Albert Hays Obituary


He Was An Institution --- Beloved Townsman’s Life Slowly Ebbed from Day to Day and from Hour to Hour – In the Closing Days He Could Not Talk, But He Was Conscious to the Last – Had Lived in Lamar, Near Sixty Years – Born at Carlysle, Indiana, Nearly Seventy Nine Years Ago – He and His Late Father Drove to Lamar in a Covered Wagon, Fifty Nine Years Ago – He Contributed for More Than Fifty Years to the Pleasure, the Culture, to the Patriotism and to the Uplift of the Community – For Some Years After He Had Passed Three Score and Ten He Lead One of the Finest Bands in this Part of Missouri – Announced That Lamar Band Would Play at the Last Service Held to His Memory, Sunday Afternoon at the KONANTZ Chapel – His Memory a Rich Legacy to Lamar.


Albert HAYS, 78, and for fifty-nine years a resident of Lamar, a quietly heroic fighter of life’s battles, died at his home on South Broadway, a 2 o’clock Saturday morning. His son, Arthur HAYS, of St. Clair County, his son Captain Fred HAYS of Lamar, his daughter, Mrs. Myrth SHAFER, of Lamar, sat by the bedside and saw the feeble current ebb away. He could not speak, but he was conscious, almost to the last moment of life.

Mr. HAYS had been confined to his bed for three weeks before his death. For three weeks previously, he was able to arise from bed occasionally and move from one part of the house to another. His eldest son, Mr. Arthur HAYS, came three weeks before his death and assisted by a nurse he was constantly at his father’s side.

Perhaps twenty months before our late townsman’s death, a small growth began to appear behind his left ear. On until the first of the year, 1938, it did not give him much pain or trouble, though the physicians who examined it, regarded it as beyond doubt, the beginning of a malignancy. Just about a year ago, Mr. HAYS went to the state cancer hospital, at Fulton. He remained there from two to three months and received treatment, that temporarily seemed to yield very favorable results. When he returned he was about town, meeting his friends and for the time, much improved.

He returned to the Fulton hospital again along in the summer and remained for some time. The specialists at the state clinic indicated when he left Fulton they had done all for him they could do.

He returned and remained up and about town, more or less, until perhaps along in December, when the malignant growth again rapidly spread its fatal tentacles in every direction. Ere long it was involving the muscles of the throat, so it was first difficult and then impossible for him to speak. The last three weeks he could swallow with such difficulty, that during this time he took less than a pint of liquid nourishments. He could swallow no solid food. Slowly, day by day, his life ebbed away. He was kept from pain by the mercy of Leathean injections.

The body was taken to the KONANTZ Funeral Home, to be prepared for burial. The services were announced to be held at the KONANTZ Chapel, at 2:30, Sunday afternoon. Arthur AULL was to deliver a brief eulogy. After the service at the chapel, the casket was to be taken to Lake Cemetery, for interment.

Albert HAYS was born at Carlysle, Indiana, April 29, 1860. He grew to manhood at Carlyle, then when he was a youth not yet 20, he accompanied his parents to Illinois. In 1880, Albert, not yet 21, drove with his father in a covered wagon, to Lamar. Albert’s mother remained behind until the elder Mr. HAYS had gotten settled and established a home in Lamar.

March eighth, 1885, Albert married a Lamar girl, Miss Jane AINSCOUGH. They traveled life’s highway together, for fifty-one years. Mrs. HAYS died March 24, 1936. They were married in March, and both died in the same month.

Our townsman leaves three sons and one daughter. They are Mr. Arthur HAYS of St. Clair County; Mr. Harry HAYS, of Wewauka, Oklahoma; Captain Fred HAYS, of Lamar, and Mrs. Myrth SCHAFER of Lamar. One daughter, Winnie, died when she was three.

For nearly sixty years, Albert HAYS was more than a personality in Lamar. He was an institution. His name is indelibly associated with the Lamar band. Even after he had passed three score and ten, he headed for Lamar, as fine a band as there was in Southwest Missouri. The HAYS orchestra flourished for more than a half a century. It was at the high school entertainments, at the graduations. It played for the better and larger dances. It contributed to the culture, to the pleasure and the civic and patriotic spirit of the community.

For thirty years, Albert HAYS wrought in the factory of Colonel THORPE, that has carried the name of Lamar, all over the North American continent. He was a marvelous worker with his hands, they did everything thoroughly, reliably and well. Strong, deft, willing, generous hands they were.

He had an unequaled skill in coaxing almost impossible growth of vegetables from the soil – a genius for creative, loving, useful and skillful work. How deft and capable were those faithful hands!

We noted that the funeral cards announced, that the Lamar band would play at our friend’s funeral. How peculiarly and loyally fitting that this should be!

Lamar Democrat

Saturday, March 11, 1939.



Submitted by Sara Reed on July 27, 2002.

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