Rutherford B. Hayes Collections

Collection ID: HAYES-9
Location: HAYES-9

(Description ID: 594036)

Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums

Fanny Hayes


Biographical Sketch
Scope and Content

Further information on Fanny Hayes can be found in the papers of Dalton Hayes and Webb C. Hayes. The Fanny Hayes Biographical File contains additional material about her wedding and her schooling.

Biographical Sketch
Fanny Hayes was born September 2, 1867 in Walnut Hills, near Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the sixth child and only daughter of President Rutherford B. and Lucy Webb Hayes. At the time of her birth, Hayes was serving his second term as an Ohio congressman. However, two months prior to her birth, Hayes had been nominated to the first of three terms he served as governor of Ohio. Fanny’s earliest years were spent in Columbus, Ohio, however, her first schooling occurred in Fremont, Ohio when the Hayes family took up permanent residence at Spiegel Grove in 1873. Hayes was elected the 19th president of the United States when Fanny was ten years of age. Her formal christening took place at the White House on the occasion of her parents’ twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Following her father’s term of office and the family’s return to Fremont, Fanny attended Miss Augusta Mittleberger’s boarding school in Cleveland, Ohio, where the daughter of James A. Garfield was a classmate. On Easter Sunday in 1885, Fanny joined the Hayes Memorial Methodist Church in Fremont, Ohio. From 1885 to 1887, Fanny attended Miss Sarah Porter’s school at Farmington, Connecticut. Nellie Arthur, daughter of President Chester A. Arthur, as well as Molly Garfield attended Miss Porter’s school. Following her mother’s death in 1889, Fanny became the constant companion of her father, sharing his interest in education and prison reform. After her father’s death, Fanny worked with inmates at the Reformatory Prison for Women in South Framingham, Massachusetts. She traveled to Europe and visited Bermuda and New York, returning to Spiegel Grove each summer.

Fanny suffered a degree of deafness she believed to be hereditary. Concerned that any children she bore might suffer the same fate, she resolved never to marry. However, Fanny married her childhood friend and schoolmate, Ensign Harry Eaton Smith, U. S. N., at Spiegel Grove on September 1, 1897. Among the hundreds of guests were President William and Mrs. McKinley, members of the U. S. Cabinet, Ohio Senator Mark Hanna, and Colonel and Mrs. Myron T. Herrick. Smith was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Smith of Fremont, Ohio. He received his appointment to the United States Naval Academy from President Hayes. Graduating with honors, Smith served a three-year tour aboard the gunboat Chicago. After his marriage to Fanny, Smith was stationed on the training ship Constellation at Newport, Rhode Island. In November 1897, Smith received orders for Honolulu. Later, Smith taught mathematics at the United States Naval Academy and spent time at the Naval Observatory. Their only child, Dalton Hayes Smith, was born at Spiegel Grove June 22, 1898. The family remained at Annapolis or in the Washington, D. C. area until after World War I. In June 1919, Fanny received a divorce. Between 1920 and 1935, Fanny lived in or near New York City, traveled throughout Europe, and spent time in South Africa with her son, then working for Standard Oil. During the last years of her life, Fanny Hayes resided near Lewiston, Maine, spending summers at her home at Bryant Pond on Lake Christopher and winters at the Hospice Marcotte in Lewiston. She died in Lewiston on March 19, 1950. Her son, Dalton, preceded her in death, passing away in January of 1950. She was buried in the family plot at Oakwood Cemetery in Fremont, Ohio.

Scope and Content
The collection consists primarily of family correspondence, particularly with her brothers and son Dalton, as well as school books, memorabilia, and photographs. The correspondence is sporadic with the bulk occurring toward the end of Fanny Hayes’ life. Most revealing are the photocopies of some ten letters written between the years of 1888 and 1915 to her former schoolmate, Theodate Pope. The originals are preserved at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Connecticut. Fanny gives her thoughts on marriage, her fiancé, child rearing, and work among women prisoners. The letters also reflect her lifelong anxiety over her hearing impairment and its possible progression. Typed transcripts of her correspondence with her parents are available. The collection contains photographs of Fanny Hayes as a child, a young adult with friends, a mother, as well as scenes of Bryant Pond. Maine, and of her foreign travels.

3½ linear ft.

Box 1

1-26 Correspondence - 1872-1926

Box 2

1-17 Correspondence - 1927-1951
18 Correspondence - Undated with Brothers
19 Correspondence - Undated to Mary Miller Hayes
20 Correspondence - Undated with Dalton & Corinne Hayes
21 Photocopies of Letters to Theodate Pope - 1888-1915
22 Divorce - June 1919
23 Items Relating to Rutherford B. Hayes, Lucy W. Hayes, or Hayes Presidential Center
24 School Papers, Reports, etc.
25 Invitations - Undated
26 Theater Programs
27 Musical Programs
28 Wedding - Invitation, News Reports
29 Diary, 1921
30 Obituaries, Funeral, Tributes, etc.
31 Miscellaneous
32 Ribbons - Inventoried in Badges & Ribbons Collection
     Cash Book & Assets - Educational Fund Trust
     Receipts Book - 1903-1904
     Cash Journal - 1917-1919
     Cash Accounts & Assets - Educational Fund Trust - 1915-1918
     Geology Notes Book
     French Writing Book
     Scrapbook - Hayes-Smith Wedding; 20th Reunion of 23rd O.V.I.; McKinley Reception; Spiegel Grove

Box 3 - Books

  • Exercises - Definitions
  • Notes on English History
  • French Exercises
  • Notes - Surgical Dressings & Bandages
  • Music Book
  • Penmanship Exercises
  • Notes on Greek History
  • Notes on English History
  • Bible Forget-Me-Nots
  • Havergal Forget-Me-Nots
  • Sweet Brier Stories - Silk Apron
  • Sweet Brier Stories - Pet Sparrow
  • Omaha Excelsior September 1873 - February 1877
  • European Addresses
  • Autographs - Washington, D.C.
  • Writing Exercises
  • Drawing Exercises
  • Shakespeare Quotations
  • Notes on Italian Art
  • Addresses

Box 4 - Photographs

1. Childhood
2. Fanny Hayes and the Herron Sisters
3. Fanny Hayes and Friends
4. Fanny Hayes and Friends
5. Portraits
6. Fanny Hayes and Dalton
7. Fanny Hayes - Bermuda
8. Bryant Pond, Maine
9. Miscellaneous
10. Album - South Africa (1928); St. John’s, Gaspe, and Bay of Fundy (1936)
11. Album - Fanny Hayes, Scenes (undated)