Business of Grand Rapids

History of Kent County, Chapman's 1881

Page 915


The Art and Ebony Furniture Factory of Wm. A. Berkey & Koskul was established in February, 1881. The factory occupies a portion of the Mechanics’ block, and gives employment to 35 men. Frederic Koskul is one of the best designers known at Grand Rapids, and therefore one of the leaders in the art of the furniture designer in the world. Their center tables, cabinets, book-cases and pedestals meet with a ready sale throughout the Union.

The Ford Furniture Company.—A new association or corporation for the manufacture of furniture, known as the Ford Furniture Company, was organized July 11, 1881. The corporations—also directors—are Messrs. Wm. Winegar, Jas. H. Ford, Geo. R. Ford, Chas. B. Hooker and Geo. J. Shaw. The capital stock is $25,000, divided into 1,000 shares. The company uses the Winegar building on Prescott street as a factory, and at present will make a specialty of the manufacture of all sorts of tables. It succeeds to a successful business already started by the Messrs. Ford at Rockford. The officers of the company are: President, Wm. Winegar; Vice President, Geo. J. Shaw; Secretary and Treasurer, Chas. B. Hooker.

The Kent Furniture Manufacturing Company.—This enterprising firm was organized Jan. 7, 1880, and immediately began business in the old Wonderly saw-mill; to this they have added extensive buildings, one of which is 60 x 70 feet, two-stories high; one 100 x 105 feet, three-stories high; one 40 x 60 feet, two-stories high, and a four story building 100 x 64 feet. These buildings and the lumber yards occupy over six acres of ground. Cottage furniture is the principal produce of this factory. The engine which drives the machinery is of 175-horse power, and supplied with steam from three large boilers. This firm employs about 100 men, and is doing a large business. They also run a saw-mill in connection with the factory. The present officers are: J. H. Wonderly, President; J. P. Creque, Vice President; R. N. Wolcott, Treasurer.

The McCord & Bradfield Furniture Co. was incorporated in 1879 by T. M. McCord, Elizabeth Bradfield and F. R. Luce. This firm make the manufacture of hard-wood bedsteads and tables a specialty. The main factory is 100 x 75 feet, four stories, with ware-rooms 90 x 40 feet, and four stories high. The company employs 75 men. The present officers are: R. C. Luce, President; Chas. Shepard, Vice President; and T. M. McCord, Secretary and Treasurer.

Nelson, Matter & Co.—This is one of the most prominent furniture manufacturing companies in the world. It was established in 1855 by E. W. and S. A. Winchester. In 1856 C. C. Comstock purchased their interests, and in 1863 James M. and Ezra T. Nelson purchased a half interest from Mr. Comstock. The business was then carried on under the firm name of Comstock, Nelson & Co. In 1865 Comstock sold one-half of his interest to T. A. Comstock and the balance to Manly G. Colson and James A. Pugh. The firm name was changed to Nelson, Comstock & Co. April 16, 1870, E. Matter purchased T. A. Comstock’s interest, and the company adopted at once the firm name it now bears. James A Pugh died Sept. 5, 1870, and M. G. Colson died Oct. 16, 1871. The interests of their heirs remained with the firm until March 18, 1872, when S. S. Gay purchased Colson’s interest, and soon afterward the firm purchased the Pugh interest. June 10, 1878, James G. MacBride and Jay D. Utley were admitted partners in the firm, the name remaining the same. March 1, 1880, S. S. Gay retired. The firm now consists of Jas. M. Nelson, Ezra T. Nelson, E. Matter, James G. MacBride and Jay D. Utley.

In January, 1879, this company established a branch store in New York City. The factory is located on Lyon street, and is a handsome five-story brick structure, including basement, 160 x 70 feet, with engine and boiler rooms, 44 x 36 feet. Attached in the rear is a dry kiln 24 x 70 feet. Their ware-rooms on Lyon street are 160 x 68 feet, five stories together with the basement; and on Canal street they also have a store 80 x 54 feet, three stories with basement. This immense space not being sufficient for their constantly increasing business, they have rented a room of C. C. Rood, 22 x 80 feet, on Canal street, and the house of R. E. Butterworth, on Huron street, 80 x 70 feet, three stories high. The building of this firm are supplied with steam elevators, heated by steam, and lighted by gas. There are three entrances to the main floor of the factory: one from Lyon street, one from Lock street, and one from the river. Each entrance is supplied with an iron track, with a turn table in the center of the building, so that materials can be brought in from three sides. The factory is connected with the store rooms and ware-rooms by means of bridges. Their lumber yards are located between Ottawa and Kent streets, where 1,000,000 feet of lumber are kept. They have also a large dry kiln and sheds situated in the lumber yard.

The New England Furniture Co.—This company was organized in April, 1880, by Edward F. Ward, Elias Skinner, Orin A. Ward, Wm. Emery and Hero M. Amsden. Geo. B. Lewis was added to the firm in 1881. The factory of this firm is a four story building, 108 x 45 feet, and is supplied with the latest improved machinery. The company manufacture different kinds of furniture, but make chamber suits a specialty. There are 35 men employed in the factory, exclusive of clerks and those employed in the paint shops. Water power is used, but they are also supplied with boilers and engines, so that in case the water fails the work can go on.

The Oriel Cabinet Co. was incorporated in October, 1880, by Berkey & Gay and Geo. G. Clay. The buildings are large, and machinery new. The manufacture of cabinet ware is made a specialty.

The Phoenix Furniture Co.—This large and prosperous company was incorporated in May, 1872, with the following officers: Wm. A. Berkey, President; Wm. A. Howard, Vice President; F. M. McQuorter, Secretary; and W. D. Tolford, Treasurer. The factory was located on Ottawa street until 1873. The present four story brick structure was erected, the main building in 1873, and the addition in 1880. The dimensions of this building are 368 x 74 feet. The warehouse adjoining is a frame structure, 48 x 223 feet, four stories high. There is also a saw mill belonging to the company, on the ground, 112 x 40 feet. The machinery used in this factory is all modern, and is driven by a 225 horse power engine, which is supplied with steam by five boilers, each five feet in diameter. The company employ 600 hands in all, and manufacture very fine furniture. This firm also runs a photograph gallery on the top of the building, in which they photograph the different styles of furniture.

