HAYS, KAUFMAN (9 Mar. 1835-12 Apr. 1916), merchant and banker, was born to Abraham and Bertha (Hexter) Hays of Storndorf, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. He immigrated to Cleveland in 1852, and worked in retail stores before joining SIMSON THORMAN in his hides-and-wool business in 1860, leaving to establish Hays Bros. (1864-85) clothing store. In 1868, Hays purchased stock in Citizens Savings & Loan Co., in 1875 becoming a director. He also held stock in City Natl. Bank. In 1886, he established Euclid Ave. Natl. Bank with MYRON T. HERRICK, CHAS. F. BRUSH, and SOLON L. SEVERANCE; was elected vice-president in 1893, and held that position until 1905, when the bank merged with Park Natl. Bank, ultimately becoming part of Union Trust Co., of which Hays was a vice-president at his death. When Turner Mfg. Co., a textile company, failed in 1893, Hays became secretary of the reorganized company and, with Geo. H. Hodgson, built it into CLEVELAND WORSTED MILLS. Hays was elected to CLEVELAND CITY COUNCIL in 1886, became chairman of the finance committee, and 2 years later was elected vice-president of council. Following embezzlement of city funds by the treasurer in 1888, Hays was appointed acting treasurer and is credited with saving the city's credit. Hays was a founder of the Hebrew Benevolent Society, a member of Tifereth Israel (The TEMPLE), and congregation president from 1867-71. He married Lizzie Thorman (d. 1907) in 1861 and had 4 daughters, Frances (Mrs. MOSES GRIES), Belle (Mrs. MARTIN MARKS), Rolinda, and Nettie. Hays was buried in the Mayfield Jewish Cemetery.
Finding Aid for the MOSES J. GRIES FAMILY PAPERS, WRHS.