After the Civil War, cigar smoking in the United States became a symbol of social status, and cigar maker Augustus Max produced his stogies in a factory on Fair Street in Quaker City.
Augustus Max was one of the prominent German-American citizens of Quaker City, and the local press of the day described his business as “... the manufacture of a fine grade of cigars, which he retails at prices which at once make his store popular.”
The local newspaper reported that Mr. Max “... has built up a fine trade, and is numbered among the well-to-do businessmen of the place.”
Max was a native of Austria, born there on July 13, 1848. His parents were George and Elizabeth (Deirl) Max, also natives of Austria. His father worked in foundries and was also employed in erecting cupolas on many of the large buildings in the cities.
Augustus was four years old when his parents undertook the journey to America, leaving their native home May 2, 1852, and arriving in Baltimore on Aug. 15. From Baltimore the family was conveyed to Pittsburgh, where they made their home for a number of years.
There, Augustus was sent to the German Catholic schools, attending for a year and nine months. He then began to make his own way in the world and with his father dying soon afterward he was compelled to support his mother and sister, who were left without means. At the age of 11 he began working in a factory in Pittsburgh, his duty being to strip the tobacco from the stem. Thinking this a good business, he commenced at the bottom and worked his way up in all departments, until he was thoroughly familiar with the manufacture of cigars.
In 1871, Max came to Ohio and located in Barnesville, where he had charge of a factory for eight years. Being offered at the end of that time inducements to move to Columbus, he changed his place of residence and in that city was given charge of Pat Sweeney’s shop for one year. In 1880, he returned to Barnesville and remained there until April 1881, engaged in working at his trade.
That year and month he went to Quaker City where, until 1885, he had a superintendency of a factory. About that time he formed a partnership with his brothers in the cigar business, a connection that existed until 1892, when Augustus disposed of his interest in the business and moved to New Madison. His stay there was of short duration, and his next move found him in Newark, where he started in the business under the name of Max Bros. They continued to manufacture cigars in that city until March of the following year, when he returned to Quaker City to carry on his business alone.
Nov. 28, 1872, Max was married to Mary E., daughter of Amos and Didema Mayhew and to them have been born nine children: Henry, Lillie M., wife of Otto Heinbeck, Emma L., Charles A., Earl F., Helena, Iva, Elizabeth and Lura. In politics, Max was a Republican.
Reported the local newspaper of the day, “He is held in high esteem among the businessmen of this city and has the proud satisfaction of knowing that the confidence he enjoys is deserved.”