HAYES, MICHAEL. - Those who have been fortunate enough to succeed in their life work are able to retire before old age overtakes them, and to enjoy, during the evening of life, the comforts to which their toil has entitled them. Springfield is the home of a number of these substantial men, and one of which it is justly proud is Michael Hayes, a veteran of the Civil War, born in Waterford, Ireland, May 12, 1838, a son of Patrick and Mary (Kennedy) Hayes, both natives of Ireland, farming people, who lived and died in their own land.
Michael Hayes was educated in Ireland and worked at different occupations in his native country, until he came to America, in June, 1859, landing in New York. From that city he came to St. Louis, after a stay of four months, and made the latter city his home for a year. By this time war had been declared, and the fiery young Irishman enlisted, in May, 1861, in Company A, Second United States Artillery, serving faithfully and well, until he received his honorable discharge in 1864. Returning to St. Louis, he spent about four months there, coming to Springfield, October 5, 1864, since which time this city has been his home. For a number of years he was employed in various positions by the City of Springfield, and was conscientious in the discharge of his duties, as he had been while a soldier. He has accumulated some realty, owning his own house and other city property.
The young hero, newly returned from the war, was married in St. Louis, August 1, 1864, to Ellen Foley, born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1844. Her parents also spent their lives in Ireland. Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Hayes: Ella M., wife of John Lauterbeck, a farmer living in the vicinity of Springfield, Sangamon County; Patrick R., a member of the Springfield Fire Department stationed at Engine House No. 1; and a child died in infancy.
Mr. Hayes belongs to Stephenson Post, G.A.R., of Springfield, in which he is Banner Bearer. He belongs to St. Joseph's Catholic Church of the city. His political affiliations are with the Democratic party. For a number of years he has taken an active part in all the affairs of his Post, and is a thoroughly representative member. Nothing pleases him better than to relate stories of the thrilling days when he and his comrades were engaged in defending the Nation, and if space permitted their insertion here, they would furnish interesting reading.