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Fourth Generation


71. Minnie Frances HAYS was born on 4 November 1889 in Crawford County, Arkansas.119 She died on 2 July 1985 at the age of 95 in Van Buren, Crawford County, Arkansas.126

Aunt Minnie may have been born Cove City which is in Crawford County. Minnie's bio written when she received the Poineer Citizen's Award stated that she was born in the old Seventy-Two Community near Van Buren, now Rena. At the age of 12 she moved with the family to Uniontown.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1909 Compiled by Fran Alverson Warren, p.15-16
10 Apr 1909 Tenth Annual Commencement of Uniontown High School to be Friday, April 16. Admission 15 cents.
Listed as starring in two short plays, "The Minister's Wife" and "A Case of Suspension" was Minnie Hays.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1910 Compiled by Fran Alverson Warren, p.32-33
The Crawford County Singing Association met at Figure Four School House, Sunday, July 17, 1910. Miss Minnie Hays was elected Organist.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press Argus 1916 Fran Alverson Warren, p.22-24
28 Jul 1916 Uniontown High School made the 18th Annual announcement of the school and gave its history - there had been 150 common school graduates and 50 first year high school graduates and several had completed the two year High School course. Among the latter were Miss Minnie Hays, vocal & instrumental music teacher of Van Buren, and Ira Comstock of the firm of Comstock & Rainwater Stock Co. of Oklahoma. All of the faculty were graduates - the principal was Gratis Comstock who had graduated in 1905 and taken a post-graduate course, and the primary teacher was Miss Edna Comstock who graduated in 1915 - Ira's younger sister.


Aunt Minnie and Uncle Ira helped raise Nora and Kenney's five children and served as an extra set of grandparents to Kay as she was growing up.

On 21 Apr 1974, Minnie Comstock was awarded the Pioneer-Heritage Award by the Crawford County Historical Society. [I have a copy of the speech made when the award was presented.]

From the Van Buren PRESS ARGUS:
Mrs. Minnie H. Comstock, 93-year-old Van Buren resident who has been a member of the Wood Memorial Christian Church here for more than 60 years, was recognized by the Rev. William H. Bradley, pastor, at the 135th Anniversary Celebration of that church on Sun.,Mar 13, as being the oldest living member of that church.
The Rev. Bradley cited Mrs. Comstock as a faithful worker and leader in many phases of the church who was ready at all times to perform her "Christian talents in a sincere and faithful Christian way."
Several years ago, Mrs. Comstock along with her husband, the late Ira Comstock, was presented a gold plate for 50 years of service as choir director, Sunday School teacher and church Treasurer.
On hand for the occasion were Mrs. Comstock's nephew, K. M. Comstock and wife, and her niece, Mrs. J. Ellen Comstock McKim, who are members of the family of Mrs. Comstock's older sister, Nora & Kenney Comstock, all of Springdale.
All were active members of Wood Memorial Christian Church at one time.
Picture taken on the front steps of the church. Probably 1983, if they had her age right.

3 Jul 1985 Mrs. Minnie Hay Comstock, 95, of Van Buren died July 2 in Van Buren. She was a former school teacher and lifelong resident of Crawford County. She was a past Grand Chaplain of Arkansas Eastern Star Chapter. She was a member of the Christian Church and several civic organizations.
Survivors include several nieces and nephew, including Mrs. Jo Ellen McKim and Kenney Comstock of Springdale.
Services were today at Wood Memorial Christian Church in Van Buren. Burial was at Gracelawn Cemetery. Arrangements were Ocker Funeral Home of Van Buren.

Minnie Frances HAYS and Ira Vard COMSTOCK were married on 20 October 1918. Ira Vard COMSTOCK26,124,127, son of JAMES MONROE "MON" COMSTOCK and LUCRETIA ELLEN WOOD, was born on 10 September 1892 in Arkansas.119,123 He died on 15 January 1968 at the age of 75 in Van Buren, Crawford County, Arkansas.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press 1908 Compiled by Fran Alverson Warren, p.19
18 Apr 1908. 9th Annual commencement of the Uniontown High School listed one of graduates as Ira Comstock.

Uncle Ira registered for the World War I draft at age 24. He listed his occupation as farmer and he was still single. He stated he had very defective hearing. His description was short, medium build, brown eyes, dark brown hair. His cousin G. M. Comstock was the registrar and signed the card - this was Gratis Comstock.