Stockwell, Belknap & Co.—This business was first established in1869, by Wheeler, Bordon & Co., as a sash, door and blind factory, and was located on Front street. The name was afterward changed to A. D. Bordon & Co. In 1876, A. E. Stockwell purchased Bordon’s interest, and the company assumed the firm name of A. E. Stockwell & Co., until 1879, when Messrs. Andrew Byrne and J. C. Darragh became interested in the business, and in October of that year, the firm name was known as Stockwell, Byrne & Co. They then added a furniture department to the former business. A. Belknap purchased the interest of Andrew Byrne, in December, 1880, when the firm name was changed to that of Stockwell, Belknap & Co. They make the manufacture of chamber suits a specialty. They have a large and increasing trade in the East, West and South. The motive power for the machinery is steam, generated in two large boilers, and the engine used is of 120 horse power. Over 90 men are constantly employed. The machinery is of the latest and most approved pattern. The main factory is 132 x 72 feet, and the ware rooms 100 x 50 feet; engine and boiler room 40 x 50 feet.

Stow & Haight, manufacturers of tables, South Front street. This business they established in June, 1879. The company occupied a portion of the Stockwell building on West Third street until recently. In July, 1881, they bought the old Hub factory, and some land adjoining on South Front street, where they have erected new buildings, and remodeled the old one. The new building is 40 x 100 feet, three stories high, the other building being 30 x 40 feet, with boiler and engine room, besides their dry kiln, which is 20 x 36 feet in size. Their trade is very large, and is rapidly increasing. They have the patronage of the best dealers in the West.

The Sligh Furniture Co. was incorporated in 1880 by L. E. Hawkins and others, with a capital stock of $40,000. The main buildings is a three story frame structure, 110 x 100 feet; ware-rooms, 60 x 48 feet; engine and boiler rooms, 40 x 37 feet. The machinery is of the latest improved kind, driven by a 75 horse power engine. 80 men are employed in this factory. The company manufacture walnut bureaus and ash and walnut chambers suits.

The Widdicomb Furniture Company.—This now large and extensive business was established in 1865. The business increased rapidly, and in 1873 a stock company was organized with William Widdicomb, President; Theodore F. Richards, Vice President; Harry Widdicomb, Treasurer and Secretary. The main factory was erected in 1879, and is a five story brick, 104 x 104 feet. The old factory, which they still occupy, is a four story frame building, 90 x 68 feet. They have in addition two warehouses, one 160 x 64 feet, four stories high, and another, 150 x 60 feet, three stories high. This factory occupies 140,000 square feet of floor surface. The machinery is all modern, and is valued at $50,000, including the boilers and engine. The engine is a 250 horse power, and is supplied with steam from two large boilers. Six million feet of lumber are used annually, and 340 men employed. A specialty of maple and white ash chamber suits is made. The company own lumber yards in Kent, Allegan and Ottawa counties.

The Wolverine Chair and Furniture Company, located on Front street, near the west end of Pearl street bridge, was organized March 10, 1880. At the present time this company are engaged wholly in the manufacture of fine cane seat chairs and frames for upholstering. The company has just entered upon the second year of its existence, having been organized in March, 1880, as a stock company. Their facilities for manufacturing are excellent, being located in a large and commodious building, 50 x 150 feet on the ground, and three stories and basement high, propelled by water power, equipped with a complete outfit of new machinery of the most approved kind, and employing none but skilled workmen. They are manufacturing a supply of goods in their line, which find ready sale in all parts of the country. The officers of the company are: Wm. H. Power, President; B. R. Pierce, Vice President; C. W. Prindle, Secretary, and Jos. H. Walker, Treasurer. Board of Directors: Wm. H. Powers, B. R. Pierce, C. W. Prindle, Jos. H. Walker, A. B. Watson, Wm. T. Powres and D. H. Powers. The company will soon increase its capital stock as their rapidly growing business now demands it. This is destined to be one of the largest manufacturing concerns in the city of Grand Rapids. It commenced business on the proper basis, by commencing small and building up legitimately as its increasing men, who have the entire confidence of the community, they must surely succeed in making the business all they desire.


Blount’s Box Factory.—This business was commenced a few years ago by E. S. Cory and Frederick R. Blount, who were in partnership till Jan. 1, 1881. At that time Mr. Cory retired from the firm and Mr. Blount assumed management of the business. In 1878, the firm erected a new factory 100 x 100, with engine house and office attached. On Sept. 30, 1881, the factory was destroyed by fire, but Mr. Blount immediately began the erection of a new factory on South Front street, near the G. R. & I. R. R.. track, which has lately been completed and put in running order. Mr. Blount formerly used up 4,500.000 feet of lumber per year, but has now a capacity of 7,000,000 feet annually. He employs about 25 men in the business.

Clay & Locke Manufacturing Co. was established on Canal street in 1864, by D. P. Clay, who first commenced making wooden bowls. Mr. H. Locke came to the firm in 1866, and has made and invented most of the machinery is use, among them being machines for making potato rollers and butter machines. In 1868 he invented a machine for making clothes pins. The factory was burned Aug. 21, 1874, when almost the entire machinery was destroyed or rendered unfit use. On Jan. 1, 1875, the office was moved to the corner of Shawmut avenue and Winter street, where the shop was built, and where business has since been carried on. In 1876 the manufacture of boys’ wagons was added to the business. In February, 1880, the present company was formed, with a capital stock of $50,000. D. P. Clay was chosen President; H. Locke, Vice President; W. H. Sharpnack, Treasurer, and H. D. Kingsbury, Secretary. The main building is 100 x 30 feet, three stories high, with engine and boiler room 40 x 40, store house, 24 x 140. They manufacture goods out of beech and maple woods, which are shipped in by railroad. The manufactory use about 1,000,000 feet of beech and maple logs annually. The sum of $60,000 is invested in the business. The sales average $35,000 a year.

C. C. Comstock’s Pail Factory.—This large and well known factory was erected in 1856, by C. C. Comstock, as a planing mill, and sash, door and blind factory, the department of pails and tubs being added in 1863. The factory is a three story brick, 220 x 55 feet. The building and grounds occupy 26 lots, on North Canal street. The manufactory is of the best modern improved, and its capacity is 1,000 tubs and 3,000 pails daily, besides a large quantity of doors, sash and blinds. To operate this large establishment requires 120 men. Mr. Comstock’s trade is obtained without the aid of any traveling salesman, and at the present time (1881) can hardly fill his orders. Mr. Comstock is also engaged in the lumber trade. He owns and operates two saw mills, employing about 80 men in this business.

