Source: North Manchester Journal, May 18, 1905, Obituary
The sickness of R.F. Hays, senior proprietor of the Hays store in this city, has been frequently mentioned in the past few weeks. Mr. Hays died at Lagrange early Sunday morning and his funeral took place in that city on Tuesday. Deceased was a resident of this city for several years prior to two years ago when he went to Colorado for the benefit of his health. Not recovering as he had expected he returned to Lagrange some time ago, since which time he had constantly been in feeble condition. His death was due to consumptive troubles, his throat being the worst affected. He was probably fifty [sic: 54] years of age and leaves a wife and two children, Harry Hays, proprietor of the store in this city, and Mrs. Tral Sexton. Mr. Hays made many friends during the time of his residence in this city and his death has been a surprise to all who did not know of his condition of health.
Robert F. Hays was born in Wayne county, Ohio, Aug. 26, 1850, and moved to Indiana when he was a small boy. He resided at Valentine where he lived on a farm until after his marriage to Ida P. Harper, which occurred January 16, 1872. He moved to Lagrange in 1877 and engaged in the marble and granite business which he continued until he moved to North Manchester December 15, 1897, where with his son he engaged in the mercantile business. He continued in this business until his health began to fail in 1903. In August of that year his condition became so serious that he was compelled to entirely give up the business he loved so well. In March he and his wife went to Colorado with hopes of regaining his health, but after remaining there a year they found no relief and returned to Lagrange April 16. He died May 14, 1905. His age was 54 years, 8 months and 28 days.