|PARENT (M) Thomas Hays|
|Birth||19 JAN 1840||Bradys Bend, Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania, USA|
|Death||29 FEB 1920||Butler, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Marriage||21 DEC 1865||to Keziah Jane Foster at Cowansville, PA, at the old Foster homestead, performed by Rev. David Hall|
|Mother||Deborah Jane McKee|
|PARENT (F) Keziah Jane Foster|
|Birth||27 MAR 1841||Sugar Creek, Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania, USA|
|Death||22 JUN 1919||Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA|
|Marriage||21 DEC 1865||to Thomas Hays at Cowansville, PA, at the old Foster homestead, performed by Rev. David Hall|
|Father||Christopher Alexander Foster|
|M||Christopher Foster Hays|
|Birth||13 DEC 1868||Fairview, Butler, PA|
|Death||7 DEC 1952||United States of America|
|M||Robert Nye Hays|
|Birth||13 NOV 1870||Fairview Township, Pennsylvania|
|Death||9 JUL 1952||Fairview, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA|
|F||Maude Bell Hays|
|Birth||16 OCT 1872||Haysville, Butler County, Pennsylvania|
|Death||2 APR 1942||Butler, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA|
|M||Thomas Henderson Hays|
|Birth||19 DEC 1874||Fairview, Butler, PA|
|Death||24 AUG 1901||Butler, Pennsylvania, USA|
|M||Charles Frederick Wells Hays|
|Birth||12 NOV 1876||Fairview, Butler, PA|
|Death||24 NOV 1902||Butler, Pennsylvania, USA|
|F||Jennie L. Hays|
|Birth||16 JAN 1867||Armstrong Co., Pennsylvania, USA|
|Death||10 MAY 1947||Evansburg, Butler, Pennsylvania, USA|[S57] DAR application, Genevieve Thomas Lago, ca. 1955 [S368] Pennsylvania, Department of Health, Death Certificates [S372] U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [S235] 1910 United States Federal Census [S252] 1880 United States Federal Census [S420] Pennsylvania, Death Certificates, 1906-1964 [S15] 1920 United States Federal Census [S332] Pennsylvania, Veterans Burial Cards, 1777-1999 [S266] U.S. City Directories (Beta) [S295] 1920 United States Federal Census [S239] 1870 United States Federal Census [S334] American Civil War Soldiers [S222] 1850 United States Federal Census
Fairview Borough, Chapter 45
INCORPORATION AND OFFICIALS
1879-Thomas HAYS, burgess; Milton CONWAY, assistant burgess; R. W. McKEE and J. A. WILSON.
1880-Thomas HAYS, burgess; J. D. BURTON, assistant burgess; A. J. NICHOLSON, W. T. McCOY and James RUTHERFORD.
The Hays family are of Irish extraction. George HAYS, grandfather of the subject of this biography, was born in Ireland, and came to this country about 1820. He settled in Armstrong County, on the farm where Thomas was born. He died shortly after he came to this country. Robert HAYS, son of George HAYS, married Deborah J. McKEE, and reared a family of seven sons and two daughters. He resided on the old farm in Armstrong County until 1874, when he came to Butler County, where he died three years later. He was a successful farmer, and acquired a comfortable competency. His wife is still living.
Thomas HAYS, the subject of this biography, was born January 19, 1840; spent his boyhood days on the farm with his father. He acquired a good common school education, and at the age of twenty-one enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and was engaged in all the battles during the Peninsula campaignsiege of Suffolk, Cold Harbor, Richmond and Petersburg, and by reason of expiration of term of service was discharged; re-enlisted in Company L, Fourth United States Artillery, and served in the army of the Potomac. At the close of the war, he returned to his home. In 1865, he was married to Miss Kesia J., daughter of Christopher A. FOSTER, of Middlesex, Armstrong County. She was born in Sugar Creek Township March 27, 1841. The Foster family are also of Irish descent. Christopher A. was a thrifty farmer. After some years in that occupation, he engaged in the mercantile business. Six children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. HAYS: Jennie L., Christopher F., Robert N., Maud B., Thomas H., Charles F.W. HAYS.
In the year of 1867, Mr. HAYS bought a farm in Fairview Township, now known as the Haysville Farm. Since that time, he has bought other pieces of land, so that at the present time he is the owner of five or six hundred acres of land. He is one of the successful farmers of Butler County, and is engaged at the present time in the oil producing business. He is an ardent Republican, and has served acceptably positions of trust and responsibility, at all times using his influence for the cause of education, and protection to American industry, and is a great lover of his country, and believes that it is a Nation, and should be spelled with a large N. He is slow to resent a wrong, but never forgets one who befriends him.
