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George Rushton. The George Rushton Baking Company, Incorporated, at Rosedale, is the largest concern of its kind in the State of Kansas. Every day its ovens turn out 20,000 loaves of high class bread, sold and consumed principally in the two Kansas cities, while the weekly capacity of the pie plant is 75,000 pies. It is the only pie baking plant on a large scale in the two cities.
Baking had been a trade in the Rushton family for so many generations back that no record had been kept of the originator of the business. The president and founder of this business is a master baker in all that phrass implies. His father was a baker before him, and when only eight years of age began learning the business in his father’s shop back in England.
George Rushton, Sr., was born at Wolverhampton, England, May 18, 1861, the oldest of the thirteen children of George Frederick and Martha Ann Rushton. As member of such a large household and the responsibilities of life being early put upon his shoulders, George Rushton had no opportunities to attend school. He never had a teacher except himself and experience. He learned his A B C’s by hard work, and only by much application and diligence did he acquire the fundamentals of a literary knowledge sufficient for business purposes. At the age of eight years he was doing a routine of duties in his father’s bakery. In the course of time he had acquired a complete knowledge of the trade. At the age of twenty he entered business for himself at Manchester where he had spent most of his early years. There he developed a successful business, and having a good outlook for the future he established a home of his own by his marriage on March 13, 1881, to Miss Jane Seymour Wheatley. Their three sons are all in the business with their father. Frank, the oldest, was born in England and is now vice president of the George Rushton Baking Company. The second son, George, Jr., was born in New York City, while Richard W. was born in Kansas City, Missouri.
After his marriage Mr. Rushton began to look ahead and calculate the prospects of the future and in 1882 he made the trip to America for the purpose of investigating the possibilities and proepects of the New World. He soon found a good situstion in New York City and at once had his interests in England sold, and his wife and oldest child joined him. This was in 1882. At New York City Mr. Rushton became foreman of a cracker factory for a year and then took service as a baker on the passenger steamship San Domingo, a boat of the Dominion Line operating between New York and Charleston, South Carolina. He did that work two years. An opportunity then came to him to become foreman in the Hoggins Cracker and Candy Company at Kansas City, Missouri. He accepted the post and filled it from 1885 to 1886. The Smith Baking Company about that time built their plant and Mr. Rushton became its first foreman, serving one year in 1886-87. During 1887-88 he was with the Hartwell Baking Company. Each time he accepted a new position it was a better place and one that would better his position.
On August 12, 1888, Mr. Rushton came to Rosedale to open a shop of his own. At that time Rosedale had a population of not more than 1,500. It is now a city of 10,000. No streets had been built, and the first macadam road was just under construction under the provisions of the Buchanan law. Mr. Rushton rented a small building 25 by 75 feet. In that building he did all his baking, and his wares were delivered about the village in baskets. The quality of his goods and the manner in which he did business were both pleasing and satisfactory, and they opened a way for the gradual enlargement and extension of a business which is now second to none in the State of Kansas. On May 28, 1903, The George Bushton Baking Company was incorporated, at first under the laws of Colorado, but now it is a Kansas corporation. While Mr. Rushton is president and his son Frank vice president, the secretary and treasurer and for a number of years one of the persons most actively connected with the business is Mrs. J. S. Rushton, his wife. At the present time 130 men are employed in the various branches of the business. The output is sold in Kansas City, Missouri; and Kansas City, Kansas, and over a wide territory surrounding those cities. The present fine plant occupies a foundation 150 by 125 feet, while barns and warehouses in the rear take up a space 250 by 50 feet. Nothing can explain the increase in the business except quality of goods and excellent service. In 1908 the total value of the company’s products sold amounted to $58,000. At the present time the company is doing a weekly business of $10,000, and that means fully $500,000 for the year. The plant is equipped with all the modern and up-to-date baking machinery and appliances. The company was first incorporated for $20,000 and it now had a capital stock of $40,000.
Mr. Rushton after taking out American citizenship became a democratic voter. He had freely given his support to every enterprise that reflects the progressive sentiment of the community. His son Frank was chairman of the Board of Education of Rosedale for two years, and also had an active part in the building of the fine Mssonic Temple. Mr. Rushton, Sr., had been a very active member of the First Baptist Church and contributed generously to the erection of the anlendid edifice at the corner of Wyandotte and Southwestern Boulevard. He is one of the trustees of this church and his wife is also active in its work. Mr. Rushton is affiliated with Lodge No. 333, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the Ancient Order of United Workmen and various other fraternities.
Frank Rushton is a Seottish Rite and Knights Templar Mason and had filled all the chairs in the local lodge and had been president of the Masonic Building Association which put up its fine $28,000 building in 1916. Frank Rushton is vice president of the Chamber of Commerce of Rosedale for 1917, while his father was president in 1916 and organized the Chamber in that year, being the first to be honored with its presidency. Mr. Frank Rushton is secretary of the Kansas Master Bakers Association and was the first president of the association in 1908 and did much to bring about its organization. He is secretary of the Trans-Mississippi Master Bakers Association, including the states of Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri, and is secretary of the Kansas City Master Bakers Club. Frank Rushton is also chairman of the Democratic Central Committee of Rosedale.