Max S. Hayes Papers on Microfilm

Collection Number: 5471 mf

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


Max S. Hayes Papers on Microfilm, 1816-1949
Collection Number:
5471 mf
Hayes, Max S.
2 microfilm reels
Forms of Material:
Papers (documents), microfilm.
Kheel Center for Labor- Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
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 1900-1928.
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 associatesA.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 wifewhen away from homeabout 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.

Hayes, Max S., 1866-1945

Form and Genre Terms:
Papers (documents)


Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Max S. Hayes Papers on Microfilm #5471 mf. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


Reel 1 1891-1915
Reel 2 1816-1949