Taken from Van Zandt County Texas Biographies 1848-1991 Vol. II. Thanks to Kitty Wheeler for the original information and for permission to use it on the web site. Te information that is included in this document is transcribed portions of information that appear in the above referenced book. Additions, corrections, comments, complaints and compliments concerning this page should be sent to Betty Miller and Patsy Vinson.
Before this community was known as Hayden, it was called Cow Prairie. the community was cenetered around the church and school, and located about 2-1/2 miles southwest of Myrtle Springs. On the map this places it 1-1/2 miles due south of Interstate-20 at the intersection of VZCR 3309 and VZCR 3311. On the application filed 24 Aug 1889, and signed by Elias G. Tynes, he states that there will be 500 people served by the proposed post office.
Also in the community there was a gin, blacksmith shop and general store all operated by Arch herrin. Mr. herrin carried mostly grocery items, but for the convenience of the farmers, did carry a few things such as plow tools, sweeps, bolts, nuts, etc. This was located a little over a mile from the church and school.
In 1888, the first postmaster E. G. Tynes, who was also a physician, was among the ones that worked and donated to build a new church, Dr. Tynes, husband of Sallie Tynes, born 16 Sep 1856, died 19 Jun 1890. This, I'm sure was the reason for the appointing of the second postmaster Peter E. Kuykendall. Peter E. Kuykendall, born 15 Aug 1846, in Tennessee, son of Peter and Prudence Terry Kuykendall, arrived in Van Zandt county in February, 1848. The elder peter Kuykendall was a preacher and was said to have been a "fine bible scholar." He was also active in county affairs, serving as county treasurer 1850-1852.
The postmaster Peter E. Kuykendall married Ginsyann E. Gammon Bunch 23 Jul 1875. Ginsyann was the fifth postmaster. Their daughter, Sallie F. Kuykendall, married the seventh postmaster, Charles C. Parker 23 Dec 1899.
Charlie and Hannah Hayden owned a farm in the Cow Prairie community. C. A. Hayden, born 10 Mar 1817, and died 19 Jan 1905, and his wife, H. B. Hayden, born 18 apr 1822, died 13 Jan 1883, are buried in the White Rose Cemetery in Wills Point. Mr. and Mrs. Hayden owned a farm in the Cow Prairie community and undoubtedly were much admired by Dr. E. G. Tynes, the first postmaster, for their name was written in for the proposed post office on the application he signed.
The first Cow Prairie School was a log cabin located about a mile west of the present day location of the Hayden Baptist Church. In Van Zandt County Scholastic Record for the Term 1888-1889, the Cow Prairie School is listed as number 17.
On 24 Aug 1895, James r. and Sarah M. Box deeded two acres of land to the school and a frame, two-story building was erected east of where the church is now, at the crossroads. The upper floor of this building was used as the meeting place of the Woodsman Lodge.
In Jan, 1900, the members of the Baptist Church then at Myrtle Springs voted to change their meeting place to the Cow Prairie School House.
Sarah M. Box deeded 1.3 acres of land on 18 Mar 1904, for the purpose of building a church.
Charlie and Hannah Hayden were very concerned about the building of a new church and decided to work toward this goal. Mrs. Hayden rode a horse over all the community to solicit money for this building of their dreams. Because of their love and support the people gave their name to the church. this was six months after the post office was discontinued. One Sunday in Jan, 1904, before Rev. R. M. Wilson delivered his sermon, the church body decided to dedicate the new church the third Sunday in March.
that spring of 1904, the residents were quite pleased with the performance of Prof. Howard Farrel, the teacher at Cow Prairie. They felt it was one of the best school sessions they had ever had.
In November 1905, the firest Thanksgiving Day homecoming service and feast took place. This tradition continued for many, many years. There were only two time through the years that services were not held. One time the weather was so bad services were not held. The other time was when a deacon, A. B. Miller was buried, November 1931. One of the citizens who gave her life to the work of the church was Ella jeter, born in 1877, in Hayden. She spent for (sic) formative years in the Hayden church with a desire to be a missionary. After she finished her studies at Baylor, she went to Baptist Seminary at Louisville, Kentucky. Ther were no women at this college and Ella was asked to recruit some ladies to the college for the fall semester. That fall there were four excited ladies enrolled. they were Ella jeter, Rena Groover, Alice Huey and Clemmie Ford. In 1940, these ladies were invited back to Louisville, Kentucky to dedicate the "Maude Reynolds McClure" building, putting the pictures of the "Big Four" in the cornerstone of the building.
Ella was a missionary to China from 1905-1924, with the exception of time during World War I. When she arrived in China, Ella lived with Lottie Moon while she studied the language and learned the customs of the Chinese people. she returned to America in 1931, and during the late 39s and early 40s, she returned to Hayden and taught school.
Another outstanding leader of the community was Walter B. Seale, 1887-1951, a member of a large family, who all had a talent for singing. All during his lifetime he taught singing schools at Hayden. In his early manhood, Walter was a teacher in the Vaughn Conservatory of Music at Lawrenceburg, TN. In early days of radio he was a popular and prominent entertainer in New York City and one of the earliest singers on the Edison Victor Recordings in New York. He felt the call of God early in life and returned to Van Zandt County to sing in revivals and direct choirs. Walter sang with quartets such as Stamps and Vaughn quartets. He loved most his own quartet with members of his family and close friends. some were Buddy Seale, Alvin Seale, Mary Seale, Elzie Seale, E. B. Seale, Gladys Seale, Leonard Seale, Emmit High, Linnie High, Carl Dewees, and Mark Dewees. Others who sang with him were Jim Miller, Henry and Fannie Parker and Lavada Box.
Walter wrote and arranged some of his own songs. Some of his inspirationals were: We Will Reap What We Sow, Till We Meet Again, I shall Not Pass Again This Way, He Will Keep Me, and Over in the Glory Land.
An influential man in the community was Charlie Box. He was ordained as deacon in 1910. On Sunday mornings Charlie would go out to the barn, harness his horses, hitch them to the wagon and tie the horses to a tree. Charlie then would walk on to church early enough to sweep, clean and warm the building before time for Sunday services, secure in the knowledge he had provided the transportation for his family to join him for the worship services.
In 1911, the name of the school was changed from Cow Prairie to Hayden remaining so until consolidation closed so many schools in Van Zandt County.
All remaining of the village of Hayden now is the church which is still active and filled with some of the descendants of the ones mentioned here.