© 2006 Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and
Archives, Cornell University Library
Max S. Hayes, Papers,
Hayes, Max S., 1866-1945
2 reels of microfilm
Forms of Material:
Kheel Center for Labor-Management
Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.
These papers consist primarily of
correspondence. Also included are newspaper clippings, an autograph book, and a
typed copy of tributes to Hayes.
Collection material in English
Maximilian Sebastian Hayes (May 25, 1866 -October 11, 1945) was born
in a cabin at Havana, Huron County, Ohio. Hayes obtained his limited formal
education in the rural schools of Huron County (1871-1881).
While still in his teens, Hayes moved to Cleveland. There he worked on
the Cleveland Press (1881-1890). At this time the young Hayes also obtained an
apprenticeship with Typographical Union 53. He took an active part in the union
and at one time or other held most of the offices both in the local union and
in the Central Labor Union. Hayes also served as a delegate from Cleveland to
AFL conventions. In 1903 the AFL elected Hayes as a delegate to the British
Trade Union Congress in London, England, where his speech gained international
attention. Eight years later (1911) Hayes ran for president of the AFL against
Samuel Gompers. Although Gompers won, Hayes received one third of the votes.
His interest in the organized labor movement led him to establish a
newspaper to promote its cause. Thus, on January 31, 1891, Hayes became the
founder-editor of the Cleveland Citizen-the earliest extant local weekly
newspaper in the United States to be dedicated to the movement. When he first
started out, Hayes had a small, shabby office and thirty dollars in capital.
Within four years, however, the Citizen had gained such wide recognition as a
voice for the working classes that the American Federation of Labor felt
compelled to establish The American Federationist or else acknowledge the
Citizen as the official labor newspaper in the United States.
A Populist newspaper until 1896, in that year it became the trade
union organ of the Cleveland Federation of Labor, the local council of the
American Federation of Labor. Hayes was its editor for almost fifty years,
until incapacitated by illness in 1939. Under his editorship the Citizen dealt
with the primary issues of labor including better working conditions, higher
wages, and shorter hours. Hayes, himself, took the time to appear before
legislative committees at Columbus to voice his support of legislation to
improve the lot of the working man.
Active in the Socialist movement too, Hayes belonged to the Populist
Party (1890-1896) and the Socialist Labor Party (1897-1900) before joining the
Socialist Party in 1900. He was a Socialist Party candidate for Congress in
1900 and for Secretary of State of Ohio in 1902. The Socialist Labor Party
nominated him for Vice President of the United States at its National
Convention at Rochester, New York (February 2, 1900). Hayes, however, resigned
from the ticket a couple of months later when the Socialist Labor Party joined
with the Social Democratic Party to form the Socialist Party. Subsequently
chairman of the Executive committee of the National Labor Party (1919) his
final campaign was in 1920 when he ran for the Vice President of the United
States on the Farmer-Labor ticket.
In Cleveland Hayes was a leader in Community affairs. In 1904, for
example, Hayes and a group of Cleveland doctors and citizens formed the
Anti-tuberculosis League in which he played an active part. In Ohio he was
labor's representative on the Consumer's League of Ohio beginning in 1900. He
served on the Metropolitan Housing Authority, 1933-1937. In 1934 he was
appointed to the State Adjustment Board (NRA).
Hayes married Dora Schneider December 11, 1900. They had one child, a
daughter, Maxine Elizabeth, who married A.I. Davey Jr. in 1931. Davey became
editor of the Citizen when Max Hayes retired.
The papers of Max S. Hayes consist primarily of correspondence. Also
included are newspaper clippings, an autograph book, and a typed copy of
tributes to Hayes. They span the period 1891-1949 with the bulk period covering
Boxes 1-5 (1891-1949) consist mainly of correspondence. Many of the
letters are from Hayes to his wife, Dora, and a few to their daughter Maxine.
Also found here are letters to Hayes from numerous friends and associates-A.M.
Simons (editor, The International Socialist Review) Henry L. Slobodin (of the
Socialist Labor Party), and others.
Box 6 contains newspaper clippings relating to Hayes, a few printed
items, and an autograph book. Also included here is a copy (tvpewritten/52
pages) of tributes paid to Hayes at the Fiftieth Anniversary Dinner honoring
his founding of the Cleveland Citizen-Cleveland, Ohio, February 1, 1941.
The papers relate both to his personal life and to his work. Although
many of Hayes' letters are to his wife, Dora, they offer not only a glimpse
into his private life, but also into his life-long work in the local and
national AFL and in the Socialist movement. For he frequently wrote to his
wife-when away from home-about his opinions of particular speaking tours, his
activities at conventions, or his current ideas and impressions.
Correspondence with other persons also relates to his activities in
the labor and socialist movements. Socialist sentiments, American Federation of
Labor affairs, and interest in the National Labor Party all appear in the
letters to Hayes. Also found here are letters that touch on Hayes' civic work.
In addition, there are letters to Mrs. Hayes from family and friends, plus a
few from her to her husband.
Microfilm was purchased from Ohio Historical Society.