Ira apparently lost most of his hearing when just a boy as the result of an illness or infection.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press Argus 1915 Fran Alverson Warren, p.3
23 Apr 1915
Will Spend Summer In the West
Ira V. Comstock, one of Uniontown's most deserving young men, is planning to visit the San Francisco and San Diego expositions and will leave within a few weeks for the west.
San Francisco will be visited first and from there he is planning to make side trips to the Puget Sound country and to Alaska and later to San Diego and the Panama Canal Zone. He will make the trip an educational one as well as a pleasure trip, spending practically the entire summer in the west.
Mr. Comstock, who writes very interestingly, will favor the Press-Argus with an occasional short travel and exposition story, all of which his many friends throughout the county will look forward to with much interest.
1 Oct 1915
Another Expo Visitor Writes Press-Argus.
Dated 22 Sep 1915. Ira had read an article about a Mr Southmayd's trip West and was commenting on it. He revealed some things about his own appearance. He traveled by train - they stopped each night and made six stops en route and nine coming home. He though at one point he would take a steamer from San Diego to San Francisco, but after an hour's excursion on the ocean out from Long Beach, he preferred the train. Ira described his mountain climbing at Pike's Peak, beginning at Manitou, round trip of 18 miles. He was seating in shirt sleeves when he started, but encountered snow drifts over the head of a six and half foot tall companion. He said he made the top but would never undertake it again. He told friends in Kansas where he had stayed for a week on the way home, "I'm going back to God's country". Signed: Ira V. Comstock

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press Argus 1916 Fran Alverson Warren, p.22-24
28 Jul 1916 Uniontown High School made the 18th Annual announcement of the school and gave its history - there had been 150 common school graduates and 50 first year high school graduates and several had completed the two year High School course. Among the latter were Miss Minnie Hays, vocal & instrumental music teach of Van Buren, and Ira Comstock of the firm of Comstock & Rainwater Stock Co. of Oklahoma. All of the faculty were graduates - the principal was Gratis Comstock who had graduated in 1905 and taken a post-graduate course, and the primary teacher was Miss Edna Comstock who graduated in 1915 - Ira's younger sister.

Uncle Ira and Aunt Minnie were stopped on a date one night; because of his hearing loss and trouble understanding the officer, he was arrested as a drunk driver and taken to the jail. He sued for false arrest, but the arresting deputy appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Supreme Court of Arkansas. Reporter: 143 Ark. 394, 220 S.W.475
Bryan v. Comstock. 12 Apr 1920
Appeal from Circuit Court, Crawford County. Action by Ira Comstock against Addis Bryan. Judgment for plaintiff; defendant appeals.
Bryan was a deputy constable of Van Burn township, Crawford Co. On the night of 21 Sep 1918 he arrested Comstock on the alleged false charge of being drunk and of running his automobile without headlights and this wuit was brought to recover damages on that account. There was a verdict and judgment for $500.
When Comstock was arrested he was carried to jail and the charge preferred was that of being drunk, but it is not now claimed that he was drunk. It is insisted that only one of his front headlights was shining. Comstock had been tried upon this charge and acquitted.
Comstock and his fiancee who became his before the trial, had gone to Ft. Smith to see a moving picture play. The first show was full so they waited for the second but had to leave early to get the young lady home. While driving back to Van Buren, he noticed a car behind him and several times moved over to the side of the road to permit the car to pass, but it did not do so. He stopped in front of the courthouse in Van Buren, whereby Bryan who was the driver behind him, came to his car and pulled him out of it, telling him he was under arrest. Comstock is hard of hearing and did not understand what was happening. He asked to be allowed to take the young lady to her home and asked the officer to accompany him, but Bryan refused to do so and took Comstock to jail leaving the young lady unattended in the car. Comstock asked to make, and also asked to call his father then living in Ft. Smith, but neither request was granted. When they reached the jail, Bryan told the jailer that he had a drunken man to be locked up for the night and formal charges would be preferred the next morning. Comstock was locked in jail and detained for 20 to 40 minutes. The jailer knew the prisoner's family name and reputation and having misgivings, he reported the occurrence to the sheriff. The sheriff went at once to the jail, released Comstock and took him to his home for the night, then gave him breakfast and they went to hunt the automobile which they found in a garage where Bryan had put it.
Bryan tried to justify his conduct by saying he had been instructed by the justice of the peace to break up the many violations of traffic laws at night. He admitted Comstock had requested to make bail, but the hour was late and he didn't want to disturb the justic of the peace and had been instructed to jail violators until the next morning. Comstock said the arrest was about 11 PM, but Bryan claimed it was after midnight.
The judge ruled that it was a peace officer's duty to carry the person arrested to the most convenient magistrate so that appropriate action may be had for granting bail. Bryan felt that he stood upon the letter of the law in making the arrest, but he also have given Comstock the right to be taken before a magistrate. Disturbing the justice of the peace was not a sufficient excuse for subjecting Comstock to the humiliation of being arrested and locked in jail.
The judge quoted "...arrests at night and on Sunday, or the eve of Sunday, when it is hard to obtain bail, are deemed oppressive and unjustifiable, except in cases of pressing necessity"
The judgment of the lower court was affirmed.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press Argus 1919 Fran Alverson Warren, p.38
25 Jul 1919
A verdict of $500 was rendered against Addis Bryan Saturday for false imprisonment of Ira Comstock last spring. Bryan arrested Comstock accusing him of having been drunk. Testimony however, proved that Comstock was not guilty.


