Charles W. Nash
A Humble Man of Wisdom, Substance, and Heart
While Charles W. Nash’s accomplishments in the business world are highly regarded and well known, there are aspects of his personal life that are equally important and offer some unique insights into his attitudes and motivation.
Abandoned by poverty stricken parents at the age of six and bound out as farm labor, he ran away from an abusive foster home and ventured on his own at the age of twelve. What followed was a succession of farm jobs and later the automotive industry. He was one of the automotive industry pioneers, first at General Motors and then his own company. He was Wisconsin’s largest employer and taxpayer and brought Kenosha to the attention of the world.
The financial success he enjoyed as a result of his hard work and shrewd business decisions enabled Charles and his wife Jesse to make generous investments in young people. They presented Nash Lodge to YMCA Camp Manito-Wish in northern Wisconsin, funded the Kenosha Youth Foundation in Kenosha, gave 70 acres on Lake Dyer in Kenosha County to the Boys Scouts for Camp Oh-De-Ko-Ta and later gave a substantial contribution towards the creation of a trade school at Father Flanigan’s Boy’s Town. There were many other undocumented bequests to help youth.
The life of Charles W. Nash was marked by integrity of character, fiscal responsibility, innovation, hard work, humanitarianism, and achievement. The power of his life continues to empower, stimulate, and inspire. It is with great pride that our newest Kenosha Unified School will carry his name.