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Charles Willard Seiberling (1861-1946) Friends, family, and associates knew Akron industrialist and community leader Charles Willard Seiberling as simply "CW" or "Charlie." With his elder brother Frank "FA" Seiberling, he cofounded the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in 1898. While FA was the company's biggest promoter, dealmaker, and marketer, Charlie was affectionately known as the "Heart of Goodyear." Born in Norton, Ohio on January 26, 1861, Charlie was the third child of John Frederick and Catherine Miller Seiberling. The Seiberling family moved first to Doylestown and later to Akron, where Charlie attended public school. He entered Oberlin College in 1878 studying electrical systems, but like his older brother left college in 1880 to work as foreman at his father's Excelsior Reaper & Mower Manufactory, a producer of agricultural machinery. When Excelsior incorporated in 1884 and became the J.F. Seiberling Company, Charlie was appointed director, a position he retained until 1896. Like his brother FA, Charlie diversified his business interests. While working at the J.F. Seiberling Company, he became president of the Thomas Phillips Company, a paper-bag manufacturer, and in 1891 was one of seven original directors of the Black Bear Mining Company in Colorado, along with his father, brother, and two brothers-in-law. On November 18, 1895 Charlie married Blanche Carnahan of Findlay, Ohio. They had four children - Charles W. Jr., Theophilus Karnaghan ("TK"), Lucius Miles, and Catherine Miller. Both TK and Lucius worked for the family rubber companies, while Charlie Jr. died at the early age of 32. Catherine married Harry B. Stewart Jr. in 1931. Stewart later became president of the Akron, Canton & Youngstown Railway Company that his own father and FA Seiberling founded in 1908. In 1913 Charlie built a large brick Georgian Revival style home for his family on West Market Street in Akron. Designed by a New York architect and still in existence today, the home was named Triacre in reference to the size of the property ­ three acres! In 1923 Charlie decided to relocate farther out in the country, purchasing an old dairy farm property in Northfield. He commissioned the Akron architectural firm Good & Wagner to design his new home. The home, completed in 1924 in the rural-French style, was known as Old Acres. In 1898 Charlie and FA Seiberling organized and founded the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. The brothers successfully managed to bring this Akron rubber company to world prominence, and by 1916 it was the largest in existence. Charlie served as treasurer in 1907, and later as vice-president of Goodyear. The brothers oversaw the company's progress, and launched many of the its lasting contributions, such as the construction of the Goodyear Heights community and the development of the lighter-than-air craft industry. Goodyear Heights offered improved housing for company workers and their families, and the lighter-than-air craft figured prominently in the military success of the United States during World War I.

Charles Willard Seiberling/Page 2 of 3 Goodyear and the Seiberling brothers were hit hard by the 1921 recession that caused a dramatic drop in the values of raw materials, much of which Goodyear purchased in anticipation of booming auto sales following the end of World War I. With no "boom," plummeting prices, and creditors seeking payment, the Seiberling brothers were ousted from Goodyear in May of 1921. However, their personal perseverance and raw determination prevailed and in November, just six months later, the brothers founded Seiberling Rubber Company. Though never as large as Goodyear, Seiberling was successful throughout the years, and Charlie went on to serve as the company's vice-president and treasurer. In January of 1922, a short article in of The Akron Junior Times discussed the contributions Charlie and FA Seiberling made to the Akron community, especially through their leadership of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company: They were their employees' best friends. They knew the value of playgrounds and athletic fields, of auditoriums, rest rooms and cafeterias. They knew the importance of proper housing and adequate schools and of scientific training for the individuals in their vast industrial army. Dividends were not the sole interest in the lives of these rubber magnates; human relations were deemed essential to community and business growth. Industry was just one of Charlie's many interests. An active member of the Republican Party in Akron, he was a delegate to the 1928 Republican National Convention when Herbert Hoover was nominated for the presidency. He was president of the Akron Chamber of Commerce and the Akron Rotary Club, and served on the board of directors of various banking concerns in the area including National City Bank and the Peoples Savings & Trust Company. Charlie possessed lifelong interests in education, health services, the welfare of children, and the needs of the underprivileged. He was a trustee of Akron City Hospital, Akron Children's Hospital, the Akron YWCA, and Barberton's YMCA. Charlie also served as a trustee of the Akron Colored Community Association, the president of the University of Akron's Endowment Association, a member of the Community Service Center, and was involved with various other civic organizations. In his spare time, Charlie was an enthusiastic recreational poker player, loved fishing, enjoyed hunting, and, like his brother, owned a summer home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Yet Charlie is perhaps best remembered for organizing and financing the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts organizations in Akron, and assisting these organizations in nearby Barberton. In the early 1930's Charlie convinced twelve businessmen to pledge $ 1,000 each to obtain a campsite at Boston Ledges. The Salvation Army constructed roads and an older lodge was relocated and rebuilt on the new property dubbed "Camp Ledgewood." When camp registration needed a boost in 1932, Goodyear donated blimp rides for campers, while Harvey Firestone provided horses and a riding master to instruct the girls in horsemanship. In 1937 the startup

Charles Willard Seiberling/Page 3 of 3 debt for the camp was paid off and Camp Ledgewood built the "C.W. Seiberling Lodge" in recognition of Charlie's significant and continuing contributions to scouting. Later, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company would donate an activity building to the Girl Scouts of Summit County as a memorial tribute to Charlie. Highly concerned about tuberculosis, Akron industrialist Edwin C. Shaw, rehabilitation specialist Dr. C.L. Hyde, and Charlie Seiberling banded together to solicit voter support for the construction of a rehabilitation center to aid in the fight against this disease. Contagious, incurable, and striking both children and adults, tuberculosis had given rise to the need for sanatoriums ­ primarily places where the afflicted were quarantined and made comfortable until death's release. Shaw, Hyde, and Seiberling instead sought to create a sanatorium for the rehabilitation of those afflicted with TB. Their efforts brought about the Edwin C. Shaw Sanatorium at Springfield Lake, Ohio, and of which Charlie was elected treasurer in 1941. In September of 1946 Charlie Seiberling died unexpectedly in his sleep at age 85 and was laid to rest in the family plot in Northfield. His legacy lives on through the many organizations and services he pioneered in Akron, Barberton, and greater Summit County. ###


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Microsoft Word - Charles Willard Seiberling.doc