Pueblo County, Colorado
William O. Hays

Contributed by Jean Griesan.

One of the busiest, most energetic and most enterprising citizens of Pueblo County is Mr. Hays, a well-known resident of Rye, who is now conducting a general store at Greenhorn Crossing. He is also one of the pioneers of the state and has been prominently identified with its development and prosperity for forty years.

Mr. Hays was born in Harrison County, Ohio, March 17, 1840, and is a son of William and Annie (Cunningham) Hays. His father devoted much of his life to agricultural pursuits and came to Colorado in 1859. Our subject was nineteen years old when he removed to Lexington, Lafayette County, Mo. The elder Hays was, for thirteen years, a member of the Hudson Bay Fur Company, and the only schooling our subject received was around the camp fire, receiving his instruction from the French Canadians, who were frequently educated men. Coming to Colorado in 1859, he located in Denver, and when the Civil war broke out he enlisted in the First Colorado Cavalry, which did duty on the frontier most of the time, keeping back the Indians. He was at Sand Creek at the time of the massacre, and after the close of the war was in the employ of the government for some time. He has traveled extensively over Idaho, Kansas and Indian Territory; was in Oklahoma when it was opened up for settlement; has hunted with Kit Carson; and has had many thrilling adventures during his life on the frontier. He first came to Pueblo County in 1875, but since then has spent some years in traveling, returning to the county in the fall of 1895, at which time he established his store at Greenhorn Crossing. He had engaged in, the drug business in Rye in 1890, and still owns a neat residence at that place, where he makes his home.

In 1884 Mr. Hays was united in marriage with Miss Alice Mitchell at Anthony, Harper County, Kan. She is a lady of refinement and pleasing address, and was born in New York, but was reared in Wisconsin. Her father, Angewine Mitchell, a carpenter by trade, came to Colorado in 1880. In his political views Mr. Hays is a Republican, and in social and business circles stands deservedly high. His success in life has been the result of honest, persistent effort in the line of honorable and manly dealing. His aims have always been to attain the best, and he has carried forward to successful completion whatever he has undertaken.

Extracted from "Portrait and Biographical Record of the State of Colorado," published by Chapman Publishing Company in Chicago in 1899.

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