WILLIS, HAYES, who has for many years been engaged in the general mercantile business in Scottville, was born in Clinton county, Kentucky, on the 19th of October, 1859. His parents, Thomas and Mary (Crockett) Hayes, were both born in Clinton county, the father's natal day being the 23d of October, 1818, while that of the mother was in April, 1826. The paternal grandparents were Alexander and Hannah Hayes, who were natives of North Carolina. Thomas Hayes always devoted his energies to agricultural pursuits, acquiring a fine farm of two hundred acres in Kentucky that he cultivated until he withdrew from active life. He is now living retired in Clinton county.
A good common school education was acquired by Willis Hayes in his native state, after the completion of which he gave his undivided attention to agricultural pursuits on his father's farm. He came to Macoupin county in 1883, buying seventy acres of land where for several years he engaged in general farming. Preferring work that would prove less taxing physically, he came to Scottville with the intention of engaging in business. Here he became associated with Marshall Wheeler and together they established the enterprise with which Mr. Hayes has ever since been identified. Mr. Marshall withdrew from the business at the end of three years and Mr. Hayes has ever since been conducting the business alone. He has a full and well assorted stock of general merchandise and is pleasantly situated as to location, having moved to his present stand in 1898. A man of pleasing personality, gracious and accommodating manner, Mr. Hayes has succeeded in building up an excellent business and is favored with a large patronage. His farm he is now renting.
On the 15th of February, 1885, Mr. Hayes married Martha Decker, a daughter of John and Jane (Van Bebber) Decker. The father, who was a farmer, died during the very early childhood of his daughter. To Mr. and Mrs. Hayes have been born two children: Ethel, who married Bert Followell, a farmer and has one child, Chester; and Virgil L., who is unmarried and works in the store with his father.
Mr. Hayes' fraternal relations are confined to membership in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Scottville Lodge, No. 226; and the Modern Woodmen of America, Scottville Camp, No. 506, in both of which organizations he has filled the office of clerk. His political support is given to the democratic party. Mr. Hayes has always led a life of activity, and is accorded the good-will and esteem of those with whom he has been associated.