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Dictionary of Wisconsin History

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Term: Vits, Henry 1842 - 1921

Definition: manufacturer, politician, b. Rheydt, Prussia. He migrated with his parents to the U.S. in 1855, settling in Meeme township, Manitowoc County. In 1873 he moved to Manitowoc, where he worked in the tanning business until 1898, and in 1898 founded the Aluminum Novelty Co. In 1908 he consolidated his firm with the Two Rivers Aluminum Manufacturing Co. and the New Jersey Aluminum Co. of Newark to form the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Co. in Manitowoc. Retiring from active management of the firm in 1911, he continued to reside in Manitowoc until his death. A Democrat, he held local political offices, was postmaster of Manitowoc (1894-1898), and was state assemblyman (1878). His son, GEORGE VITS, b. Manitowoc, began his business career in his father's firm, and in 1911 took over active management, serving as president of the Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Co. from 1911 until his death. An officer in several Wisconsin corporations, he was also president of the Wisconsin Manufacturers' Association (1926-1929) and a director of the National Association of Manufacturers (1931). From 1928 to 1933 he served as a member of the Republican National Committee and wielded extensive political patronage powers in the state. Who Was Who in Amer. (1943); Encyclopedia of Amer. Biog., n.s., 3 (1935); L. Falge, ed., Hist. of Manitowoc Co. (2 vols., Chicago [1912]); Manitowoc Herald-News, Dec. 8, 1921; Manitowoc Herald-Times, Nov. 16, 1933.

[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin biography]
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