JAMES HAILEY. This gentleman is the oldest resident of Ava, and during the long term of years that he has spent in this section, his good name has remained untarnished and he has won for himself many friends. He was born in Bedford County, Tennessee, February 7, 1824, a son of Tavner and Joyce (Tomison) Hailey, the former of whom was born in Henry County, Virginia, was an early pioneer of Tennessee, and in 1839 settled in Webster County, Missouri, where he followed the occupation of farming until his death in 1867. He was a Whig in politics. His wife was born in Virginia and died in 1869, the daughter of Peter Tomison, a Virginian who removed to Tennessee.
The paternal grandfather, James Hailey, was of English descent and a native of Virginia, and was a soldier of the Revolution. Fourteen children were born to Tavner Hailey and wife, only two of whom are living, James and Joyce (Mrs. Johnson) of Webster County. Fourteen members of this family reached maturity: Lucy, Louis P., Elizabeth, Susan, James, Peter F., Sarah, Joyce, Eliza, Joseph, Judy, Alice, Temperance and Tavner C.; all the sons were soldiers in Missouri regiments during the Civil War.
The schooldays of James Hailey were spent in Tennessee and in Missouri, and were limited to the common schools. In 1847 he began to do for himself and was married the same year to Mary C. Rowe, who was born and reared in Kentucky, and who came to Missouri in an early day. Mr. and Mrs. Hailey lived in Webster County until 1853, when they settled in the northern part of this county on a farm, on which they lived until 1873,when they located in Ava, Mr. Hailey having received the appointment of county and circuit clerk of Douglas County. He ably filled the appointment for two and a half years, and for two years there-after was a member of the County Court. He then held the office of probate judge eight years, was county treasurer one year and is now postmaster of Ava. In all these responsible positions he has discharged his duties in an able, intelligent and faithful manner and won the admiration and respect of his political foes as well as friends. He has always been a Democrat, has ever interested himself in political matters, and has always shown himself to be a man of public spirit and enterprise. During the Civil War he served in the Sixth Provisional Regiment of Missouri as sergeant of his company (F),and was in a number of sharp skirmishes. He still owns his farm in the northern part of the county and is reasonably well fixed financially. He is a member of the A. F. & A. M., the I. 0. 0. F., has been noble grand in the latter order, and is a member of the G. A. R. at Ava.
He and his wife are members of the General Baptist Church, and he is a deacon in the same. He and his wife have reared nine children and lost one ; William F. is a farmer of the county, is married and has nine children; Mary E. is the wife of M. C. Reynolds; Tavner is living in Webster County, is married and has seven children; Martha is the wife of Joel Clinkingbeard of this county and has ten children; James, of Webster County, is married and has three children; Sarah J. is the wife of J. H. Upchurch of this county and has six children; Joseph B. lives on the old home farm, is married and has three children ; Joyce is the wife of J. L. Davis of Taney County, and has two children, and Louis O. is an attorney of Ava, is married and has four children. Mr. and Mrs. Hailey are well known throughout this section, and for nearly twenty years have kept a hotel. They have been successful in a business way and are now in the enjoyment of a comfortable income. Mr. Hailey assisted in locating the town of Ava in 1870, which he laid out, and the first lots were sold by him. He has been a useful citizen and is highly respected. All his brothers were officers in the army: Louis was sergeant of Company B, Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry; Peter was sergeant of Company H, Eighth Missouri State Militia ; Joseph B. was second lieutenant of Company G, Seventy-third Missouri Militia, and Tavner C. was corporal of Company G, Forty-sixth Missouri Infantry.