Cadwallader C. Washburn: A Brief Biography

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Cadwallader C. Washburn was born on April 22, 1818, on a small farm in Livermore, Maine. (Service) He was raised as the middle child of ten children, seven of which being boys. Having the family library located near his home, Cadwallader was fairly well educated and well-read for his time. Knowing that he, as the middle child, would not receive the family farm, Washburn decided to leave home shortly after he turned eighteen. Washburn worked several odd- jobs including: teacher, store clerk, and survey manager. (Keller and Forsythe) In 1840, he studied law and became a lawyer in Wisconsin with Cyrus Woodman. In 1852, he started Mineral Point Bank, named after where he currently lived, with Woodman. (Brown, Huesing and Forsythe 63)
In 1855, Cadwallader ran for and served in Congress as Wisconsin’s (Republican) representative until 1861 and a war broke out. (Brown, Huesing and Forsythe 63)When the Civil War began, Washburn returned to Wisconsin and formed the Wisconsin Cavalry, with him as the colonel
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(Service) James Ford became the president of the company in 1925, in the face of a milling downturn. After a failed attempt to sell the company, Ford decided to buy several mills across the country. On June 1928 General Mills, Inc. was born as the largest milling company in the world. (Brown, Huesing and Forsythe 62)
During the Great Depression of 1929 to the late 30s, while other businesses faced financial ruin, General Mills thrived. (Company-Histories.com) The company began its experimentation with diversifying, and non-flour products such as Bisquick and Wheaties helped the company through these hard times. The company also made breakthroughs with advertising. Radio advertisement for the company was a huge success, with Betty Crocker and the Wheaties logo “Breakfast of Champions” being big sales pushers. (General Mills: 150 years of passionately making food that people

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