CORMACK, George H.
Portrait & Biographical Record Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1892, pp 506-509
George H. CORMACK, Vice President of the Oatmeal Company, is one of the representative and prominent men of Rockford [Winnebago County, IL]. For the past 20 years he has been connected with the interests of the city, and was one of the originators of the business which is now one of its leading industries. He is a native of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, born in 1837, and is a son of James CORMACK, also a native of Aberdeenshire, and a miller and millwright by trade. He came of a pure Scotch family and married a lady of his native land. His death occurred in Scotland at the age of 86 years, and his wife died in 1869, when well advanced in life. There are ten children of the family yet living, our subject being the youngest, and they are scattered to the four quarters of the globe, living in Europe, Australia, Africa and America.
In his native land G. H. CORMACK became a millwright and thoroughly mastered the business in all its details. To that work he devoted his energies in Aberdeenshire until he came to America [p 509], the year of his emigration being 1871. With the hope of benefiting his financial condition, he crossed the Atlantic and spent one year in the province of Ontario, Canada, after which he came to IL, locating at Rockford, where he has resided continuously since, a good citizen and successful business man.
Immediately after his arrival, in company with Mr. A. M. JOHNSTON, who is a native of the North of Ireland, he established and began the operation of an oatmeal manufactory. These two gentlemen continued partnership until 1882, when the company was incorporated, with R. H. TINKER as President, and G. H. CORMACK as Secretary. Mr. JOHNSTON, his former partner, is a successful business man, connected with a large milling and seed business in Santa Cruz, CA. From the beginning, the industry which was established met with success, and was constantly increasing in size and capacity until the monring of 29 Sep 1891, when the entire main building was destroyed by fire. The successful operation of the business is due almost entirely to Mr. CORMACK, who is its manager, and by his efforts it has been placed at the head of this line of business in the West. His trade of a millwright has been of great benefit to him in improving his processes. He has been the inventor of 15 different processes, including the one now used in the factory for the manufacture of the meal. At first the meal was ground with mill stones and then cut with sharp steel knives, but this left the grain only coarsely cut, and in 1874 this process was discarded, being supplemented by the practical and scientific process invented by Mr. CORMACK, whereby the whole grain is rolled and made into a beautiful flake, easily cooked and very nutritious. For many years one of the best known brands on the market has been the Nudavene, which is the product of this factory. Its sales are constantly increasing, and it is now being manufactured extensively in Cedar Rapids and Chicago. No one in this country or in Europe has done more to develop oatmeal than our subject. The Nudavene flake was first placed before the public at the New Orleans Cotton Centennial Exposition, where it was awarded the first prize, the gold medal.
In 1880 Mr. CORMACK and Mr. JOHNSTON, who had for many years been a prominent wholesale grocery man in Buffalo [Erie County], NY, established the glucose business in this city, a large concern, but after a time both withdrew and neither have any connection with it at the present time. Mr. CORMACK is a man of sterling worth, upright and honorable in all the relations of life, and a straightforward business man whose worth is acknowledged throughout the city and county. In his political affiliations, he is a Republican, but has never been an office seeker. [Unknown to submitter what relationship, if any, existed between George H. CORMACK and the George CORMACK, born 17 Jun 1870, who created "Wheaties" cereal.]
Submitted by Cathy Kubly.