Edward H. Wadewitz, secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Western Printing & Lithographing Company, is prominent among the alert, enterprising and successful business men of Racine, whose efforts have been a substantial factor in the city’s growth and prosperity as well as in individual success. Honored and respected by all, he occupies an enviable position, not only by reason of the success to which he has attained, but also owing to the straightforward business methods which he has ever followed. In the conduct of his interests he has displayed marked initiative, as well as executive force.
A native of Wisconsin, Mr. Wadewitz was born in Fredonia, February 22, 1878, a son of Henry and Augusta (Muehlberg) Wadewitz, the latter a native of this state, where her parents located in pioneer times. The father, Henry Wadewitz, a mason by trade, also came to Wisconsin at an early day and eventually removed to Iron Mountain, Michigan, where he passed away in 1892. His wife remained there for a number of years and is now in Racine.
Edward H. Wadewitz removed to Port Washington, Wisconsin, about 1890, and in 1894, when a youth of sixteen years, came to Racine, where he was afterward joined by others of the family. He was one of four sons and there was also a daughter in the household. He obtained a common school education and started in the business world as an employee in a trunk factory owned by his uncle. In 1900, when a young man of twenty-two years, he went to the east and pursued a course in the Potts Shorthand School at Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In 1904 he returned to Racine and was connected with various lines of business, making successive steps in an orderly progression, which brought him, in 1908, to active connection with the printing business, for in that year he bought. out the Westside Printing Company, which had been established two years before by John Geller. There were various changes in the partnership, but from the beginning Mr. Wadewitz has served as secretary and treasurer. With the incorporation of the business, in 1910, he was retained in that position and also made general manager. The name of the business was then changed to the Western Printing & Lithographing Company and a history of the enterprise is given at length on another page of this work. Throughout the years Mr. Wadewitz has been a moving spirit in the development, enlargement and control of this undertaking. The company today has the largest, complete printing plant in the state, being thoroughly equipped in every department from that of printing and binding to engraving and electrotyping. The concern today is largely a monument to the efforts, enterprise and business ability of Mr. Wadewitz, whose well defined plans have been promptly executed and who, in the conduct of his interests, readily discriminates between the essential and non-essential.
In 1906 Mr. Wadewitz was married to Miss Nettie M. Joslyn, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. They had three children: Eunice, who died at the age of three years; Robert, and Winifred. Mr. Wadewitz belongs to the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, the Modern Woodmen, the Knights of Pythias, the United Commercial Travelers and the Racine Commercial Club. In politics he maintains a non-partisan attitude, while in religious faith he is connected with the German Evangelical church. He feels concern for all those things which touch the interests of society and he supports the plans and measures which he deems of the greatest value in promoting public good. At the same time he has won and maintained a position in business circles that should make his example one of inspirational worth to those who must start out, as he did, empty handed.