“Ever since I can
remember, I have liked to make things.” ~ A. P. Warner
first line of his self-published autobiography, Making Things, sums
up his full and very productive life. From that text and other
resources we present this glimpse at the man, Arthur Pratt Warner,
his life and his accomplishments.
A. P. Warner was born April 18,
1870 in Jacksonville, Florida. His father, C.O. Warner, a Civil War
veteran, would eventually lose his hearing due to his military
service. His mother, Fanny Ellen (Pratt) Champlin was a young war
widow. The couple married in 1868. Arthur was the eldest of three
children; Charles was born March 13, 1872 in Clinton, Wisconsin and
Fanny Elma was born April 28, 1879 in Jeffersonville, Ohio.
A. P. described
his father as the best-read man that he ever knew. He recalled,
“At home father would read to us boys, I presume this had a great
influence in my becoming interested in books.” The elder Warner
worked as a supervisor in a wagon-wheel hub factory, later he
started his own wagon repair business. When business slowed, he
moved the family to Clinton, Wisconsin, where his wife’s parents
at a pattern shop in Beloit, Wisconsin the Warner family finally put
down roots. Upon receiving a war pension due to his hearing loss,
C.O. Warner purchased a lot at 502 Eighth Street in Beloit and soon
started construction of the family’s home.
A. P. recalls assisting his father before and after school. He
concludes, “I don’t imagine that I was much help, but I thought
I was at the time.”
Alice Julia Potter at his parent’s home in Beloit on January 1,
1897. He said of his wife, “She had more faith in my future than I
had myself.” The couple would have two children; son Lawrence was
born July 2, 1900 and another son, Albert, was born March 10, 1904.
Asked about his wife’s support, A. P. replied, “In one way or
another, through our 57 years of married life, she had backed me up.
Any success I have made, she has had a large share in.”
A string of
successful companies, income from Florida real estate investments,
and a somewhat lucrative mine provided him with the resources to
pursue other diversions - diversions such as aviation.
lifelong ties to Beloit. Describing his last move, Warner said, “I
brought my family back to Beloit, which I always thought of as
home.” A. P. Warner died in his hometown of Beloit on March 22,
Read more about
A. P. Warner's business life
and his aviation