Robert and Alma Bischoff Hay

Alma Elizabeth Bischoff

Robert Howsmon Hay

Parents: Elizabeth Stiebeling and Charles Bischoff

Parents: Mary Emily Howsmon and Oliver Perry Hay

Born: March 23, 1885, Washington, D.C. (certificate)

Born: November 16, 1882 Irvington, Indiana (certificate)

Passport: 1905 passport in Guatemala, 5'5½" tall

Married: December 15, 1909 Robert Hay in Baltimore, MD (record)

Married: December 15, 1909 Alma Bischoff in Baltimore, MD (record)

WWI Draft Registration: 1918 card

Died: May 6, 1956 Washington, D.C. - cerebral hemorrhage (death certificate, obituary, will)

Died: May 9, 1952 Washington, D.C. - heart attack (death certificate, obituaries, will)

Interred: Rock Creek Cemetery, Wash., D.C. (tombstone)

Interred: Rock Creek Cemetery, Wash., D.C. (tombstone)

Occupation: teacher (before marriage)

Occupation: Owner, Hay Rubber Stamp Company (35 yrs)

Genome: Hay genome

Upon graduation from Central High School and Wilson Teachers College, Alma taught for four years in the DC public schools before being forced to quit upon her marriage - a tough choice for women in those days. After Perry's severe arm injury as a boy and near-death bout with empyema at age 9, Alma doted on her younger son. Upset over Perry's ill-advised marriage, she could not cope with Perry's Army service during WWII. Perry served in 3 major tank campaigns; Alma had a nervous breakdown virtually the same time Perry left for the first one in North Africa. Hospitalized for a year (Nov 1942-Nov 1943 at Chestnut Lodge in Rockville, MD), Alma perhaps never fully recovered. Robert's death was devastating - she lost not only her husband, but Perry also remarried and left home. Alma lost interest in keeping house, entertaining family, and living. She gave most of the properties that she and Robert had acquired to her son Perry, perhaps in compensation for the Rubber Stamp Company he did not inherit. She died unexpectedly when she fell while mowing, hitting her head on the curb, perhaps, the family theorized, due to insulin shock (adult-onset diabetes).

The only child not to go to college (attended business school in NY), Robert did not make it into "Who's Who" like his father and brother, so perhaps he felt somewhat intimidated by his siblings - he put his cigarette out in his pocket (burning his pants) rather than let his sister Fannie see him smoke! However, he was a successful businessman, and a highly regarded editor-publisher of the "Stamp Trade News" for 18 years - encouraging a consortium of rubber stamp professionals. He even held stamp and ink patents (the L & T purple ink for stamping grades of meat)! He did not fight during WWI--he was 35 with two sons. During WWII, Fannie worked for him for 2+ years - employees were hard to find - and he lived with her for 9 of these months, while Alma was hospitalized. An avid reader of biographies and a student of Lincoln, he loved to visit the nearby battlefields. He instilled his love of the sea in both sons - sailing on the Potomac River at the Wellington summer cottage. Robert's death came unexpectedly - a heart attack while napping before dinner.

Alma Elizabeth Bischoff Hay

page in her brother-in-law's genealogy book
Census data: 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940

Photographs: 1884-1950. And the family 1912-1950s photo album.

Robert Howsmon Hay

page in his brother's genealogy book
Census data: 1890, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, 1940



Date of Birth, Place

Date of Death, Place

Married - date and to whom

# children

1. Donald Albert

6/19/1912 Wash, DC

10/14/1978 Wash, DC

1- 5/15/1936 Eleanor "Ellie" Dankenbring, 2- 2/21/1976 Florence "Dolly" Forsythe [widow Sarbacher]


2. Perry Irving

4/5/1915 Washington, D.C.

2/18/1976 Florida

1- 6/22/1940 Jane Ballard (divorced), 2- 5/13/1952 Kathryn "Kitty" Pultz [widow Thompson]



Perry and Donald, circa 1931
Note: Curiously, Robert was on the 1902 Central High School football team, at age 19 -- curious, since this is the age at which his brother William Perry graduated from college. Son Don also played football, for Central High School and for the University of Maryland. It came as a surprise to me (DLH 2008) that Robert Hay traveled to Guatemala in 1904/05, age 22, and listed himself as a botanist on the passport! He traveled with 28-year-old botantist William Maxon -- they left D.C. on Dec 22, 1904 but did not apply for passports until Feb 2 in Guatemala, for "personal protection" -- but William Maxon was staying in Guatemala for up to 2 years, while Grandpa said he would leave within 2 months. Their Guatemalan collection on Phanerogams (plants with visible seeds--flowering plants and gymnosperms) is listed on the Harvard University Herbaria website. William Maxon, who worked at the National Museum, and Robert's brother, William Perry Hay, were two of the original members of the Washington D.C. Biologists Club, founded in 1900 -- undoubtedly it was through this connection that Robert got this job with his brother's associate. Twenty-two years later, in 1927, Robert and Alma took Don and Perry on a banana boat, back to Guatemala -- no information is available on the trip down, but they sailed home on the Steamship Castilla on September 9-12, 1927 -- see passenger list.

Hay's Spring Amphipod - endangered
William Perry Hay, an American zoologist known for work on crayfish and reptiles, had an amphipod named after him: Hay's Spring amphipod (Stygobromus hayi); Kingdom: Animalia; Class: Malacostraca; Order: Amphipoda; Family: Crangonyctidae. It is found in just five sites in Rock Creek Park, and is on the endangered list. (endangered list, DITC education, 5-year Review, fact sheet, 2013 article, and p.205 of 1940 Hubricht and Macklin paper)

Jane had hardly been faithful to Perry during his long absences during the war, even though she lived part of this time with Don and Eleanor. Perry and Jane's child Barbara, born in 1942, was institutionalized (for the second time at Spring Grove Hospital Center in Catonsville, MD -- 1954-1985 -- then private assisted care facilities to the present time). She suffered severe developmental problems, perhaps in part due to her mistreatment by her mother. Kitty and Perry had dated in college; Kitty's husband was killed in WWII, leaving her with two young sons.

1950 census will be released in 2022; the Hay's will have moved (1948) to 1635 Roxanna Rd., NW

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