Historical Association of Tobyhanna Township

HATT | PO Box 2084 | Pocono Pines, PA 18350-2084

**The Hayes Family

Contributed by Gene Kerrick | April 2016

The Hayes family has played a prominent role in Tobyhanna Township. Its origin can be traced back to England in the 17th century, and the first emigrant came to New England about 1700.

Our most comprehensive historian says that Ezra Hayes came to the township about 1800, but the census does not bear that out. He did arrive in Tobyhanna Township from Ohio in the 1820s.

There is some ambiguity about whether this family is related to that of the 19th president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes. One can speculate why Ezra ran against the grain and returned east.

Ezra married Christine Bond, a member of a local family. They had 10 children who with their descendants married into many long-time families with names such as Winter, Wildrick, Stubbs and Sax.

Two of their sons deserve mention because of their local connection. Burton married Sarah Ann Winter and they in turn had 15 children. One of them, John, married Sarah Elizabeth Sax. He was a prominent farmer in the township.

The other was Samuel about whom there are many great stories concerning his Herculean strength and courage. He deliberately broke a logjam with dynamite and had to leap dangerously from log to log to the shore, as the logs broke apart.

He defied the draft in the Civil War and forced the draft official off his property. He killed by one blow to the jaw an Irish immigrant by the same last name that harassed him for not being a Catholic.

He crawled under one of the first cars in the area and lifted it back on the road with only his own strength — and crippled himself by doing so.

For many years, the Hayes family name was well known in the Tobyhanna Township area. Sam’s son George married Rachael Wildrick, and their descendants remained in the area. Many of the members of the Hayes family are buried in either the Stoddartsville or Blakeslee cemeteries.

One descendant was postmaster at Blakeslee for many years. Others were farmers and construction workers, and one was a state trooper. Like so many other local families, the Hayes family has now dispersed so there are none with that name left in the township.