[End of Chapter 40--Fairview Township: History of Butler County, Pennsylvania. With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of some of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Waterman, Watkins, & Co., Chicago, 1883.]
Thomas Hays, eldest son of Robert Hays, was born Jan. 19, 1840, in a log house on his fathers farm, in what is now Washington township. Passing his early life on that place, he assisted with the farm work in summer, and carried on his studies during the winter, attending public and select schools in the county until he reached the age of eighteen. In 1861 he was elected by the school directors of his own township to teach the Wattersonville school, but it was not long before he got the war fever, and felt that he must enter the service of his country. Resigning his position, he enlisted, Sept. 16, 1861, in Company B, 103d Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, with which command he served for fourteen months. Two days after his enlistment he reported at Camp Orr, Kittanning, with his brother John M. and twenty-five or thirty of his schoolmates and neighbors, all in the same company, carrying their own blankets and traps. Leaving Camp Orr Feb. 28, 1862, with the regiment, they arrived that evening at Harrisburg, and pitched their tents on about a foot of now and ice, where Mr. Hays slept on his blankets in the Sibley tent overnight. The next morning the boys kindled their first hard coal fire--hard coal being new to them. They received their uniforms and guns, etc., and their flag was presented to them in front of the old capitol by War Governor Andrew G. Curtin. The story of the Company B flag is given in a later paragraph.
In one week they were sent to Washington City, where they camped the first night on what is now the site of the Congressional Library, and the next morning the imprints of their bodies were lift in the mud. Thence they changed to Meridian Hill, Washington, D.C., and a few days later marched to Alexandria, Va., thence to Fortress Monroe, on Old Point Comfort. Mr. Hays was in all the battles of the Army of the Potomac and the Peninsular campaign, going with McClellan through Yorktown to Williamsburg, where they met the Rebels in the first battle, May 6, 1862. The enemy evacuated that night. Next they fought in the engagements of Fair Oaks and Seven Pines, and then in the Seven Days battle, winding up with the battle of Malvern Hill. This ended the battles of the Peninsular campaign. On Nov. 13, 1862, he and his brother John M. Hays were transferred to Battery L, of the 4th United States Light Artillery (with which they engaged in the siege of Suffolk, Va.), and served in the Army of the James under General Butler, took part in the battle of Drurys Bluff, and in June, 1864, were transferred with the battery to join Grants army at Cold Harbor, engaging in battle there. In this engagement Mr. Hayss battery lost thirteen horses and fifteen men in about thirty minutes. General Grant, in describing the battle, states that for the time the battle lasted it was the bloodiest in the war. Mr. Hays and his brother escaped, as did the four neighbor boys, subsequently serving in front of Richmond and Petersburg, Va., and he was mustered out in front of Petersburg Nov. 13, 1864, at the expiration of their term of service.
Coming home at the close of his service, Mr. Hays was soon managing the farm of his uncle, David Hays, in Maryland, near Baltimore, being thus employed for two years, during which time he came back to Armstrong county and married. Then he removed to near Fairview in Butler county, Pa., in 1867, purchasing a farm which he still owns and operates, and where he engaged in general agricultural pursuits and later in the horse and cattle business, raising and breeding. In time he became interested in the production of oil and gas from the property, as well as on some of the adjoining farms. He owns and operates many wells in Butler and Armstrong counties, some of which has been producing oil for forty years. During the period of twenty-eight years that he resided on the Haysville farm at Fairview Mr. Hays became, through his enterprise and versatile ability, one of the prosperous and reliable business men of the district, and since his removal to the town of Butler, in 1895, he has augmented that reputation steadily. He has become closely associated with real estate, manufacturing and banking interests in Butler, being a stockholder in many of the manufacturing plants there, a director of the Farmers National Bank, and a stockholder in the Merchants National Bank. His competent management of his private affairs attracted the attention and confidence of his fellow citizens to such an extent that they called upon him for public service, and he has not disappointed his supporters in the quality of his work or his stand on questions affecting the welfare of his constituents. He was elected to the lower house of the State Legislature for the terms commencing in 1903 and 1905, and for the extra sessions of 1906, and was elected to the State Senate to represent Armstrong and Butler counties, in the Forty-first Senatorial district, for the terms commencing in 1909 and 1911, completing eight years of acceptable service in the State Legislature, four in each branch. His influence and support were always found on the side of the common people, and opposed to special class privileges or anything that contained the elements of graft and perquisites not enjoyed by all. In political connection Mr. Hays has always been a Republican. He and his wife are leading members of the Presbyterian Church at Butler, in which he is a ruling elder, and socially he holds membership in the Masonic fraternity (Argyle Lodge, at Chicora) and Grand Army of the Republic, being one of the most prominent members of Post No. 107, in which he has filled various offices, including that of commander.
