Kaufman Hays - Merchant and Banker

10221, 10229, 10305 and 10311 Lake Shore Boulevard
Kaufman Hays 1886
Kaufman Hays 1886

In 1868, Hays purchased stock in Citizens Savings & Loan Co., becoming a director in 1875. He also held shares in City National Bank. In 1886, he established Euclid Avenue National Bank with Myron Herrick, Charles Brush, and Solon Severance. He was elected vice-president in 1893 and held that position until 1905.

In 1906, Hays became vice-president of the reorganized Turner Manufacturing Co. with O. M. Stafford as president, Martin Marks secretary, and George Hodgson as general manager. They built the company into Cleveland Worsted Mill Company. Many people said that sufficient cloth was woven each year to make two million suits.

Kaufman Hays was born on March 9, 1835, to Abraham and Bertha Hays in Storndorf, Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany. He immigrated to Cleveland in 1852 and worked in retail stores before joining his father-in-law, Simson Thorman, in his hide and wool business in 1860. He left to establish the Hays Bros. clothing store in 1864.

Kaufman married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Thorman in 1861. She was born in Cleveland on December 20, 1841, to Simpson and Rachel Thorman. Simpson Thorman was one of the first permanent Jewish settlers in Cleveland. Kaufman and Lizzie had four daughters: Isabelle (Marks) born on June 25, 1862, Rolinda (Joseph) born on October 16, 1864, Henrietta (Huebsch) born on June 5, 1867, and Frances (Gries) born on December 4, 1876.

Hays was elected to Cleveland City Council in 1886. Following embezzlement of city funds by the treasurer in 1888, Hays was appointed acting treasurer and is credited with saving Cleveland’s credit.

Hays was a founder of the Hebrew Benevolent Society and a member of Temple Tifereth Israel.

Lizzie died on March 5, 1907.  Kaufman died at his Bratenahl home on April 12, 1916. Both are buried in the Mayfield Cemetery.