Biography of George R. Madson
Cuyahoga County, OH Biographies

GEORGE R. MADSON. To those who knew the late George R. Madson, of Cleveland, in either business or social connections, there remains a memory of a singularly gracious personality and of a man who exemplified the finer ideals of life. He was successful in business, but along this line, as in all other relations of his generous and worthy life, a genuine stewardship of high order marked his course. He was in the very prime of his strong and useful manhood at the time of his death, which occurred December 11, 1923.

Mr. Madson was born at Black Earth, Wisconsin, on the 9th of December, 1877, and thus his death occurred only two days after the forty sixth anniversary of his birth. His parents, Martin and Mary Madson, still reside in the City of Chicago, where the family home was established when the subject of this memoir was a child. The public schools of the great western metropolis thus afforded George R. Madson his early education, and his initial business experience was gained in the wholesale jewelry establishment of his father. In 1911 he came to Cleveland as district manager for the Columbia Phonograph Company, the business of which he here developed to one of large and prosperous order. In touching upon his later activities it is a privilege to offer the following extracts from an appreciative estimate that appeared in the trade publication known as the Cheney Resonator, in its edition of February, 1924:

"With profound sorrow and genuine sense of loss we announce the sudden death of Mr. George R. Madson, president of the Cheney Phonograph Sales Company of Cleveland, Ohio. It is difficult to speak, without losing one's control, of what George Madson has meant to the Cheney Talking Machine Company and to the men of that organization who have worked with him. To begin with, he was one of the very first men to take on the Cheney and to start out with the object of developing a territory for its sales. He was a pioneer Cheneyite, and went through all the difficulties and all the troubles which pioneers always have to face. He believed in the Cheney from the first, and made it his own. He worked day and night, he overcame all obstacles, and when he was so suddenly and grievously taken from us, he had his company's territory (Ohio, Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia) in such shape it might be called one of the most, if not the most, completely Cheneyized territories in the country.

"George Madson was an optimist, a most cheery fellow worker, and a man who never, so far as any of his associates can remember, complained, whined or kicked. He was always cheerful, always ready to encourage, and always genial, in no matter what circumstances. To have known him is an inspiration. His loss is to us a heavy blow, heavier than we can at this moment express. His memory will be to all of us a very lovely and a blessed memory. 'He labored well, and his work liveth after him'"

In the time honored Masonic fraternity, of whose teachings and history he was deeply appreciative, Mr. Madson received the thirty second degree of the Scottish Rite, besides being a Noble of the Mystic Shrine, his maximum York Rite affiliation being with the Commandery of Knights Templars at Cleveland Heights. He was greatly interested in music, and did much to further the popular appreciation of the "divine art." He was an active member of the Cleveland Music Club, and was influential also in advancing the work and interests of the Ohio State Music Dealers' Association. He was a loyal patron also of the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, and held membership in the Cleveland Art Museum. He attended and gave earnest support to the Trinity Cathedral of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Cleveland, and of the cathedral parish his widow is a devoted communicant.

On the 20th of February, 1904, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Madson and Miss Mabel Dunn, daughter of Adam E. and Ella Dunn, she having been a resident of Evanston, Illinois, at the time of her marriage and having there been graduated from the music conservatory of Northwestern University. As a talented pianiste Mrs. Madson is frequently called upon for public appearances, and she is one of the leading piano teachers in Cleveland, as well as a popular figure in the representative social and cultural circles of the city. Mr. Madson is survived also by four children, namely: George Ralph, Jr., Herbert D., and Mary and Eleanor, who are twins. The elder son is (1924) a student in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois.

A History of Cuyahoga County
and the City of Cleveland
By: William R. Coates
The American Historical Society
Chicago and New York, 1924

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