Hays Cemetery

This cemetery is situated in the middle of a grassy field. It is easy to imagine how lovely that site must have been at one time...in fact, it is still a tranquil, lovely site except that it is now marred by the apartment complex that was built to the east of it, and by the high school that is situated to the south. As you walk toward the small cemetery you can hear the wind whispering through the copse of trees that are west of the cemetery...and all of the stones in the cemetery are situated so that it appears as though everyone there is facing that copse of trees.

I measured the cemetery, it is approximately 35 x 41 feet. It has been well maintained and is enclosed by wooden posts and heavy duty wire. The gate has a simple eye & hook lock.

After opening the gate, the first stone you see is lying on the ground and it says;

John HAYS, Died Feb. 11, 1872, Aged 75 yrs., 2mos, 3ds. (this stone is very faded and difficult to read....there is an ornate hand and anchor at the top of the stone)

The stone that is standing next to that one is crooked and it says; Rebecca HAYS, wife of John HAYS, died April 5, 1857, aged 54 yrs, 2mos. (There is writing at the bottom of this stone but it is unreadable.)

There is another stone that is lying on the ground and it is almost unreadable...it appears to say Lewis S. BRETT (?), the stone was also broken and the date of death is unreadable, aged 2yrs, 3mos, 18days.

The next stone was for Rebecca, this was very difficult to read also. There is a line that might be " wife of" Alex BRETT, died Jan. 18, 1855.

John O. (?), son of ------- BRETT, died Jan 26, 1856, aged 1yr, 6 mos, 16days.

B.P (?) HAYS, died Nov. 18, 1871, aged 37 yrs, 4mos, 25 days. Lots of writing at the bottom...all of it unreadable.

The next stone I read was a much newer stone...William H. HAYS, Feb. 3, 1860, Oct. 5, 1934.

There was another newer stone that appears to have replaced the unreadable stone next to it...Hannah HAYS, Jan. 10, 1843, Dec. 24, 1844

There is a large, newer monument placed off center of the cemetery and it reads;

John HAYS, died Feb. 11, 1872, aged 75 yrs, 2mos and 3 days.

Rebecca HAYS, wife of John HAYS, died April 5, 1855, aged 54 yrs, 2mos.

There are 3 other stones that are totally unreadable and there are 2 broken stones that have been laid under the tree that is growing within the cemetery. I could see one that said Mary A. (couldn't read a last name), Feb 11, 1861 (and it might say 72 yrs.)

There are some artificial flowers that are slightly faded that are lying in front of the large monument which indicates that someone around here still cares about the people that are in the cemetery.

I saw where this cemetery has been read and the information is at the Decatur Genealogical Society. When you do come to town do visit the Gen. Society. They have always been more than helpful to me...and to everyone who visits.

Submitted by: Toni Nash


Decatur Genealogical Society
Box 1548
Decatur, IL 62525


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