SAMUEL J. HAYS. The owner and resident of the farm located on section 34, North Otter Township, is he whose name is above. His father was Samuel Hays, who was born in Martin County, Ind., July 5, 1812. He continued to live in his native State and county until he arrived at nineteen years of age, when he removed to Macoupin County, being one of the early settlers in the State. At that time the people in Illinois were scattered and the present metropolis of the State was only an airy figment in the brains of traders who passed through the country along the lake.
While yet a young man Samuel Hays took to himself a wife from among the maidens in his adopted State. His wife's name was Rebecca (Molen) Bond. She was a daughter of Aquilla Molen, of Kentucky, and the widow of Joel Bond. Mrs. Hays was born in Virginia, March 11, 1807. After their marriage they settled in South Otter Township, but removed to North Otter Township in the fall of 1848, where they have since resided. Mrs. Hays died early in October, 1887. They had four children, three sons and one daughter. Our subject was the third child. His birthplace was South Otter Township, and his natal day, November 10, 1845. The years that intervened between his coming into the world and the time he reached his majority were passed as were the days of the average pioneer settler. He lived with his parents until he was married.
Our subject learned the blacksmith's trade, but farming has been his chief occupation and his attention has been almost exclusively devoted to the improvement and culture of the one hundred and fifty-eight acres that his farm on section 34 includes. He was married in Carlinville, March 24, 1864, to Miss Ellen F. Shores. She is a daughter of Jonathan and Marinda (Jennings) Shores. Her parents came from Tennessee and settled in Macoupin County about 1859, selecting North Otter Township as the place of their abode. There the mother died; the father passed away in Marion County, this State.
Mrs. Ellen F. Hays was born in Wilson County, Tenn., January 4, 1847. Mr. and Mrs. Hays are the parents of ten children. The eldest died in infancy; Mary E., is the wife of James Swift; Eli married Miss N. Seymour; the fourth child died in infancy; Thomas J. died at the age of nineteen; Charles E. and William E., were twins, the former dying in infancy; the next child also died in infancy; the two youngest are George E. and Herby H. Mrs. Ellen F. Hays died in North Otter Township April 18, 1888, having filled the sacred office of wife and mother most graciously and having been an example of patience and unselfishness to her friends.
Mr. Hays was again married, January 6, 1889. His second wife was Miss Marinda M. Lowdermilk, a daughter of Jacob and Sarah (Bentley) Lowdermilk. Mrs. Marinda M. Hays was born in Tennessee, May 3, 1847. One child has been the outcome of this union - Albert Ray. The present Mrs. Hays has conscientiously and lovingly taken the place of mother to the children that were bereft of their maternal parent.
Mr. Hays takes an active interest in political affairs and is a follower of the Democratic party, finding its platform consonant with his own ideas of equity and justice. Under his party he has held several minor offices, having been Justice of the Peace for fourteen consecutive years. He also has been Highway Commissioner for six years and has satisfactorily discharged the duties of School Trustee and Director. Our subject with his wife is a member of the Missionary Baptist church. He was the first ordained Deacon of the Union Baptist Church in North Otter Township and has been Clerk of that body ever since its organization.