Wade E. Sackner

Page 592-593 - Wade E. Sackner proved that he had the good judgment and self-reliance to take advantage of opportunity when the same was presented, and the result has been that he is now the executive head of one of the substantial and prosperous industrial enterprises in the city of Grand Rapids, where he is the president of the Grand Rapids Fibre Cord Company. In 1916 Mr. Sackner, who was then associated with the Bayne Company of this city, was approached by one who had gained practical experience in the spinning of paper into fibre cord and who was endeavoring to establish a business of that order. He had made a beginning along this line of manufacturing and offered to sell his interests to Mr. Sackner. As the latter had for some time been consulting ways and means for engaging in business in an independent way, he carefully investigated the merits of the proposition and also the outlook for successful production and exploitation of fibre cord. He came to the conclusion that with proper management an enterprise of this kind in Grand Rapids could be made a distinct success, and as he himself had no knowledge of the technical and manufacturing phases of the business, there would be more of consistency in his assuming half-interest and that the practical man retain the other half. Agreement was made to initiate operations according to this plan, and only four machines were available at this juncture. Under the progressive policies instituted by Mr. Sackner the new business grew rapidly, and the scope of the enterprise was expanded, at his suggestion, and made to include the production of automobile upholstery, as well as developing and increasing the demand for their products in various lines of industries. There being a vast field for the development and use of their products, many new and improved machines were added to the business, and the vigorous, self-reliant and progressive methods that Mr. Sackner brought to bear caused his partner to become somewhat disturbed and fearful of results, as he imagined that too many risks were being taken in the expanding of the business. The result was that Mr. Sackner, with characteristic vision and judgment, acquired, in 1918, his partnerís interest, promoted additional capital and effected the organization of a corporation to carry forward the business on a larger scale and with better facilities. Thus the Grand Rapids Fibre Cord Company came into existence, with Mr. Sackner as its president and Charles H. Leonard as vice-president. Within the next two years larger quarters were required to accommodate the greatly increased business, and in 1920 the company erected a new building of one story and adequate floor space, besides installing therein much new machinery of the most modern type. In 1924 two more stories were added to the building, and the entire structure, of modern order, is now utilized by the company, this well ordered manufacturing plant being at 609 Myrtle street, northwest. The business has been placed on a solid basis and the vigorous and resourceful management of Mr. Sackner insures a continuous growth of the enterprise. Mr. Sackner was born at Fenton, Genesee county, Michigan, January 7, 1877, and is a son of William I. and E. Adele (Leonard) Sackner, the former of whom was born in a log cabin near Linden on Silver Lake, Genesee county, and the latter of whom was born at Highland, Oakland county, this state, a daughter of William Hincher Leonard, and a representative of one of the sterling pioneer families of Michigan, the former home of the Leonard family having been at Parma, New York. John and Betsey Ann Sackner, grandparents of the subject of the review, were numbered among the early settlers in Genesee county, John Sackner having come from New York to Michigan prior to its admission to statehood and having been a territorial pioneer in Genesee county, where he reclaimed from the virgin forest a productive farm, near the present attractive village of Fenton. Wade E. Sackner gained his youthful education by attending the public schools of Fenton, including the high school, and his initial business experience was that gained by his service as errand boy at the mercantile establishment conducted by H. Leonard & Sons, Grand Rapids. Thereafter he learned the engraving business in the establishment of the Bayne Company of Grand Rapids, and with this company he continued his alliance until he engaged in business in an independent way, as already noted in this review. He married Miss Viola DeKruif, whose maternal grandfather, Martin Van de Luyster, came from Holland to America and became one of the members of the fine Holland Dutch colony that was established in Ottawa county, Michigan, in the early pioneer period, he having been one of the founders of the town of Zeeland, that county, and a great rock, near that place, having been properly inscribed and constituting a memorial monument to this sterling pioneer, who arrived on the west shore of Lake Michigan in a sailing vessel and who became one of the most substantial and influential citizens of Ottawa county.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 13 December 2002
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/sacknerwe.html