F. Jay Haynes was born in Saline, Michigan, on October 28, 1853. In 1876 he moved to Moorhead, Minnesota where he opened his first studio. The next year he traveled 400 miles by stagecoach photographing Dakota Territory. He married Lily V. Snyder on Jan 15, 1878, and in that same year he made a photographic journey to the West Coast.
Haynes was the first photographer in the Fargo-Moorhead area, however Jacob Skrivseth has the distinction of being the first to have a studio with-in the city limits of Fargo. Both men opened their Fargo studios in 1879. Haynes moved into his newly constructed Fargo studio at 725 Front Street on May 19th of that year, Skrivseth had opened his studio in March. In 1881 Haynes made his first trip to Yellowstone Park where he made a collection of stereoscopic views, and eventually he opened a park concession to sell pictures. Haynes was asked to take photographs of several historic occasions. First, when U.S. President Chester A. Arthur toured Yellowstone Park in 1883, Haynes was asked to take the pictures. When the golden spike was driven linking the east and west Northern Pacific railroad in 1883, Haynes was commissioned to take the photographs, and he was also asked to become the official photographer of the Northern Pacific Railroad.
Haynes outfitted a Palace train car into a photo studio, which he used to photograph towns from Puget Sound to Chicago. In 1889, Haynes moved his studio to St. Paul, Minnesota. He continued his adventurous trips to Yellowstone and helped develop its large tourist business. He died March 10, 1921 in St. Paul.
People known to have worked for F. Jay Haynes at Fargo: