William B. Hays

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William B. Hays
William B. Hays.jpg
Portrait of William B. Hays,
c. 1903–1906
41st Mayor of Pittsburgh
In office
Preceded by Joseph O. Brown
Succeeded by George W. Guthrie
Personal details
Born (1844-01-12)January 12, 1844
Died September 16, 1912(1912-09-16) (aged 68)

William Bratton Hays (January 12, 1844 – September 16, 1912) served as Mayor of Pittsburgh from March 15, 1903 to 1906.

Early life[edit]

Hays was born into a meat packing family in 1844. He made his fortune in the coal industry in nearby Indiana County, Pennsylvania; he was also involved in the lumber business in North Carolina.

Pittsburgh politics[edit]

Hays first served in government as city assessor.[1]

He was appointed the mayor of Pittsburgh by the Pennsylvania Governor after Mayor Diehl's corruption scandal. During his service the governor re-installed elections in the city and he was subsequently voted in as mayor.

Hays presided over some of Pittsburgh's greatest feats and also one of its greatest disasters. The Pittsburgh Pirates went to the first ever World Series in 1903, and the film industry's first Nickelodeon movie theater was opened on Smithfield Street in 1905. Hays though also had to contend with the devastating city hall fire making the government home a total loss and destroying many records and documents in the process.

Later life[edit]

Hays died in 1912 and was buried in Allegheny Cemetery.[1] The Hays neighborhood of Pittsburgh was named in his honor.[2]


  1. ^ "Political Graveyard: Index to Politicians: Hays".
  2. ^ "Pittsburgh's 'accidental mayors' perform". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph O. Brown
Mayor of Pittsburgh
Succeeded by
George W. Guthrie