Hayes Motor Co.
Copyright © 2009-2016
All rights reserved.
our Center for History
if you find
|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,
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
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
Source: Ravelings (1949)
Hayes Motors, Inc.
"SALES AND SERVICE"
Beckley and Fifth Streets
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.