James Wood Hayward, the son of James Hayward and Eunice Wood, was born in Boxborough, Massachusetts, on May 31, 1810. He had 6 siblings: Eunice, Susannah, John, Stevens, Lucy Ann, and Paul. Wood worked for his father and taught school until his mid-20s, when he began to market produce, a job he held for approximately 10 years. Around 1845, he became a dairy distributor, shipping milk from Middlesex and Worcester counties into Boston via railroad. After his career in the dairy industry, which he continued until at least 1857, he lived in West Acton, Massachusetts, where he had a farm. He and his wife, Hannah Elizabeth Conant (1818-1892), had nine children. James Wood Hayward died on September 29, 1891.