C. S. Corey & Co’s. Planing Mill and Box Factory. Established about 1874, by Dr. Wiesel, of Williamsport, Penn., who operated them two or three years, until succeeded by J. H. Rice & Co., who operated them until June 1, 1881, when the concern, with the lots adjoining, were purchased by E. S. & George E. Corey. The main building is 100 x 80 feet in size, one story high. The lumber sheds are 150 x 40, with platform all around each, under cover. This industry is on the line of the G. R. & I. R. R. and has over 600 feet of side track for special business. The company manufacture and deal in dressed lumber, sash, doors, blinds, moldings and battens; packing boxes are made a specialty. The firm handle from 3,000,000 to 5,000,000 feet of lumber per year, and expect to use over 3,000,000 feet of lumber in boxes next year (1882). The lumber is brought from Northern Michigan, by G. R. & I. R. R. The company give employment to 16 men. The total investment is about $13,000, while the annual sales amount to at least $60,000. They ship by car load to all points South and East—mostly to Ohio and New Orleans. On Oct. 1, 1881, Radley Owen bought an interest in the firm business.

The Grand Rapids Chair Co., of which C. C. Comstock is President and principal stockholder, was incorporated in 1870, with Henry Fralick as President, and C. C. Comstock as Vice President. The factory is a four story brick building, 304 x 50 feet, and was erected in 1873. Since that time there has been an engine and boiler room added, 56 x 56 feet. The company has also erected a saw mill adjoining, which prepares the timber for use. The steam for driving the machinery is generated in six large boilers, and is applied through a 200 horse power engine. In this immense manufacture about 1,500 chairs daily. The caning of these chairs is done mostly by the boys at the Reform School, at Lansing, about 400 in number.

The Grand Rapids Stave Company,--This business was established some years ago by J. W. Converse, and after various changes in its management, passed into the hands of the present company in 1875. The capital stock of the company is $10,500, and the officers are as follows: Geo. W. Hewes, President; John Whitcomb, Vice President; and James Hunt, Secretary and Treasurer. The factory is located on South Front street, where the company occupy a main building, 40 x 100, three stories high, with shed attached, 500 feet in length. The company have their cooper shops in operation, where 40 men find constant employment. They manufacture staves, headings, hoops and barrels, making a specialty of flour barrel stock. Sales are made mostly in the Western States, with exception of 1,000 barrels per day to home trade. Annual sales, $100,000; valuation of property, $15,000.

The Michigan Barrel Co.—Among the many institutions which have served to extend the fame of Grand Rapids as a manufacturing city, specially deserving of mention, is the Michigan Barrel Company. The company was organized in 1869, with a capital of $300,000, and is the largest institution of its character in the United States consuming annually in the production of its wares from six to eight million feet of logs, and giving constant employment to 300 men. This company’s large and increasing trade extends to all the principal cities of the United States, as well as Canada. The factory is 100 x 300 feet in size, three working floors, finely located on the banks of Grand river. The site embraces 15 acres, which is entirely occupied by the company’s factory, brick office, warehouse, dry kilns and yards. The factory is supplied with a large amount of machinery, the running of which requires a 300 horse power engine. This business was established in 1869. Col. Geo. G. Briggs, of whom we shall make further mention elsewhere in this work, is Secretary and Treasurer, and General Superintendent of the works. They manufacture measurers, sieves, riddle-rims, tobacco drums, grease bail and salt boxes, and all kinds of rim and bent work, and make a specialty of Waters’ improved barrel.


Arthur Wood’s Carriage Factory was established in 1867. In May, 1878, he patented the "Wood Buggy." The factory employs 14 men.

The Harrison Wagon Works in Walker township, adjoining the city on the north, were established in 1852, at Schoolcraft, Mich., by William Harrison. There he remained only a few years, then removed to Kalamazoo, where he was engaged in business about seven years. In 1856 he came to Grand Rapids, and first started in business on South Front street, near Bridge street. He erected a large stone building 40 x 80, three stories high, with a foundation four feet thick. This was the largest building of the kind then in Michigan. There he manufactured the "Harrison Wagon" and also some carriages, employing only about 10 men. He remained there, engaged in this business, until the spring of 1880, purchased his present ground containing 30 acres, where the factory is located, together with eight acres within the city limits, acquired in November, 1878. He commenced erecting buildings in August, 1879. The main buildings are of brick, veneered, 250 x 40, two stories high, and one 450 x 40, two stories high. Another building, 200 x 48, is used in the manufacture and storage of the wagons. In addition to these is a brick office, three frame buildings 185 x 16, one story high, used for storage and ware rooms. One hundred and fifty men are employed in the business. Manufacture only the Harrison: use about 1,000,000 feet per year. About 3,000 wagons were manufactured in 1881, which found a ready market throughout the States. Mr. Harrison thinks his wagon "is the lightest running wagon made." Diplomas have been taken at different county, district and State fairs, including the San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Fair, of California.

Harry T. Ledyard’s Carriage Works were founded in 1880. The annual product is about 150 vehicles, the manufacture of which gives employment to six men.

Henry Fiebig’s Wagon and Buggy Factory was established in 1858 by Henry Fiebig in company with Robert Rasch. The firm was Rasch & Fiebig. For four years this company continued in business, when the partnership, and remained there for six years, when the building was burned. In 1865 he formed a partnership with Julius Rathburn, which continued until 1877. Since that time he has conducted the manufacture of wagons and carriages and a general repair shop; put up a brick building in connection with J. Rathburn, and employs about seven men.

Julius Rathburn’s Wagon and Carriage Factory was established in 1865, when he, in company with Henry Fiebig, commenced the manufacture of wagons and buggies; remained in business together 12 years, and in 1877 dissolved partnership. The shops were erected in 1872, and form a brick building, 47 x 80 feet, three stories high. The cost of building is estimated at $14,000. The works employ two blacksmiths and six wood workers. Wagons, carriages, platform buggies, and general wood work, painting and blacksmithing form the business of the concern.


Grand Rapids Manufacturing Company was organized in 1878, with a capital stock of $30,000. The officers are: N. L. Avery, President; W. D. Stevens, Vice President; Harvey J. Hollister, Treasurer; Milo B. Stewart, Secretary; N. L. Avery, W. D. Stevens, J. W. Converse, John R. Stewart and E. H. Foote, Directors. The Main building is 40 x 60 feet, three stories in height, with foundry, 40 x 100 feet, attached. The blacksmith shop is 40 x 60 feet; ware room, 60 x 80 feet, with office attached. This industry employs 30 men in all departments. It turns out agricultural implements only, which are sold principally in Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio. Ox yokes form an important feature of the manufacture. The works extend 350 feet on Front street, reaching back to the river, and an entire block opposite, on the west side of Front street. The assessed valuation is $50,000; amount of annual sales, $150,000. The machinery is driven by steam only.

