KULAS, ELROY JOHN (21 Mar. 1880-13 May 1952) prominent in the steel and railroad industries, founded the Midland Steel Products Co. and was a director of several railroads. He co-founded with his wife, Fynette Hill Kulas, The KULAS FOUNDATION and was an active supporter of and contributor to area music interests and higher education. Kulas was also a recognized expert in the field of business mergers.
Born in Cleveland to Frank and Margaret (Hoeffer), Kulas attended public schools, quitting Central High School in 1898 to work for the B & O Railroad. Around 190l he joined National Electric Lamp Co. (absorbed by General Electric, 1912) and helped re-organize various divisions. During World War I Kulas helped organize the Cuyahoga Stamping & Machine Co., becoming president and general manager.
Kulas accumulated his wealth in steel. As president of Parish & Bingham Co., 1923, he organized the merger with Detroit Pressed Steel Co. to form Midland Steel, serving as president and director. In 1925 Kulas became president of Otis Steel Co. until it merged with Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. in 1942. Kulas served J&L as vice-chairman until 1946 and director until 1948.
Kulas was a director of the WHEELING & LAKE ERIE RAILROAD and the Pittsburgh & West Virginia Railroad.
In 1937 the Kulases established The Kulas Foundation and, in 1938, donated $50,000 to BALDWIN-WALLACE COLLEGE for construction of The Kulas Musical Arts Building. Kulas was elected a trustee and received an honorary doctorate degree.
The Kulases married on 5 June 190l and had no children. Kulas, a 32d Mason, is buried in LAKE VIEW CEMETERY.