James Webb Cook Hayes (March 20, 1856 – July 26, 1934) was an American businessman and soldier. He co-founded a forerunner of Union Carbide, served in three wars, and received the Medal of Honor.
James Webb Cook Hayes
|Born||March 20, 1856|
|Died||July 26, 1934 (aged 78)|
|Place of burial|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||Ohio National Guard|
United States Army
|Years of service||1898–1918|
|Unit||1st Ohio Cavalry|
Fifth Army Corps
31st Volunteer Infantry
San Juan Hill
World War I
|Awards||Medal of Honor|
|Other work||Union Carbide, founder|
Early years and familyEdit
With his father serving in the Civil War from the time James 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 became his godfather. Crook 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.
College and careerEdit
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, the son 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.
Hayes also served in the military in the Spanish–American War, Philippine–American War and First World War. 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 was appointed 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, reassigned to the 31st United States Volunteer Infantry, and sent to the Philippines. Just hours after landing there, he led a rescue party to free captured men at Vigan Island. He received 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.
Hayes was a member of the Ohio Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States by right of the service of his uncle, Lieutenant Colonel J.T. Webb, as an officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
Medal of Honor citationEdit
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.
- "Webb Cook Hayes", Find-A-Grave.
- "Webb C. Hayes: Biographical Sketch". Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center. Retrieved 2004-06-29.
- "Hayes, Webb C." Medal of Honor recipients — Philippine Insurrection. United States Army Center of Military History (CMH). Retrieved 2007-10-22.