About Rufus Cutler Dawes
Rufus Cutler Dawes (July 30, 1867 – January 8, 1940) was an American businessman from a prominent Ohio family.
Dawes was born in Marietta, Ohio, to American Civil War Brigadier General Rufus R. Dawes and Mary Beman (Gates) Dawes. He was a younger brother of Charles G. Dawes and great-great-grandson of Revolutionary War figure William Dawes. Two other brothers were also nationally known - Beman Gates Dawes and Henry May Dawes. His middle name, Cutler, was in honor of one of his father's Civil War colleagues in the Iron Brigade, Lysander Cutler.
Dawes graduated from Marietta College with an A.B. in 1886 and A.M. in 1889. He married Helen B. Palmer on June 3, 1893. He was active in many gas and lighting utilities, becoming president of the Union Gas & Electric Company, Metropolitan Gas & Electric Company, and Dawes Brothers, Inc.
He became involved in public service in 1918, serving on the Illinois State Pension Laws Commission (1918-1919). In 1920, he was selected as a delegate to the Illinois constitutional convention. He was asked by his brother Charles to serve on the experts commission preparing the Dawes Plan in 1924. Because of this work, Dawes was again asked to work on the reparations problem, this time as assistant to Owen D. Young (see the Young Plan).
Dawes was a member of the Commercial Club of Chicago, and, in fact, served as president of the Club in 1925-26. He was president of A Century of Progress Corporation from 1927 until his death in 1940. From 1934 until his death, Dawes was concurrently president of the world's fair organization and the Museum of Science & Industry. Dawes was the third president of MSI after Sewell Avery and William Rufus Abbott. Previously, he had been an active member of the Board of Trustees, helping to brief once and future New York Times science editor Waldemar Kaempffert when the latter became the first Executive Director of the Museum of Science & Industry in 1928.
During World War II, the United States Navy commissioned a Liberty Ship, the SS Rufus C. Dawes, in 1943. It was scrapped in 1968.