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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (B)
Buik, George C


(b. 1890) Native of Dundee, Scotland, he would organize a Robert Burns Society in Chicago. He emigrated to the United States in 1911 living first in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he worked for the Grand Truck Railroad. He soon moved to Rockford, Illinois, and in 1912 came to the Chicago area, living in Melrose Park. Upon his arrival in Chicago, he worked as a machinist at the American Can Company. After several years he became the business agent and organizer for the machinist union. He was a member of the union for 50 years. In 1921, Mr. Buik with his partner, Jack P. O'Connell, founded the Roscoe Overall Company. With a $200 deposit they rented the building at Southport and Roscoe Avenues, purchased second-hand equipment and began operation. Mr. Buik retained his job with the machinist's union and worked at developing the business at night and on week-ends. He once said that a smoke stack was his guide. Wherever there was a smoke stack there had to be workers with dirty clothes and someone had to wash them. The business prospered, and Mr. Buik gave up his job with the union and devoted his full efforts to the Roscoe Company. At the Chicago World's Fair in 1933 and 1934, his company supplied and laundered the uniforms for the personnel of the assembly plants for General Motors and for all the ride and maintenance crews. He established a profit sharing program for his employees in the early days of his business which brought him a great deal of personal satisfaction. In 1933, Mr. Buik was active in organizing the Institute of Industrial Launderers, a national organization with headquarters in Washington, D.C. He is the only man to have served four years as president of the institute. He was always interested in the educational process. He served on the Maywood School Board from 1927 to 1937 and was secretary to the Tri-County School Board for ten years. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees at Elmhurst College which awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Mr. Buik was President of the Illinois Saint Andrew Society.

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