Henry Hayes (18??–1900) was an early (1881–86) City Council member. A Democrat from the 7th Ward, he was known as the “Henry Miller of Oakland’s butchertown,” (a reference to Henry Miller of Los Banos, who at one point was the US’ largest landowner)1. Hayes was a member of the Alameda County Wholesale Butchers’ Fraternity. When his business partner Lafayette Brooks died, Brooks’ daughter contested the will and it was revealed that Hayes was a very rich man, possibly at the expense of the Brooks family.2 When Hayes himself died a week later, his physician stated the cause of death was probably “excitement” over this issue.3 It appears that in the end the Hayes family won: Annie Hayes of Oakland got $20,000 of cash or property and the remainder of the property, valued at over $100,000, was sent to relatives in Pennsylvania.4


  1. ”Henry Miller.” Wikipedia
  2. ”Henry Hayes Is Much Discussed: His Disclosures the Talk of the Town.” San Francisco Chronicle: April 22nd, 1900.
  3. ”Butcher Hayes Dies of Worry: Sensational Witness in a Will Contest.” San Francisco Chronicle: April 29th, 1900.
  4. ”Day’s Doings in the Bay Cities.: Stamped Ballot in Wrong Space.” San Francisco Chronicle: April 14th, 1901.