Van Buren Press, 16 Apr 1920
"Supreme Court Affirms Comstock vs. Bryan Case" [poor copy, torn, smudged]
Little Rock, April 12th. Addis Bryan vs. Ira Comstock, appealed from Crawford Co....allowing Ira Comstock judgment in the sum of $500 for false imprisonment was affirmed.
It will be remembered that on September 21, 1918, Mr. Comstock was accompanied by Miss Minnie Hays, were reuturning to Uniontown in Mr. Comstock's car from Fort Smith where they were attending a moving picture show. After they reached Main street, Mr. Comstock was arrested by Deputy Constable Addis Bryan who, according to the evidence offered at the trial, took Mr. Comstock to the county jail and locked him up, and according to the testimony of the jailer, Hiram Taylor, on a charge of being drunk. As soon as Sheriff Branson could communicate with, Mr. Comstock, who was kept in jail about 30 minutes, was release and went home with Sheriff Branson where in remained through the night. As Mr. Comstock was raised in Crawford county was never known to touch intoxicants in any form, his arrent and incarceration upon such a charge was a decided surprise. He was never tried on the charge, but the morning following his arrest Mr. Bryan had him arraigned in Judge McKinney's court charged with running his car without all lights burning. He was acquited of this charge. .....November term of the Crawford circuit court, Mr. Comstock had .... officer ...false improisonment. ....tried at the July term 1919 and verdict was rendered in favor of Comstock in the sum of $500. ....appealed to the Supreme court where the verdict in the trial was sustained.

Marriage License was obtained in Sebastian Co on 19 Oct 1918 - Ira was 26, Minnie was 28. J. T. McClure married them on the 20th of October, 1918.

Found in the 1920 census at 1204 Cedar Street. District 16, Van Buren Township. Occupation is Merchant. Minnie is listed as Clerk, Dry Goods Store.

Obituaries, Death Notices & News Items Extracted from the Van Buren Press Argus 1925 Vol. 9, Fran Alverson Warren, p.44
16 Jan 1925
IRA COMSTOCK GOES TO WEBBER FALLS, OKLAHOMA
Mr. and Mrs. Ira Comstock have moved from Van Buren to Webber Falls, Okla., where he will be associated with David King in the management of a general merchandise establishment.
Since the establishment of Comstock Dry Goods Company in Van Buren several years ago, Mr. Comstock has been recognized as one of the city's most progressive young business men and his departure will be regretted. Evidence of the esteem in which Mr. & Mrs. Comstock are held by their Van Buren friends will be shown in a reception given in their honor by the members of the Wood Memorial Church Monday night, the reception being given in the circuit court room that is being used as a place of worship until the completion of the new church building.


In 1930, Ira & Minnie were living next door to John & Josie Hays on Smith Street in Van Buren. They were both working in the Dry Good Store.

