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Hays - Will

Source: Waveland Independent newspaper, Waveland, Montgomery County, Indiana, April 2, 1936

Will Hays has been reappointed movie czar. The pictures will  be even purer than ever. - typed by kbz

Will Hays was born in Sullivan Indiana in November of 1879 and passed there March 7, 1954, but spent really little time there during other years.

He was best known for his "Hays Code" for censoring movies; however, he did not write them, several Catholic Priests and laymen did but gave them to him in 1930.  He was impressed that it was exactly what he had been striving for.  There were three main principles : No picture will lower moral standards of the viewer -- Correct standards of life will be preseneted -- Law, natural or human shall not be ridiculed.  Of course there were more detailed ones, such as no nudity (in fact, he expected a woman sitting and crossing her legs to do so in proper form) and other such items, but everything bent back to the three main principles.

Will was the son of John T. and Mary Cain Hays and was an attorney by trade.  He was a graduate of Wabash College (see pictures in his senior year with friends who worked on a committee together).  He spent several years in the service.  A complication of heart trouble, and a punctured right lung caused his death at noon on March 7, 1954.  He is buried at Center Ridge, Sullivan Indiana along with his beloved wife, Jessie Herron (1879-1960).  He was also married to Helen Louise Thomas of Crawfordsville (18 Nov 1902 by Rev. William P. Kane) when he registered for the service on Sept 12, 1918 at Sullivan.  He is listed as living at 250 West Washington Street and having his law office in the Sherman Building downtown SDullivan.  His signature is much like a caligrapher would write.  His description is Medium height slender build, brown eys and brown hair.

On his WWII Draft registration he is listed as working for the Motion Picture Producer - Distrubuter of America (28 West 44 New York City) .  He still lives at the same address.  Height is listed as 5'8" and weight 140#.  Brown  eyes, Gray hair.  He registered at 147 Ventura California but the document was housed in Sullivan County Indiana.

Will, Jr. is the person "who will always know your address,"  also in Sullivan, Indiana.

Will Sr. was also fairly heavy into politics at one time.  He ran the Presidential campaign for Harding and was the youngest (age 41) appointed to his cabinet as Post Master General.  From 1918-1921 just prior to his appointment, he was the Chairman of the Republican National Committee.  -- written by kbz from various research materials - would like to do more on him as well as his awesome son, Will, Jr. whom I admired greatly - kbz
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