W. W. Hays postmaster of the station and gave the place the name of Haysville, after both himself and W. W. Hays. At the time it was thought that Haysville was destined to be the Peerless Princess of the Plains, but fate played to Wichita, making Haysville impossible as a great city.

Mr. Hays was a Republican, and took an active part in all campaigns, though not as a candidate. He sought office once. That was in ’85, when he was elected sheriff of Sedgwick county. He served two terms as sheriff, and made a very efficient official. Afterwards he served several years as deputy sheriff. Syl Dunkin, baker on East Douglas, and an old friend of Mr. Hays, told yesterday of some of the pioneer’s early day experience. Once, Mr. Dunkin said, about 30 years ago, Mr. Hays went to the jail door in the evening to meet a mob of men and boys who demanded that a prisoner be turned over to them for a “party.” Mr. Hays refused. The mob surged against the doors, angry and violent. The pioneer called his daughter, Anna, to the door, and sent her back for two Winchesters. By the time she got back to the door, Mr. Dunkin said the mob was nearly in the jail, and Mr. Hays and his daughter leveled the guns on the crowd, and it dispersed quietly.

Mr. Dunkin said that Mr. Hays in the early days won an enviable reputation as a buffalo hunter. He also loved to trap and fish. When the Indians came across the prairies Mr. Dunkin said that Mr. Hays was one of the few who could handle them when the fire water began setting their heads a whirling.

Mr. Hays was married to Juliet Cavanaugh at Franklin, Ill., in 1865. Besides the widow, Mr. Hays is survived by two sisters and five children. Mrs. Henry Grosh, of Haysville, and Mrs. M. A. Cloud, of Pond Creek, Okla., are the sisters. The surviving children are: Mrs. W. R. Rehm and Mrs. J. E. Darnall, both of Tacoma, Wash.; Mrs. Charles Knorr, of Wichita, and William and Dick Hays, of Tacoma, Wash. Dick Hays formerly was a reporter on the Eagle and is well known among business men in Wichita.

Burial will be made in Tacoma tomorrow. ”

Received by Sue Wilson – Sept 2 2010
sent to me by a reseacher on Ancestry.com, whose user name is (cys56). Her first name is Chris, and is from Neillsville, Wisconsin.
her comments included this:
“My Great-grandmother Sadie Maude (Stedman) Hunt 1867-1953, saved this obituary and it was handed down to me. I hope it lends some character to Mr. Hays.
The obituary was found among the her personal files held by Chris Stanga. Please list the original owner as Sadie Maude (Stedman) Hunt.”

Additional Notes:
as of Nov 24 2010–I have found the Washington State Death Records for William, his wife Julia, their son Richard E Hays and his wife Bessie Allen. Also for William and Julia’s daughter Kate Ann and her husband Walter R Rehms. As the obituary states, William Wallace Hays died in Tacoma, Pierce co., WA.. Julia Smathers (Cavanaugh) Hays died in Sunbeach, Grays Harbor co., WA., July 27, 1917. Richard E and wife Bessie (Allen) Hays both died in Tacoma, Pierce co. WA., in 1952(they are both buried in Wichita). And Kate Ann (Hays) and husband Walter R. Rehms both died in Tacoma, Pierce co., WA.. Kate died Sept 26, 1934 and her husband Walter R Rehms died May 19 1952. But as of yet, I, like so many who have researched these individuals, have yet to locate any of their actual resting places. But am still researching it.

Floyd Weldon Roberson Jr

Roberson, Floyd Weldon Jr., 65, retired Educator and Administrator for USD 261 Haysville and USD 259 Wichita died Tuesday, October, 12, 2010. Memorial service 11:00 a.m., Saturday, October 30, 2010, Cochran Mortuary, 1411 N. Broadway. He is survived by wife, Carolyn, son and daughter in law, Sean and Jeannie Roberson, daughter and son in law, Sara and Chris McKinney, four grandsons, Gabriel, Jacob, Logan and Connor, three sisters, Roma Bizzell, Janie Nusser and Lisa Gleason, mother in law, Mary Cannon. A memorial has been established in his name with Quivira Council, Boy Scouts of America, 1555 E. 2nd Street, Wichita, KS 67214.
To sign an online guest book or leave condolences or share a memory, go to www.cochranmortuary.com