We are a family blessed with high achievers. Goldie is one such person but whom also possessed a loving nurturing nature. She left a positive and lasting impression on those who were fortunate enough to be in her life and a rich legacy for her descendants.
Goldie Walker Hayes, was born in Overton, Dawson Nebraska October 1, 1898. Her parents were Charlotte Baldwin Hatter and William P. Walker who were both educated and believed strongly in their religious beliefs and education. So after being home schooled by her parents Goldie received higher education in Overton and completed college at Kearney Normal at Kearney Nebraska, she went on to achieve a degree at the Black Hills Teachers College at Spearfish, South Dakota.
In 1917 she married William Roy Hayes but only after he quit smoking! Roy owned land just north of DeWitty not far from his father’s acres and that is where he and Goldie set up their home. To this union came three children, Wilma, Douglas and Theodore who died young from a horse riding accident. Goldie would continue to teach before during and after her pregnancies and she would bring them along with her most days.
Early in her career, Goldie, along with her sister Fern Walker Woodson, worked to ensure opportunities for African American teachers in Nebraska, forming an association of teachers when they could not get placement through the regular channels in the state. Later this changed and she also served as the president of the Cherry County Teachers’ Association.
In 2016, at the installation of the historical marker honoring the African American town of DeWitty, Nebraska; we learned of many who were taught and inspired by Goldie over the 33 years she served as a teacher in both Nebraska and South Dakota. Her last position was to serve as the Principal of the Black Pipe School in Norris, SD.
Upon her death on July 12, 1956 in Valentine, Cherry Nebraska, Goldie was well known in the area – and as we discovered, fondly remembered. Goldie is our maternal Grandmother!