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SCHENECTADY DIGITAL HISTORY ARCHIVE

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History of the Mohawk Valley: Gateway to the West 1614-1925
Harry R. Hayes

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 59-60 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 Greene," some information in this book has been superseded by later research or was provided incorrectly by local sources.]

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In Utica Harry R. Hayes is well and favorably known as the present city engineer, a leader in his profession as a civil engineer and one of Oneida county's foremost democrats. Born in this city in 1885, he is the son of William F. and the late Esther Reilly Hayes. He is a graduate of the Assumption Academy class of 1900, and in 1909 he completed the engineering course at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was an honor student. Since then he has followed his profession in New York city and Utica. Some years ago Mr. Hayes returned to his native city, where he opened an office for private practice in general engineering, in which he met with the success to be expected of one who had so signally distinguished himself as a student of his profession. During the six years that James D. Smith was mayor of the city, Mr. Hayes held the position of commissioner of public works, and following his retirement from that office resumed his private practice. On January 1, 1924, four years later, Mr. Hayes was again called to the service of his community by Mayor Gillmore's appointment of him to the post of city engineer. Needless to add, the news of this appointment was well received by citizens of all parties, who recognize in Mr. Hayes an engineer of first rate ability and a public servant of high integrity.

Mr. Hayes's activities in behalf of the democratic party in Utica and Oneida county have entitled him to a high position in its councils. During the period that he was commissioner of public works, he was secretary of the old Democratic Association. As secretary of the local party organization he did some particularly effective work during the Gillmore campaign for the mayoralty, and after the elections of November, 1923, became secretary of the newly formed Democratic Club of this city. More recently he has been elected chairman of the democratic city committee, an office that he accepted reluctantly and only after much persuasion on the part of his political friends and admirers. Under his able direction the party is planning a "missionary" campaign that is expected to roll up big democratic majorities in the elections of the near future. Personally this young man is singularly lacking in political ambitions for one so closely connected with party affairs. The only offices he has held have been those of a more or less technical nature, already mentioned, and that of chairman of the recreation commission during the first four years of its work.

Organizations other than political have had occasion to call upon Mr. Hayes for help in supplying their leadership. Among them is the Central New York Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Alumni Association, of which he is vice president, and the Men's Club, Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, in which he is serving as president. Mr. Hayes is also identified with the Chi Phi fraternity, into which he was initiated in college days, the Knights of Columbus, Utica Lodge of Elks and the City Club of Utica. In connection with his profession he maintains a membership in the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is also a member of the University Club and member of the City Planning Commission.

On October 28, 1911, Mr. Hayes was married to Miss Joan Carney, daughter of John F. and Ellen Carney of this city. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes have five children: Esther, Margery, John C., William F., and Joan Elizabeth Hayes.

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