Charles C. Cargill

Page 636-637-638 - Charles C. Cargill, who is president and general manager of The Cargill Company, engravers, printers, binders and advertising counselors in the city of Grand Rapids, with a large and modern production plant at 24-32 Wealthy avenue, southwest, has been the resourceful upbuilder in this connection of one of the really great American institutions of its kind, for the business of The Cargill Company has been extended into the most diverse sections of the United States. Mr. Cargill is not only a native son of Grand Rapids and a scion of one of the honored pioneer families of this city, where his parents established their home more than seventy years ago, but his ancestral prestige is that of colonial American order, the while it is to be recorded also that the family was one of prominence in the annals of Scottish history. Rev. Donald Cargill, a clergyman of the Presbyterian church in Scotland and a covenanter for the reformation and defense of religion in his native land, fell a victim to religious persecution in Scotland, where he was beheaded, by reason of his religious beliefs and activities, in the year 1681. It will be recalled that in Sir Walter Scottís "Sir Rolandís Well" a character named Cargill is one of prominence throughout the narrative. Captain William Cargill was a native of Scotland, and as a pioneer explorer he emigrated to New Zealand, where he founded the settlement of Otago in 1848, and in his honor a monument was erected at Dunedin. Charles C. Cargill, one of the foremost business men and most loyal and progressive citizens of Grand Rapids, was born in this city at a time when it could claim but little of its present metropolitan attractions, the date of his nativity having been May 5, 1863. He is a son of Hawley N. and Frances (Kraal) Cargill, the former of whom was born in Cayuga county, New York in 1830, and the latter of whom was born in Holland, she having been a child when her parents came to the United States and numbered themselves among the pioneer Holland Dutch colonists of Michigan. Hawley Nathan Cargill was an infant when, in 1831, his parents became territorial pioneers of Michigan, the family home having been here established in the town of Plymouth, Wayne county, and he having been reared to manhood under the conditions and influences of the pioneer days. He was about twenty-four years of age when he came to Grand Rapids, in 1854, and for a time he had charge of the local steamboat freight house on Grand river. In the sixties he was here in the employ of C. C. Comstock, one of the most influential business men of that period. Mr.
Cargill originated and managed the first shipment of Grand Rapids furniture by water to Chicago, the little furniture cargo having comprised twenty-four bureau wash stands of the primitive type then popular, and the same having been sold at auction in Chicago. It was this successful venture on his part that opened the furniture jobbing trade of Grand Rapids and revealed the possibilities of making Michiganís "Valley City" a center for the furniture industry, which in later years has brought to it world-wide fame. Mr. Cargill later engaged in the contracting business, of which he became a leading representative in Grand Rapids, and as a citizen his influence was ever loyal and constructive. He was a man of fine intellectual attainments, upright and honorable in all of the relations of life, and he and his wife were venerable and loved pioneer citizens of Grand Rapids at the tie of their death. To the public schools of Grand Rapids, Charles C. Cargill is indebted for his early educational discipline, which has been effectively supplemented by the associations and experiences of a signally active and successful business career. In 1884, about the time of attaining to his legal majority, Mr. Cargill found employment as bookkeeper and general clerk in one of then great lumber camps of northern Michigan, and eventually he was made superintendent of a logging railroad. In 1894 he became an active executive of The Cargill Company, which succeeded the Grand Rapids Engraving Company, the latter having been founded in 1881 by Frank K. Cargill, a brother of Charles C., in partnership with William A. Reed, the latter of whom shortly afterward sold his interest to his associate. Frank K. Cargill thereafter conducted the enterprise in an individual way until 1892, when the business was incorporated under the present title of The Cargill Company and he became president of the new corporation. In 1902, when the capital stock of the company was largely augmented to meet the demands of the constantly expanding business, the officers of the company were as here noted: Frank K. Cargill, president; George T. Cargill, vice-president; and Charles C. Cargill, secretary and treasurer. In 1903 the company erected its present substantial and modern building, which affords a floor area of 50,000 square feet and the equipment of which, in all departments, is of the best modern standard. This company has pioneer precedence among similar concerns in the field of direct advertising, through the medium of which its business has been extended into all parts of the United States. The model production plant of the company has the most approved facilities for the execution of the finest grade of engraving by the various processes, as well as in the designing and originating of special engraving, and equally well ordered are the large printing and binding departments. In the year 1925 the operations of The Cargill Company were based on a capital stock of $210,000, and the personnel of the official corps was as follows: Charles C. Cargill, president and general manager; John F. Murphy, vice-president; William J. Johnson, secretary and treasurer. Charles C. Cargill has used his powers in the developing of an important industrial and commercial enterprise that has contributed much to the prestige of his native city, and here has earned an inviolable place in popular confidence and esteem. He is a member of the American Photo-Engravers Association, the United Typothetae of America, the Grand Rapids Association of Commerce, the Peninsular Club and the Highland Country Club. In the Masonic fraternity he has received the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite and is also a noble of the Mystic Shrine. His political alliance is given to the Republican party and he and his wife are zealous communicants of Grace church, Protestant Episcopal, he having been for many years a member of the vestry of this parish. On the 12th of April, 1888, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Cargill to Miss Ida May Hubbard, of Georgetown, Ottawa county, Michigan, and they have three children: M. Frances, the only daughter, is the wife of Leeman O. Lindsley, who is associated with The Cargill Company; Charles Roger the elder son, was a lieutenant in the nationís army air service in the World war period, and is also associated with The Cargill Company; Richard Irving, who is now in business at Elkhart, Indiana, had the distinction of serving on the staff of General Pershing while the latter was commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Force in the World war.


Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 7 January 2004