The following is a transcription of a front page article, published in the Manchester Daily Union on March 9, 1905 concerning the death of John Hayes. John Hayes was born November 23, 1819 and is the youngest child of John Hayes and Hanora Leahey of Killarney, Ireland. He is the brother to my great x2 grandfather, Jeremiah Hayes of Manchester, NH. There is so much to write about him, but this article provides a grand overview of things we would never have known about him. The detail is extraordinary

Died at home last evening

John Hayes, leading businessman is no more

Cause was pneumonia

Had been connected with Manchester’s history for over 40 years — was born in Ireland 86 years ago — was a cabinet maker in his youth — his life, a busy one.


John Hayes, for over 40 years one of Manchester’s leading business men and staunch Irish citizens, rightly termed, “the fine old Irish gentleman,” died last evening. Death came to him at his family home, corner of Oak and Harrison streets, at 9:30 o’clock, from an attack of pneumonia, against which he put up a gallant battle. For days, he had been slowly sinking, only his indomitable will and nerve, which had so characterized his whole life work, keeping a hold on life. He was in his 86th year.

He is survived by two sons, Samuel J Hayes of Tampa, Florida and Joseph J Hayes of this city, and several grandsons.

Mr. Hayes belonged to no secret societies, but was one of the oldest members of St. Joseph’s church and an honorary member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians. When the New Hampshire Catholic club was in existence, he was a prominent worker in that.

He was a man of very career and had among his personal acquaintances many of the best known Irish statesman and workers in the Irish cause. When in the old country he was in close touch with the nobility and once baked “Sally-Luns” for the King of England.

John Hayes was born in Ireland on November 23, 1819, and it was amid these historic surroundings of the Lakes of Killarney that he was reared. his ancestors were all well to do farmers, some of them owning large possessions and cultivating large acres of land. It was here on his father’s farm that he spent his boyhood days, romping the fields in play and turning the sods in work, building that robust constitution and untiring energy which permitted him to be so active in his declining years.

This education was the best that could be given him in those times of oppression by the English nobility. At the age of 10 years he attended the town school at Killarney, but only for about 18 months, as he then entered the employ of his uncle, a cabinetmaker, to learn that trade.

His first carving was on a cabinet which was afterwards presented to Dwarkanath Tagore, the Prince of India, who founded several of the universities in the old country.

After becoming an adept at his trade in getting together a little money by hard work and prudent living he started a baking business in a moderate way in County Kerry. This was in 1846. He was 50 and success followed him. He prospered and his business grew until he owned a large mill and dealt in corn, grain, stock feed and some kinds of agricultural products. He supplied the nobility and the garrisons and was rated as a wealthy man. But his wealth was all in his business property.

Like many men, who have stared success in the face, however, fortune ceased to smile upon him. The seasons of 61, 62 and 63 were wet ones and the crops failed. Mr. Hayes, instead of calling in his loans to the farmers, renewed them, paying interest on the notes and depending upon the future crops to receive his reimbursement. Even with this he would have survived the hard times had he not lost heavily in a gigantic tea swindle. This involved $65,000 and he was not alone, for it was perpetrated on merchants throughout Ireland.


By fine paper and smooth agents, different merchants were induced to purchase large invoices of tea by sample, the goods being left in the custom house in bond. Mr. Hayes released the tea bond and was afterwards informed that the tea was the property of other parties than represented. He declined to give it up and law proceedings were instituted. Sir Colin O’Loughlin was his counsel. The decision was against Mr. Hayes, although it is said that the justice remarked that it pained him greatly to make the decree for he believed that Mr. Hayes had been defrauded.

This swindle ruin Mr. Hayes and when his affairs were settled he had but little to show for his former wealth.

His baking business, until this crash came, was eminently successful. He had carried it on for 18 years watching it grow from a modest industry to one of the largest in the country. His customers included such as the family of Daniel O’Connell, the great Irish statesman.

