Clayton R. Gaylord, chairman of The Ingersoll Foundation and the first chairman of The Rockford Institute, died on January 3. He had a remarkable career as industrialist, civic leader, and philanthropist.
In 1958, he became president of The Ingersoll Milling Machine Company, the firm that has been owned and led by his family since his grandfather founded it in 1889. In the highly competitive machine tool industry, Ingersoll has been a pacesetter, its superior management, engineering, and inventiveness turning out products that match the best that German, Japanese, and American competitors can offer.
Concern for the well-being of the nation and the community has been a consistent feature of Ingersoll's leadership. It was one of the first firms to set a policy of allocating five percent of its net profits to philanthropy. Dismayed by the ever growing acceptance of the welfare state and the federal control of American industry, the Gaylords were early patrons of Leonard Read's Foundation for Economic Education. Forty years ago, they arranged for FEE to conduct periodic three-day local seminars so that middle and top management could come to understand fully the workings and the requirements of the free market economy.
In the early 1980's, Clayton and his brothers concluded that economic education was an ineffective means of slowing the growth of the all-encompassing federal bureaucracy. It is, they realized,...