genealogy trails

Christian County Illinois

Named after Christian County in Kentucky through the influence of emigrants from that county.

Established February 15, 1839 as Dane County (Laws, 1839, p. 104). Name changed to Christian County in 1840.

Portrait and biographical record of Christian County, Illinois : containing biographical sketches of prominent and   representative citizens, together with biographies of all the Governors of the state, and of the Presidents of the United States.  Chicago, Ill. : Lake City Pub. Co., 1893.  Transcribed by Judy Rosella Edwards, 2007.

JAMES H. HAYES, who is engaged in the manufacture of brick in Taylorville, began operations here in this line in 1889. He at that time established the business now operated by Hoover & Michels. After carrying it on for two years he disposed of it to that firm, and in 1891 established his present yard. That year he manufactured eight hundred thousand brick, and in 1892 one million four hundred thousand. He has five acres of land, and in the manufacture employs about fifteen men. He uses the Palet system of making mud-sand brick, his machinery is complete in all its appointments, and the daily output is from ten to fifteen thousand. Having used up the clay at the present location, he expects to remove a mile southwest, where he has thirty-one acres of clay land, increase the plant and greatly enlarge the works. To the manufacture of building brick he will add that of paving, or vitrified, brick. Mr. Hayes is numbered among the leading brick manufacturers of central Illinois and has built up an extensive business, being now at the head of one of the leading industries of the county.

As one of Taylorville's leading and influential citizens, we are pleased to record the life work of our subject in this volume. He was born inDecatur on the 21st of February, 1854, and was reared in that city and in Cerro Gordo. His father, J. E. Hayes, was a native of Ohio, and emigrated from the Buckeye State to Illinois in November, 1851. By occupation he was a farmer, and followed that business throughout his entire life. His death occurred on the 2d of May, 1892, at the age of seventy-eight years. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Sarah Sell, was also a native of Ohio, and is now living in Cerro Gordo, Ill

Mr. Hayes, whose name heads this record, is a self-made man, who has been dependent upon his own resources since the early age of thirteen. At that time he began working in the brickyards, and was thus employed each season until he had attained his majority. In 1880, he opened a brickyard in Cerro Gordo, making the first brick ever manufactured at that place, and he there carried on business for nine years, when he came to Taylorville. He spent one year in Texas in the brickyards at Sherman, Denison and McKinney. When he went to Denison all of its brickyards had proved a failure and were shut down, for the brick would fall to pieces as soon as exposed to the air. Mr. Hayes took charge of a yard at that place and introduced the method of mixing sand with the clay. The process met with success from the start, and the result is that Dennison has since proven to be one of the best brick-making points in the South. The trouble had been that only joint clay was used, and sand was needed to produce the proper consistency.


On the 4th of March, 1884, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Hayes and Miss Elizabeth Savage, of Dallas, Tex., a native of England. Five children have been born of their union: Marion; Walter; Frank, who died in infancy; Louis and Jennie. They have a pleasant home, which is the abode of hospitality, and their friends throughout the community are many, although their residence here is of comparatively short duration. Socially, Mr. Hayes is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Encampment, and his wife holds membership with the Christian Church. In politics, he is an inflexible adherent of Republican principles, a stanch advocate of the "Party of Reform," and is now efficiently serving as a member of the City Council. He is a wide-awake and enterprising man, full of life and activity, and his good management and business ability have made his career a successful one. He is very popular with all classes, and Taylorville finds in him a valued citizen.

 
 

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