Frank Graper, 19??-1944

Frank Graper, Acklin's first president to come from outside of the Acklin family, grew up in Farmington, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin for a while but dropped out to learn the manufacturing business. He joined the A.O. Smith company in Milwaukee, a firm that manufactured automobile frames which he left after several years to join the Motor Wheel Company of Lansing Michigan. Promotions came to Frank Graper fairly easily and soon he was named works manager at the Motor Wheel Company.

In1927 Frank was hired at Acklin as a works manager. In 1936 Frank was promoted to Vice President under William Acklin, and in 1940, following William's death, Frank was named the company's president.

Frank Graper was very interested promoting an understanding between employees, employees families, and between employees and the company itself. In 1938 he instituted Acklin's first open house in order to show wives, mothers, sisters, sons and daughters how the plant operated. The open house was a tremendous success, attracting people from Acklin as well as numerous members of the general public.

Serving as Vice President in 1943, Frank Graper was an active member of the Toledo Chamber of Commerce. He served as a member of the Toledo Defense Products Corporation, a subsidiary of the Chamber of Commerce responsible for bringing war contracts to Toledo. Their efforts were largely successful bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in defense contracts. Prior to his death he spent a large amount of time on the War Labor Board, of which he was a member of the local, regional committee.


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Last Updated: 1/3/12