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HAY, Robert. (Cupar, Fife, Scotland, Jan. 26, 1863--Unknown). Robert Hay was educated in the Glasgow public schools which he left at the age of thirteen. About 1880 he immigrated to the United States settling in Providence, Rhode Island. He worked at various occupations, then hired out to a farmer at the rate of four dollars a month and continued this for a year and a half. He then returned to Scotland and learned the machinist's trade. After completing his apprenticeship, Hay again came to America and settled in Dubuque.
Hay worked in the shops of the CHICAGO, MILWAUKEE, AND ST. PAUL RAILROAD before establishing himself in business. The KEY CITY ROOFING COMPANY grew to become of Dubuque's largest and most substantial businesses dealing in asphalt, resin, pitch, coal tar, roofing paints, roofing, building papers, deafening felts, building materials, wall coping, sewer pipe, flue linings, mortar colors, mineral wool, lime, hair, cement, fire brick, and fire clay.
In addition, Hay was president of the Lightcap Company, treasurer and director of the Dubuque Shippers' Association, director of the YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION (Y.M.C.A.), and president of the board of trustees of WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH.
Goodspeed, Weston Arthur, History of Dubuque County, Iowa. Chicago: Goodspeed Historical Association, 1911, p. 621