Samuel Hays was born in Martin county, Indiana, on Feb. 5, 1812, died at Thomasville, Montgomery county, Ill., Aug. 19, 1895, being at the time of his death 83 years, 5 months and 11 days old. In the year 1857 he made a profession of faith in Christ at a revival meeting held in Franklin school house in North Otter township, Macoupin county, held by Eld. Dimmitt and united with the Methodist church north and remained a member of that organization three or four years when he united with the Otter Creek Baptist church and lived a consistent member until that organization disbanded. Since that time he has never united with any church. While he has been permitted to live to a good old age, he has never been a strong man. In his last days of old age he bore his affictions [sic] with great patience and fortitude. About eight months ago he had a slight paralytic stroke from which he never fully recovered. While he has been very feeble for some time, he only was confined to his bed about four days when death relieved him of his suffering. He lost his companion through life about eight years ago, living the remainder of his life with his children. To this union was born four children, three sons and one daughter. Two of them passed away in infancy while two sons have been permitted to live to manhood and are growing old themselves, and are left to mourn the loss of a father of whom they have always been the pride of his life.
Samuel Hays, as stated above, was born in Martin county, Ind. He continued to live in his native state and county until he arrived at the age of nineteen years when he, with the rest of his father's family, except his oldest brother, removed to Macoupin county, Ill., being one of the early settlers in the state. At that time the people in Illinois were scattered and the present metropolis of the state was only an airy figment in the brains of traders who passed through the country along the lakes. While yet a young man he took to himself a wife from among the maidens in his adopted state. His wife's name was Rebecca (Molen) Bond the daughter of Aquilla Molen and widow of Joel Bond, he having been permitted to live in Illinois a little over 64 years. He has seen the great changes that have been made in the successful improvements of this great state. He has passed from the old threshing flail and tread floor to the great steam thresher of today and from the reap hook to the self-binder, from the slow and tedious travel of the stage coach to the flying passenger coaches that are carrying the people to and fro over this great country of ours. He saw the first railroad engine that was used in this great state of Illinois. He has traveled on horseback over those large prairies of Illinois and when overtaken by night his only guide would be the faint light left shining from the scattering log cabins that were in the country at that time. He has gone from Otter creek to Apple creek, a distance of 18 or 20 miles, to mill with corn through the cold chilling winds of winter and be gone from home two days without anything to eat except parched corn. He has seen worse than this; all the meal that they could get for weeks during bad weather and snow storms would be that which was made in a large wooden mortar that they would make themselves for the occasion. Such were the trials and hardships of this country.
Politically he was a Democrat, having cast his first vote for president for Martin VanBuren and to the best of our knowledge he has not missed voting for a single president from Van Buren to Grover Cleveland in 1892 at the age of 80 years. His last ballot was cast in the city of Girard in the spring of 1894. He had never taken a very active part in politics but was always ready to go to the polls to vote his sentiments. So it is with the old pioneers of Illinois, they are fast passing away and only a very few are left to tell of the trials and hardships they had to undergo in settling up this great state of Illinois.
During those 64 years of his life in Illinois he spent 63 of them in Macoupin county, the last year of his life having been spent in Thomasville, Montgomery county, Ill., he having moved there with his son, S. J. Hays, on the 16th of August, 1894, thus living there a year to a day. He was laid to rest in Union Chaple [sic] cemetery on Aug. 17, 1895, beside his companion, followed by a large concourse of friends and relatives. The funeral services were held at Union Chaple church conducted by Elder W. F. Thompson.
S. J. HAYS.