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James Webb Cook Hayes
March 20, 1856(1856-03-20) – July 26, 1934 (aged 78)
Webb Hayes.jpg
James Webb in his Army Uniform
Place of birth Cincinnati, Ohio
Place of death Fremont, Ohio
Place of burial Rutherford B. Hayes Home, Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Ohio
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Ohio National Guard
United States Army
Rank Colonel
Unit 1st Ohio Cavalry
Fifth Army Corps
31st Infantry
Commands held American Expeditionary Force
Battles/wars Spanish American War
San Juan Hill
Boxer Rebellion
Russo-Japanese War
World War I
Awards Medal of Honor
Other work Union Carbide, founder
State Department

James Webb Cook Hayes (March 20, 1856 – July 26, 1934) was an American businessman and soldier. He founded Union Carbide, fought in two wars, and was awarded the Medal of Honor.


Early years and family

Born as James Webb Cook Hayes, he was the second son of President Rutherford B. Hayes.

Starting from when he was five years old, he spent six months every winter at his father's encampment, which was usually Camp White, West Virginia. He became very close with the commander of the unit, General George Crook, who later become his godfather. Crook also taught him how to live off the land including hunting, fishing and survival. Years later, after Crook became famous in the west as a hunter and Indian fighter, the two made annual trips into the Rocky Mountains for a hunt of big game.

Hayes attended Cornell University from 1873 to 1875 and was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon. He left Cornell to work as his father's secretary when his father was the governor of Ohio. When his father was elected president, he again served as his father's secretary.

In 1881, Hayes moved to Cleveland to work as the treasurer of the Whipple Manufacturing Company. In 1887, he, with three others, founded the National Carbon Company, which is now known as Union Carbide. Hayes stayed with this company for many years as the vice president.

He was the principal proponent for founding the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center, the first presidential library.

Hayes died on July 26, 1934 in Cincinnati, Ohio and was buried at the Rutherford B. Hayes Home, Spiegel Grove, in Fremont, Ohio.[1]

Military service

He also served in the military. He was a member of the First Cleveland Troop, later known as Troop A of the Ohio National Guard. During the Spanish American War, he became a major in the First Ohio Cavalry. He fought in Santiago de Cuba Campaign, during which he was wounded during the crossing of the San Juan River and the assault on San Juan Hill, and later in the invasion of Puerto Rico.

Following this, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and sent to the Philippines. Just hours after landing there, he led a rescue party to free captured men at Vigan Island. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for this action. He went on to participate in the China Relief Expedition during the Boxer Rebellion and as an observer in the Russo-Japanese War.

During World War I, Hayes was promoted to colonel and first served as a special agent for the State Department in France and later held an administrative assignment on the Italian front. After the war he was promoted to brigadier general

Medal of Honor citation

Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, 31st Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Vigan, Luzon, Philippine Islands, December 4, 1899. Entered service at: Fremont, Ohio. Born: March 20, 1856, Cincinnati, Ohio. Date of issue: December 17, 1902.


Pushed through the enemy's lines alone, during the night, from the beach to the beleaguered force at Vigan, and returned the following morning to report the condition of affairs to the Navy and secure assistance.

See also


  1. ^ "Webb Cook Hayes", Find-A-Grave.




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