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Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs:
Hays

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[This information is from Vol. III, pp. 1141-1142 of Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs, edited by Cuyler Reynolds (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1911). It is in the Reference collection of the Schenectady County Public Library at R 929.1 R45. Some of the formatting of the original, especially in lists of descendants, may have been altered slightly for ease of reading.]

(II) James, son of Alexander Hays (q. v.), was born in Fulton county, New York, in 1800, died June, 1869. He was a farmer in Fulton county. He was an attendant of the Presbyterian church and followed in the footsteps of his godly father. He married Lois (Dawley) Simmons, born in 1796, died in 1887, and buried with her second husband in Prospect Hill Cemetery at Gloversville. She was a daughter of Elias Dawley and widow of Aaron Simmons, of Oneida, New York. Children:

  1. Elizabeth, married Albert Sisum; children:
    1. Edward, married Ortha Shaffer;
    2. Mary, married Arthur Dence; child, Earl.
  2. Catherine, born July 5, 1831, died June 18, 1909; she married, June, 1854, John Heath, born March 3, 1831, died June 20, 1907; children:
    1. James D., born May, 1855, married Mary McDonald;
    2. Adelia H., born September 28, 1857, married Stuart Skiff, and had a son, Earl H., who married Lena Cole and has Denton, Tunis and Gertrude;
    3. Mary, born May, 1859, married James Holland;
    4. Gertrude L., born April 7, 1862, married Paul Howland;
    5. John Hays, born June, 1865, married Elizabeth Corey and has Kitty, Alice, John, Gertrude, Mary, James, Jerome and two others;
    6. Lois, born September 26, 1871, married David Sanders and had Gertrude;
    7. Catherine, born March 19, 1873.
  3. Daniel, of whom further.

(III) Daniel, youngest son of James and Lois (Dawley) (Simmons) Hays, was born on the Hays homestead in Fulton county, situated about three miles southwest of Gloversville, June 14, 1833, and was educated in the public schools. In 1851 he came to Gloversville and in 1854 began his long career as a successful glove manufacturer. He began in 1851 by learning the trade of glove making and leather tanning thoroughly, working in the little old red mill that stood near the site of the present railway station in Gloversville. He was first employed by William C. Mills in 1851. He was a hard worker and could be found working over his beam from sunrise until late at night. He soon acquired an expert knowledge of the several branches of tanning and milling leather, and in 1854 began manufacturing for his own account. He obtained his first bale of skins on credit, dressed them and took the cut leather from house to house in a wheelbarrow and collected the finished gloves in the same way. In 1855 he was made foreman in the glove factory of Ward & McNab, where he continued until December, 1857, when on account of impaired health he left Gloversville for California. He could not spend his time there in idleness, but went into the mines and also sold gloves to the jobbers of San Francisco. In little over a year he returned to Gloversville with completely restored health. In May, 1859, he again started in the glove business, being associated for one year with his father-in-law, Elias G. Ward. He then purchased his partner's interest and for the next four years was located in a factory on Elm street. In 1860 he began cutting the celebrated Plymouth pattern gloves which were then made from smoked oil and Indian tan (a leather). The Plymouth color he introduced in Fulton county in 1874. In 1864 Mr. Hays purchased the property at the corner of Main and Fremont streets now occupied by the Burton Block. Here he was located for twenty-five years and introduced many improvements. In 1867 he installed a cloric engine to run the sewing machines, and in the same year began the use of waxed thread on gloves. During these twenty-five years he tanned all of his own leather. The value of the carpincho or South American water hog became known early in the sixties and during and after the war he used many thousands of these skins, being probably the first manufacturer to tan them in large quantities. He was also the first to successfully work the skin of the Para deer. By experimenting he discovered a process by which he obtained a beautiful elastic skin which yielded him a large profit for the years following 1860. He controlled the market on these skins for many years. He was the first in the glove business to introduce the emery wheel in place of the old-fashioned "buck tail," and at about the same time (1874) began using a blower to take the dust from the finishing wheels. He was also the first to erect and use a drying shed, prior to that time the skins having always been dried in the open air. In 1888 he erected the four-story brick factory on West Fulton street with leather mills near by. In January, 1890 he admitted Lewis A. Tate as partner, the firm name being Daniel Hays & Company (a former partner of Mr. Hays was William H. Place, during the year 1866). The firm continued until 1904, when the company became a corporation, with Daniel Hays president; William A. Tate, vice-president and treasurer; E. B. Frank, secretary. While Mr. Hays has thrown off many of the cares and burdens of business he yet remains at the head of his corporation and supervises all important transactions and operations. Mr. Hays is a director and vice-president of the Fulton National Bank, president of the board of trustees of the Free Public Library, president of the school board for many years. In 1899 he was chosen president of the hospital board, and in 1898-99 was a member of the New York house of assembly, and in 1892 was a presidential elector. He has always been actively engaged in the support of the Methodist Episcopal church, of which he was trustee and treasurer for forty-four years, and is now a member of the board of trustees of the North Main Street Methodist Episcopal Church. He is a member of the Eccentric Club, and in politics a Republican.

Daniel Hays married (first) December 25, 1854, Helen Adelia, died December 4, 1899, daughter of Elias G. and Sarah (Van Nostrand) Ward, who bore him a daughter, Ida, October 26, 1859. She married, October 30, 1879, Lewis A. Tate, now vice-president and treasurer of Daniel Hays & Company. Children:

  1. Jessie, born 1884, married William Leavenworth;
  2. Helen H., born 1886;
  3. D. Hays, born July 12, 1890.

Daniel Hays married (second) Mary, daughter of John H. and Henrietta (Warner) Graham, of Philadelphia.

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