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Governor George Washington Hays

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Office Dates:  Jul 23, 1913 - Jan 09, 1917


Born:  Sep 23, 1863

Passed:  Sep 15, 1927

Birth State:  Arkansas

Party:  Democrat

Family:  Married Ida Virginia Yarbrough; two children

School(s):  Washington and Lee University

GEORGE WASHINGTON HAYS, Arkansas's 24th governor, was born in Camden, Arkansas, on September 23, 1863. He studied law at the Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, and with the law firm of Gaughan and Sifford. Hays served as probate and county judge for Quachita County from 1900 to 1905, and served on the bench of the 13th Judicial Circuit from 1906 to 1913. Due to the resignation of Governor Joseph T. Robinson, a special election was held, and on July 23, 1913, Hays became Governor of Arkansas. He was reelected to a second term in 1914. During his tenure, the Alexander Road Improvement Act was passed, a child labor law was enacted, as well as a statewide prohibition law. Also, a board of control for charitable institutions was adopted, and construction on the new state capitol was completed. After leaving office, Hays returned to his law practice, publishing several articles in national periodicals. Governor George W. Hays died on September 15, 1927, in Little Rock, and is buried in Camden, Arkansas.


Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.

Donovan, Timothy P., and Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., The Governors of Arkansas, Essays in Political Biography, Fayetteville; The University of Arkansas, 1981

Herndon, Dallas T., Centennial History of Arkansas, Vol. 1, Chicago, Little Rock; The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1922. 3 vols.

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