Charles Wesley Lentz was born in Isabella County, Michigan, on May 6, 1924, the son of Laura Belle (Humphrey) Lentz and James Albert Lentz. Charles grew up in St. Louis, Michigan, and worked on a farm in the summer of his sixteenth year. In 1942 he graduated from St. Louis High School. He earned a B.S. from Michigan State University in 1946.
After working with the Michigan Chemical Corporation and Columbia Southern Chemical Corporation, Lentz joined Dow Corning Corporation’s Research Department in 1955. He has twelve patents and eight publications in the field of silicone elastomer reinforcement, silicate minerals, and Portland cement hydration. In 1965 Lentz received the Scientific Excellence Award from the Midland Branch of Sigma Xi. During his scientific career he was a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the New York Academy of Sciences, and Sigma Xi.
In 1977 Lentz was appointed to the position of Dow Corning’s Director of Health and Environmental Sciences. He served as Chairman of the Scientific Affairs Committee for the Chemical Specialties Manufactures Association, and was appointed to the Administrator’s Toxic Substances Advisory Committee of the Environmental Protection Agency. As Director of Health and Environmental Sciences, Lentz helped organize and served as Chairman of a global silicone producers group for the joint study of the toxicological properties of silicones. He retired from Dow in 1986, but continued to work as a consultant and Chairman of the Global Silicone Producers group until 1992.
Lentz is listed in American Men and Women of Science, 21st Edition, and Who’s Who in Technology Today. His hobbies have included Big Brothers of America and Bullock Creek School District Board of Education, 1970-1978, which he served as President for two years. Since he retired, Lentz has served on the Board of Directors of the Chippewa Nature Center, 1989-1995, serving as president, 1993-1995. He also joined the Midland County Historical Society Board of Manager in 1997 and served as its Chairman.
On June 21, 1947, Mr. Lentz married Elinor Elaine Jessup. Together they had seven children: Stephan, James, Joseph, Anthony, Christopher, Mary, and DeAnne.
Charles W. Lentz currently lives in Midland, Michigan. He is a gifted photographer, author, and speaker. He has documented some rare Michigan silos, as well as a few silos from other states, and has recorded the ingenuity and “can do” attitude of many farmers to create silos with whatever materials were available in the mid-Michigan area. His fine collection of photographs and accompanying notes from interviews and correspondence with farm families, other research materials, and his interesting, published articles and speeches, makes this a very fine collection documenting silos, their construction styles, methods, and materials, as well as their use and declining numbers, particularly those in mid-Michigan. (This information is from the Biography of Charles W. Lentz.)