G. S. Dean & Son, manufacturers of agricultural implements. This concern was established in 1842 by Stone, Dean & Co. In 1846 G. S. Dean purchased a third interest, remaining in that connection until 1852, then bought another third, and two years after bought Mr. Smith’s interest (the other partner), in 1854. Then it was G. S. Dean, until 1856, and has since been G. S. Dean & Co. The company manufacture principally plows, harrows, horse rakes, road scrapers and castings. In 1848 the present building was erected. This is 100 x 62 in size, three stories and basement. The foundry is 30 x 50, one story. They employ 15 men on an average.

Henry S. Smith & Co.’s manufactory was established in 1860 by Henry S. Smith. He commenced to manufacture saleratus at first and soon after commenced on wooden ware, then added agricultural implements to stock, on commission for a New York house. Subsequently he entered that line of trade for himself. Cradles, snaths, hand rakes, forks, noes, garden rakes, cultivators and harrows form the specialties of this concern. In 1878 Ladd J. Lewis was admitted to the firm, when it became known as H. S. Smith & Co. In addition to the articles enumerated over 3,000 dozen of axes are manufactured per year, together with clothes wringers, window and door screens. This company operate two factories: one on Ottawa and Trowbridge streets, and one on Kent and Newberry. Sixty men are employed, and a capital of $130,0000 invested. A market is found from Maine to California, and a trade of $250,000 per year done. Mr. Lewis conducts the office department.

Luther & Summer, manufacturers of agricultural implements, S. Front street, established their business in 1874, on Canal street, in retail trade. In 1878 they commenced the manufacture of agricultural implements in a small building adjoining their present quarters, occupying 6,000 feet of floor. They first manufactured small cultivators, double shovels, and employed five men. Sales increased very rapidly until June, 1880, when a fire destroyed all their property, including 1,000 cultivators. Soon afterward they erected two large frame buildings, giving 30,000 feet of floor for the business.

Wheeler & Green, manufacturers of the "Premium" fanning mill, and State agents for the "Boss" feed cutter, Grand Rapids, were established Jan. 1, 1869, at 44 Mill street. Their present quarters are at Taylor’s tannery, corner Coldbrook and Canal streets. The size of the building is 40 x150, three stories in height. Ten men are employed in the shop and on the road. Sales of manufactured and other goods amount to about $25,000 annually. The capital invested in business is $25,000.


A.B. Long & Son, lumber manufacturers, head of Front street. This business was established in 1868. This firm purchased the Power & Ball old mill and eight acres of land, and erected the present large manufactory in 1872, the main building of which is 50 x 112 feet, besides the boiler and engine rooms. In this mill two circular and one gang of 30 saws are kept constantly going. There are also four cross cut or butting saws, as well as a lath mill connected with this establishment. They employ 100 men, and cut an average of 10,000,000 feet of lumber annually. The boilers are six in number, three feet in diameter, and 36 feet long. The mid-drum is three feet in diameter and 24 feet long; the steam drum is two feet in diameter and 20 feet long; the engine 24 inches in diameter, with a 34 inch stroke. The log carriage is propelled by a Prescott steam feed, and the machinery is of the latest improved pattern. This firm is doing a large and rapidly increasing business. Their shipments are mostly east and south. The senior member, Mr. A. B. Long, established in 1858 an extensive lumber business at Osceola, Clearfield Co., Pa., under the firm name of A. B. Long & Sons. This business was discontinued in 1868, in which year the firm of A. B. Long & Sons established their present business in Grand Rapids. Business was continued in that name until 1874, when the old firm was dissolved, and the present firm of A. B. Long & Son was formed.

L. H. Withey & Company, No. 771 Canal street, manufacturers of lumber. This business was established in 1867, by L. H. Withey and Mr. Robert B. Woodcock. The mill is supplied with two circular saws, two gang edgers, and a lath mill. The engine is of 200 horse power, which is supplied with steam from four large boilers. The capacity of the mill is 12,000,000 feet annually. One hundred men are employed in this mill and in the lumber yard adjoining. They use the late steam cylinder feed in propelling the log carriages. They are supplied with every convenience to extinguish a fire, having hydrants and hose in all parts of the establishment. Mr. Woodcock is the General Superintendent of the factory, and has everything in systematic and thorough working order.

L. M. Cutcheon’s Sash, Door and Blind Factory.—L. M. Cutcheon established this business and erected a factory in 1878. He is enjoying a good trade, shipping a large portion of his product to the East. The machinery is of the latest improved pattern, and the work is first class in every particular. Mr. Cutcheon also owns a lumber yard, at 139 West Bridge street, where he carries a stock of $8,000 in all kinds of fine lumber, and has a good trade.

The Putman & Barnhart Lumber Company, manufacturers and dealers in lumber and shingles, office in Cody & Olney block, Pearl street, was established with its present membership in 1875, as Putman, Barnhart & Company, and in 1880 was incorporated as a stock company with a paid up capital of $172,000. The present officers are as follows: Willard Barnhart, President; D. D. Cody, Vice President; Enos Putman, Treasurer, and William Scott, Secretary. The firm own mills at Long Lake, near Manton, Wexford Co., and Whitfish Lake, Montcalm Co., and about 6,500 acres of uncut pine timber. They buy lumber and shingles in lots, whenever a favorable opportunity is presented, on the D., L. & N., G. R. & I., and C. & W. M. railroads. At their different mills, the firm employ 240 men, and their shipments of lumber during 1881 will reach 30,000,000 feet, and of shingles, 24,000,000. The trade of this company extends throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and at present, large shipments to Kansas.


Ax and Edge-Tool Works, Chase, Hawley & Munson, proprietors. This business was established in 1875, by Chase & Hawley. In 1878, Mr. Munson was admitted as a partner. The size of the building is 60 x 100 feet, and three stories high. They manufacture axes, knives, agricultural and edges tools. Sales are made mostly in Michigan; but some have been shipped to Europe. The works employ about 25 men. The machinery is run by both water and steam power. Amount manufactured will average $30,000 annually.

Buss Machine Co., manufacturers of wood working machinery. This old and well established business was founded in 1862, by Charles Buss & Sons, at Marlboro, N. H., and the business was continued under that name until 1878, when the machinery and trade was removed to Grand Rapids. The firm rented a building on Mill, north of Bridge street, where they have since carried on business. The building was formerly 42 x 48 feet in size, but as business increased, more room was necessary and a large addition was made, one 55 x 48 feet, three stories high, also a block adjoining it on the south was brought into requisition as a foundry, the size of it being 100 x 35 feet. The company employed 10 men at first. In the course of a few months the force was increased to 20, and at present 50 machinists find constant employment. This company are engaged in the manufacture of wood working machinery, and make a specialty of manufacturing machinery for turning out fine furniture. Their pail and tub machinery is regarded as the latest and best improved of the day, being built from new patterns, and extra heavy. The Buss & Sons’ Improved Buzz Planer, Endless Bed Planing Machine and Shaping Machine, are among the principal machines turned out by the firm. Their sales are made throughout the West and South, and average $40,000 annually.

