Thomas Edward Hayes (1899-1963)
Tom was born in Cedarville, California July 23, 1899. Little is known
of his early life, as he never talked of his family. He sent money every
month to his mother but no one ever knew her or her name. He had one brother,
Lester. Tom was very quiet and Lester talked all the time. Tom carried
a Bible with him at all times and read it daily. He never swore. He always
treated women with respect.
Tom first Buckarooed around Cedarville and Alturas, California, then moved
to Harney County, Oregon in 1919. Stub Curry was one of his best friends
and he gave us this accounting of Tom: He first worked for the White Horse
Ranch in south Harney, the ranch owned by the Pacific Livestock Co. (PLS)
Miller and Lux. He then worked for the Island Ranch at Burns, Oregon,
also owned by Miller and Lux.
His personality and the ability to work and handle men gave him many opportunities
as the Buckaroo Boss on many large outfits. He never ever fired a man.
If he didnt like someone or the job he was doing he would figure
out a way to make him quit. He had a Chinese Cook that put out a terrible
meal, so he started to play a way to make him quit, he took horsehair
and cut up in small pieces and put them in his bedroll. That was all it
took, he left the next morning.
Tom was always neat as a pin, his gear was always clean and oiled and
cared for. He wore chinks, a small brimmed felt hat, a scarf, a tan shirt,
black vest, and two pair of pants, a woolen pair with Levis over them.
His horses performed outstanding; whether it was roping or parting cattle,
they never did anything wrong. Some were cranky.
He had a sense of humor that was different. One day while out gathering
cattle in the fall, there were a lot of hunters and they were shooting
all around the crew. Tom slid off his horse and lay really still. All
the hands thought he had been shot, so they ran over to him, rolled him
over. He stayed limp while they looked for a bullet hole, and then he
opened his eyes and said, By golly I thought they got me.
He worked for a dollar a day but whenever he returned to his adopted family
out of Burns, Oregon he brought a big bag of candy bars for the young
ones. While he was home he cut rawhide strings to make reatas. He made
good reatas. He moved to Elko County, Nevada in the 1930s where
he spent the remainder of his life.
Tom passed away in Winnemucca, Nevada May 31, 1963.
Thomas Edward Hayes was inducted into the Buckaroo Hall of Fame in September