Jay Orley Hayes, one of the distinguished and representative men of California, whose activity in public affairs has won him recognition as a leader in business and political circles, was born in Wisconsin on the 2d of October, 1857. The ancestral history of the Hayes family can be traced back to an early period in the development of New England, for in 1683 representatives of the name came from Scotland, their native land, to the new world, settling in Connecticut. The family was well represented in the colonial wars in the war of the Revolution.

Anson E. Hayes, the fathr of Jay Orley Hayes, was a native of Connecticut, and for many years engaged in business as a railroad contractor. He also gave his attention to merchandising for a number of years and at a later date carried on agricultural pursuits. He married Miss Mary Folsom, who was of English lineage, her ancestors coming to America in 1633 and settling in New Hampshire. That family was likewise represented in the Revolutionary war and in events which figured in connection with the early colonial history. The father of Mrs. Hayes was a clergyman of the Baptist church. Of the two brothers of Jay Orley Hayes, one died in infancy. A half-sister, now Mrs. J. W. Wetmore, is living in San Jose.

In the public schools of waterloo, Wisconsin, Jay Orley Hayes pursued his early education and supplemented his primary course by study in the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and was graduated in the law department with the class of 1880, at which time the degree of Bachelor of Laws was conferred upon him. During the two succeeding years he engaged in the practice of his profession in Maidson, and in the spring of 1882 moved to Ashland, Wisconsin, where he entered into partnership with Colonel John H. Knight, and in 1883 his brother E. A. Hayes became a member of the firm. This business relation was continued for four years, when Mr. Hayes and his brother retired from the firm and removed to Ironwood, Michigan, where they had extensive mining interests in the Gogebic iron range. The fall of 1887 witnessed their arrival in San Jose, and they urchased a splendid ranch near the city for their home. In 1900 they became proprietors of the Herald, the leading evening paper of San Jose, and in 1901 purchased the Mercury, the only morning paper of this city. These papaers under their management have become the most valuable factors in journalism in the state outside of the publications of San Francisco and Los Angeles. their circulation is extensive and they exert a wide influence in molding public opinion and shaping public action. Not alone to his journalistic ventures, however, has Mr. Hayes confined his attention, for he is now secretary and treasurer of the Hayes Mining Company, which owns the famous Ashland iron mine of Ironwood, Michigan. He is also the president of the Herald Publishing Company and the vice president of the Mercury Publishing Company. a corporation known as the Hayes-Chynoweth Company controls and owns the ranch near San Jose, and the Hayes Brothers are proprietors of several commercial enterprises. Of these corporations J. O. Hayes is secretary and treasurer. He is a man of splendid business bility, keen discernment and executive force, and his activities have been extended to many lines of enterprise which have had imortant bearing upon the commercial and industrial development of his adopted state.

In his political views Mr. Hayes is a stalwart Republican, and was a candidate for governor before the state convention of California in 1902. He had a strong following and is recognized as one of the leading representatives of his party in this state. A prominent member of the Union League Club of San Francisco and of the Linda Vista Golf Club, his genial nature renders him popular and has gained him prominence in social circles. His fraternal relations are with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Ancient Order of United Workmen.

On the 16th of June, 1885, was celebrated the marriage of Mr. Hayes and Miss Clara I. Lyon, a daughter of Hon. W. P. Lyon, formerly chief justice of the supreme court of Wisconsin, but now living with Mr. and Mrs. Hayes. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes have five children: Mildred Mary, Lyetta A., Elyster Lyon, Miriam F. and Jay Orlo. The Hayes country home at Eden Vale is one of the most beautiful in all California, a state noted for its magnificent residences with their attractive surroundings. The former residence having been destroyed by fire, the magnificent mansion is now being erected in the midst of a splendid park, through which have been constructed paved walks and drives. All of the arts of the landscape gardener have been lavished upon this place, and it is to-day numbered among the country seats of surpassing loveliness in the Golden state.

Source: History of the New California Its Resources and People, Volume I

The Lewis Publishing Company - 1905
Edited by Leigh H. Irvine

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