Charles A. Whittemore’s Machine Works, corner of Pearl and South Front street, were established early in 1881. He began this business alone; but soon after increasing trade necessitated the employment of more men. Now four hands find steady employment. The works produce models of invention for the Patent Office, fans, saw benches, wood lathes, emery grinding machines, and drafts for machinist work. The capital invested is $2,000. Mr. Whittemore has started in trade on a business plan, and will surely succeed.

Grand Rapids Iron Works, Butterwoth & Lowe, proprietors. This business was commenced by Richard E. Butterworth, who purchased the shops and trade of Daniel Ball, and operated the business alone until 1869, when James Lowe purchased a half interest, and the firm has since remained Butterworth & Lowe. The buildings were small at first, but have been gradually enlarged. They now occupy a store room 207 x 70 feet, and a foundry 130 x 44 feet in size. The firm manufactures castings, machinery and steam engines. For several years they have been extensively engaged in the manufacture of logging cars, which find a good market in the timbered regions of the Union; 45 men are employed in the works, and the valuation of the machinery is about $50,000. Perhaps the largest piece of work turned out by this firm are the engines and boilers for the Grand Rapids Water Works. The construction of this machinery was under the personal supervision of Demetrius Turner, the designer, and the chief engineer of the water works. The engines are large, strong and well fitted for their duties, and reflect great credit on this firm.

Hartmann & Dietz, machinists and founders, established their present business in 1878. In 1872 Mr. Hartmann bought the foundry from Doran & Co., and operated it until; 1878, when the present partnership was formed. June 9, 1880, the foundry and machine works were burned, nothing being saved but the machinery, which was partly damaged. The present foundry is 56 x 45, and one story high. The machine shop is a room on the first floor of Mr. Hartmann’s building. The company manufacture castings and Barnes’ patent lift pumps, and do general machine and repair work. Sales are made mostly in Grand Rapids and the Western States. Fourteen men are employed, together with the proprietors, the former having charge of the foundry, and the latter of the machine department.

The Michigan Iron Works were established eight or ten years ago, and were purchased by H. D. Wallen, Jr., March 1, 1876. In 1878 he erected a large addition of brick, 44 x 100, three stories high, and in the fall of 1881 erected one 60 x 130, one story high, the main building is 50 x 150, and two stories high. Manufacture steam engine, saw mill and shingle machinery, engines, boilers, logging cars and general machine work. Seventy hands are employed, at an average of two dollars per day to each man; sales average $100,000 annually. A market is found in Northern Michigan and Minnesota, but mostly in this State. Assessed valuation of works, $60,000. William C. Voorhees is bookkeeper.

The Novelty Iron Works, H. B. Milmine & Co., proprietors, was established in 1875, and erected a building 100 x 60, at 44 Front street. The company makes a specialty of gang plow, which finds a ready sale in all parts of the West, even as far as California. They also manufacture general machine and foundry work, and give employment to 20 men in all departments. The assessed valuation of property is $6,000; annual sales amount to $10,000. The works were burned Feb. 1, 1881, and soon afterward the present building was erected.

The Valley City Iron Works, Adolph Leitelt, proprietor, were established in 1863 by A. Leitelt, on the south side of Erie street, renting a building, in which business was done until 1871, when the works were destroyed by fire. Mr. Leitelt lost almost his entire property. He rebuilt immediately on the north side of the street, which building is of brick, 74 x 126, three stories and a basement. An office was established on the south side of the street in 1877, and in 1879 a large building was erected on the same spot. The boiler shop erected about the same time, adjoining the main building. The capacity of the shop was small at first, 10 men being employed; but sales were made with such rapidity as to necessitate the employment of a larger force, so that at present 130 mechanics find steady work. Machine engines, gang mills, all kinds of mill machinery, boiler castings and brass works are manufactured. Sales are made mostly in Michigan, but frequently in all parts of the Union. Einlaw’s direct attachment gang saw mill is being manufactured by this firm only, A. J. Einlaw, of Grand Haven, being the patentee. These works are the largest in the Grand River Valley.

The West Side Iron Works, with Joseph Jackoboice proprietor, were established in 1860, by William A. Berkey, on Canal street. The works were carried on there some eight years, until in 1870, when they were moved into William T. Powers’ shop. In 1880, purchased the Grand Rapids Savings Bank building, the present shop, at a cost of $10,000. The building is 40 x 92 feet, two stories high, all of which is occupied by the works. All kinds of steam engines, mill work, and general wood working machinery are manufactured. A specialty is made of "Jackoboice’s band saw." Sales average about $24,000 annually. Product is sold mostly in Michigan. Six men are employed in the business.

F. J. Sokup & Co., Galvanized Iron Cornice Makers. This firm commenced business in 1873, on Canal street, but on Aug. 24, 1874, were burned out. They then rented a building near the G. R. & I. R. R. track, where they have carried on their trade. They do tin, slate and composition roofing, and all from architectural designs. The firm employ 12 men in the business, and turn out as good work as can be found in the State of Michigan, and point to the following buildings as testimony to excellent work: Marshall jail, Kalamazoo school house, George M. Webber’s residence, Ionia, and the Post Office block, Kalamazoo. Both members of the firm are foreigners, and deserve great credit for building up such an excellent reputation in the short time they have been in the business.


Eaton & Christenson, manufacturers of all kinds of crackers, and wholesale dealers in cigars, tobacco, confectionery and canned goods, embarked upon this enterprise in 1867, with little in point of capital to depend upon, but indomitable pluck and energy. On Nov. 25, 1867, the firm opened a bakery business in Squire’s block, 91 Canal street, and commenced the manufacture of crackers on a small scale. The increase of business from year to year necessitated more apace, and Oct. 1, 1880, they erected a new and spacious factory at 252 and 254 Canal street. The building is of brick, twostories and basement, 40 x 40 feet in size. The building is equipped with the latest improved machinery (at a cost of $9,000), and 100 barrels of flour are weekly made into crackers; 21 men are employed, and two traveling salesman are constantly on the road. The crackers manufactured are sold principally in Michigan. The form carry a stock of $13,000, and sales are in proportion.

