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Born in Warren County, Kentucky, Mr. Hays at the age of two years was taken by his parents, N. M. and Sarah (Phillips) Hays, both native Kentuckians, to Jackson County, Missouri, about twenty-five miles east of Kansas City, and later the family became pioneer settlers of Colorado, in which state the parents spent the remainder of their lives. Mr. Hays became identified with the cattle industry in boyhood and it has formed his principal and most profitable pursuit throughout his active career. In 1871 he left the family home in Colorado and went West, spending five years in Nevada and California, during most of which time he was a cowboy.
From the Pacific slope he came east to Texas. With his brotherin-law, Joe Morgan, he drove a bunch of Mexican cattle from Corpus Christi, Texas, to the open range in the Panhandle country. This was in 1877, and he has lived in that part of the state ever since until the past five years, when he took up his residence in San Antonio, having retired from active business. It makes him one of the old-timers, as there are only a few now living there who were in the Panhandle as early as that. Up to 1902 his ranching operations were carried on mostly in Hemphill County, where for a number of years he had the noted old Springer ranch. His last ranch was located in the southeastern part of Lipscomb County, where he owned about thirty-five hundred acres of land, his residence and ranch headquarters being three miles south of Higgins. His ranch was known for its typical western hospitality as well as for progressive and enterprising methods of operating, which were everywhere in evidence. Mr. Hays has been uniformly successful in the cattle business and has attained a most satisfactory degree of prosperity. He was one of the three owners comprising the Higgins Hardware Company, which conducted the leading hardware store in Lipscomb County.
In numerous other affairs of public and business nature he has exerted his influence, and he is a man of