From Pharmaceuticals to Printers, Over 130 Years of Integrity and Commitment

 

RHYME HISTORY

THE RHYME FOUNDERS

 

Frank Rhyme

Frank A Rhyme, born in 1863, was originally from Lake Geneva and worked as a pharmacist for R.B. Arnold. He was given an opportunity to purchase the small store in Portage for $500. Frank and his wife Alice took the train to Portage September of 1886. Frank was also an experienced sailor and built his own 21-foot sailboat, the “QQ”. Frank was very active in many organizations such as Portage Lodge No. 675, Portage Lodge Modern Woodmen of America, the Wisconsin Curling Association, Portage Curling Club, Rexall Druggist Association, and the Wisconsin Anti-Tuberculosis Campaign. Frank was in the first class to graduate from the new school of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin. Frank suddenly passed away on July 19, 1919. As one of Portage’s most highly respected citizens and enterprising businessmen, the town was deeply saddened.

William Rhyme

William “Punk” Rhyme was born on October 20, 1893 in Portage, Wisconsin, the son of Frank A Rhyme and Alice E Rhyme. He served as a pilot in the Army Air Force in World War I. He returned to Portage in 1919 to take over the Drug Store following the death of his father Frank. William spent over 30 years in the Rhyme Drug business before transitioning all of his time to Rhyme Supply Company. He was the chairman of the Portage Parking Commission, the chairman of the board of trustees for Columbia County home, served as the President and Director of the Chamber of Commerce at its inception, and was the President of the Wisconsin Pharmaceutical Association. He was an active curler and golfer and was made an honorary life member at the Portage County Club in 1985. William passed away at the age of 93 on September 3, 1987.

Frank Augustus Rhyme

Frank Augustus Rhyme (grandson of our founder, Frank A Rhyme), was born on September 16, 1924 in Portage, Wisconsin. He was a member of the highly skilled bomber crew of the Army Air Forces. He was promoted multiple times during his time as a radio operator abroad a 13th AAF B-24 Liberator of the Bomber Barons. He received an Air Medal in June of 1945 for his work in the South Pacific and the Philippines area. In July of 1945, Frank was awarded his second Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Medal for his achievements during the 13th AAF Liberator attacks. Frank also won Presidential Honors for his unit’s work in the defense of Pearl Harbor. Frank graduated from the Pharmacy School at the University of Wisconsin Madison in 1950. He then took over the Drug Store and helped his father William start Rhyme Supply Company. Frank was very active in the community serving on the Divine Savior Hospital Board, the city Parking Commission, the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary. Like his grandfather and father, Frank was a skilled curler and golfer, serving on the board of directors for both the Country Club and Curling Club. He received the Curling Club’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. Frank passed away at the age of 87 on June 3, 2012.

The Evolution of Rhyme

A company-wide commitment to always deliver on promises to co-workers and customers has been at the core of our business since 1886 and will be for the many years to come.

 

The Beginning 1886
FRANK A RHYME

Frank A Rhyme purchased the drug store from Clifford Arnold on September 6, 1886 Stationery products such as writing paper, scratch bocks, slates, pencils, ink, pens, sponges and more were advertised in the local paper as items available for purchase. Since 1886 Rhyme has been in the stationery and office products business.

1919
A SECOND GENERATION

William Marshall "Punk" Rhyme took over Rhyme Drug, following the death of his father Frank A Rhyme.

1945
TYPEWRITERS FOR SALE

William Rhyme purchases 400 government surplus typewriters. An article is published in the Portage Daily Register on November 13, 1945 announcing a new product offering, the Underwood Typewriter. This added to the current lines of office supplies, furniture and equipment and a complete service department already being ran within Rhyme Drug.

1946
RHYME SUPPLY COMPANY WAS FOUNDED

In June of 1946 William Rhyme officially branches out Rhyme Supply Company, a typewriter and office machine shop. His son, Frank A Rhyme helped start the business that was conducted in the balcony of Rhyme Drug. Over the course of the next few years, additional offerings were added and the business kept growing.

1947
A NEW OFFICE

In October of 1947, work began on a new office for Rhyme Supply Company (separate from Rhyme Drug).

1950
THE LEAP

Frank A Rhyme officially took over Rhyme Drug and William continued to spend most of his time at Rhyme Supply Company.

1958
NEW PARTNERS

Tom Cline and John Knipfel were made partners in the business. Throughout the early 60's Rhyme Supply Company was active in improving education tools for Portage High School by supplying calculators and "typing computers" to the Adult Education courses.

1967
THE MOVE

Pressed by exponential growth, Rhyme Supply Company moves to a new, larger location (122 Cook St.).

1970
CO-OWNERS

Ken Hutler becomes co-owner with Tom Cline.

1984
RETIREMENT & A TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP

Tom Cline retires, and Ken Hutler becomes the sole owner of Rhyme Supply Company. During this time Hutler expands Rhyme Supply Company's office technology and supply offerings. The new name Rhyme Business Products goes live.

1986
NEW OFFERINGS

Rhyme Business Products expands its offerings to include computers and other IT Services. The need for this product and service offering grew quickly to the point of a new Computer Sales Center being opened in 1986.

1993
THE FIRST ACQUISITION

Rhyme Business Products acquires Emmon's Napp Office Products, and expands its territory into Juneau and Adams County. This marks Rhyme's first acquisition in its long history.

1999
NEW OWNERSHIP & OFFICES

Mike Steinhoff purchases Rhyme Business Products from Ken Hutler in August of 1999. Steinhoff quickly added two additional offices in Madison and Janesville.

2000
RHYME LEGACY CONTINUES

Company name is shortened to Rhyme and the family name and legacy continues.

2000 -
2017
EXPANSION & ACQUISITION

Rhyme acquires 18 businesses in the office technology and supply industry and opens seven additional offices, bringing its footprint to 10 in Wisconsin and Illinois.

2013
AWARD WINNING

Rhyme is awarded the Sharp Hyakuman Kai Elite Award, which highlights Rhyme has one of the Top 10 Dealers in the U.S.

2019
A PARTNERSHIP WITH XEROX

Rhyme becomes an Accredited Managed Print Services Partner and expands its partnership with Xerox.

2020
RHYME CONTINUES TO SERVE

Marks Rhyme's 134th Historic Year - 75 years as an official office technology company and 134 years in business under the Rhyme Family name.

Rhyme

WHEEL OF EVOLUTION
ev•o•lu•tion

a process of continuous change from lower, simpler, or worse to a higher, more complex, or better state; i.e. growth

 

 

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1. CLIENT PROFILE

Develop understanding

Work with entire organization

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2. COLLABORATE

Strengthen understanding

Define "fixed"

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3. PRESENT BUSINESS PLAN

Confirm understanding

Build agreement

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4. IMPLEMENTATION

Execute plan

Verify results

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5. CONTINUOUS TRANING

Qualified people

Unlimited help

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6. FOLLOW-UP/IMPROVE

All aspects of relationship

Update technology

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7. CLIENT REVIEW

Verify client-wide satisfaction

Become "prime resource"