Lee County Illinois



Horace G. Reynolds, organizer and promoter of the Reynolds Wire Co. is one of the leading business men of Dixon, who, recognizing business opportunities that others have passed heedlessly by, has worked his way upward, each forward step bringing him a broader outlook and wider opportunities. For almost twenty years the Reynolds Wire Factory has figured as one of the substantial, productive industries of the city, the business growing steadily year by year until this is now one of the chief industrial concerns of Lee county.

Mr. Reynolds was born in Jefferson county, New York, in 1854, and is a son of John Milton and Sarah Reynolds, the former an extensive farmer. His youthful days were spent under the parental roof and before he had attained his majority he became actively connected with the newspaper business, in which he continued for nineteen years. He then sold out and came to Dixon, Illinois in 1894 he organized the Reynolds Wire Co. He was associated with Elmer E. Reynolds, who retired June 30, 1903, selling out to Horace G. Reynolds. The latter has been president of the business from the beginning and is the owner of three-fourths of the stock. In 1907 D.G. Harvey purchased an interest and is now vice president and treasurer with J.C. Sehnele as secretary. George W. Reynolds, a brother of H.G. Reynolds, entered the factory in 1897 and has for some time been superintendent of one of the departments. The concern manufactures window screen cloth, its output being black painted copper bronze and galvanized screen cloth. They also make wire specialties, including corn poppers, fly traps, flour sifters, etc. At the time of the organization the company became interested in the dam and water power at Dixon and thus operate the mill but also have steam power for emergencies. All power is converted into electricity through a two hundred horse power Westinghouse generator. There are individual motors and the plant is most thoroughly equipped in every particular. Their factory is four stories in height and includes one hundred thousand square feet of floor space. The building in 1911 was rebuilt of reinforced concrete of the flat slab type of construction. There is sprinkler equipment for fire, with two sources of water supply. Employment is furnished to one hundred and twenty-five people, and the output is sold mostly in the central west, but extensive shipments are also made to the coast and to the southwest. Something of the notably rapid growth of the business is indicated in the fact that their sales have doubled in the pas two years, now aggregating over five hundred thousand dollars per annum. Since taking up this business Mr. Reynolds has concentrated his energies upon administrative direction and executive control. He has full faith in the enterprise and its possibilities, and his sound business judgment is shown in its continuous growth.

In 1884 Mr. Reynolds was united in marriage to Miss Letitia J. Lyon, of New York city, and they have two daughters: Pauline Reynolds Harvey, the wife of Douglas G. Harvey, who is acting as superintendent of the wire factory and resides in Dixon; and Lucile G., at home. Mr. Reynolds holds membership with the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, and his political sympathies are with the progressive party. The family attend and are members of the Episcopal church and are prominent socially. Mr. Reynolds thoroughly enjoys home life and takes great pleasure in the society of his family and friends. A man of great natural ability, his success in business from the beginning of his residence in Dixon has been uniform and rapid. No plan or movement for the benefit of the city along lines of progress and improvement seeks his aid in vain. In his life are the elements of greatness because of the use he has made of his talents and opportunities, because his thoughts are not self-centered but are given to the mastery of life's problems and the fulfillment of his duty as a man in his relations to his fellowmen and as a citizen in his relations to the district in which he lives.

Transcribed by Karen Holt - 1914 History of Lee County Illinois Vol 2 by Frank E. Stevens

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