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Memorable Manitobans: Robert John Hayes (1885-1933)

Barber, businessman, municipal official.

Born at Glasgow, Scotland on 27 March 1885, he came to Canada and settled in Nova Scotia briefly before moving to Providence, Rhode Island where he learned the trade of iron moulding. He plied his trade across the United States and later worked on cattle boats, re-visiting his native Scotland occasionally. He moved to Winnipeg around 1913 and took employment at Vulcan Iron Works. He opened a hotel at Teulon in partnership with Sandy Forseyth and worked as a barber in his hotel.

While at Teulon, he met Freda Kunzelman (1895-1964), who he married at Winnipeg on 24 March 1920. The couple would have three children: Robert “Sandy” Hayes, Irene Hayes (wife of Jack Krassie), and Alvin Hayes. They moved to Beausejour in 1921 where he purchased a condemned hotel, restored it as the Beausejour Hotel, and continued barbering. He went on to serve as Mayor of Beausejour (1923-1925, 1933) and his leadership saw Highway 44 routed through Beausejour rather than bypassing it. He was President of the Eastern Manitoba Development Bureau (1925-1931), a member of the Masons, and charter member of the Beausejour Curling Club.

He died on 27 July 1933 during his latter term in mayoral office.


Marriage and death registrations, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“R. Hayes, Mayor of Beausejour, dies early today,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 July 1933, page 3.

Obituary [Freda Shade (Hayes)], Winnipeg Free Press, 14 May 1964, page 35.

They Stopped at a Good Place: A History of the Beausejour, Brokenhead, Garson and Tyndall Area of Manitoba - 1875-1981 by the Beausejour-Brokenhead Historical Committee, 1982.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 23 March 2014

Memorable Manitobans

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