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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
George C. Hayes

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 209-210 of History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925, edited by Nelson Greene (Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1925). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 974.7 G81h. This online edition includes lists of portraits, maps and illustrations. As noted by Paul Keesler in his article, "The Much Maligned Mr. Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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George C. Hayes, senior member of the real estate and insurance firm of Hayes & McBride in Utica, is a worthy representative of one of the most prominent and best known families of the Mohawk valley, where it has been established since an early day. His birth occurred in Boonville, Oneida county, New York, on the 10th of February, 1871, his parents being the Hon. Albert L. and Marguerite (Addy) Hayes. The first representative of the name to take up his abode in this part of the state was Henry Hayes, the great-great-grandfather of George C. Hayes. Henry Hayes was a teacher and preacher who came to the United States from Holland in 1760 and settled in Herkimer county, New York. He served as a minute-man in the Revolutionary war. Two of the direct ancestors of George C. Hayes participated in the War of 1812, thereby entitling him to membership in the Society of the War of 1812, of which he was one of the organizers. Joseph Hayes, son of Henry Hayes and great-grandfather of George C. Hayes, was born in the town of Manheim, Herkimer (now Fulton) county. In 1823 he moved from his home near Crum Creek to Boonville with his wife and twelve children, which number included Jonas Hayes, the grandfather of Mr. Hayes of this review. Jonas Hayes, who was born in Oppenheim, Fulton county, New York, in September, 1810, was a lad of thirteen years when he accompanied his parents to Oneida county and here he remained to the time of his death, which occurred in 1895. He became widely recognized as one of the most substantial citizens of the county and, moreover, enjoyed an enviable reputation as one of the most prominent agriculturists of the locality in which he resided.

Hon. Albert L. Hayes, the father of George C. Hayes, was born in Boonville, New York, on the 17th of March, 1850. After acquiring his preparatory training in the public schools of his native town and at the Fairfield Academy, he pursued a course in law in the office of the Hon. Robert Earl of Herkimer, New York, taking up his professional studies in 1867. After his admission to the bar, in 1870, he practiced in Herkimer for a time. Later he opened law offices in Boonville, in association with Hon. Henry W. Bentley. He achieved great success in the practice of his profession and became one of the best known men in Oneida county. In the investigations and reformatory legislation which marked the celebrated ninety-fifth session of the assembly he was a central figure as one of the judiciary committee. He always took an active interest in the public affairs of the locality and served as a justice for many years. Along strictly professional lines he held membership in the Oneida County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association, while fraternally he was identified with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, serving in the various offices of the grand lodge. He married Miss Marguerite Addy, daughter of Charles Addy, a merchant of Herkimer, New York. She was a prominent and helpful member of the Presbyterian church, in the faith of which she passed away in 1911.

George C. Hayes, whose name introduces this review, is the only survivor of a family of three children. He pursued his education in the public schools of Boonville and following his graduation from the high school spent two years as a student in Hamilton College. He then entered Columbia University, from which he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1893, after which he became a student in the law department of the same institution but at the end of a year was obliged to return home because of trouble with his eyes. Mr. Hayes continued reading in the office of his father for some time but never sought admission to the state bar. He filled a position as tutor in New York city for five years, on the expiration of which period, in 1899, he returned to Boonville, where he embarked in the insurance business. It was in 1917 that he came to Utica, here forming a partnership with John C. McBride, under the firm name of Hayes & McBride, for the conduct of a real estate and insurance business. His operations in this field have not only been a source of individual prosperity but have also contributed materially to the upbuilding and improvement of the city. He has an intimate knowledge of the worth of all realty in Utica and is seldom in error in his estimate of property values.

Mr. Hayes has been twice married. In 1897 he wedded Susanna E. Encks, daughter of John H. Encks of New York city. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes became the parents of a son: Jonas Albert, who was born in August, 1898, and who died in Denver, Colorado, in 1913. The wife and mother departed this life on the 25th of May, 1900. On the 20th of November, 1902, Mr. Hayes was married to Emily M. Edic, daughter of Henry Edic, a well known agriculturist of Marcy, New York.

A contemporary biographer said:

"Mr. Hayes is a great student of American literature, being familiar with the works of the best authors of this nation, and has also frequently indulged his own fondness for writing. He is a member of the American Society of Authors and of the Genealogical Society and also belongs to the Theta Delta Chi fraternity, Society of the War of 1812, and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. During his college days he formed many warm friendships, which still exist, and he has a wide and valued acquaintance with many well known and leading literary men of the present day. There is in his life, aside from the strong qualities which have been dominant in his business career, a marked strain of sentiment, as manifest in his love for and appreciation of the best that can be found in the realms of literature."

Mr. Hayes is a member of the Utica Stamp Club and of the Utica Real Estate Board. His career has been marked by steady advancement, due to his close application, his earnest study of the business to which he has turned his attention, and his unquestioned integrity and reliability.

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