When Prince Edward, now Edward VII, King of England, was making one of the tours through Ireland, Mr. Hayes prepared some gems, which he called “Sally Luns,” from a very fine flour mill in Paris, and presented them to His Highness at breakfast (a Sally Lunn is a large bun or teacake made with a yeast dough including cream, eggs, and spice, similar to the sweet brioche breads of France.) Although forbidden by general Faulkner, who was in charge of the prince’s tour, to eat anything save that prepared by his own sweet, the dish was so appetizing and so tempting that he broke one of the gems open and ate it. He afterwards commended Mr. Hayes on his cooking and the preparation of the dish.

It was in 1864, that Mr. Hayes decided to come to America and begin his endeavors to build up a fortune a new. Accordingly, he and his family came to New York. His brother was then located in Manchester, and it was this that brought him to the city.

The rebellion was at its height, and he found a ready demand for Baker’s. For several months he was employed by A G Fairbanks at the Soldiers Hospital on the old fairground. The buildings are those which now lie just south of the locomotive works.

For two years following, he was in the grocery business, after which he went into business for himself, opening the wine and liquor store on Concorde Street, under the firm name of John Hayes & Company. His son David M Hayes was associated with him until his death. The old sign was still kept up over the door, and hangs there to this day. There are few places of business that have occupied the same stand for 30 years.

In 1868 he built a house on the corner of Harrison and Polk streets, at the southwest corner of the Amoskeag reservoir. It was then a full half mile from the nearest habitation, but his good judgment and long sightedness was shown again, for this is now the very center of a splendid residential section and his property is a valuable one.

When Mr. Hayes came to Manchester there was but one Catholic Church and but one priest to minister to the faithful. He watched the church grow to its present strength and influence. He too saw the remarkable growth of the city. From a population of about 16,000, when he first came here, it has grown to one of the leading cities in New England, with a population today up nearly 70,000.

In the career of John Hayes, whose life for nearly 40 years is familiar to all of the old residents of Manchester, no one thing stands out so predominantly as the friendship he has enjoyed with the leading men of his nationality. John Hayes by birth was an Irishman, built by heart he was an American. A faithful citizen of his adopted country, no man was ever more anxious or willing to serve her.

He was a hard and earnest worker, and above all prudent. Had he not had so generous a heart, he might have been a wealthy man. He was modest and not assuming. There was no bluster about John Hayes, and for this reason little had been heard of what he had done for his people, for Manchester and for the church. There is in all probability, however, no man in Manchester who was done more in the real charity.

Mr. Hayes was a man of wide acquaintance, not only in Manchester, but in Boston, New York and the old country. He had entertained some of the most prominent men in Ireland’s affairs and history during his time, and many of those he has memorials in the form of their autographs in an album which now lies on his library table, valuable from its associations and from a literary standpoint. Such names as J  O’Donovan Rossa (the so-called Irish dynamiter and a lecturer for the benefit of the land league); John Boyle O’Reilly (Irish-born poet, journalist and fiction writer.), the Reverent Father Abraham Joseph Ryan (the poet priest of the South); Patrick Egan (land reformer and diplomat), Thomas Brennan (Irish Land League) and Charles Stewart Parnell ( Irish nationalist politician and one of the most powerful figures in the British House of Commons in the 1880s).

At one big gathering of the land league in Philadelphia upon Mr. Hayes, who attended, was conferred the honor of escorting the mother of Charles Stuart Parnell to the banquet table.

Nearly all of those noted workers in the Irish cause had been guests in times gone by at Mr. Hayes’s home in the city. His doors always stood wide open to one of his native birth.

Mr Hayes was a personal friend of John Boyle O’Reilly, one of the leading workers in the Irish cause.

He was one of the oldest parishioners of St. Joseph’s parish.

Mr. Hayes was twice married. His first wife was Anna Huggard, whom he married in the old country. To them, six children were born, two daughters, Mary and Anna, who died in childhood, and four sons, the late John J, state senator from Massachusetts; Samuel J of Tampa, Florida, David M, who for so many years associated with him in business and Joseph J, who was still alive and resides here. His wife died October 2, 1877.

In 1881, he married Annie M Tynan of Baltimore, a sister of Mary G Tynan, principal of the Pearl Street school. She died in May, 1892. Since her death and at her request, her sister has lived at the Hayes home and care for Mr. Hayes until the last. Ms. Tynan has been a Manchester school teacher for about 15 years.