The story of Col. Webb Cook Hayes presented to Genealogical Society


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David Tillis presenting the story of Col. Webb Cook Hayes at the April 16 Fayette County Genealogical Society meeting.

David Tillis presenting the story of Col. Webb Cook Hayes at the April 16 Fayette County Genealogical Society meeting.


Col. Webb Cook Hayes, decorated soldier and second son of President Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes.


At the April 16 meeting of the Fayette County Genealogical Society, David Tillis gave a presentation of the life of Col. Webb Hayes, the second son of President Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes.

Lucy Webb Hayes was born and raised in Chillicothe. James Webb Cook Hayes was born in Cincinnati in 1856. He dropped his first name James as an adult. Colonel Hayes became interested in the military at a very young age. As a young boy his mother Lucy would take her children to visit the troops during the Civil War in which her husband, before becoming president, served and commanded forces. The troops adopted young Webb, even providing him with his own child-sized union uniform. The colonel had an illustrious military career serving in almost every American conflict from the Spanish-American War to World War I, which included the Philippine Insurrection, the Boxer Rebellion, and Russo-Japanese War. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in the Philippine Insurrection. Besides serving as an exemplary soldier, Col. Hayes was a businessman, philanthropist and historian. One of his finest accomplishments was being the driving force behind presenting the home of his parents, Spiegel Grove, in Fremont, Ohio, to the State of Ohio as the nation’s first Presidential Library in 1916.

David Tillis, a resident of Ross County, is a southern Ohio historian, president of the Bainbridge Historical Society, and the author of books and articles on southern Ohio history. He is also well-known for his portrayal of our early historical settlers from this area in authentic costume.

The May meeting of the Society will be the Annual Linage Society Dinner for inductees into the three linage societies. New members will be inducted who have proved their relationship to ancestors in their family tree who make them eligible for membership in any of three linage societies of the Fayette County Genealogical Society. The First Families of Fayette County is open to anyone who can prove his/her relationship to an ancestor or ancestors who resided in Fayette County by Dec. 31, 1820. The Century Families of Fayette County is open to anyone who can prove his/her relationship to an ancestor or ancestors who lived in Fayette County by Dec. 31, 1916. The Civil War Families of Fayette County is open to anyone who can prove their relationship to an ancestor or ancestors who served in the Civil War, either Union or Confederate, served between April 12, 1861 and April 18, 1865, and must have served out of Fayette County or resided in Fayette County. Service need not have been with an Ohio unit. Ancestors who can be proven to have been squirrel hunters, spies, those documented as civil service and female ancestors, such as nurses, can also make individuals eligible for this society.

The Society has two inductees this season — both for the First Families of Fayette County. Our first inductee to First Families is Gary Mickle of Washington Court House. He has proven his ancestry to early Fayette County settler Leonard Bush (1723-1799). Our second inductee to First Families is Cindy Brady of Muskegon, Mich. She has proven her relationship to early settlers of Fayette County, Daniel Bates (1786-1844) and Sarah Watson Hankins (1764-1853). The Society congratulates both Gary and Cindy for all their hard work on their personal search of family history and their contribution to the history of Fayette County.

This Annual Linage Dinner is open to the members of the Fayette County Genealogical Society and their guests. It will be held Monday, May 21 at 6 p.m. for the social gathering with dinner at 6:30 p.m. at 114 W. Temple St. in Washington Court House with caterer Jason Gilmore preparing the meal. The cost of the meal is $18, which includes tip. Reservations should be made no later than Thursday, May 17 by contacting Sue Gilmore at suegilmore@yahoo.com or 614-864-9609, or Cathy Massie White at ReunionMassie@yahoo.com or 740-333-7227 with payment the evening of the dinner.

Anyone interested in membership in the Fayette County Genealogical Society, further information concerning induction into the First Families of Fayette County, Century Families of Fayette County, or Civil War Families or who may have any other questions concerning the Society, should contact Cathy Massie White at ReunionMassie@yahoo.com or 740-333-7227.

David Tillis presenting the story of Col. Webb Cook Hayes at the April 16 Fayette County Genealogical Society meeting.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/05/web1_Genealogical1.jpgDavid Tillis presenting the story of Col. Webb Cook Hayes at the April 16 Fayette County Genealogical Society meeting.

Col. Webb Cook Hayes, decorated soldier and second son of President Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2018/05/web1_Genealogical2.jpgCol. Webb Cook Hayes, decorated soldier and second son of President Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Webb Hayes.

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