Indy businessman William Mays dies at 69

(Provided Photo/Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) –  William Mays, founder of Mays Chemical Company, passed away on Thursday at age 69.

Mayor Greg Ballard says Indianapolis “has lost a titan of industry and philanthropy.”

Mays, an Evansville native, took the chemical company from a small office in Indianapolis and created what became one of the largest chemical distributors in North America.

Several years ago, Mays told 24-Hour News 8 he was proud of his accomplishments, but he was also pleased with what he contributed to the city.

“It doesnt do any good, I don’t think, to be in a community where you have a division of haves and have nots. That means everybody needs to make some kind of sacrifice and commitment to giving back,” Mays said. “I’m very pleased with what I’ve been able to accomplish. But I’m also pleased with what I’ve been able to contribute. Because without one I don’t think I’d have the other.”

Mays is survived by his wife Dr. Rose Mays, retired associate dean of community affairs at Indiana University’s School of Nursing, daughters Kristin Mays-Corbitt, president of Mays Chemical and Heather Mays Woods, an educator.

Mayor Ballard released the following statement on Mays’ passing:

Indianapolis has lost a titan of industry and philanthropy. Bill Mays was a great businessman, mentor, and leader in our community.  My thoughts and prayers go to the Mays family and the many lives he touched.


No details have been released on Mays’ funeral service as of Thursday night. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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