Charles Seward Wilcox

Charles Seward Wilcox, businessman (b at Painesville, Ohio 16 Mar 1856; d at Hamilton, Ont 6 June 1938). Wilcox attended Dartmouth College and Yale U, graduating in 1879, the same year as Canada's NATIONAL POLICY tariff gave substantial new protection to the iron and steel industries. The tariff induced a group of Cleveland, Ohio, capitalists to purchase the rolling mill of the former Great Western Ry in Hamilton. The firm took over the Hamilton Blast Furnace Co (1899) and Wilcox was appointed general manager of the new enterprise, known as the Hamilton Steel and Iron Co, which in 1910 became a principal component of the major Canadian merger creating the Steel Company of Canada (see STELCO INC). Wilcox was appointed the company's first president, and he insisted on delaying dividends on common shares in order to build up the company's capacity and financial situation. He stepped down from the presidency in 1916 but remained chairman of the board. A prominent corporate executive and philanthropist, Wilcox conducted his business and public life in model fashion for a man of his class and time. He held directorships in several Canadian corporations, including the Royal Bank and National Trust.