Elbert Henry Gary - Encyclopedia

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"ELBERT HENRY GARY (1846-), American business man, was born near Wheaton, Ill., Oct. 8 1846. He attended Wheaton College and then after studying law for a time in an office he continued his legal studies at the university of Chicago (LL.B. 1867). In 1871 he began practice in Chicago where he became a noted corporation lawyer. In 1874 he organized the Gary-Wheaton Bank, of which he was president. He was elected judge of Du Page co. in 1882 and again in 1886; was three times elected president of the town of Wheaton and on its becoming a city (1892) served as its first mayor for two terms. He was president of the Chicago Bar Association 1893-4. He early saw the advantages of combination in business and in 1891 was one of the organizers of the Consolidated Steel & Wire Co. In 1898 upon the organization of the Federal Steel Corp., with a capital stock of $200,000,000, he became its head and retired from legal practice. This company was merged in the U.S. Steel Corp. in 1 9 01 and he was elected chairman of the board of directors and of the finance committee. The town of Gary, Ind., laid out in 1906 as a model home for steel workmen, was named in his honour. In 1914 he was made chairman of the committee appointed by Mayor Mitchel, of New York, to study the question of unemployment and its relief. When America entered the World War (1917) he was appointed chairman of the committee on steel of the Council of National Defense. Through his own connexion with a business essential for munitions of war he exerted great influence in bringing about cooperation between the Government and industry. He was interested in strengthening the friendship between America and Japan. In 1919 he was invited by President Wilson to attend the Industrial Conference in Washington, and took a prominent part in it as a firm upholder of the " open shop," of which he was always a strong advocate.

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