About Fred Fenton Bays
He was a lawyer. Resided Sullivan co., In. He at one time owned a circus. He was manager of the World Champion Fly-weight Boxing Champion from terre Haute. He did exploration of oil and gas wells in the area and owned Dome Gas Company. He was Indiana Democratic Chairman 1938-45; Delegate to the National Convention from Indiana 1941, 1946. Was a member of the freemasons Shriners and elks. After retirement they moved to the Bays Farm north of Merom on State Road 63.
Fred Fenton Bays, of the law firm of Bays & Bays, of Sullivan, is one of the able, eloquent and broad-minded young men of this section of Indiana, who in his professional, political and public capacities has already achieved much and given promise of a brilliant and substantial future' career. He was born in Bloomfield, Indiana, on the 12th day of July, 1882, a son of the late John S. and Hattie (Fenton) Bays. His "father was for nearly a quarter of a century one of the leading lawyers of southern Indiana, and, had he so desired, might have ascended the bench of the higher courts. But all his abilities were wrapped in the practice of the law, and at his death he was considered one of the leading, corporation lawyers of the Ohio valley and had no superior as an authority on the law relating to coal interests. As a man he was pure, high-minded and lovable, and the record of his life is given elsewhere in detail.
Fred F. Bays received the foundation of his mental training at Culver Academy, from which he graduated in 1904, after which he pursued his professional courses in the University of Indianapolis Law School and the University of Indiana Law School at Bloomington, Indiana. Soon after graduating from the latter he entered into practice with his brother Lee, who had been associated with his father. The two brothers, under the style of Bays & Bays, have continued the large business established by their. father, and are handling it with energy and fine judgment. Although general practitioners, they make a specialty of corporate law as relates to the coal interests, representing both the Southern Indiana railroad and the Southern Indiana Coal Company. They are also attorneys for the Standard Oil Company for that section of the state. Their well-appointed and busy offices are located on the north side of the pubhc square on Washington street.
Fred F. Bays is a strong Democrat, and early commenced to partici- pate in the deliberations of the party. At the age of twenty-two he was elected chairman of the county committee, and ably performed its duties for two years. Governor Hanly selected him as a trustee of the Indiana Southern Hospital for the Insane to fill out his father's unexpired term of one and a half years, and at the expiration of that period he was appointed for a new term of four years, which will not expire until 1912. He is a thirty-second degree Mason, a member of the Mystic Shrine at Indianapolis, and is also active in the fraternal work of the Elks, being exalted ruler of Lodge No. gii. He maintains his fraternal associations with his alma mater through the Beta Theta Pi of the Indiana University, and has cause to remember his college career with pride as well as fond- ness. While at Culver he won the first medal for oratory and a medal for debate; was editor-in-chief of the Vidette, and was a member of the football and track teams, as well as being interested in boxing and athletics in general. He was a true university man, and has carried the broad, active and versatile life of his college days into the realities of professional and social life. From college halls he has continued his interest in oratory, and takes time from his busy professional life to promote the art, and in giving a gold medal to the winner of the annual oratorical contest in the Sullivan high school he pays a beautiful tribute to his late father's memory and at the same time furnishes an inspiration to young men and women to cultivate this ancient and time-honored art. The annual event is known as the "John S. Bays Gold Medal Oratorical Contest."
A history of Sullivan County, Indiana, closing of the first century's history of the county, and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth
THOMAS J. WOLFE EDITOR ILLUSTRATED THE LEWIS PUBLISHING COMPANY NEW YORK CHICAGO 1909