James M. Acklin, 1884-1936

James Montgomery Acklin was born in Toledo on April 17th, 1884. He attended public schools in Toledo, graduating from Central high school in 1902, before heading to Cornell University where he was a member of the rowing team. James graduated from Cornell in 1906 with a degree in Engineering. He worked for five years under his father at the Toledo Machine and Tool company before joining in the formation of the Acklin Stamping Company.

James married twice, first, in 1908, to the Detroit socialite Catherine Armstrong who had been made wealthy by her father's leather goods business. Their child James Jr. was born in August of 1912. Unfortunately in 1916 Catherine passed away and James didn't re-marry until 1921 when he wed Beatrice Evans, the wealthy daughter of a lumber businessman. The family lived in the fashionable Old West End at 2149 Robinwood, and had two more children, Bernice (1922) and Evan (1924).

James' resourcefulness and his loyal employees led the company through the Great Depression, finding work while other plants cut back or shut down. His leadership helped Acklin through a difficult period of its history. In 1934, James worked out a retirement and pension plan for employees of Acklin Stamping.

InOctober of 1935 his wife, Beatrice passed away. A few months later, in January of 1936, James planned on driving to Florida to see his mother law. Outside of Lexington, Kentucky James lost control of his car, colliding into a telephone pole. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. His untimely death was a saddening blow to both the family and the company.

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Last Updated: 6/9/16