Pioneer Settler, Demo Leader
Mr. Hailey, who was 78, died at 10:05 p.m. Thursday at 717 Locust St. in the home he built 55 years ago and where he and Mrs. Hailey reared a family of four sons and five daughters.
Although he was known in recent years a election judge for the Taylor County Courthouse box - a post he held for 46 years - Mr. Hailey had served Abilene in many other capacities.
Coming to Taylor County two years before Abilene was founded, he engaged in numerous business enterprises, was for 14 years a police officer, rode the cattle range, was an early-day music teacher in West Texas, lead the prohibition forces in Taylor County and was known as a civic leader in other fields.
Born Oct. 28, 1872, in DeKalb, Miss., Mr. Hailey came to Taylor County with his parents when he was 8. He was married to the former Mrs. Inez Williams of Thrifty, Tx. Nov. 24, 1895.
In 1887 he began riding cattle on the plains and in 1893 turned music teacher at singing schools, teaching the first music class in Fisher County at Foster, five miles west of Roby.
In 1895 he drove a bunch of wild horses to Abilene from Crockett County and sold them to Jinks McGee, Bud McCoy and Dick Bryant, then opened a grocery and music business here, continuing in that line for many years. Together with a blacksmith shop, which he also owned, his establishment at one time covered the whole west side of the 400 block on Chestnut St.
For many years Mr. Hailey traditionally lead parades down Pine Street when the present Citizens National Bank location was occupied by Will Stith's land office and J. D. Magee's drug store stood where the Alexander Building now is.
Until the time of his death he retained the post of Democratic chairman for Taylor County's Precinct 1. In later years, aafter he suffered a fractured hip, he friends would help him into the Courthouse in his wheelchair so that he could still preside over Precinct 1 voting.
Mr. Hailey was renown for his unusual memory and often was a source of stories of pioneer days for Abilene news reporters.
Dr. Millard A. Jenkins, former pastor of the First Baptist Church, will conduct final rites, assisted by the Rev. E.A. Reed, pastro of First Methodist Church. Music for the funeral services will be arranged by Lucian and Luther Webb. Burial will be in City Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be J.B. Caldwell, Tuscola; Tom Hailey, County Treasurer J.R. Clark, Sheriff H.T. Fleming, Ike Jay and C.D. Allredge. Honorary pallbearers are E.T. Brooks, W.J. Cunningham, Tom K. Eplen, Roy Skaggs and other courthouse officials.
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