Niagara County

1897 Biography - Otis B. Hays

Hays, Otis B., was born in the town of Somerset, February 6, 1835, a son of James and Olivia (Brown) Hays. Olivia Brown Hays was born January 4, 1803, in Hadley, Massachusetts, and came with her parents, Otis and Lydia Brown, to Somerset. James Hays was born in 1800 in Pennsylvania, and came to Somerset about 1824, and married in 1826, settling on the farm now owned by George Higgs, and where Otis B. Hays was born. There were eleven children in this family: James (deceased), died in 1896; Lemuel. resides in Somerset; Lydia Ann, widow of Amos P. Kelsey, resides in Michigan; Albert, resides in North Hartland; Edwin (deceased), killed in September, 1896, by being thrown from a wagon; Otis B.; Sidney, killed 'at Sailor's Creek, April 6, 1865; he was in the 151st Regt. N. Y. Vols., Co. K.; Aurelia, married John Garbutt; Martha. died in 1870; Emma. Mrs. Andrew Armstrong; Alice, died about 1884 at Sheldon, Iowa. Mr. James Hays died April28, 1863, and his widow is living at this date, aged ninety-four, and resides with her daughter, Mrs. Armstrong, Mr. Otis B. Hays enlisted in Co. H. 49th N. Y. Vol. lnfantry, in September, 1861; after being furnished with equipments, the regiment went to Washington, where they remained one night and then crossed over into Virginia. On February 24, 1861, Mr. Hays was made second lieutenant, and October 18, 1864, Major A. W. Brazee's term having expired, Mr. Hays took command of the Provost Guard, 2d Division, 6th Corps, and was staff officer of Gen. George W. Getta, commanding division. The regiment remained in service until June 27, 1865, when it was mustered out; they took part in about forty battles including the following: Gettysburg, Wilderness, Petersburg, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, Antietam, Cedar Creek, Siege of Yorktown, and the defense of Washington. March 22, 1869, Mr. Hays married Grace M., daughter of Jonathan and Martha (Wood) Fuller, born in Massachusetts. Mr. Fuller was born in 1800, and Mrs. Fuller in 1805. They were married in 1830, and came immediately to Saratoga county, where he engaged in a woolen factory. He died in 1871, and his wife in 1869. There were eight children in this family: Lydia Ann, died in 1854; Emeline Coolidge, died in 1867; Thomas Scott, resides in Gansevoort, Saratoga county, enlisted in 1862 in 77th N. Y. Vol. Infantry and was mustered out in July, 1865; he was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of the Wilderness, and was confined in Andersonville prison for six months, when he was discharged; Helen Sophia, died in 1852; John Henry (deceased); David Addison (deceased) and Grace Maria, Mrs. O. B. Hays. Mr. and Mrs. Hays have five children living: Norman Samuel, born October 30, 1870, married to Miss Florence A. Brownson, and resides at Middleport, is proprietor of the Crayon Portrait Co. ; John Garbutt, born December 22, 1873, died March 6, 1874; Marian Aurelia, born July 6, 1876; Charles Otis, born November 6, 1877; Ella Watts, born March 17, 1882; Leslie Scott, born April 4, 1884, and Ralph Stanley, born January 19, 1891, died September 1, 1891. Mr. Hays is a member of C. L. Skeels' Post No. 349, G. A. R. of Hartland, and has filled all the positions of the post. Mrs. Hays, two daughters, and one son, Charles, are members of the Methodist Episcopal church at Hartland, and Marion, Charles and Mrs. Hays are members of the Christian Endeavor. Norman and wife are members of the Presbyterian church, and now reside at Jamestown, N. Y.

Contributed 2017 by Lisa Slaski from Landmarks of Niagara County, New York, by William Pool, D. Mason & Co., Syracuse, NY, 1897

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