William B. Jarvis
(G. R. Herald, 27 October 1943)
W. B. Jarvis Dies In South
He Established Large Industry Bearing His Name
W. B. Jarvis, chairman of the board and vice president of the W.
B. Jarvis compan, auto accessories manufacturers and in war production since the
outbreak of hostilities, died unexpectedly late Tuesday afternoon at his winter
home in Palm Beach, Fla., where he had arrived last Saturday night to spend the
Cause of death was not known here Tuesday night. Jarvis was in his usual health when he left here.
W. B. Jarvis was born 8 July 1867, in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, and educated in the public schools of Brantford and at business college in London, Ontario, Canada.
He began his long business career as a bookkeeper in 1885 in a general store at Paris, Ontario, from where he came to Grand Rapids and, from 1887 to 1889, was assistant bookkeeper for E. G. Studley, mill supply store.
From 1890 to 1892, he was head bookkeeper for Studley and Barclay and, from 1892 to 1895, manager of the bicycle and sporting goods department of the same firm.
Jarvis was at this period of his career an enthusiastic bicyclist and won a reputation in bicycle races. In 1895, he became junior partner in the firm of Studley and Jarvis and continued in this association until 1898. He next became senior partner in the firm of Jarvis and Daniels and, in 1901, organized the W. B. Jarvis company
Owned Detroit Business
For three years from 1911 to 1914, Jarvis was in business in Detroit, operating one of the finest sporting goods stores in the country. He then got into the automobile tire business, continuing that connection for years.
The Jarvis interest were formerly located on Monroe ave. and later on Bond ave. Since 1936, the company has been at this present location, 1501 Paris ave. SE., and, until was came, engaged in the manufacture of automobile and refrigerator hardware. Since Pearl Harbor, the firm has been 100 percent in war work.
Jarvis had been one of the most active sportsmen in Michigan, being an expert trap shooter, winning many tournaments. He twice held the world's championship.
Wintered In Florida
In 1890, Jarvis married Johanna Wolma who died in 1906. Jarvis later married Mrs. Howard Evans. Since 1920, Mr. and Mrs. Jarvis have spent their winters in Palm Beach. They built a home there in 1927.
In 1922, W. B. Jarvis Company formed in 1901, merged with a partnership which had later been formed between Jarvis and his son, Lewis A. Jarvis, the latter firm manufacturing automobile accessories.
In 1924, the W. B. Jarvis company sold its sporting goods department to Herpolsheimer's, continuing their manufacturing and automobile tire department. Then in 1928 the Jarvis company sold the tire department to Arthur Ronda who operated it under the name of Jarvis Tire Store until 1935.
Veteran Motor Dealer
Mr. Jarvis' interest in automobiles dated from the early days of
this vehicle. In 1902, he formed a partnership with the late A. B. Richmond
under the name of Richmond and Jarvis with an agency for the one-cylinder
Rambler car. This company became the Richmond-Jarvis-Vandecar company the
For this company, Jarvis negotiated personally with Henry Ford and James Couzens for the Ford agency and for one carload of ten $500 Fords and was given the exclusive Ford agency in Michigan outside of Wayne county.
Jarvis was known to his friends for his cheerful, optimistic disposition. He had created his own business success and he liked to tell that from the time he finished business college in May, 1885, he had never missed but one week's pay - the week when he made the change from Ontario to Grand Rapids.
He was a member of the Peninsular club, Kent Country club and the Everglades club of Palm Beach and was a vestryman at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal church in Palm Beach.
He leaves his widow, Minnie Evans Jarvis; a son, Lewis A. Jarvis, and daughter, Mrs. Marshall M. Uhl; four granddaughters, Betty Jo and Ruth Ann Jarvis; Mrs. E. Wiley Clark and Miss Bernice Acklin; two grandsons, Second Lt. Robert C. Pew and Evan C. Acklin, and two great-grandsons.
He is also survived by two brothers, Thomas E. Jarvis and Charles A. Jarvis, and one sister, Mrs. Ellen Taylor in Grand Rapids, and a brother, G. Lewis Jarvis, and two sisters, Mrs. Martin Plumstead and Mrs. Mary Sanderson, of Brantford, Ontario.
Funeral arrangements will be announced later.
Created: 25 June 2009