Born: 1781-05-23 Prince Edward County, Virginia
Died: 1853-01-18 Carmi, Illinois
Flourished: Carmi, Illinois
Hay moved with his family to Bourbon County, Kentucky, in 1788 and remained there until 1801, when they moved to Butler County. He married Priscilla Robbins in 1809, with whom he had ten children. Hay volunteered during the War of 1812 and earned the rank of ensign. He migrated to the Illinois Territory in 1816, intending to settle in Sangamon County, but others convinced him to try White County instead. Thus, he helped lay out the new county seat of Carmi and became one of its first residents. Two years later, Hay won election as county sheriff and served six years. In 1824, voters selected him for the Illinois Senate, and he remained there until 1828. Hay also served as a U.S. pension agent from 1831 to 1842. He had purchased a farm outside of Illinois in 1820 and managed it along with several business ventures in town, especially a store he managed with his son William from 1840 to 1848. Hay was a delegate to the 1847 Illinois Constitutional Convention.
Gravestone, The Old Graveyard, Carmi, IL; History of White County, Illinois (Chicago: Inter-State, 1883), 509-11.