Ohio History Journal

    Rutherford B. Hayes

    Attorney at Law


    Rutherford Birchard Hayes began life without a father, in Delaware,

    Ohio, on October 4, 1822, a sickly child whose health was of deep concern

    to his mother. His father, Rutherford Hayes, Jr., formerly of Dummerston,

    Vermont, who had been a merchant of the firm of Noyes, Mann and Hayes,

    and who had brought his family to settle in Ohio in 1817, died suddenly on

    July 20, 1822, before the birth of his son. He left his widow with an estate

    consisting of a brick town-house on William Street in Delaware, a farm on

    the Olentangy River about five miles north of Delaware, lands on the San-

    dusky Plains near Bucyrus, and interest in a distillery operated in partner-

    ship with Dr. Reuben Lamb of Delaware.1

    When the future President was born, the family consisted of his mother,

    Sophia Birchard Hayes; her brother, Sardis Birchard, who was then twenty-

    two years of age and had lived with the Hayes family ever since the wed-

    ding of Sophia and Rutherford; Lorenzo Hayes, the older brother who

    drowned in January 1825 while skating on the Olentangy River; his moth-

    er's cousin, Arcena Smith; and his only sister, Fanny, who was to mature,