Louise Hays

Macon County Historian

History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time;
it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity.
Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC), "Pro Publio Sestio"

Louise Frederick Hays, the daughter of Maj. James D. Frederick, CSA and Medora Ann (Keen) Frederick, was born on April 18, 1881 in Marshallville, Macon County, Georgia. Her parents were early pioneers of the county. Her ancestors were Revolutionary War soldiers and also included several who came to America on the Mayflower.

As a child, Louise attended the Macon County schools and went on to graduate from Wesleyan College, Macon, in 1900 with highest honors. She was later awarded an honorary degree from The University of Georgia and held numerous offices in the DAR and UDC in addition to many other Women's and Patriotic organizations.

On June 26, 1902 she married James Elizah Hays, a state senator at the time. James was the son of Capt. James Hays, CSA and Sarah Ann (DeVaughn) Hays. In his lifetime, James was a legislator, a state senator from the 13th District, and treasurer of Macon County. His first wife, Mattie Dawson Hays, died in 1891.

Louise and James had two children: James Hays, III and Louese Caroline Hays Gaston.

During her life, Louise was the postmaster of Montezuma and, for fourteen years, was the director of the Georgia Department of Archives and History. She was also an author, her works including "Hero of Hornet's Nest," a biography of Elijah Clark, Revolutionary War Hero and "Life and Letters of Benjamin Hawkins, Indian Agent." In addition, she edited several compilations of research material.

Possibly her best-known and most-read book is "History of Macon County" which she dedicated to her father; James D. Frederick, Major, 10th Georgia Battalion, CSA, and a judge of the Inferior Court, Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners "from it's creation to his death" and to her husband.

In 1951, Louise passed from this life. She and Hattie, James’ first wife, are buried on either side of their husband in Felton Cemetery, Macon County, Georgia. The results of Louise's work will continue on, truly a help and a joy for Macon County historians and genealogists.

Harris summarized and contributed the introduction to “History of Macon County,” written by Lucian Lamar Knight, LL.D., LittD., F.R.S.A., State Historian of Georgia, Emeritus and dated December 10, 1932.