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Family of Samuel Ridley Hay


Benjamin Franklin Hall (1803–1873) was a prominent early religious leader in North Texas. He married Dorinda Chisholm in 1827, and they had twin daughters in 1829. Dorinda died in 1831. Hall is buried in Van Alstyne Cemetery in Grayson County, Texas.

The two daughters were Martha Foster Hall (1829–1885) and Mary Chisholm Hall (1829–1864).

Samuel Ridley Hay (1825–1904) married Mary Chisholm Hall in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1849. At the time, Samuel was teaching at Franklin College, a short-lived religious institution near Nashville. He and Mary helped to organize the Christian Church of Cami in White County, Illinois, in 1851. He enlisted in the Union Army in 1863, giving his occupation as merchant, and Mary died in 1864.

In 1868, Samuel remarried, to Mary's twin sister, Martha Foster Hall Peabody, a widow. By 1880, the family had moved to Grayson County, Texas, with Samuel listed as a farmer. Samuel was assistant postmaster at Cairo, Illinois, in 1870; and postmaster at Mormon Grove, Grayson County, Texas, in 1891. Between 1900 and his death in 1904, he was an insurance agent in Denison, Texas, living with the family of his son Alex. He is buried in West Hill Cemetery in Sherman.

Samuel had eight children. Two sons were Alexander Dobbins Hay (1862–1906) and William Lynn Hay (1871–1933). Alexander is known to history as A. D. Hay of Denison, Texas; and William became an attorney in nearby Sherman, Texas. Another of Samuel's sons was Samuel R. Hay (1855–?), not to be confused with Samuel Ross Hay (1865–1944), who became a noted Methodist bishop and pastor of churches in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Houston.


Alex D. Hay was about two years old when his mother, Mary, died. His father married his aunt Martha when Alex was about eight. At age 18, he was in Grayson County, Texas (1880). He married Mary Alice "Allie" Stobie (1870–1957) in 1887. They had some seven children. Alex was a clerk for the Railway Mail Service in Denison. In 1896, the Denison City Directory listed the family at 509 West Johnson Street. The 1900 Census, however, found them occupying a fine home at 614 West Sears Street. In addition to Alex, Alice, and three sons (Samuel R., William H., and Lynn D.), the house accommodated Alex's father, Samuel R. Hay, now 74.

614 West Sears Street, Denison
Source: "Residence of A. D. Hay." Robinson, Frank M., comp. Industrial Denison. [N.p.]: Means-Moore Co., [ca. 1909]. Page 31.

The Sears Street house had been built by a local merchant, Lazarus Bernheim, around 1895, but he left Denison in 1900, moving to Shawnee, Oklahoma. It seems probable that Alex bought the home from him. Industrial Denison, a pictorial book published around 1909, carried a photograph of the house, captioned ""Residence of A. D. Hay."

Two baby girls were born in 1901 and 1902. The elderly Samuel passed away in 1904. Alex apparently became ill, too, as the City Directory for 1905 listed him with no occupation. That year, Alice was operating a boarding house in the home at 614 West Sears. Alex died in 1906 and was buried in West Hill Cemetery in Sherman.

In 1908, Alice married James Edwin Cawthon and moved to El Paso, taking her younger children—Lynn, Genevieve, and Helen. Alice was eleven years older than her new husband. She died in 1957 in El Paso.

A. D. Hay Suicides

[Sunday Gazetteer, Denison TX, February 18, 1906]

A. D. Hay tired of life, tried the pistol route, presumably last Saturday, but one or two persons state that they saw Hay last Sunday. Hay has been rooming at the Simpson place, and his lifeless body was found there Monday night in room No. 34. The porter of the hotel first called attention to the room of Hay, as he had several times attempted to enter the room but found it locked. He saw a key on the inside of the lock and notified Mr. Crumpton, the proprietor of the hotel. Suspecting something was wrong, he requested the porter to procure a chair and enter the room over the transom. Hay was discovered dead in bed when the porter turned on the light. He had placed the pistol close to his breast and sent a bullet through his heart, which passed through the body and lodged in the mattress. The powder explosion had set fire to the undershirt of the suicide. The police force were notified and took charge of the situation. The body was removed to the undertakers and Justice French summoned. The suicide had been a resident of Denison for a number of years. He was for some time in the service of the government as postal clerk but resigned owing to declining health. Several months ago, he had gone west for his health but did not say long. He said that he eventually expected to make California his future home. He was in the Denison Sanitarium for some time. For the past week or so, he ha been despondent. He ordered the Gazetteer stopped to his address, as he remarked that he did not know where fate would cast his lot. The deceased was about forty years of age. He leaves a wife and five children. He has a brother in Sherman, who took charge of the body.