William Sears & Co.’s cracker Manufactory, Kent street.—This business was established in 1860 by two brothers, William and Samuel Sears, natives of Massachusetts. They commenced business in a basement on Monroe street, with only one oven, and making only bread and confectionery. The following spring they started a cracker factory on Waterloo street, where business was carried on till 1869, when they purchased a piece of ground 40 x 100 feet on Kent street, and erected thereon a brick factory, three stories and basement, where business has since been transacted. The firm manufacture all kinds of sweet and cracker goods, and use 60 barrels of flour per day. The factory is supplied with two large ovens, ten fans each, capable of baking a pan in from nine to eleven minutes. One self fanning and spraying machine is used in the making of sweet goods, and also a B. F. Sturtevant exhaust fan, for the proper disposal of steam and heat. The mixing troughs are placed on the second floor, while the packing room is located on the third floor. The firm employ 20 men in the factory, and have three traveling salesmen on the road. There are more crackers manufactured in Grand Rapids than in any other city of its size in the united States, and a finer quality of goods than any in the Northwest. This firm has taken premiums room at 55 and 57 Lyon street, where they also handle 8,000 boxes of cheese annually, and a large stock of canned goods. William Sears is married, and has three daughters; Samuel Sears is also married, and has one son—Edward A.—who is a graduate of Bishop Whipple Academy, at Fairview, Minn.


The Crescent Mills, west end of Pearl street bridge, were erected in 1875 by Hibbard, Rose & Co. The mill proper is 30 x 60 feet in size, three stories with basement; the ware room attached is 36 x 50 and three stories high. These, with an office two stories in height on the front, are all brick buildings. The original cost of the mill was $65,000, including machinery; mill was fitted up with the best machinery then in market. Seven run of burrs were put in to be used for flour only. Fifty thousand barrels per year have been the average product of these mills. In 1876 the mill passed into the hands of Hibbard & Graff, who operated it until July, 1880, when John F. Graff, Jr., leased the mill and machinery, and has since operated it. The machinery is driven by water power. The flour ranks among the first brands in the State of Michigan. Mr. Graff is a member of the State Miller’s Association. Sales of flour are mostly made in New England, all being sold on orders, except 50 barrels per day for home consumption. The capacity of the mills is about 180 barrels per day. The company ships about eight car loads of flour per week; 14 men find constant employment, and the mill is under the personal charge of Milan Hibbard, an efficient miller.

The Custom Mills, Joseph Rowland, proprietor, were established as feed mills in 1876, in the Earl Woolen Mill building. Mill street, opposite the Ohio House. It was operated as a feed mill two years, then as flour and feed combined. Mr. R. does both merchant and custom work. The mills occupy a brick building about 31 x 75 feet and three stories high. The machinery is valued at $2,000, among which is the Canfield Turbine water wheel, manufactured at Grand Rapids, a Smith’s purifier, etc. The amount turned out is about 50 barrels per week, equally divided between custom and merchant work.

The Globe Mills were established by William Huntley, at 70 Mill street, near the east end of Bridge, in a building 50 x 30, two stories and a basement. Mr. Huntley operated the mills for some years. In 1873 they were purchased by Jesse Widoes, who conducted the business until December, 1876, when the mills were purchased by Isaac W. Wood, who took charge of it Jan. 1, 1877. The machinery is driven by water power only, using the patented turbine water wheel in connection. Mr. Wood has recently erected an elevator on the north side of the mill, with a capacity of 23,000 bushels of grain. Mr. Wood handles grain in car load lots, which he ships to northern points. The mill have both merchant and custom work departments. Six men find constant employment. The manufactured product average about 60 barrels per week, together with the same quantity in gristing. Sales are made mostly in Kent county and points north. Mr. Wood deals largely in grain, shipping about 500 cars per year.

The Star Flouring Mills were established in 1868, by Wellington Hibbard, Wykof & Barnard, who operated the mill about one year. Wykof sold out to John Mangold in 1869, and in 1870 Barnard sold to Simon Mangold. The firm then became Mangold, Hibbard & Co. In 1875 the John Mangold estate sold its interest to Christopher Kusterer, and the same year Hibbard sold his interest to Voigt & Herpolsheimer, when the firm changed to Voigt, Kusterer & Co. In 1881 Voigt & Herpolsheimer bought out the interest of Chris. Kusterer Co., and the firm in now C. G. A. Voigt & Co. The mill building is 65 x 65, five stories and basement; office attached on south. It contains seven run of four foot stones, one 16 inch stone for middlings, three sets of rollers, one Thompson’s, two Gray’s, and four Smith’s purifiers and 17 bolts. The products average 225 barrels per day. The machinery is driven by water power. Wheat is purchased mostly in this State. The industry gives employment to 22 men. The flour is sold wholly in Eastern States, except that used for home trade.

The Transit Mill Company.—The business of the Valley City Mills was purchased by a stock company in July, 1881. The company was incorporated under the tile of the Transit Mill Company, and the capital stock is $20,000, paid up. At the last stockholders’ election the following directors were chosen: Messrs. O. E. Brown, James A. Hunt and A. C. Horton. These directors subsequently elected the following officers: O. E. Brown, President; James A. Hunt, Vice President; A. C. Horton, Secretary and Treasurer. The company own the Valley City Mills, on Mill street, north of Bridge, where they manufacture some 70 barrels of flour per day, most of which is shipped direct to the New England States. The mill is a frame structure, 40 x 60 feet in size, four stories and a basement, with a brick office, two stories and basement. Eight run of burrs are used, and the machinery is operated both by steam and water power.

The Alabastine Company, of New York; mills, Grandville; office, Grand Rapids; was organized in 1879, by M. B. Church, the present manager. In 1880, a factory or mill was started in the old Eagle Mills, at Grand Rapids, which was soon after burned down. In 1880 the company erected their mills at Grandville. The main building is 30 x 40 feet in size, three story and basement, with a wing 40 x 40, two stories high. One storage warehouse attached is 26 x 200 feet in size, one story high. The business has increased each year. Some fifty hands are employed in the business, and 2,000 tons of this material is annually put in the market. Alabastine was invented in 1877, by Melvin Church, who has since managed the business. It is made from gypsum rock, and ground in to a powder, much resembling calcimine. It is destined to take a front rank among the many materials for covering walls, and is deemed of such importance that the Michigan State Board of Healthy have endorsed it as better than any material of a like nature heretofore offered for sale, both in regard to its beauty and finish, and its health preserving qualities. The office of the company is at 9 North Ionia street, where the material is stored and sold. Sales have been made all over the Union, and a large amount shipped to Europe.

