James G. Hays Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Hays, James G., 1890-1975
James G. Hays papers
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Born in Swissvale, Pennsylvania in 1890, James Grant Hays, Jr. graduated from Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University) in 191. He operated his own dairy farm from 1913 to 1922 in Howell, Michigan which he continued to own until 1952. Hays returned to M.A.C. in 1922 to work as a dairy specialist. He was particularly interested in feeding and herd management. Hays remained at Michigan State (except during World War II) as an extension dairy specialist until he retired in 1955. During World War II, Hays worked for College Connected U.S.A., working on Emergency Farm Labor for Michigan farmers. Creator of the “mechanical cow”, which was designed as the ideal dairy cow described by text books and professors, Hays lectured to thousands of audiences until 1971. Proceeds from his lectures funded the Jimmie Hays III Memorial Student Loan Fund which was in honor of Hays' deceased son. Hays was a member of the Michigan Pure Bred Dairy Cattle Association, the Michigan Dairy Memorial and Scholarship Foundation, the Michigan Milk Producers Association, the Michigan Farm Bureau, and an honorary member in numerous organizations. Hays died February 3, 1975.

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Scope and Contents note

The James G. Hays collection contains commencement invitations and programs for the class of 1911 as well as alumni reunion programs for 1913. Also included are Hay’s descriptions of campus life in 1911 in which he describes campus grounds and buildings, social life, coeds, canoeing, street cars, small pox, and athletics. There is also a 1910 memo about preventing small pox on campus in which Thanksgiving recess is canceled. The collection contains photographs of the class of 1911, class of 1911 reunion, college grove sign, and students in the pattern shop.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  January 2010

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan State University. Abrams Planetarium.
  • Michigan State University. Class of 1911.


  • Invitations
  • Photographs
  • Programs (Publications)

Personal Name(s)

  • Unknown


  • Commencement ceremonies -- Michigan -- East Lansing
  • Smallpox -- Michigan -- East Lansing
  • Universities and colleges -- Alumni and alumnae

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Collection Inventory

Drawer Folder

Alumni Reunion 1913 

F.D. 1

Commencement Invitation and Programs 1914, 1944 

F.D. 2

Faculty Action concerning small pox epidemic 1910 

F.D. 3

Class of 1911 Narrative by James Grant Hays Jr. 

F.D. 4

Michigan State University Magazine Vol. 6 No. 10 1961“The Class of ‘11” 

F.D. 5

“Planetarium is Dedicated” article. Michigan State University Magazine March, 1964 

F.D. 7

“Conversation with James G. Hays” article, Towne-Courier Enterprise March 19th, 1975  

F.D. 7


Collection Photographs

Class of 1911. Reunions 

College Grove Sign circa 1907 

Students. Class of 1911 

Students. Pattern Shop circa 1907