George S. Whyte

As published in
"The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County Wisconsin: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement"
by Frank H. Lyman Vol. 2, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago, 1916.




Among the active, energetic and prosperous business men of Kenosha is George S. Whyte, one of the founders and promoters of the Macomber & Whyte Rope Company. He was born in Scotland March 20, 1867, a son of George and Isabella (Primrose) Whyte. The family left Scotland in 1883 and established their home in Chicago. The father, who has devoted his life to mining and engineering, is now living in Waukegan, Illinois.

George S. Whyte was sixteen years of age when the family crossed the Atlantic. He had pursued his education in the schools of his native country and later attended evening school in Chicago, taking up the study of stenography. He started upon his business career as an employee of the Washburn & Moen Manufacturing Company of Worchester, Massachusetts, and Waukegan, Illinois. He represented that company in their Chicago office and continued with them until 1894, in the meantime working his way gradually upward. He was ambitious, however, to engage in business on his own account and in 1895 he assisted F. B. Macomber in organizing the Macomber & Whyte Rope Company. They represented another manufactory for six years, but felt that greater profits might be secured by handling their own product, and in 1901 they therefore started to manufacture wire rope at Coal City, Illinois. Since that time the business has steadily grown and in 1912 the plant was removed to Kenosha, while in September 1915 main offices were established in this city, although branch offices are maintained in various parts of the country and agencies in all of the large jobbing centers. Mr. Whyte has taken each business step carefully, being sure of his ground, yet actuated at all times with the progressive spirit that has brought him to a most creditable place in business circles.

In 1890 occurred the marriage of Mr. Whyte and Miss Anna Jessel of Chicago, and they now have one son, Jessel Stuart, who is now secretary of the Macomber & Whyte Rope Company. He was graduated from Cornell College at Ithaca, New York, with the degree of Mechanical Engineer. He took post graduate work in the University College at Sheffield, England, studying metallurgy and the chemistry of steel. He afterward took the four months' practical course in manufacture and treatment of wire in the factory of W. N. Brunton & Son at Musselburgh, Scotland, and returned home to become an important factor in the development of the business. He has been instrumental in instituting new processes and new ideas, and the business has grown rapidly in the past three years, its output doubling in that time. He married Ruth Johnson of Chicago, and the young couple, like his parents, are prominent in social circles of this city.

In politics George S. Whyte is an independent Republican, for while he usually supports the principles of that party he does not consider himself bound by party ties. He and his wife are consistent members of the Baptist church, and he is prominently known in fraternal circles. In Masonry he has attained the thirty-second degree of the Scottish Rite, and is also a member of the Mystic Shrine. He belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Royal League and the Royal Arcanum, and he is also identified with the Chicago Athletic Association and the Chicago Automobile Club. His business interests have brought him a wide acquaintance and his social qualities have gained for him popularity among all with whom he has come in contact.

Typed by: Michelle Laycock



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