H. Clayton Hays prominent citizen
Among prominent senior citizens of Newton County is Henry Clayton Hays, eldest son of Elder James Luther and Mrs. Susan Jackson Hays, who was born near Mansfield Dec. 19, 1878.
Educated in rural schools, he has been taught principally “in the school of experience,” which he says is a very good teacher; but he is actually well versed in many subjects through personal application, and has a well stocked library reflecting his studious pursuits.
He joined Mt. Moria Church in August 1895 and was baptized by Elder Ira L. Gunter; clerked in Covington for Sam Lee and P.T. Thompson Co. for one year but returned to his farm in 1897. After his marriage to Miss Annie Belle Oxford, he attended Bethel School in Jasper Co., during the winter and worked in the summer. While living in Monticello, he established the first rural mall service in Jasper Co. , and served it from 1902-105, when he resigned and became a salesman in merchandise.
He and his family returned to Mansfield in 1906, and until 1914 was secretary and treasurer of Mansfield Lumber and Construction Co., when he resigned to become Mansfield postmaster, in which capacity he served until 1934. In that year he was elected president of the Ga. Branch of Nat’l. League of District Postmasters and served until 1943, during which period he was also chairman of organizational work in the 4th Nat’l. District, comprising the stables of Ga., Fla., N. and S. Carolina and Puerto Rico.
In 1924 he was elected secretary and treasurer of Mansfield, in which post he served until his retirement in Jan. 1, 1954. In the interim, he was ordained as a Primitive Baptist Minister, and served Flint River and Mt. Nebo Churches; and is currently pastor of Concord Church in Jasper County.
Mr. Hays and his late wife had two daughters, Miss Clara Mae Hays, who is visiting teacher with the Newton County School System; and Miss Annie C. Hays, who succeeded her father as Mansfield Postmaster; in which capacity she is serving at the present time.