William "Will" Hayes
& Harris Clothing
& Hayes Clothing
Bagby Baker Hayes
Clothing stores, including those
specializing in menswear, formed an important part of downtown Denison
in the decades
around the turn of the twentieth century. Two of the most important of
stores had their roots in Hopkinsville in Christian County, Kentucky.
According to Wikipedia, "Christian County was the
of the Confederate States
Hopkinsville changed hands at least half a dozen times, being
occupied in turn by Confederate and Union forces." In the process, "The
major social and economic divisions among the people in Hopkinsville
County.... Union Camp Joe Anderson, located northwest of
Hopkinsville, was established in 1862 after the Confederate forces had
retreated to Tennessee." In December 1864, Confederate troops burned
Christian County courthouse, which the Union forces were using as a
was the background of the
town where three young men came together around 1880. That year the
found John William "Will"
Hayes (1861–1919) and James
"Jim" Boyd (1861–1927) working as "clerk in store." The
third, an allopathic doctor's son named Rufus
Sinclair Wootton (1861–1920), was a druggist. All three had been born
Christian County in 1861, just after the war began. Rufus and Will were
years later, in 1887, the
trio had arrived in Denison, Texas, and were partners in a clothing
called Wootton & Company. Selling "clothing, boots, shoes,
it was located at 200 West Main Street, at the southwest corner of
Avenue. Rufus and Jim lived at the store. Will lived at 308 North
Avenue with his widowed mother, Eliza A.
Wootton Hayes (1832–1906). Eliza was Rufus's aunt, sister to his
father, Dr. Powell C. Wootton (1830–1900), who
remained in Kentucky.
1890, the partnership dissolved.
The cousins, Rufus and Will, stayed together, while Jim Boyd opened a
in partnership with Levi Lingo. Jim's brothers, Richard and Edward,
from Kentucky and started working at the new store. Billing itself as "clothiers, hatters and gents
furnishers," Boyd &
Lingo was located at 230 West Main Street, the other end of the 200
1896, the store advertised itself as "James Boyd Clothing, Man and
In 1891, according
to the City Directory, Will Hayes had become a partner with Overton
Harris (1857–1938) in Hayes & Harris,
purveyors of clothing and gents'
furnishing goods, at 105 West Main Street. Both Hayes and Harris were
at 600 West Woodard Street and taking their meals at the McDougall
& Harris, Denison, Tex."
button found in antique mall.
Actual size 11/16 inch. This scan is much enlarged.
Wooten & Hayes, Clothing
and Men's Furnishings
200 W. Main
1896, the old Wootton & Co.
store at 200 West Main Street had become Wootton & Hayes. Will
had taken a
house at 412 West Gandy, and his mother Eliza had moved in with him.
We don't know whether the
separation of the Wootton and Boyd enterprises was amicable or
the two must have been competitors during the time after 1900, when
an economic boom. Jim Boyd became known as an energetic, inspired
promoter of quality,
trendy clothing for men. Perhaps Wootton and Hayes were less "snazzy"
in merchandise and personal style.
& Hayes, Clothing and Men's Furnishings
200 W. Main
Frank M., comp.
[N.p.] : Means-Moore Co., [ca. 1909]. Page 80
1900, the Census identified Will
as a widower with a seven-year-old daughter, Lucy C. Hayes (1893–?).
Along with Eliza, they still lived 412 West
Gandy. That would have meant that Will had married at least by 1893.
some indication that Lucy's mother was named Lulu. No wife was
mentioned in the
Denison City Directory from 1896 to 1909. The 1910 Census listed Will
divorced. Then, in 1910, Will married Luella
"Lula" Fike Elkins (1879–1925).
passed away in 1906, and the
next year the City Directory listed Will rooming at the same address as
& Hayes, 200 West Main. Three years later, the 1910 Census
daughter, Lucy, age 17, working as a servant and living at St. Xavier's
230 West Sears Street.
1900, Rufus Wootton married a
younger woman, Esther, and his father died in Kentucky on April 23.
back to Christian County to help his mother. Then he returned to
1901 he was rooming at 213 West Gandy Street. The next Census, in 1910,
him as a widowed drygoods merchant rooming upstairs at 202-1/2 West
Rufus then returned to
Kentucky. He did not appear in the 1915 Denison City Directory. He
in 1920 and was buried in Lafayette, Christian County, Kentucky.
