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Introduction

Origins

The City

Collegeville (1887, 1895)
College Delta (1898, 1899)
Oakwood (1899)
Cedar Banks (1900)
College Grove (1903)
Fairview (1904, 1905)
College Heights (1904)

Charter of 1907

Avondale (1913)
Bungalow Knolls (1916)
Chesterfield Hills (1916)
Ardson (1919)
Ridgeley Park (1921)
Strathmore (1925)
Glen Cairn (1926)

The Campus

Chronology

1855–1870
1871–1885
1886–1900
1901–1915
1916–1927

 

Interactive Map

Sites on the National and State Historic Registers

Complete list of
Significant Structures

Sources

Hays House, 605 Butterfield Dr. (1937)


Hays House, November 2003. Photo Credit: Kevin S. Forsyth.

James Grant Hays, Jr. (1890–1975, M.A.C. ’11) was born and raised in Swissvale, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the Agricultural College in 1911 and two years later became proprietor of his own registered Holstein dairy farm near Howell. The 120-acre farm was described as “self-sufficient” since, in addition to milking about forty cows daily, the venture “grew hay, oats, wheat, corn, garden produce and a variety of nursery and cut flowers for sale in Detroit.”[Karson, email of 25 May 2006] Many members of the herd at Hays’ “Kumboss Holstein Farm” were direct descendants of M.A.C.’s most famous cow, Belle Sarcastic.

Jim Hays* married Bessie Lucille Andrews (1889–1979, M.A.C. ’14) in 1916, and at some point they partnered with Herman and Esther Andrews (M.A.C. ’17 and ’20 respectively; no obvious relation to Bessie) in running the farm. In 1922 Mr. Hays returned to the College to become “a vital member of the Dairy Department at M.S.C. and M.S.U., and did much public speaking and extension contact for the department over the years.”[Karson, email of 25 May 2006] He retired as an Associate Professor in 1955 and was a 1958 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

This house was designed for the family by the eldest of their three sons, James G. Hays III (1916–1941, M.S.C. ’38), while he was still in college. The style is International Modern, which emphasizes modern materials such as steel, glass, and concrete; minimal ornamentation; and the maxim “form follows function.” Interior details, innovative for mid-Michigan at the time, include a poured concrete staircase with stainless steel and chrome railings, and a kitchen with built-in appliances and floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. While many homes in this style (in East Lansing and elsewhere) have later been altered with more traditional siding and even pitched roofs, this house stands as an excellent and atypically unmolested example of International Modern.

Architect James G. Hays III also was co-founder of the Spartan student magazine in 1936.[Kuhn, p. 391] “Jimmie,” as he was known by family and friends, died of Hodgkin’s lymphoma just three years after graduation, and his parents established a memorial scholarship in his name. This was funded in large part with proceeds from James Jr.’s frequent lecture appearances on “The Wonders of the Dairy Cow,” a popular attraction in large part due to Hays’ wit—and a comically rudimentary mechanical cow for visual aid. “County agricultural agents or officers of agricultural groups, if asked about the best entertainment for rural or city gatherings would likely say, ‘Why, Jim Hays and his cow.’”[The Record, 54(7), Nov. 1949, p. 6]

 


The Holy Earth

by Liberty Hyde Bailey