Family Stories

James R. Hayes Biography

from Biographical Sketches of Kentucky – Perrin, 1887

LaRue County, Kentucky

James R. Hayes was born October 7, 1833, in Washington County, Kentucky, and is a son of Greenberry B. and Julia A. (Ashcraft) Hayes, to whom nine children were born: John W., James R., Edward R., Jefferson, Henry A., Jedediah, B. F., Emeline and Martha J.  Greenberry B. Hayes was born and reared in Washington County, Kentucky, and was a farmer and slave holder. In 1847 he moved to LaRue County, where he remained until his death in October, 1884, aged seventy-two years. He was a son of John W. Hayes, who married Margaret Evins; both were born in Virginia; they were of Irish origin, and immigrated to Washington County about 1800. Mrs. Julia A. Hayes was born in Hardin County, Kentucky, and was a daughter of John W. and Nancy (Wallace) Ashcraft. John W. Ashcraft was one of the pioneers of LaRue County; he was a farmer and tanner. His wife was born on the ocean while her parents were on their way from Scotland to America. John W. Ashcraft was a son of Jedediah Ashcraft, who was one of the first settlers of Grayson County. He was in some of the early Indian wars of Kentucky, and was killed by Indians when removing to LaRue County. J. R. Hayes was reared on a farm, and at the age of twenty commenced life as a shoe-maker, which he followed for three years, when he commenced stage driving. In 1862 he was appointed deputy provost-marshall, which position he filled until the close of the war. In July, 1867, he was appointed United States gauger and store-keeper, in which capacity he served ten years, after which he engaged in the hotel business at Hodgensville. He was married, December 18, 1855, to Susan A. Walters, of LaRue County, daughter of Jedediah and Sarah (Middleton) Walters. Jedediah Walters was born in LaRue County, was farmer and large slave holder, and was a son of john Walters, who married an Ashcraft. He was a soldier of 1812, and had seven wounds which he received in Indian fights. He was a leading and representative farmer of LaRue County. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and he is an active member of the Masonic fraternity. He owns the building where he is keeping hotel, and also considerable other property. In politics he is a Republican, but cast his first vote for Fillmore.

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