I expected to find Ira & Minnie in their home at 711 Drennen St in Van Buren in 1940, but to my surprise the house was owned by Hanny W. & Maude Mitchell and they had been living in the house in 1935. Instead they were living with Minnie's father on McKibben Street, Hh 83.
John J. Hays was age 83, widowed, b. AR, they had all lived in the same house in 1935, which he owned, worth $1000.
Ira V. Comstock, son-in-law, age 45, merchant, retail dry goods
Minnie, daughter, age 45 was a saleslady, retail dry goods.
Ira was chosen for supplementary questions. His father born Missouri, his mother in Arkansas.

The Fourth Registration of the Draft for World War II conducted 27 Apr 1942, was sometimes referred to as the "old men's registration" as it was for men born between 28 Apr 1877 and 16 Feb 1897, men between 45 and 64 years old. Ira did register. He was living at 711 Drennen, Van Buren, AR. He gave the expected date and place of birth. Mrs. Ira Comstock was listed as the "Person Who Will Always Know Your Address". He was self employed and the address of his business was 620 Main St. in Van Buren. His description was: Height; 5'6", Weight; 140 lbs, Brown eyes, Black hair, Dark complexion. His signature is on the card.

Obituary:
Ira V. Comstock
Ira V. Comstock, member of a widely known Crawford county family and a highly respected merchant for more than a half century, died Monday, Jan. 15, in a local hospital.
He was 75 years old, and although his health had not been the best for some years, he death came unexpected from a heart seizure.
He and Mrs. Comstock attended church Sunday morning to hear the farewell sermon of their pastor, T. M. Carroll. On Sunday evening they attended the coffee social at the church, given in honor of the Carrolls. They were in their usual friendly state of spirit and friends remarked how well they were and his jovial conversations. On Monday about 2:30 p.m. he became ill. He was taken to Memorial hospital where he lived until five o'clock. Their pastor who had already delayed his departure for the funeral of Laura Alexander again postponed their leaving until after the service for M. Comstock so he could preach the funeral sermon.
Mr. Comstock was born on Sept 10, 1892, at Uniontown, the son of J.M. and Ellen Wood Comstock. His father was in the mercantile business in that busy little center, and Ira joined him in the enterprise.
In the "twenties" they moved the dry goods store to Van Buren and located it at the corner of South 8th and Main street. When his father died, Mr. Comstock continued to operate the business, until the depression hit in the early thirties. Later he and his wife, Minnie Hays, reopened Comstock's and operated it until a few years ago, when his health forced him to retire.
He was a member of the Wood Memorial Christian church, Van Buren Lodge No. 6, Masons, Western Arkansas Consistory, Royal Arch Masons, Amrita Grotto, the United Commercial Travelers, and Order of Eastern Star. He had been a member of the church choir for a number of years.
Survivors are his wife, Mrs. Minnie Comstock of the family home, 711 Drennen, Van Buren; a brother, Paul Comstock of Fort Smith; four sisters, Mrs. Cy Carney Sr. of Fayetteville, Mrs. Nora Rainwater of Van Buren, Mrs. Maude Redmon of Prague, Okla. and Mrs. Pauline Clark of Little Rock.
The body was taken to Wood Memorial Christian church Wednesday morning to lie in state for one hour before the funeral hour at 10:30 o'clock. T. M. Carroll, former pastor of Wood Memorial, was the officiating minister. Burial, directed by Ocker Funeral Home, was in Gracelawn cemetery.
Casket bearers were Wilbur Laws, Sr., George Crofton, Lloyd Hobbs, Earl Hays, George Hobbs, and Claude Wallace.
Honorary pallbearers were elders and deacons of the church and J. J. Izard, Basil Moody, Frank D. Pape, Raymond Allen, Perry Newman, and H. E. Roberts.

Comstock Rites Held Wednesday.
Services for Ira V. Comstock, 75-y6ear-old retired Van Buren businessman, were conducted Wednesday morning at the Wood Memorial Christian Church with the Rev. T. M. Carroll officiating. Burial was in Gracelawn Cemetery with Ocker Funeral Home in charge.
Mr. Comstock, a life-long resident of Crawford County and a retail dry goods and clothing man before he retired almost four years ago, died Monday ina local hospital.
He and a brother, Paul, of Fort Smith, operated Comstock's, Inc. here for several years after it had been established here by their father.
Circuit Judge Carl Creekmore bought the business from the Comstock's and it bcame known as "Creekmore's".
Mr. Comstock was a member of the Wood Memorial Christian Church and very active in Masonic groups, having served as worthy patron of the eastern Star group four times......