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Hainer, Bayard Taylor

Published onJul 30, 2021
Hainer, Bayard Taylor

(May 31, 1860 - July 10, 1933)

Iowa State College alumni, lawyer, Guthrie, Oklahoma City Attorney, associate justice of the Oklahoma Territorial Supreme Court, general counsel with the U. S. Department of Agriculture, chief counsel, Federal Trade Commission, politician, legal scholar and author. 

Bayard Taylor Hainer was born on May 31, 1860, at Columbia, Missouri, a son of Ignace Hainer and Adelaide Barthos Hainer.  His parents were both immigrants from Hungary.  Ignace had been a journal assistant to Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian nationalist and revolutionary leader.  When the revolution in Hungary in 1848 experienced temporary success, Ignace became a secretary to Kossuth's Minister of Foreign Affairs.  After the failure of the revolution, Ignace was taken prisoner temporarily but emigrated to the United States with his wife and children upon his release.  He bought a farm in 1854 in New Buda Township, Decatur County, Iowa, very close to the Iowa-Missouri line. In 1856, he was appointed professor of modern languages at the State University of Missouri at Columbia where Bayard was born in 1860.

When the Civil War erupted the following year, Ignace resigned his position at Columbia because he did not want to take sides in the political and military turmoil in Missouri and returned to the farm in Decatur County, Iowa.  Bayard grew up there and attended common schools. He attended Iowa State College (now University) in the early l880s where an older brother, Julius C. Hainer, was a professor of physics and mathematics.  Two sisters, Hermine and Naomi Hainer, were also students at Iowa State at this time.  Bayard received his BS from Iowa State in 1884 and taught school in Earling, Iowa for a year.  He then studied law first at the Union College of Law at the University of Chicago and then at Michigan State University at Ann Arbor where he received an LLB degree in 1887.  He was admitted to the Michigan State Bar that same year but established a private law practice in Larned, Kansas.

Hainer married Florence Weatherby of Des Moines, Iowa on October 6, 1891.  She was an Iowa State College graduate in the class of 1888.  They had one son, Bayard Taylor Hainer, Jr.

Shortly after the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889, Hainer moved to Guthrie, Oklahoma and opened a law practice there.  In 1893 he was elected City Attorney, was re-elected in 1895, and elected a third time in 1897 without opposition.  In 1893, he published Hainer's Manual of the Oklahoma School Land Laws, Rules and Regulations Governing the Leasing of School Lands, Cherokee Strip, and Kickapoo Bill. Guthrie, OK. State Capital Printing Company, 1893.

On February 16, 1898, President William McKinley appointed Hainer associate justice of the Oklahoma Territorial Supreme Court.  He was re-appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt on December 10, 1902  and again by Roosevelt on January 11, 1906.  Also in 1898, about the time of his first appointment to the Oklahoma Territorial Supreme Court, he published A Treatise on the Modern Law of Municipal Securities, Including Rights and Remedies as Determined by the Courts and Statues of the United States, with Forms and Directions, Indianapolis, IN. Bowen-Merrill Company, 1898.  He included over 20,000 analytical, theoretical, and practical works on American and British law.  This also included writings of noted legal scholars such as Sir Edward Coke, Sir William Blackstone, John Marshall, Joseph Story, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Hainer continued to serve on the Territorial Supreme Court until Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th state on November 16, 1907 upon which the Court was dissolved.  He then established a private law practice in Tulsa.  He ran for the U.S. House twice.  In 1908, he ran for the Republican nomination for the 1st U.S. House District but was defeated in the primary.  In 1920, he ran successfully for the nomination for the 5th U.S. House District but was defeated in the general election.

In 1921 he was appointed by the Harding Administration as General Counsel for the  Department of Agriculture in charge of enforcing the Packer Control Act.  When the law's constitutionality was challenged, Hainer argued the government's case first in local courts in Chicago and then before the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Court affirmed the Act's constitutionality, and he successfully fought other efforts to modify the Act which brought considerable public attention and an rising national reputation to Hainer as an effective attorney.  He also successfully defended the constitutionality of the Futures Grain Act in the federal court in Chicago and again in the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1925, Hainer was appointed Chief Counsel for the Federal Trade Commission.  He handled many cases in both federal courts and in the U.S. Supreme Court, especially those concerning unfair methods in trade and commerce.  Prominent cases that he successfully prosecuted were in the Federal Trade Commission vs. American Tobacco Company case and in a case against the Moving Picture Company.  Hainer continued serving in this position until 1927 when he resigned due to poor health.

Upon retiring, Hainer moved back to Oklahoma.  He had lived in several cities in Oklahoma, including Guthrie, Perry, and Tulsa, but decided to retire in Oklahoma City.  He was active as a 32nd degree Mason and was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. 

He died at Oklahoma City on July 10, 1933 and was interred in Fairlawn Cemetery there.

Selected Sources

The main sources of information on Bayard Taylor Hainer can be found in articles both during his lifetime and in obituaries.  Those articles during his lifetime include “Hon. Bayard T. Hainer,” The Midwestern, Volume 1, Number 6, February, 1907, p. 29;  “Hon. Bayard T. Hainer,” The Medico-Legal Journal, Volume 27, Number 1, June 1909, p. 82; an entry in The National Cyclopaedia of American Biography. Volume 11. New York. James T. White & Company, 1909, p. 158; and an entry in Who Was Who In America. Volume 1, 1897-1942. Chicago. A. N. Marquis Company, 1942, p. 501.

Obituaries can be found in The Alumnus of Iowa State, Volume 29, Number 2, September, 1933, p. 34; “Judge Bayard Taylor Hainer,” Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 11, Number 3, September, 1933, pp. 1004-1006; The Rainbow of Delta Tau Delta, Volume 57, Number 1, November, 1933, p. 64;  and in

Other sources include an entry with biographical information about Ignace Hainer in Biographical and Historical Record of Ringgold and Decatur Counties, Iowa. Chicago. Lewis Publishing Company, 1887, pp. 560-562. 

Sources for the year of Hainer's birth conflict, variously stating his birth being in 1860, 1862, and 1866.  The U. S. Federal Census of 1870 for Iowa, Decatur County, New Buda Township, verifies that he was 10 years old that year which indicates 1860 as the correct birth year.  Also, he reported his age as 40 in the U. S. Federal Census of 1900 when he was living in Perry, Oklahoma, which also confirms an 1860 birth date. 

Other minor sources of information include mention of him as a teacher in Earling, Iowa for a year after his graduation from Iowa State in The Aurora (an early Iowa State College newspaper), Volume 13, Number 4, June, 1885, p. 87; brief mention of his appointment and tenure on the Oklahoma Territorial Supreme Court is in Thomas H. Doyle, “The Supreme Court of the Territory of Oklahoma,” Chronicles of Oklahoma, Volume 13, Number 2, June, 1935, pp. 216-217; and various internet sources with information about his campaigns for Congress in 1908 and 1920, his two books, and genealogical information relating to Ignace Hainer.   

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