F. Godfrey & Bro. (Silas F.),proprietors Plaster Co., established their present business in 1860. They built a plaster mill in the southwestern part of the city, and their business has steadily increased until, at present, they use a steam mill and warehouse 160 by 50 feet in size; a water mill of the same size; and have another mill in Wyoming township. The company own 480 acres of land, under the surface of which is found the gypsum which is manufactured into plaster. The mills have a capacity of 200 barrels per day, and 65 men are given constant employment. Sales are made in the West and Northwest, and they have a good trade at Winnepeg, in British America. The office of the company is located at 38 North Ionia street.

The Grand Rapids Plaster Co.—This company was organized in 1856, by William Hovey, J. W. Converse, of Boston; and Francis Fisher, of Boston, under the firm name of Hovey & Co. In 1860, it was incorporated as the Grand Rapids Plaster Company, with J. W. Converse, as President; Judge Soloman L. Withey, Vice President; C. C. Converse, of Boston, Secretary; and William Hovey, Treasurer and General Agent. This firm manufactures calcined and land plaster. Their mills are located on the L. S. & M. S. R. R., about two miles from the city of Grand Rapids, and are known as Eagle Mills. The mill for grinding the gypsum is 26 x 48 feet; the stucco building, 24 x 56 feet; stucco warehouse, 40 by 125 feet; the shipping warehouse, 24 x 150 feet, and the plaster warehouse, 80 x 171 feet. They use an automatic condensing engine, of 250 horse power, and four run of burr stones, in crushing the gypsum. These are two tramways into the mines, one for admitting logs for pillars, and the other for elevating plaster rock and stucco from the mine. A short distance below the entrance is a turn table upon each tramway, and from this point the tracks diverge in every direction. This company owns over 170 acres of this land, under laid with plaster rock, and of this only 14 acres have been excavated, during the 25 years that the mill have been in operation. There are a number of wells on the hill immediately above the excavated portion, which are supplied with water from an excellent vein, which runs above the upper stratum of rock. The blasting is done by drilling and the discharge of Hercules powder by electricity. This firm does an extensive business, shipping their plaster to all parts of the United States.


The Cincinnati Brewery, Tusch & Bros., proprietors, 208 Grandville avenue, was established in September, 1877. At that time the brother erected a brewing house, 30 x 50 feet in size, two stories high; a saloon building in front, 25 x 40, two stories. They manufactured 1,500 barrels the first year, and employed four men. The product during the year 1881 was 3,500 barrels, employing five men. The beer finds sale in Grand Rapids and neighboring towns, and throughout Michigan. Tusch Bros. Are sole manufacturers of the "Pilsener" beer. They use 500 tons of ice annually in their business.

The Coldbrook Brewery, operated by Carl, Adam & Christian Frey, was established in September, 1871, in a frame building, 20 x 50. Carl and Christian Frey, just then from Germany, with two men, manufactured 500 barrels of beer the first year. The trade gradually increased until 1878, then they erected the main building, 80 x 40, three stories and basement. The building devoted to the bottling works in connection is 60 x 20, two stories. The ice house is 60 x 80. In the winter of 1880-’ 1, 4,000 tons of ice were put up. There are about 20 men employed in the brewery. The product is 10,000 barrels per year, for which a ready sale is found in Michigan, mostly in the Northern part.

The Eagle Brewery.—Vert & Rathmann established their present business in 1876. The brewing house was 60 x 20, with cellar. Three men were employed, and 2,500 barrels of beer were manufactured the first year. In 1878 the old brewery was taken down, and the present one erected, a building 40 x 40, with saloon in connection , one ice house, 90 x 50, a second ice house, 25 x 30, and one, 50 x 25, with two cellars, to store beer through the winter. The brewery employ six men, and use five horse and five wagons. The manufactured product is about 5,000 barrels annually, half of which is sold in Grand Rapids and the balance throughout the State.

The Kusterer Brewing Company.—This business was founded in 1847, by Christopher Kusterer, with capital of $800, when he brewed the small amount of four barrels at a time, doing his own brewing and delivering, since when the business has increased to its present large proportions. Mr.Kusterer operated the business until the fall of 1880, when he took passage on the "Alpine," which was lost with all on board. The business was then purchased by the present company, whose officers are as follows: Philip Kusterer, President; Adolph Lietelt, Vice President; Charles Kusterer, Secretary and Treasurer. The brewery at the present time consist of a substantial main building, three stories in height, 50 x 100 feet in size, in connection with which are two ice houses, one 60 x 60 and the other 25 x 100, capable of storing over 1,500 tons. The cellars are largest in the city, and have a storage capacity of 3,500 barrels. The product of this brewery will average 10,000 barrels annually. The company have lately put in a large mash tub, made by Kattentidt, of Chicago, Ills., with a capacity of 125 barrels. The firm gives employment to 25 men, and the water used in making the beer is obtained from pure springs.

The Michigan Brewery, Peter Weirich, proprietor, was built in 1856. He erected two small buildings, in which business was carried on for some time. In 1858 an addition was made to the business, but in 1866 the entire brewery was torn down, and the present one erected. The brewery is 70 x 60 feet, three and half stories high, with a wing 54 x 78 feet. He has in connection five malt floors, an ice house, 70 x 100 feet, and large bottling works in connection. Mr. Weirich owns a farm in Walker township, on which are two ponds, where he freezes all the ice needed in his business. He uses spring water for the manufacture of his beer, and sells about 7,000 barrels annually. His annual trade will exceed $50,000.

The Union Brewery was established by George Brandt at 87 South Division street in 1863, and he was in charge of business until his death, in July, 1880. The interest then passed into the hands of the present company. The brewery is 83 x 26 feet, one and one half stories high, with two ice cellars—33 x 50 and 24 x 50 feet in size; two malt houses, 34 x 26 feet each, one and one half stories high. The company uses an ice house, 40 x 16 feet; malt house, 20 x 16 feet; five horses and three wagons. Ten men are employed in the business; 6,000 barrels of beer are manufactured annually. The product finds sale mostly in Michigan, The capital invested is about $35,000. Eight hundred tons of ice are stored annually.

The Valley City Brewery was established in 1877, at 76 Page street, by John & Mathias Adrion. It is a frame building, 18 x 35 feet, one and one half stories and basement, with an ice house, 33 x 40 feet. Three hundred barrels of beer were manufactured the first year. In 1880 they erected the main brewery, 32 x 40 feet, two stories; a new ice house, 12 x 40 feet, for a fermenting cellar. They erected new barn, 24 x 30 feet, for horses and wagons. The company now employs about seven men, and manufacture 2,500 barrels per year. Beer is sold all over the State of Michigan, but principally in Allegan and Kent counties. The capital invested is $10,000. George Fehsenfeld is book keeper and salesman. The firm uses 600 tons of ice per year.


