Hayden owned several business and mills in Haydenville, MA, a borough of Williamsburg, Massachusetts, including a brass factory, gas works, cotton factory, and foundry. He was also a part-owner of the Williamsburg Reservoir Company, which built the shoddy Williamsburg Reservoir, completed in 1866. On May 16, 1874, several months after Hayden's death, the dam failed catastrophically, causing a flood that killed 139 people and destroyed all four of Hayden's factories.
- Elizabeth M. Sharpe, In the Shadow of the Dam, Free Press, New York, 2004
| Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts