Moses W. Hays biography

MOSES W. HAYS is a foremost cattleman and business man of the northeastern Panhandle country, and is also one of the oldest residents in this part of the state. During the quarter of a century in which he has known the Panhandle all the agricultural development and industrial changes have taken place there, for through all the ages during which Northwest Texas had been a portion of the new world continent its resources and its landscape features had never experienced such development and mutation as they have during the short time of white men’s occupation and exploration of this region. Mr. Hays has accordingly witnessed all the important history of this section of the state, and is one of the few men whose lot has been permanently cast with the Panhandle since 1877.

Born in Warren county, Kentucky, in 1853, at the age of two years Mr. Hays was taken by his parents, W. 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 brother-in-law, Joe Morgan, he drove a bunch of Mexican cattle from Corpus Christi, Texas, on the gulf, to the open range in the Panhandle country. This was in 1877, and as he has lived in this part of the state ever since, it makes him one of the old-timers as there are only a few now living here 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 present ranch lies in the southeastern part of Lipscomb county, where he owns about thirty-five hundred acres of land, his residence and ranch headquarters being three miles south of Higgins. He has highly improved his place, until it is now one of the prettiest ranches and homes in the Panhandle, known of many for its typical western ranch hospitality as well as for the progressive and enterprising methods of operation which are everywhere in evidence. Mr. Hays has been uniformly successful in the cattle business and has attained a most satisfactory degree of prosperity. He is one of the three owners comprising the Higgins Hardware Company, which conducts the leading hardware store of Lipscomb county. In numerous other affairs of public and business nature Mr. Hays has exerted his influence, and he is a man of recognized ability and integrity in whatever he undertakes.

Mr. Hays’ wife is Mrs. Lou (Turner) Hays, a native of Mills county, Iowa, and they have one daughter, Miss Florita Bonita Hays.

Source: B. B. Paddock, History and Biographical Record of North and West Texas (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1906), Vol. I, p. 338.