This information is part of the Champaign County ILGenWeb Project. If you have reached this site by means other than The USGenWeb Project, The ILGenWeb Project, or directly, please visit the main Champaign Co, ILGenWeb site for more information regarding Champaign County, IL ancestors. Information contained here was transcribed by Celia Snyder. Please do not repost this information without the express written permission of Celia Snyder.

Champaign County, Illinois

Biography of James Wellen Hays

SOURCE: "History of Champaign County, Illinois," by J. O. Cunningham, 1905


JAMES WELLEN HAYS was born in Greenville, Darke County, Ohio, February 10, 1848. When he was four years of age his parents moved to Champaign County, Ill., and here his early mental training was obtained in the public schools. This was supplemented by a course in the State Normal School at Normal, Ill., from which he was graduated in 1869. Later, he began teaching, and for two years, was located at Paris, Ill. He then came to Urbana and was appointed Principal of the city schools, since which time he has continuously served in the capacities of Principal and Superintendent, with the exception of one year—1875-76. As an evidence of the excellent work he has accomplished, it may be stated that, during his first year in this position, the enrollment was 292 scholars and seven assistant teachers. Now the number is 1,500 scholars and thirty-seven teachers.

Mr. Hays was brought up in the faith of the Methodist Episcopal Church, of which his father is now accredited as the oldest member of the first charge in Urbana.

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