Oconto County WIGenWeb Project
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HAYES

Oconto County
Wisconsin
The tiny, almost ghost-town, of HAYES was named after the Hayes Creek, which runs just to the west of the village. The creek was named after an early logger who was gone by the time the village began. Later reports state that it was named after US President Rutherford B. Hayes, however, the original Hayes family had, by then, long been living in Oconto. 

Regarding August or Gust Bartz of Hayes, brother of William and Fredrick of How and Mountain:

April 3, 1903
From Town of How Scrapbook by Bruce K. Paulson, 1986 via Carl Listle, Milwaukee, WI via internet:
"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

According to the Oconto County Reporter in the 1890's, Hayes was a large and prosperous town. It had two hotels, several saloons, two general stores, barber shop, dress maker, photography studio (proprietor was Mr. A.G. Cato, originally from Chautauqua County, New York, who offered "the good people of this locality an opportunity to 'secure the shadow ere the substance fades'."), one feed and grain store, the Lutheran church and school, the Methodist Church, blacksmith shop, cooper shop, wagonmaker and repair shop, furniture factory, a stage coach office, dray service, livery, and "many fine houses, mostly of newer design."

John Holl, early town of How pioneer homesteader,  bought one early trading post in Hayes in 1889, which he enlarged greatly into a general store. This store remained in service to the community, again moderized and enlarged in the 1950's, until the 1970's. It remained owned and operated by Anna Holl, daughter of John. Many former and present residents of the area have found memories of being invited to annual Christmas Parties at the Holl General Store by Santa and hosted by Annie Holl. Over the many decades of the store, community people were invited to an annual 4th of July picnic and fireworks, which had at one time featured competitions between local volunteer fire departments, lumberjack sill competitons, children's games and a evening barn dance where all were invited to socialize. After Annie Holl's death the store was sold and became a furniture factory, which was totally destroyed by fire a few years later. Only the Holl house remains standing. This building stood beside the store and for years served stage travelers and lumber teams meals in the hall that once was attached at the rear, while other family members saw to the store customers. John holl once owned 9 properties in Hayes.

The railroad was surveyed  and set to come through at Hayes, however, in a very quiet deal, Mr. Suring offered them free land for a railroad station in the tiny settlement of Suring, which had one house near a swamp at the time. The railroad was then built to pass Suring in 1898 and that village became the main focus of local business.

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