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Sheboygan County, Wisconsin Genealogy & History

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This article was contributed by Kay R.

Sheboygan Press - September 29, 1915

Father Started First Newspaper

We have had the Gillette safety razor in Sheboygan for a long time, but yesterday this city and the city of Sheboygan Falls entertained the man who made its success possible, and it was K. C. Gillette, of South Boston, Massachusetts, who came here with the officers of the Falls Machine Co. in reference to building motors for an eight cylinder automobile engine he is interested in.

While this city has always appealed to Mr. Gillette, due to the fact that his parents, Mr. and Mrs. George W. Gillette, were married here, his father conducting a hotel in the early days, the Sheboygan House, and proprietor of the Sheboygan Mercury, a weekly newspaper, still it was something else that drew him back to Wisconsin and to Sheboygan Falls. It was the reputation the Falls Machine Co. has made in the motor world and it was the desire of Mr. Gillette to have the Sheboygan Falls concern manufacture his particular line of motors.

Mr. Gillette stated to a Press representative that he considered the Falls Machine Co. one of the model institutions of its kind in the country and that Sheboygan was most fortunate in this respect as it meant a great deal for the future.

Few people knew that King C. Gillette, who has assisted in shaving more men than any other one person in the country, by means of his safety razors, was born and raised in Fond du Lac county. Here in Sheboygan his father and mother were married and the old county history speaks of George M. Gillette as one of the first residents, coming here between 1845 and 1850. He was chosen postmaster and published the Sheboygan Mercury, the first number of which appeared in February, 1847. George W. Gillette was the publisher of the paper and G. Morrison Gillette edited it until the autumn following. March 1, 1848, H. N. Rose took editorial charge and wrote it until after the fall election, at which time he was elected probate judge. George W. Gillette continued to run the Mercury until after the election in 1852, when the office was sold to Henry D. Eastman. Later the name was changed to the Chronicle, and still later to the Evergreen City Times.

The Gillette family moved to Fond du Lac in the Fifty's and there the man who made the safety razor such a pronounced success was born. First he started out to make the Gillette razor in one small room and today his plant in South Boston, Massachusetts occupies a quarter of a block and is seven stories in height. His daily output of safety blades would extend over 20 miles and just bear in mind reader that each blade is only 1 1/2 inches in length. Besides all those blades look at the number of razors that are manufactured. The Gillette blade is among the best on the market, but even a good article must be advertised and Mr. Gillette is a consistent advertiser. He has been a great user of magazines but the day is coming when he will find it more profitable to touch each community through the newspapers, and we predict even a greater success when that day comes. The Gillette is an article of merit and someday perhaps Mr. Gillette will decide that Sheboygan, the home of his ancestors, is a mighty good place in which to keep the name alive by establishing a plant here. Mr. Gillette stated that Sheboygan appealed to him and why not, it is the best city in the land.

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