The Steam Stone Works were established on Campau street, by Schmidt & Hirth, in 1876, and in 1878 Anton Hirth purchased the works; in the winter of 1880-’81 they were removed to Pike street, between Campau and River streets. Mr. H. does building work for different firms in the city, county and State. During the summer of 1880, he furnished stone for A. B. Long’s and D. P. Clay’s residences. He employs six men (Four cutters, one sawyer and a man for general labor.) His work for 1881 will average $6,000.

City Stone Works,--This industry was established by Alexander Matthewson in 1874, with shops extending from 91 to 101 Almy street. The first contract was the supply and preparation of stone for the Ledyard block; subsequently the proprietor contracted to supply stone used in D. Brown’s residence; the Government building basement in 1876, and the sidewalk, coping, etc., in 1880; the stone sidewalks on Monroe, Canal and Ottawa streets; J. H. Wonderly’s, Shelby’s, and C. N. Shepard’s dwelling houses. The prepared stone is valued at $12,000 annually. The works give employment throughout the year to from two to fifteen men. The patronage is extended from Kalamazoo, Big Rapids, Ionia, Mendon, Albion and towns in and adjacent to Kent county.


Brown, Clark & Co., manufactures of brick, established the business in 1873. The firm own 20 acres of land within the city limits, on the east, and manufacture from 7,000,000 to 10,000,000 brick annually. These are shipped north and south, in car load lots, over the G. R. & .I. R. R. Ninety men are employed in the business and are under the supervision of James L. Davidson, who has also charge of the office and shipment.

Grand Rapids Brush Co. was established in 1871, by A. L. Son and William M. Clark, and was incorporated in 1873. Mr. Clark was the first Secretary and is now the only original member of the company. They leased of William T. Powers, for five years, the building now erected by the Wolverine Furniture Company. The present factory was erected in 1878, and is a fine three story brick building, with basement 150 x 92 feet in size. In this factory there are 165 employees. The brushes manufactured here are principally horse, cloth, and shoe brushes. The machinery is turned by cable water power, but the factory is also supplied with boiler and engine, to use in case of high water. Of the many different kinds of wood used in this factory we mention rosewood, walnut, cherry, mahogany, tulip, satin, and white holly. They also use many kinds of fancy veneering. Sales are made in all States of the Union, even as far west as the Pacific slope.

Grand Rapids Sweeper Co., Chas. B. Judd, present proprietor and manager, was established in January, 1880. He manufactures the Magic and Keystone carpet sweepers. The factory is located at No. 8 Pearl street. e uses cable power from Michigan Iron Works. H He uses cable power from the Michigan Iron Works.

Carpet Sweeper and Cigar Box Factory.—C. O. Allen & Son first established this trade at Kalamazoo, nine years ago. A year later the machinery was moved to Grand Rapids. In 1879 the company entered their present factory at the corner of Louis and Campau streets. Ten workmen are employed, and an average trade of $5,000 per annum attained.

McIntyre & Goodsell, piano manufacturers, inaugurated this industry at Grand Rapid, Nov. 15, 1880. A stock company was organized Aug. 2, 1881, with Reir N. Goodsell, President; John McIntyre, Vice President, and John D. McIntyre, Secretary and Treasurer. The capital stock is $100,000. The factory produces seven instruments every week, gives employment to 40 hands, all skilled mechanics, and gives promise of equaling in the extent of trade many of the old piano factories of the Eastern States.

The Powers & Walker Burial-Case and Casket Factory.—This is the only factory of the kind in the State. This firm, comprising Wm. H. Powers and Jas. H. Walker, was organized in 1875, and commenced the manufacture of burial-cases in the building (since destroyed by fire) built and operated for several years by William H. Powers, in the manufacture of sash, doors and blinds, this being the first factory erected on the West Side canal. The business now carried on by this firm has grown until its buildings are of insufficient size to accommodate its requirements, although a new brick building, 23 x 92 feet on the ground, and four stories high, has been constructed this year (1881). Another will probably be added next season.

The building now occupied constitute an area of about 30,000 square feet of floor. The factory proper, where the machine work and putting together of the goods are done, is located on Front street, on the West Side canal, and is propelled by water power. Directly opposite to this factory, on the other side of the stream, are the buildings in which the goods are finished, stored, packed and shipped. The buildings on each side of the street are connected by means of suspension bridges spanning the street, from the two upper stories. Upon these bridges are rails upon which cars are used to convey the goods across; by the location of the two branches of the business, one on each side of the street, the firm claim to have the advantage of being able to save a large portion of their property from destruction by fire, in case of the occurrence of fire in either branch, which has on two different occasions been fully demonstrated; their factory on the canal has been destroyed twice, but, on both occasions the fire was easily kept from destroying the other buildings. The business of the firm is not confined to this State alone, but they ship largely to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. Both members of the firm are practical mechanics and business men.


The Grand Rapids Felt Boot Company was organized Sept. 23, 1881, with a capital of $50,000. The stockholders are E. G. Studley, Julious Berkey, M. R. Bissell, of Grand Rapids, and O. R. Wilmarth, of Stanton, Mich. The firm leased the building formerly used by the Grand Rapids Burial-Case Company, which they have fitted up, and will use in the manufacture of felt boots for the Northern trade.

Grand Rapids Iron Mining Company—This city has an iron mining company interested in a mine Negaunee, Upper Peninsula, which was organized Aug. 22, 1881, with the name of the Grand Rapids Iron Mining Company. The Directors are Messrs. Isaac Phelps, Marcus W. Bates, H. P. Wyman and I. J. Whitfield, of this city, and Henry . Atkinson, of Negaunee. The officers are: President, I. J. Whitfield, Treasurer, Dr. Isaac Phelps; Secretary, Marcus W. Bates.

The Merchants. Manufacturers and Citizens’ Fire Insurance Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., propose to do business on substantially the same theories and plans as the agricultural mutual companies in this State. The minimum charter membership assets are named at $100,000. The following officers were elected: President, W. B. Bennett; Vise President, Dr. H. Lever; Secretary, W. D. Mansfield; Treasurer, Elias Matter; Directors, W. C. Denison, Elias Matter, H. E. Prindle, S. H. Ocker, Dr. H. Lever, H. Bissell, Charles Sach, W. D. Mansfield, W. B. Bennett, I. R. Church and W. H. Cheeney.

Transcriber: Barb Jones
Created: 29 August 2007