Charles Melville Hays Photo

Charles Melville Hays

Born: May 16, 1856

Death: Apr 15, 1912

Birthplace: Rock Island

Nationality: United States

Charles Melville Hays

Date of Birth : May 16, 1856
Date of Death : Apr 15, 1912
Birth Place : Rock Island

Charles Melville Hays was the president of the Grand Trunk Railway. He began working in the railroad business as a clerk at the age of 17 and quickly rose through the ranks of management to become the General Manager of the Wabash, St. Louis and Pacific Railway. He became Vice-President of that company in 1889 and remained as such until 1896 when he became General Manager of the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada. Hays left GTR for a short time to serve as the President of the Southern Pacific Railway Company but returned to GTR after one year. As Vice-President and General Manager of GTR he is credited with keeping the company from bankruptcy. In 1909, he became the president of GTR and all its consolidated lines, subsidiary railroads, and steamship companies. He was known for his philanthropy and received the Order of the Rising Sun, third class, from the Emperor of Japan in 1907. Hays is credited with the formation of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway, a dream he had to create a second transcontinental railroad within the borders of Canada. He is also blamed for the insolvency of both the GTR and the GTP.

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