Biographical Profiles: Bay Brothers; 2nd Lt. Hillery W., Pvt. William and Pvt. James E. Bay, Company H, Pennsylvania Volunteers, 100th Regiment
Transcribed by Tami McConahy, 2nd great-grandniece of Corp. Thomas John Martin, Co. F. from "History of Lawrence County, Aaron Hazen, 1908.
William Bay, an honored resident of Neshannock township, where he is engaged in the pursuits of agriculture, was born on the farm which he now owns and operates. March 8, 1826. He is the grandson of William V. Bay, and son of Margaret Bay.
William V. Bay, who was a native of Washington Co., Pa., came to what is now Lawrence County, but then known as a portion of Mercer County, and settled on the banks of the Shenango River in Neshannock township as early as 1804, being then thirty years of age. Later on, in 1818, he purchased the farm now owned by his grandson, the subject of this brief history. He served as a private through the War of 1812. He married Dorcas Johnson, a native of Maryland, and to them were born six daughters and one son, as follows: Charlotte, who married Robert Thompson of Neshannock township; Comfort, who married Adam Shoaff of Neshannock township, their children being named: Lot, William, Tibatha, George S., Charles P., James, Nancy, George, and Smith, last four deceased; Elizabeth, who married Robert Thompson of Neshannock township, a nephew of the Robert Thompson mentioned above - their children were, Nancy J., Eliza, William T., T. Mehard, and Charles; Margaret, the mother of our subject, who married Alonzo Hosier of Neshannock township, whom she bore one child, Chauncey; Sarah, who married Thomas Lindsey of Neshannock township, and they have one child living, Lilly Anne; Nancy, who married John Thompson of Neshannock township, and has three children - Jane A., deceased, Robert S. and Sarah; Thomas F., who married Nancy Wilson of Beaver County, and has twelve children - Hillery W., Hugh P. W., Charlotte, Christina, Mary A., Dorcas, Kate P., James E., who died when confined as a prisoner of war in Andersonville Prison, James, who died in infancy, Harriet, Isabella W., and Amanda. Our subject's grandparents were United Presbyterians, and his grandmother was a sturdy Whig in political convictions. He died in 1853, and his wife followed him five years later, when aged eighty-four years.
The first thirty-eight years of our subject's life were spent in acquiring an education, and then in work on the home farm; on Jan. 5, 1864, he enlisted in Co. H, 100th Reg. Pa. Vol. Inf., under Capt. Lee Morrow and Col. Leasure, and remained in the service eighteen months and twenty days, being discharged by general order at the cessation of hostilities, and complete overthrow of the rebels. He then returned to the old homestead in Neshannock township, where he has remained ever since with the exception of five years. At first a Whig, he easily drifted into the Republican ranks, and is now included among that party's staunchest supporters in the township; he has been constable, overseer of the poor, and has also held the county office of jury commissioner for the full term of three years.
He has twice taken upon himself the marriage vows. His first wife, whom he married in 1860, was Nancy McCracken of Scott township, and by their union two children were born, one of whom died in infancy. The survivor, Nancy, married Charles W. Cox of East Lackawannock township, Mercer Co., Pa., and has three children: Jessie, Lulu, and Olive. His second marriage was with Mary Marks of Greenville, Pa., in 1870, and one child resulted from this marriage, Elizabeth Iona. Mr. Bay is a United Presbyterian in respect to his church membership and attendance. He has a fine dwelling, good barns and out-houses, a choice assortment of farming implements and accessories, and everything necessary for the carrying on of agriculture in first-class manner. He is one of the leading men of the county, and has contributed his share toward its progress and development. The Bay family have held an annual reunion ever since 1872.
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