H. RANDALL WICKES
H. Randall Wickes was born September 1, 1889, a grandson of Henry D. Wickes, co-founder of the company bearing their name. Wickes attended Saginaw High School but graduated in 1907 from Holbrook Military Academy. “Ran” studied engineering at the University of Michigan and would go on to become one of the greatest community benefactors in Saginaw history. In 1911, he started as an apprentice machinist in the machine shop of what became the larger Wickes Machine Tool Division of the giant, diversified Wickes Corporation. He served in several capacities with the Wickes firms until he was named president of Wickes Brothers, Wickes Boiler Co. and U.S. Graphite Co. in 1941. He continued as president and board chairman until October of 1964. In 1961 the company became the first Saginaw firm to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The Saginaw industrialist also earned a reputation for his philanthropy. In January of 1974, he gave security worth an estimated $1 million to Saginaw Valley College to build a 10,000-seat football stadium. In the early 1960’s, when the college was just getting started, he also pledged another $1 million towards its construction, an act that paved the way for other major contributions. In 1963 he was awarded the Delta College President’s Medal for distinguished community service. Two years before that he was selected for the Arnold Boutell award for his outstanding community service. Wickes Park, the 93-acre riverfront development in South Saginaw, is a permanent community asset derived from the Wickes Foundation he established in 1945. The Wickes Foundation has helped many organizations with substantial grants, including the YMCA, YWCA and the Saginaw Gun Club. In 1953 he was appointed to the Citizens research Council, which pioneered organization of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. He was named a Michigan Industrial Ambassador in 1960. Ran was president of the Greater Saginaw Chamber of Commerce, its Manufactures Council, the Saginaw Manufacturers Association, and the Salvation Army of Saginaw. Grants bearing his name also helped build the baseball/softball complex in Saginaw Township. He died October 6, 1974, at the age of 85, and is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery.