Charles Stewart Mott

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C.S. Mott
Charles Stewart Mott
50th and 55th Mayor of the City of Flint, Michigan
In office
Preceded byGeorge C. Kellar
Succeeded byGeorge C. Kellar
In office
Preceded byJohn A. C. Menton
Succeeded byJohn R. MacDonald
Personal details
Born(1875-06-02)June 2, 1875
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedFebruary 18, 1973(1973-02-18) (aged 97)
Flint, Michigan, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Ethel Culbert Harding
Ruth Rawlings (1901-1999)
ChildrenAimee, Elsa and C. S. Harding
Susan Elizabeth, Stewart Rawlings, and Maryanne
ResidenceApplewood Estate[permanent dead link]
Alma materStevens Institute of Technology
WebsiteHistory and Founder - CS Mott Foundation
Military service
Allegiance United States
WarSpanish–American War[1]
One of two buildings on campus which houses the college's classrooms.

Charles Stewart Mott (June 2, 1875 – February 18, 1973) was an American businessman, founder of U.S. Sugar, a co-founder of General Motors, philanthropist and the 50th and 55th mayor of Flint, Michigan.

Early life[edit]

Charles Stewart Mott was born on June 2, 1875 in Newark, Essex County, N.J.[1] to John Coon Mott and Isabella Turnball Stewart.

He graduated from Stevens Institute of Technology in 1897 with an engineering degree.[citation needed] He began working for his father and his uncle, Fred Mott, who had purchased a bicycle wheel-making business, Weston-Mott Co.[citation needed] After the death of his father, C.S. Mott was appointed superintendent of the company by his uncle.[citation needed] C.S. Mott moved to Flint, Michigan in 1907 after an invitation by William C. Durant to move his company, Weston-Mott, to the city.[2] Weston-Mott later merged with the Buick Motor Company making C.S. Mott the original U.S. partner in the creation of the General Motors Corporation as R.S. McLaughlin had formed an alliance for Canada in 1907. The company was later bought by General Motors in exchange for GM stock. In 1921, Mott became chief of the GM Advisory Staff at the Detroit headquarters. He served on the GM Board of Directors for 60 years, from 1913 until his death in 1973.[citation needed]

He was Mayor of the City of Flint in 1912–1913 and was defeated for re-election in 1914, but was again elected in 1918. He was vice-president of General Motors in 1916.[1]

In 1920, he ran in the Republican primary for governor of Michigan. In 1924 and 1940, he was a Michigan delegate to the Republican National Convention. He was selected as a Republican presidential elector candidate for Michigan in 1964.[1]

Mott purchased U.S. Sugar in 1931.[3] Mott later transfer shares to his foundation.[4]


Charles Stewart Mott was a member of the following groups: American Legion, United Spanish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Freemasons, Elks, Kiwanis, Moose and Rotary.[1]


In 1926,[citation needed] Mott established the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.[1]

Warren Mott High School in Warren, Michigan, is named in his honor[citation needed], as is Waterford Mott High School, in Waterford, Michigan.[citation needed]

The Charles S. Mott Prize for the cause of cancer is one of a trio of prestigious research prizes annually awarded by the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation.[citation needed]

A building on the University of Chicago's campus is named after him, as well as a building at Kettering University.[citation needed]

In 1965, the Mott Foundation donated $6.5 million as a grant to improve the existing pediatric division within the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan. The C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, opened in 1969, is part of the University of Michigan Health System. In 2005, the Foundation gave an additional $25 million toward the construction of a new facility. The new hospital, which opened in December 2011, provides over 1.1 million square feet of space, 348 beds, 50 private maternity rooms and 46 private NICU rooms.

C.S. Mott Lake, a man-made lake on the Flint River that serves as the centerpiece of the Genesee Recreation Area just northeast of Flint, is named after him,[citation needed] as is Mott Community College.

Personal life[edit]

C.S. Mott married Ethel Culbert Harding in 1900 and they had three children: Aimee, Elsa and C.S. Harding. Ethel Mott died in 1924 at age 43 after falling from the window of her second-story bedroom.[5] In 1927, Mott married his second wife Mitlies Rathburn (1892-1928).[6] She died of tonsillitis on February 26, 1928.[7] In March 1929, Mott married his third wife, Dee Furey (1899-1986), and filed for divorce in October of the same year.[8] In 1934 Mott married his fourth wife, Ruth Rawlings,[9] with whom he also had three children: Susan Elizabeth, Stewart Rawlings, and Maryanne.[citation needed]


C.S. Mott's Flint, Michigan estate, Applewood, was built in 1916 as a self-sustaining farm for the Mott family. The main residence and grounds encompass approximately 34 acres (140,000 m2), 18 extensively landscaped. They include perennial, rose, cut flower and demonstration gardens, and an orchard with 29 varieties of heritage apples. J. Harold Olmsted was Mott's personal gardener; J. Harold's father, Carl Don Olmsted, was Mott's chauffeur. The original gatehouse, barn and chicken coop complete the estate. The Ruth Mott Foundation currently owns and maintains Applewood.

Political offices
Preceded by
John A. C. Menton
Mayor of Flint
Succeeded by
John R. MacDonald
Preceded by
George C. Kellar
Mayor of Flint
Succeeded by
George C. Kellar


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Index to Politicians: Mott -- Mott, Charles Stewart Entry". Political Lawrence (Larry) Kestenbaum. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  2. ^ Miller, James M. "Beginning of century a time of vast changes for Flint, Genesee County". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
  3. ^ Mickle, Bryn (July 3, 2008). "Sale of U.S. Sugar land near Florida Everglades could mean millions to local charities; C.S. Mott Foundation, Mott Children's Health Center and Community Foundation of Greater Flint all could benefit". Flint Journal. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  4. ^ Walsh, Mary Williams (May 29, 2008). "Ostensibly Independent, a Charity Is U.S. Sugar's Swing-Vote Shareholder". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 31, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  5. ^ "Mrs. C. S. Mott Killed by Fall From Window". The New York Times. 7 June 1924. Retrieved 23 May 2015.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Motor Magnate to Marry Buyer of Child's Wear". The Chicago Tribune. 6 July 1927. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  7. ^ "Mrs. Charles S. Mott". 28 February 1928. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Motts Sue for Divorce". The New York Times. 30 October 1929. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Charles S. Mott, Who Helped Shape G.M., Dies". The New York Times. 19 February 1973. Retrieved 23 May 2015. Survivors include the former Ruth Rawlings, his fourth wife, and a son, Stewart Rawlings Mott.

External links[edit]