- Re: father of Hiram Hayes and lastly bio of Hiram.
Kentucky: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin, ed. 8-B,Russell County
COL. JOSEPH E. HAYS, was born in Russell County, KY, December 8, 1822, and is a son of G. and Martha (Coffey) Hays. G. Hays was born in Virginia and came to Kentucky with his parents and settled in Adair County, now Russell County; he was born in 1792, and died in 1846, and was a son of G. Hays, Sr., who was a native of Scotland. G. Hays, Sr., came over to the American colonies and went into the war of the Revolution, arose to the position of major, and served in that capacity until Independence was achieved. Late in life he was sheriff of Adair County, KY, out of which Russell County was carved. Martha (Coffey) Hays was born in Adair, now Russell County, was a daughter of Cleaveland Coffey, a native of North Carolina, who was an early settler in Adair, now Russell County, KY; he was a farmer and stock-trader, and a son of Joel Coffey, also a native of North Carolina, whose father, Joel Coffey, Sr., was of English parentage. Joseph E. Hays is of Scotch descent on his father's side, and of English on the mother's. He is the eldest of four living children, viz: Joseph E., Dr. L.G., of Bates County,
MO; Mrs. E.J. Grimes, and Mrs. Lucy Breeding. Mr. Hays was of poor parentage, his father was a life-long invalid, and he is self-educated. In youth he was generally hired out as a menial servant, buy on Sundays, nights and leisure times was very studious. When seventeen years of age he was deputy county surveyor under Hiram Rowe, and about the age of nineteen he began teaching school, which occupation he followed about five years. At the age of twenty-one he was elected a militia captain, and arose to the position of colonel of the militia of his county. He then read law with Gen. Rice Maxey, and in the fall of 1846 was admitted to the bar. He soon reached the front rank in his profession, and in 1852 was elected to the office of county attorney for Russell County, and was re-elected by the voters of his county at the close of his first term. October 19, 1848, he married S.M. Saufley, of Virginia, daughter of Adam Saufley. She died March 14, 1853, a member of the Presbyterian Church. March 26, 1854, Mr. Hays married Mary A. Coffey, of Russell County, KY, a daughter of Elias Coffey. Four children bless this union, viz: Mrs. S.M. Stone, now the wife of Judge W.S. Stone; Hiram Rowe, Mary A. and Rosa L. When the civil was between the States broke out, Mr. Hays having been a life-long Democrat, and being then the largest slave holder in his county, sympathized with the South, and was broken up by the war and the destruction of slavery. At the close of the war he again resumed the practice of his profession with increased energy. He was appointed by the late Judge G.T. Fox, master commissioner of the Russell Circuit Court, and served in that office ten or twelve years. May
24, 1860, Col. Hays' second wife died. August 8, 1874, he married Miss C.E. Young, of Wayne County, KY, daughter of Major G.W. and Margaret Pemberton Young. After the war Col. Hays had a leading practice in many counties and soon accumulated another fortune for his locality, and is still vigorous, efficient and leading in his profession. His son, Hiram Rowe, was born December 7, 1858, and was educated in the Christian college of Columbia, KY. He read law with his father, and was admitted to the bar at the age of seventeen years and six months. He taught the public school in Jamestown, KY, when only fourteen years old. He was one year in the State of Texas, and when twenty years old returned home, and located in Monticello, Wayne County, KY, to practice his profession. About the following year he was elected county attorney of Wayne County, and at the close of that term was re-elected and served out a second term. He married Miss Eva, daughter of S.R. Owens, a distinguished physician of Pulaski County, KY. Hiram R. Hays was a man of more than ordinary ability, and of rare personal popularity, and but for the failure of his health, would soon have reached the head of his profession, as well as distinguished political preferment. After his marriage, one daughter, Mary Owen Hays, was born of the union, and he fell into pulmonary consumption, and died at Dr. Owens', January 14, 1888, and was interred with the departed members of the family of his bereaved wife. He was an honored Freemason, of high degree, and left many friends who mourn his loss. In the fall of 1882 he was a candidate for Congress, with good prospects, and while on the canvass was seized with hemorrhage of the lungs, at Munfordville, in Hart County, and compelled to withdraw from the field. Col. Joseph E. Hays and all his family save the first wife, are members of the Christian Church, and he for nearly twenty years was an elder in his congregation. He and his son were always firm Democrats.