|Historyf Henry County, IL, Henry L. Kiner, 1910|
FRANCIS MARION HAY.
|Francis Marion Hay, Page 1|
|Francis Marion Hay, Page 2|
Francis Marion Hay lived in the township of his birth until he reached maturity, obtaining such an education as the district schools of his locality afforded at that time. As a boy he learned the use of tools and before he became twenty had become skillful at carpentering, so that he was able to secure bridge work on the Jeffersonville and Indianapolis Railroad and which is now part of the Big Four. In 1854 he came by rail to Henry county, while his father drove a few horses overland, intending to sell them after he arrived, and here again engaged in carpentering. A couple of years later he turned his attention to farming, for he had traded some raw land he had entered from the government to Benton county Iowa, for forty acres in Annawan township, Henry county. That tract was the nucleus about which later accretions were made until the home farm comprised two hundred and ten acres, for a large measure of success attended Mr. Hay's labors and as he saw opportunity he put his money in that safest of all investment, real estate. He engaged in general farming, but at one time he was extensively engaged in dairying, frequently milking fifty cows daily. He had only Jersey cattle in his herd, and the butter he made was justly celebrated for its quality, receiving the gold prize at the union dairy fair held at Milwaukee. Now this business is not carried on on as extensive a scale, although the excellence of the dairy products is still maintained.
On Thanksgiving day, November 26, 1868, in Annawan township, Mr. Hay was married to Miss Hannah A. Tower, a native of New York. Her parents, Samuel Nelson and Hannah (Lewis) Tower, left the east in 1852, and coming west located in McHenry county, Illinois, where Mr. Tower engaged in farming and taught music. Later he became superintendent of the Washingtonian House, in Chicago, but in 1865 came to Henry county, where he again followed agricultural pursuits and taught music. His daughter, Mrs. Hay, inherited some of his talent along musical lines and enjoyed special training in the art.
|Francis Marion Hay, Page 3|
Mr. Hay was reared a democrat, but was converted to republicanism even before he was able to vote and when he cast his first ballot it was for John C. Fremont, who was that party's candidate in 1856. Now, however, he holds himself independent of party ties, for he takes a keen interest in political questions and after investigation gives his support to the cause he believes to be right. It was in conformance with his ideas of citizenship that he accepted the positions of road commissioner and school director, which he filled so acceptably, for while he does not seek office, he believes it the duty of capable men to give some of their time for the benefit of their fellow citizens. He has passed the Psalmist's allotted span of three score and ten, and his life record is honorable and may well cause one to pause and consider and then emulate, for the success which the years have chronicled has been won through noble endeavor, not through taking advantage of the misfortunes of others. Indeed Mr. Hay says, and he may well be proud of the fact, that he has never been a party to any fight, nor has he ever witnessed one. Quietly and unobtrusively he has done his duty and the day's work, and the wordly prosperity which has been vouchsafed to him and the sincere esteem of his feloows, is merited in a high degree.
|View of Annawan|