People of the Post War Years

During this period, Ed Stedman joined the company to sell the steel plant products. Ed had been melt shop superintendent at Timken before losing his job when the president of Timken was fired. Most successful alloy steel producers kept their knowledge proprietary, so Ed had a unique knowledge of the specialty steel business. He spent the following years designing and building melt shops for other steel companies and then joined WG to sell refractory products. He was very successful and only the number of accounts that the operation could service limited the company sales.

Fred Morrow was another meaningful addition to the management. Fred served with DD as a Navy officer during the war and joined WG in the late 1940s as a face brick salesman. Fred became face brick sales manager, treasurer and director before he retired after helping manage the company through some very difficult years.

Bob Hobbler returned to the machine shop after five years’ service as an infantry first lieutenant with plenty of combat in North Africa and Italy. Bob was ready to leave for a better opportunity when I returned to work after college. I asked him to wait a few weeks and promoted him to yard foreman. Bob did this job for many years and eventually succeeded Steve Haw as steel plant products sales manager, where he did a fine job for many years.

Bill DeLuca, Chuck Hatfield, Nick Costello, Harold Hamilton and Richard Cascioli were all hourly workers who eventually assumed responsible management positions within the company.

Another man, Steve Haw, appeared in the next period. Art Estep hired Steve, a civil engineer from the University of Michigan working on a highway project going through Waynesburg, to help in the plant while I was in the Army.

Helen Bitzel came to WG as office manager. Helen had worked at Republic Steel for a friend of mine, Chuck Reiter, in production planning. The postwar years brought a high volume of transactions, due to the amount of business. Helen was a great asset to DD in getting the work done on a daily basis.

During this period and a decade before and after, James F. ‘Jim’ Murray served on the board of directors. Jim was an attorney who lived in Detroit with his wife, Mary Lou, and was a son-in-law of RE Whitacre, the first president of the Whitacre Companies.

Also active as a director was Richard C. ‘Dick’ Greer, president of the Bank of Magnolia. He formed and expressed his own opinions. My brother-in-law Sterling P. Abbey was active in this period and continued on the board until 2003. Sterling was a captain in the Corps of Engineers in World War II, with his company putting one of the bridges across the Rhine River during the Allies’ final drive of the war. After the war, Sterling was a sales executive in the fastener business. He was very helpful and supportive for many years.Steve Haw Hugh Robertson John Jr

WG Baseball Team, John Jr Bat Boy

Nick Costello

Donald and Dan Whitacre