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Hayes Motor Co.
North Manchester

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Source: NMHS Newsletter Feb 1994

Hayes Motors, Inc. - the First Buick/Pontiac Dealer in North Manchester

by Michael R. Hayes

George McPherson Hayes was the first Buick/Pontiac dealer in North Manchester and in all of Wabash County. George's roots could be traced back to George Hayes of Windsor, Connecticut in the 1680's. George of Windsor had five children including Samuel who was the direct ancestor of George. Another son, Daniel, was the direct ancestor of President Rutherford Birchard Hayes. George of Windsor's great grandson was Oliver Hayes who served honorably in the Revolutionary War. He arrived in New York just in time to join Washington's forces and retreat before being surrounded by the British.

Oliver eventually moved to Brown County, Ohio. His son and grandson Warren and Abiel Hayes then moved to live near Chenoa, Illinois. Abiel Hayes had a son Luther Calvin who was the father of George McPherson Hayes. George's middle name came from the Civil War general.

George M. Hayes was born September 5, 1875 near Chenoa, Illinois. He married Lola Gertrude Sweet and they had five children. Gordon Sweet Hayes was born in Missouri, Raymond Elton in Chenoa, Illinois, Frances Jane in Constantine, Michigan, and Dorothy Marie and George M. Hayes, Jr. in Hamlet, Indiana. The family moved to a farm about one half mile east of Liberty Mills in 1918. Then in 1924 they moved to North Manchester and started the first Buick dealership in the county. The depression years were tough and one year he sold only six cars but he traded a used car for wool and an old plow, a little cash and two chickens. One morning he told the family, "I've got to sell something today. Our bank balance is exactly fifteen cents." He did.

The Buick/Pontiac/GMC Truck agency was located at the corner of Second and Walnut Streets. He also sold Mobil gas. I can remember many happy hours at the garage, sweeping floors for a Coke or a Dr. Pepper. My brother Jim and I both spent time at the garage. There was great excitement in 1946 when the first new cars came into the show rooms after World War II.
George had a great sense of humor. One day while Frances was at Manchester College, she drove about fifteen of her friends downtown. George was across the street and watching as they all piled out of the car and went into Louie's for refreshments. One time George and his oldest son, Gordon, went to Chicago on a business trip. Gordon was famous for walking in his sleep so George had him sleep next to the wall in the hotel room. George woke up later and thought a burglar was in the room and tackled him. It was Gordon, walking in his sleep.

George McPherson Hayes died on May 27, 1949 in North Manchester. Lola Sweet Hayes died on February 13, 1957 at Pierceton. Gordon and George, Jr. both worked at the Buick garage during the 1930's. They as well as Dorothy are in the 1938 Tri Kappa film about North Manchester. Gordon lived most of his life in North Manchester and died October 9, 1977. George Jr. died of polio on November 5, 1950. He had been an instructor pilot in World War II. Raymond lived in Iowa and died July 30, 1986.

Frances Jane Hayes married Dan Meloy in central Indiana and they lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico after the war. Dan died in 1979. Fran worked for the New Mexico State Employment Service until her retirement. She is the first woman to fly solo in Wabash county. She learned to fly from John Henry Wright.

Dorothy Marie Hayes married Chester Hill and they live in Crawfordsville, Indiana. Dorothy taught school and Chet founded the Crawfordsville Airport after the war. He was an instructor pilot at Purdue during the War. They have two sons, both airline pilots.

Hayes Motors & Mobil Gasoline Station in 1938, 201 East Second St., North Manchester

Hayes Dealership Signs, North Manchester

Hayes Motors & Filling Station, North Manchester

Source: News-Journal, April 18, 1940 Ad:

Hayes Motor Co.
A Good Place To Buy Used Cars
Buick & Pontiac Dealer

Source: Ravelings (1942) Ad:

Buick - Pontiac
Sales and Service
A Safe Place to Buy
Mobilgas    Mobiloil    Used Cars

Source: Ravelings (1949) Ad:

Hayes Motors, Inc.
Beckley and Fifth Streets
Telephone 554
North Manchester, Indiana

Source: R. Ned  Brooks and Donald L. Jefferson, REMEMBERING NORTH MANCHESTER INDIANA IN THE 1930'S & 1940'S (2009), p. 68:

201 East Second St. -- Originally, S.P. Young owned a house at this address. G.G. Kampen then constructed a building here that included 203 East Second Street, in 1933. Kampen operated a filling station. Then on Saturday, June 30, 1934, George Hayes moved his Buick dealership to this address from Main Street. George Hayes and son Gordon Hayes, Sr. operated the Buick dealership and a Mobile Gasoline station, with the flying red horse sign. They advertised as the Hayes Motor Co. In an ad on April 28, 1938 Hayes (for the first time that we can find) advertised Pontiac as well as Buick. In late 1947, the dealership moved to a new building at Beckley and 5th Streets and ran an ad on December 4, 1947 at the new address. After Hayes moved out of this location, Dick Frantz operated the Mobile station. This was not the Dick Frantz from Frantz Lumber Company.