Samuel W. Hayes. Prominent among those who have wielded large and beneficent influence in the affairs of the vital young commonwealth of Oklahoma is Judge Samuel Walter Hayes, who was a member of the state constitutional convention, and who retired, in the spring of 1914, from the office of chief justice of the Supreme Court of the state to become a candidate, in the primary election, for representative of Oklahoma in the United States Senate, but who met defeat in the primaries, though he received strong and representative support. The judge has resumed the private practice of his profession, in Oklahoma City, and has been a representative member of the bar of Oklahoma from the territorial epoch.
Judge Hayes was born at Huntsville, the judicial center of Madison County, Arkansas, on the 17th of September, 1875, and he is a son of John and Mollie (Cox) Hayes, the former a native of Tennessee and the latter of Missouri. In 1877 the family removed to Texas, where the father continued to be successfully identified with agricultural pursuits until 1912, when he came to Oklahoma, where he and his wife still maintain their residence and where he is now living virtually retired.
The public schools of the Lone Star State afforded to Judge Hayes his early educational discipline, and later he pursued a higher course of study in the historic old University of Virginia, at Charlottesville. In 1897, shortly after attaining to his legal majority, Judge Hayes came to Oklahoma Territory, and at Ryan he began the study of law in the office of a representative member of the territorial bar. He made substantial progress in his assimilation of the involved science of jurisprudence and in 1899 he was duly admitted to the bar. He forthwith engaged in the practice of his profession at Ryan, where he formed a partnership with Eugene E. Morris, under the firm name of Morris & Hayes. This effective alliance continued until 1902, when Judge Hayes removed to Chickasha, where he became junior member of the law firm of Welborne &Hayes. There he continued in the successful practice of his profession until 1907, when he was elected a justice of the Supreme Court of the state, which was admitted to the Union in that year. He continued his able services on the Supreme Bench until his resignation, in April, 1914, as previously intimated, and from 1913 until his retirement he was chief justice of this important tribunal, in the formulating and dispensation of whose functions he played an influential part, his record in this important office now constituting an integral part of the history of Oklahoma jurisprudence. While engaged in practice at Ryan Judge Hayes was elected the first city attorney of that thriving municipality, in 1900. The Judge is identified with the American Bar Association and is also an active and valued member of both the Oklahoma State Bar Association and the Oklahoma County Bar Association.
Judge Hayes has been one of the influential and resourceful representatives of the democratic party in Oklahoma and has been active in political affairs under both territorial and state government. He was a delegate to the state constitutional convention of Oklahoma, in 1906, as representative of the Chickasha district, and he wielded much influence in the deliberations and work of that historic assembly, in which he served as chairman of the legal advisory committee and the committee on schedules, besides being a member of the important judiciary committee and that on Federal relations. In this connection it is probable that his most important service to the new commonwealth was rendered when he was selected, with Walter A. Ledbetter and Charles Moore, by the members of the constitutional convention and prominent citizens of the state and who went, in the recess of the convention, to the City of Washington, D. C., where they obtained an interview with President Roosevelt and also United States Attorney General Bonaparte, the latter having not been at the time in favor of granting statehood to Oklahoma. The committee presented its case vigorously both to the President and the attorney general and obtained their opinions as to the provisions that should be made for the constitution of Oklahoma to secure favorable action on the part of the President. The committee then returned to Oklahoma and in the constitutional convention so effectively presented their ideas and those of the officials at Washington that a constitution was framed in such a way that President Roosevelt could consistently do nothing else than issue his proclamation in favor of the admission of Oklahoma to the Union. Since the admission of the state Judge Hayes has been most loyal and zealous in his efforts to forward the interests of the new commonwealth and to make its governmental basis secure and steadfast.
In a fraternal way Judge Hayes is identified with the lodge and chapter bodies of York Rite Masonry and with the Knights of Pythias. He is a member of the Oklahoma City Country Club and the Oklahoma City Men’s Dinner Club, and both he and his wife hold membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church. As a representative of his profession the Judge delivers an annual lecture in the law department of ’the University of Oklahoma.
On the 8th of October, 1899, Judge Hayes wedded Miss Ida Poole, daughter of Thomas F. and Margaret Poole, of Ryan, this state, and she was summoned to the life eternal on the 24th of March. 1910, being survived by three children,–Kenton B., Ruby and Ida, all of whom remain at the paternal home. In June, 1912, was solemnized the marriage of Judge Hayes to Miss Mamie McColloch, who was born in the State of Tennessee and who at the time of her marriage was in charge of the department of English in the Northwestern Normal School of Oklahoma, at Alva. In Oklahoma City the family home is at 924 West Nineteenth Street.