Encyclopedia Titanica

Clara Jennings Hays

Clara Jennings Hays
Clara Jennings Hays

Mrs Charles Melville Hays (Clara Jennings Gregg), 52, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. on 13th October, 1859.

She boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her husband Mr Charles Melville Hays and her maid Anne Perreault. They were joined on board by their daughter Orian Davidson and her husband Thornton. The family were returning to their home in Montreal, PQ. Travelling in first class, Mr and Mrs Hays occupied cabin B-69.

Mr Hays died in the sinking but Clara was rescued in Lifeboat 3.

The Hays' were travelling as guests of the White Star's managing director, Bruce Ismay. When she was asked to sue the White Star Line for damages, she imperiously replied, "When one is a guest, one does not sue one's host."

After the disaster, Clara Gregg Hays spent more time at her summer home in Cushing Island Maine, than she did in Montreal.

She died in Montreal 1 February 1955 and was buried next to her husband Charles Melville Hays at Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal.


Titanic Passenger Summary

Name: Mrs Clara Jennings Hays (née Gregg)
Age: 52 years 6 months and 2 days (Female)
Nationality: American
Marital Status: Married to Charles Melville Hays
Last Residence: in Montréal, Québéc, Canada
Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday 10th April 1912
Ticket No. 12749, £93 10s
Cabin No. B69
Rescued (boat 3)  
Disembarked Carpathia: New York City on Thursday 18th April 1912
Died: Tuesday 1st February 1955 aged 95 years

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References and Sources

 Montreal Gazette, February 3, 1955, Obituary

Newspaper Articles

The Globe (15 April 1912) List of Rescued Includes Mr. Hays
White Star People Say the Hays Party is Safe.
Newark Evening News (19 April 1912) JERSEY DEATH ROLL DETAILS
Chicago Examiner (19 April 1912) WIDOW AND DAUGHTERS OF HAYS SPEED HOME
Worcester Evening Gazette (20 April 1912) Pres. Hays Widow Leaves For Home
The Montreal Gazette (3 February 1955) Clara Hays Death Notice


St Louis Post-Dispatch (1912) Clara Hays as a young woman
(1912) Mr. and Mrs. Harder with Mrs hays
From 'Sinking of the Titanic'
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Comment and discuss

  1. Hugo Normandeau

    Hugo Normandeau said:

    I have more informations about 1st class passergers for you. Hays, Charles Melville, (1856-1912),president of the Grand Trunk Railway Company (Canadian Ry.) (1909-1912), was born at Rock Island, Illinois,USA, on May 16 1856. He was educated at public schools of Rock Island, and at the age of seventeen entered the service of the Atlantic and Pacific Railway, in St-Louis, Missouri,USA. He rose in the railway word until in 1889 he was appointed general manager of the reorganized Wabash system. In 1896 he came to Canada as general manager of the Grand Trunk Railway, and, with the exception of... Read full post

  2. Jason D. Tiller

    Jason D. Tiller said:

    Hi all, I just wanted to let everybody know that the booklet on Charles Hays that Gavin Murphy wrote is a wonderful resource. It's well worth the price. It's invaluable to my vast Titanic collection and it has many wonderful pictures. I would definitely recommend this booklet to anybody that's interested. Best regards, Jason

  3. Michael Tennaro

    Michael Tennaro said:

    Well, Jason, don't keep us in suspense

  4. Gavin Murphy

    Gavin Murphy said:

    M, Try e-mailing me at and we can take from there. Kind regards, G

  5. Maureen Zottoli

    Maureen Zottoli said:

    I had Gavin's book with me at the get together and Tracey McIntire got a chance to look at it too and is eager to get one. For the price it is truly a great bargain and Gavin has a lot to say! Maureen.

  6. Tracey McIntire

    Tracey McIntire said:

    I am definitely eager to get one! I sent my money out today--you can't beat the price at $6.00 US! Tracey McIntire

  7. Gavin Murphy

    Gavin Murphy said:

    M and T, You women are too kind! Thanx for your support. The Nepean Museum also appreciates it! Kind regards, G

  8. Jason D. Tiller

    Jason D. Tiller said:

    I'm also happy to see that more people are interested in this wonderful book. This is terrific

  9. Tracey McIntire

    Tracey McIntire said:

    I just wanted to post a positive review of this book--it was excellent and very well researched. Be sure to contact Gavin for a copy--it is well worth it! Tracey M.

  10. Darren Honeycutt

    Darren Honeycutt said:

    I just got back from a visit to Montreal and Quebec City and while in Montreal, visited the Mount Royal Cemetery. I was kind of surprised that Hays didn't have a more elaborate tomb stone because there were so many more in the cemetary that had huge monuments. The office cemetary was closed so I had to hunt for his gravesite and with temperatures over 90, this wasn't an easy task. One of the most well known people buried in the cemetery is Anna Leonowens who was the inspiration for the movie and musical "The King And I". Also buried in this cemetery is Margaret Kempe Howell who was the mother... Read full post

  11. Eric Sauder

    Eric Sauder said:

    If anyone wants to see what Charles Hays's headstone looks like, visit Other Titanic passengers in Mount Royal include Clara Hays, Thornton and Orian Davidson, and Joseph Fynney. I had submitted a photo of Orian Davidson's headstone, but it's not up any more, and I don't know why. Lusitania passengers buried in Mount Royal include Lady Marguerite Allan and her daughters Gwen and Anna. Eric Sauder

  12. Darren Honeycutt

    Darren Honeycutt said:

    I didn't know any other Titanic passengers were buried in this cemetery. I should have done more research before going there. Thanks Eric for this interesting information.

  13. Jason D. Tiller

    Jason D. Tiller said:

    Hi Darren, There is also a memorial to Harry Markland Molson there. I've also walked through a cemetery in 90 degree weather looking for Titanic passengers, so I know how it feels

  14. Gavin Murphy

    Gavin Murphy said:

    Hi J and the Cujo-less Buds, There is also a memorial plaque to Molson at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Mtl., as there is for Vivian Payne, Hays' private sec., both of whom perished in the disaster. G

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Derek Boles, USA
Peter Engberg-Klarström, Sweden
Phillip Gowan, USA
Pamela Hamilton
Alan Hustak, Canada
Diane Lapierre, Canada
Hugo Normandeau, Canada