Samuel J. Hays, third child of Samuel and Rebecca (Bond) Hays was born in South Otter township, Macoupin county, Ill., November 10, 1845 on what is now known as the Molton farm and died at Lowder, Ill., December 16, 1905, aged 60 years, 1 month and 6 days. He passed his boyhood as the average pioneer boy, gaining as good an education as the public schools then afforded. Brother Hay's [sic] father was an Indianian and his mother a Kentuckian. He made a profession of religion under the preaching of Elder W. P. Hart at the Buchanan school house in 1862 being 17 years old. Brother Hays said "My early life was not the life that a conscientious christian should have been." He did not unite with any church until after the organization of the Union Chapel Baptist church. He was its first candidate for baptism, being baptized by Elder T. N. Marsh and its first ordained deacon since which time he has tried to live a consistant [sic] Christian life.
Brother Hays was married March 24, 1864 to Ellen F. Shores, of South Otter township, Macoupin county. To this union were born ten children and are all living except three. Mrs. Ellen (Shores) Hays died April 18, 1888, having been a gracious wife and loving mother.
He was again married January 6, 1889 to Miss Miranda Lowdermilk. To this union one child was born, Albert Ray. The second Mrs. Hays has been a conscientious mother to the bereaved children.
Brother Hays learned the blacksmith trade working at it in Girard, Thomasville and Lowder. Although the greater part of his life has been spent as a tiller of the soil.
Brother Hays served for fourteen consecutive years as a justice of the peacse [sic] in North Otter township, one year as assessor and the last six years as justice of the peace in Talkington township, Sangamon county.
At the organization of the Bethany Baptist church of Lowder, Ill., August 7, 1903, he with nine others were the charter members. He has served this body as clerk and treasurer since its organization.
He leaves to mourn his loss his wife, Mrs. Miranda Hays, of Lowder, daughter, Mary E., wife of Jas. Swift of Girard; sons, George and wife, of Sinclair, Charles and wife of Lostant, Herbert and Albert, of Lowder, Ill., and brother, James Hays, of Edgar, Neb., besides 13 grandchildren and other relatives and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held December 17 at the home conducted by Elder Geo. Hart, of Franklin, and at Union Chapel by Elder T. N. Marsh, where he was laid to rest.
J. M. Hayes, [sic] of Edgar, Neb., is here for a few days visiting relatives and friend [sic] of former years. He came Friday to see his brother, S. J. Hays, of Lowder who died last Saturday.