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Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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Special thanks to Dave Cisler, Cathe and Grandpa Mike Zieries, Kate and Jack Philippi, and the Oconto County Reporter for photographs.

Main Street, Hayes,
looking east c: 1900.

The first building on the right is the Holl General Store, established in 1887 and run by John Holl, Sr. (standing on the store porch with his wife and second daughter  Kate). The building was a furniture factory when it was destroyed by fire in the 1970's. Next on the right is the Blacksmith Shop, Bartz cheese factory then Johnson's Saloon. Buildings in Hayes also included private homes, as well as several other commercial buildings described in the Oconto County Reporter, 1898 "two hotels, several saloons, two general stores, barber shop, dress maker, photography studio, one feed and grain store, the Lutheran church and school, the Methodist Church, blacksmith shop, cooper shop, wagon maker and repair shop, furniture factory, a stage coach office, dray service, livery, and "many fine houses, mostly of newer design." Only one commercial building is left in Hayes with a few private homes dotting main street.

Oconto County

Early Pioneers and Hayes Merchants

John and Veronica (Fronnie Kurz) Holl, Sr.

The young couple sat for a photograph in the new Hayes studio of former New York photographer Arthur Cato. John had just purchased a small Hayes store. He went on to build a larger general store in 1898 which served the community into the 1970's. John had originally settled and also maintained a Town of How homestead which he built from the wilderness from 1880. Over the years he served as Hayes postmaster, Justice of the Peace, Road Commissioner, School Board member and more. The couple raised 7 children and celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1935 at their home in Hayes.                     

built 1900
photo 2003

Holl Family Home

The Holl Family moved from their homestead in town of How to quarter above the brand new general store in Hayes. Several years later they moved into this house which still remains in Hayes. It once stood next to the Holl General Store and remained the family residence into the 1970's when the last family store proprietor, Anna Holl, passed away. The store building burned several years after her death.

At one time there was an ornate front porch and a large wing on the back of the house. This wing was one large room and served as a restaurant to stage coach travelers, and also dining hall for logging crews working in the area. Veronica Kurz Holl and her daughters Kate and Elizabeth prepared meals on a very large wood burning stove in that wing. Gatherings for local families also used the "Holl Hall" for anniversaries, wedding receptions, dances, wakes, holidays and other celebrations. If food was requested, the hard working Holl women served well respected old family recipes.

First home
in Hayes was built in the 1860's and was also a trading post (door on the left) until a separate store was built next door.
This building was originally constructed by Joe (Julius) Suring, then owned by Herman Hankwitz and later, William Strehlow.

          built 1880's
The only commercial building standing in Hayes.
First store in Hayes as it appeared in 1971 

First store
built in Hayes and the last commercial buillding standing in 2003.

Hayes Blacksmith Shop [gone] owned by August Radlaff [seated on chair near horses] Wm. Strehlow holding horse, father & mother and 3 of the children are Muellers- the rest unknown.

built 1904
St. John's Lutheran Church
 in Hayes
remains active. 
This building replaced the log church that was built in 1884.

built 1885
Evangelical United Brethren
as it looked in 1888.
It no longer stands.

C: 1890 

Hayes Graded School

Built in 1883 was the first school building in Town(ship) of How. It initially taught grades one throught twelve. The school was also used for meetings,  celebrations, weddings and other community activities. The building remained a  school until the mid 1900's  when it was enlarged and updated with funding by Annie Holl and remains a community center.

Herman Hankwitz
and family
came to Hayes in 1882. 

 Herman Hankwitz bought the Joe (Julius) Suring store that year. He sold that building in 1892 and constructed a larger store in Hayes in 1901 (above)

In a "lean-to" attached to the Hankwitz Store, cobbler Mr. Schultz made and repaired the shoes that kept Hayes and the surrounding area on it's feet. His specialty was hob-nailed boots (metal spiked soles) that were used by lumbermen and farmers clearing the land.
   Bartz Cheese Factory 

April 3, 1903
"Gust Bartz bought the Hayes Cheese Factory from H. Muiller for $535.00. 
He is putting on and addition."

August 21, 1906
Gus Bartz is in the process of erecting a new cheese factory. It will be built of brick. Paul Bartz, Alvin Hischke and Wm. Buhrandt are at work on the same. Such a building and business will be a credit to Hayes. Mr.  Bartz's activity in his own town had been and is a benefit to the farmers, it encourages people to keep cows and gives employment to boys 
in their own homes. Information provided by Kathy Barlament

Farmers hauled their own milk to the cheese factory daily where it was weighed and bought. Mr. Bartz proudly stands in the middle of this photo in a white shirt with hands on his hips. With travel increased by new roads and the railways, affording better ways to market goods, dairy farming increased rapidly and became a highly respected family business that many settlers worked hard to achieve.
Photo taken 1980's

The building is no longer standing.

1970s Birdseye View of Hayes

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