Meanwhile, William Lynn Hay, half-brother of Alex, had a very different life, as described in his obituary. His mother, Martha, had been married to Samuel Hay for three years before William was born. The family moved to Texas, and Martha died when William was about twelve years old. He was thereafter raised and mentored by his half-sister, Belle Peabody Muse (1854–1932), and her husband, a judge, Philander Burr Muse (1851–1901). That couple lived in Sherman and McKinney, Texas. With the support of the Muse family, William attended law school at the University of Texas and became a prominent lawyer in Sherman. He was married to Mary Aileen Slaughter (1874–1885) and had two daughters, Dorothy Lynn Hay (1907–2000) and Mary Cornelia Hay (1910–1993).

W. L. Hay Dies Suddenly at Home

Prominent Many Years in Legal, Political and Church Affairs

(Obituary from files at Sherman, Texas Public Library)

William Lynn Hay, for 39 years a prominent member of the Grayson county bar, and active during that time in civic and religious affairs of Sherman and North Texas, died suddenly at his home, 910 South Crockett street, Tuesday at 5:20 p.m., on his sixty-second birthday.
Funeral services were to be held Wednesday at 5 p.m. from the residence, conducted by Dr. Roy H. Biser, pastor of Central Christian church, and Dr. George P. Cuthrell of Tyler, former pastor. Interment was to be in the Sherman mausoleum with Dannel-Scott Company in charge of arrangements. Pallbearers were Roy Finley, Sam Wolfe, Barlow Roberts, J. F. Holt, W. H. Lucas, and Will H. Evans.
Mr. Hay had been in ill health for the past two years, but was thought to be only slightly indisposed while confined to his bed for the last two days. A stroke of apoplexy at 4 p.m. Tuesday ended his life a little more than an hour later. At his bedside were his daughters, Misses Dorothy Lynn and Cornelia Hay and Miss Dorothy Slaughter, a sister-in-law. Mrs. Hay died May 16, 1932.
Mr. Hay was a member of the Sherman law firm of Hay, Finley, Wolfe and Barron at the time of his death, and had had a long and honorable career as a civil attorney in North Texas.


He was born in Cairo, Ill., the son of Samuel R. Hay and Martha Hall Hay, July 4, 1871. His family moved to Texas when he was a small boy, and his mother died when he was 12 years old. He was reared by a half-sister, the late Mrs. Belle P. [Peabody, from Martha's first marriage] Muse of Sherman. He was educated in the schools of McKinney and at the University of Texas by his aunt and his uncle, the late Judge P. B. Muse. He was graduated from the University School of Law in 1894.
Soon after graduation Mr. Hay became a law partner of the late Frank L. Montgomery. In 1900 he married Miss Mary Aileen Slaughter of Union Springs, Ala., and they made their home in Sherman. At the death of Judge J. A. L. Wolfe, Mr. Hay became a partner in the firm known as Freeman, McReynolds and Hay, which later united with another firm, the combination being Head, Dillard, Maxey, Smith, Freeman, McReynolds and Hay. He withdrew from this firm last year to form a partnership with Mr. Finley, Sam Wolfe and Elbert M. Barron.
Mr. Hay was a member of the Woodmen of the World and was chairman of the local advisory board of the Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle. He was made chairman of a special committee appointed by the chamber of commerce to conduct a campaign for location in Sherman of the Woodmen Circle home for the aged and orphans, and it was due largely to his activities that this objective was reached, it is stated. 


He was a past chancellor of the grand lodge of Knights of Phythias. He was for some time a member of the board of directors of the Sherman Y.M.C.A. and was chairman of the organization during the world [missing] was known as the "minute men" [missing] speakers in this county for war loans, as well as chairman for the first two liberty loan drives conducted in 1917. Mr. Hay was in politics a Democrat and served as presidential elector for the party in 1912. He was chairman of the Democratic Executive Committee in the state in 1916-18. 
Mr. Hay served for some time as special district and county judge by appointment. He was attorney for the Frisco railroad for a number of years. A member of the Christian church all his life, he was superintendent of the Sunday school in the Central Christian church for a number of years.
Besides his daughters, Mr. Hay is survived by two nieces, Miss Margie Muse of Galveston and Mrs. W. S. Adkins of Austin, the former Miss Mary Grace Muse. 

At a called meeting of the Grayson County Bar association Wednesday morning, a committee comprising Judge G. P. Webb, J. F. Holt and C. B. Randell was appointed to draft resolutions on the death of Mr. Hay, and a floral offering from the association was sent to the residence.


Elaine Nall Bay