Mr. Hays had the honor of being chosen to make the presentation speech when, on Jan. 30, 1912, the flag of his old command in the 103d Pennsylvania Regiment was given to Memorial Hall at Pittsburgh. His wife, Mrs. Keziah J. (Foster) Hays, who had helped to make the flag more than fifty years before, was also present, as were many of the men who fought under it. As noted above, Mr. Hays was in the same command as a number of his schoolmates. When the Civil war began Keziah J. Foster and a number of other schoolgirls made for Company B the first American flag of the 103d Pennsylvania Regiment, which was then recruiting in Camp Orr, Kittanning, Pa., and presented it to the company with the charge to shoot on the spot any one who attempted to pull it down. This flag was always held in high esteem by all the boys, and was carried through all their battles in the war. At the battle of Plymouth, N.C., the regiment was surrounded by a larger force of the enemy, and after many days of fighting, with the loss of many killed and wounded, it became necessary for the regiment to surrender or all die. When the surrender took place the boys took good care that this flag did not fall into the hands of the enemy. It was concealed around the waist of the custodian, Conrod Petzinger, and carried by him eleven months while in the Andersonville prison, and when the regiment returned from prison at the close of the war and was discharged from the army, the flag was still treasured carefully. Now, inclosed in a neat frame, it may be seen at Memorial Hall, Pittsburgh, where it occupies an honorable place.
On Dec. 21, 1865, Mr. Hays was married to Keziah J. Foster, of Cowansville; she was born in Sugar Creek township, on the old Foster homestead farm, and attended the same school as her husband. They have had a family of six children:
(1) Jennie L. Hays, born Jan. 16, 1867, was married Oct. 22, 1890, to Dr. V.F. Thomas, of Evans City, Butler Co., Pa., and they have had five children, Lister Hays (born Nov. 25, 1891), Ethel (born Aug. 9, 1896), Allen (born April 13, 1899), Genevieve (born March 31, 1903) and Frank (born Sept. 27, 1905).
(2) Christopher F. Hays, born Dec. 13, 1868, is engaged in farming and the oil business. On April 20, 1899, he married Lilley Logan, and they have one child, George Thomas Hays, born may 22, 1901.
(3) Robert N. Hays, born Nov. 13, 1870, farmer and oil producer, resides on the old Haysville farm. He married Iva Brackney Feb. 10, 1897, and they have one daughter, Audrey Ivetta Hays, born July 26, 1898.
(4) Maud B. Hays, born Oct. 16, 1872, married Dr. John V. Cowden June 27, 1906.
(5) Thomas Henderson Hays, born Dec. 19, 1874, died Aug. 24, 1901, unmarried.
(6) Charles Frederick Wells Hays, born Nov. 12, 1876, died Nov. 24, 1902, unmarried.
THOMAS HAYS, eldest son of Robert and Deborah HAYS, was born in Armstrong county, January 19, 1840, and grew to maturity, upon his father's farm. He attended school in the old fashioned log school building of that period, and subsequently a select school. In September, 1861, he enlisted in Company B, One Hundred and Third Pennsylvania Volunteers, which was assigned to service in CASEY's Division, Fourth Corps, Army of the Potomac, and participated in [p. 1013] the Peninsular Campaign and the battles of Williamsburg, Seven Pines, Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, etc. He was later transferred to the Eighteenth Corps and stationed at Suffolk, Virginia. In November, 1862, under general orders from the war department, he re-enlisted, in Battery L, Fourth United States Artillery. He afterwards served in the siege of Suffolk, at Yorktown, the siege of Petersburg, Cold Harbor, and engagements before Richmond, and was honorably discharged November 13, 1864. Mr. HAYS was married December 21, 1865, to Kesiah J., a daughter of Christopher F. and Isabella FOSTER, of Armstrong county. Six children are the fruits of this union, as follows: Jennie L., wife of Dr. V. F. THOMAS; Christopher F.; Robert N.; Maud B.; Thomas H., and Charles F. W. In the spring of 1867 Mr. HAYS located on a farm in Fairview township, which afterwards became a valuable oil property, and engaged in oil producing. In 1876 he erected his present residence in the borough of Fairview, which has since been his home. The family are Presbyterians, and he fills the office of elder in the church at Fairview. Mr. HAYS is a member of McNair Lodge, A. O. U. W., of which he has been secretary for ten years; has also served eight years as treasurer of Liberty Lodge, K. of H., and for the past five years has been recorder of the E. A. U. He is also connected with Argyle Lodge, F. & A. M. He is an active Republican, and has acceptably filled various positions in the township and borough.
Source: History of Butler County Pennsylvania, 1895
Biographical Sketches, Chapter 72 (Pgs. 1012-1013)