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A Citizens' History of Grand Rapids, Michigan
with program of the Campau Centennial
September 23 to 26, 1926

Compiled and Edited by
William J. Etten

Copyright © 1926 by A. P. Johnson Company.

Table of Contents

Preface

In Primeval Days, 1
 What Louis Campau Saw, 2
 First Comers Were French, 6
 Under Three Flags, 7

Louis Campau Founds City, 9
 His Two Marriages, 10
 Arrival at Grand Rapids, 13
 Buys the Heart of Grand Rapids for $90, 14
 Uncle Louis Amasses Wealth, 15
 Beginning of His Evil Days, 16
 His Mansion on the Hill, 17
 Some Episodes in His Life, 20
 His Last Will and Testament, 22
 Estimates of His Character, 24
 Sophie de Marsac Campau, 27

First Easterners Arrive, 31
 Coming Through the Wilderness, 32
 Beginning of the Boom, 33
 Beginnings of the Farms, 36
 First Merchants and Pioneer Mechanics, 37
 The Village of 1837, 40
 Days of Fever and Ague, 41
 First Weddings and Births, 42

Ten Years of Depression, 43
 Some Other Early Workers, 44
 Grand Rapids in 1844-1845
 Grand Rapids in 1846, 47
 City Resumes Its Growth, 49

Grand Rapids or Kent?, 50

County, Township, Village, City, 53

The City of Grand Rapids, 59
Village of Grand Rapids
City Charter of 1857, 62

From Indian Trails To Paved Streets, 64
 Some Early Physicians, 66

Pay Day for the Indians, 67
 Some Early Hotels, 68
 Old Time Amusements and Theaters, 71

Early Churches, 73
 Baptist, 73
 Park Congregational, 74
 Roman Catholic, 75
 Episcopal, 78
 Methodist, 79
 Presbyterian, 81
 Dutch Reformed, 81
 Second Reformed, 82
 Hebrew, 82
 Swedenborgian, 82
 Universalist, 83
 Lutheran, 83

River Transportation, 85
 Canals and Dams, 86
 Gypsum Quarries and Plaster Mills, 87
 Houses of the Pioneers, 88

Court House, Jail and City Hall, 89
 What's Beneath Grand Rapids, 91

Courts of Record, 92
 Kent County Circuit Court, 92
 Probate Court, 93
 Superior Court, 93
 United States District Court, 94

Newspapers, 95
 Grand Rapids Times and Its Successors, 95
 Grand Rapids Eagle, 97
 Grand Rapids Daily Times, 97
 The Evening Leader, 97
 Grand Rapids Herald and Its Predecessors, 97
 Grand Rapids Press, 98

Early Fire Fighters, 99
 Managers of the Fire Department, 103
 Fire Marshals, 103

Police Department, 104

Bridges Across the Grand River, 105
 Bridge Street Bridge, 105
 Leonard Street Bridge, 107
 Pearl Street Bridge, 107

Our Meandering Post Office, 108

Schools, 111
 Old Stone School House, 112
 Coldbrook School District, 113
 Early West Side Schools, 113
 Three School Districts Consolidated, 115
 Some Old Time Private Schools, 116
 Present Public School System, 117
 Health Activities in Schools, 119
 The High Schools, 119
 Junior College, 120
 Superintendents and Present Management, 120
 Salaries of Teachers, 120
 Calvin College, 121
 Denominational Schools, 121

Water Supply - 122
City Water System, 123
 Water System of Today, 125
 Filtration Plant Constructed, 126

In The Logging Days, 129
 Log Running and "Hogging", 129
 Log Jam of 1883, 130

Floods That Wrought Havoc, 132

Early Members of the Bar, 133

Coming of the Railroads, 135

Artesian Wells, 137

Banks, Old and New, 138
 Old National Bank and Its Predecessors, 138
 Other Early Banks, 139
 Grand Rapids National Bank, 141
 Grand Rapids Savings Bank, 142
 Kent State Bank, 142
 Industrial Bank, 142
 Home State Bank for Savings, 142
 Michigan Trust Company, 143
 Grand Rapids Trust Company, 143
 Clearing House Association, 143
 A Perfect Record, 143

Patriots in Civil War Times, 144

Spanish American War, 147

Grand Rapids in the World War, 149

War Memorial, 150

Street Cars----Horse, Cable, and Electric, 153
 Interurban Electric Line, 156

Gas Company's Growth Since 1857. 157

Electric Power and Light, 158

City's Sewer System, 161

Hospitals, 163
 Butterworth, 163
 Blodgett Memorial, 164
 St. Mary's, 166
 D. A. Blodgett Home for Children, 166

Public Library, 167
 Public Library Trust Funds, 169
 Other Trust Funds, 170

The Furniture Capital of America, 171
 Furniture of Quality, 175
 Grand Rapids Market Association, 177

Development of Telephone Service, 178
 Citizens Telephone Company, 179
 Two Systems Combined, 180

Parks, Playgrounds and Boulevards, 181

Grand Rapids Welfare Union, 183

Grand Rapids Foundation, 185

Kent Scientific Museum, 186

Association of Commerce, 189

Young Men's Christian Association, 189

Young Women's Christian Association, 190

Symphony Orchestra, 190

A Cosmopolitan City, 192

Served In High Office, 194

Liberty Loan Subscriptions, 194

Kent County subscribed for $38,460,400 Liberty bonds during the World War drives for funds; First, $4,063,650; Second, $8,481,000; Third, $6,502,200; Fourth, $11,420,350; Victory, $7,993,200. It went over the top in every call. Subscriptions in the city proper were about $30,000,000.
Present City Management, 195
 City Officials, 197
 Kent County Officers, 197
 State Legislative Representatives, 197

Mayors, 198

Grand Rapids in 1926, 199
 Industrial Statistics for 1923, 203
 Business and the Professions, 203
 Clubs, 204

Of the more than fifty clubs in Grand Rapids there are these: Advertising, Alibi Gun, Altrusa, Army-Navy, Big Brothers, Business Girls', Business and Professional Woman's, Century, Engineering, Exchange, Building Owners, Business Woman's, Buyers, Credit Men's. Federation of Woman's, Hotel Men's, Rotary, Motor, Radio Listeners, Transportation, Universal, Woman's City, Kiwanis, Lions, Metropolitan, Michigan Traffic, Midday, Optimist, Round Table, Triangle, University, Zonta, Women's University, Ladies' Literary, St. Cecilia, Boat and Canoe, Peninsular, Elks, Moose, Camera, Schubert, West Side Woman's, Igdrasil.
Present Day Churches, 205

What of the Future?, 206

Population of Grand Rapids
 
1826 About 20
(White population.)
1835 75 to 100
1837 500
(Vicinity.)
1838 700
(Vicinity.)
1840 880
1850 2686
1860 8085
1870 16,507
1880 32,016
1890 60,278
1900 87,565
1910 112,571
1920 137,634
1921 141,197
1922 145,947
1923 153,877
1924 159,910
1925 163,500
1926 169,000

* 1840 to 1920, inclusive, government census.
** 1921 to 1926, inclusive, estimated.


Document Source: Etten, William J., "A Citiszens' History of Grand Rapids, Michigan".  Published by A. P. Johnson for the Campau Centennial Committee, 1926.
Transcriber: Ronnie Aungst

URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/etten1926/index.html 
Created: 21 November 1999[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Contact County Coordinator:  evlynsaw@comcast.net