Denison City Directory for
1915 records a major change in store ownership. Hayes, Gault &
now was located at 222 West Main. Will's new partners were Henry L.
(former conductor on the MK&T Railway) and James T. May (who
had been a
clerk at the store for several years). In 1917, the store was called
Advertisement for Hayes, Gault
222 W. Main Street
Source: DHS Yellow Jacket 1916 (yearbook), page 76-A
Will married Lula in 1910, they
first lived at 806 West Gandy. By 1913 they had moved to 521 East Main
the home of Lula's recently widowed mother. Two years earlier, Lula's
and her former husband had run a grocery store, Fike & Elkins,
at 431 East
Main. In 1913, her brother, Nelson Fike, who boarded with Will and
Lula, was a
foreman on the Missouri, Oklahoma & Gulf Railway. In 1915, the
moved to 501 East Main; but in 1917 they were back at 521 East Main.
M. K. & T. Employees'
March 1917 issue
Courtesy of :
passed away on December 14,
1919. Months later, Will's widow, her mother, and her brother Nelson
living at 501 East Main. Lula moved to 913 West Bond by 1921 and died
She was buried with Will in Fairview Cemetery.
about 1911, a relative, Oliver W. Hayes (1895–1951), lived with
Will and clerked at the store. By 1920, he had married Bess Bagby Baker
(1893–1977). By 1921, they had moved to 1015 West
Morton Street. Four years later, they had moved again, to 314 West
they remained for many years. Both Oliver and his wife became prominent
in the retail clothing business on Main Street.
Will died in 1919, Oliver
acquired his interest in Hayes & May Clothing. In 1925, Bess
department manager at Charles A. Jones, a store selling furniture and
1927, the City Directory listed
Hayes Clothier & Furnisher, owned by O. W. Hayes alone, at 323
This was across the street from the location of the prior Hayes
& May. By
that year, Bess had become a department manager at J. W. Madden's
Store at 301 West Main Street.
Signs at 100 W. Main St.
"Hayes Clothing, Smart Clothes for Men."
1934, seven years later, Oliver
W. Hayes had given up his own store and become vice-president and
Madden's, with Bess remaining a department manager there.
in 1896, Madden's
Department Store was an anchor of downtown at its location on the
corner of Main Street and Rusk Avenue. A
fire damaged the store on Christmas Eve of 1944.
By October of 1945,
a new and more modern store had been completed.
Madden's Department Store
301 West Main Street
to the Denison City Directories, Oliver worked at Madden's
through 1949, and Bess almost that long. He died on January 18, 1951.
1945, Oliver and Bess had moved from Gandy Street to 1113 West Walker.
Bess lived here at least through the 1950s.
1953, the widowed Bess was managing Edna Freels Ready-to-Wear Company,
an elegant women's clothing store at 413 West Main. The Freels store
the enterprise of another widow, Frances Edna Saunders Freels
who had been married to a local doctor, Dr. Arthur M. Freels (1883–1922).
Edna Freels had died in 1949.
her son, Jesse Saunders Freels Sr. (1912–1963), owned the
store. A prominent attorney in the Sherman law firm of Freels, Elliott,
Nall, he was also vice president of R. C. Goodman Company and lived at
622 W. Gandy with his wife Margaret Jane Stout Freels (1918–1993).
By 1955, Bess had retired from
Freels. Mrs. Ethel Smalley had succeeded her as manager at Freels. In
Mrs. Edith Reynolds was manager; J. Saunders Freels was an attorney
MK&T Railway. Though Bess lived until 1977, her listings in the
Directories show no further employment information.
West Gandy Street
grill was installed when this location was the site of Freels
home of Artplace Gallery, the grill and black/white color scheme has
been joined by a complementary painting.
Brian Christopher Hander and Rachel Willis, July 2010.