Chaffee Brothers Furniture Company

Page 628-629 - Chaffee Brothers Furniture Company. The principals in this progressive and successful Grand Rapids business corporation, whose well-equipped headquarters are at the corner of Division and Oakes streets, are all native sons of Kent county and are representatives, on both the paternal and maternal sides, of sterling pioneer families of Michigan, besides which they have the honor of being scions of the tenth generation of the Chaffee family in America, the first representative of the family having come from England to this country in 1635 and having become a colonial pioneer in New England. Owen R., Burt K. and Glenn D., the constituent principals of the Chaffee Brothers Furniture Company, were all born in the old homestead in which their maternal grandmother passed more than seventy years of her exceptionally long life at Rockford, Kent county. They are sons of Ezra M. and Hannah (Young) Chaffee, the former of whom died at Rockford in March 1925, at the age of eighty-one years, and the latter of whom now resides at Grand Rapids. Ezra M. Chaffee was a pioneer settler in Kent county, and the major part of his active life was spent in this county. Mrs. Hannah (Young) Chaffee is a daughter of Elihu and Rachel (Watkins) Young, the former of whom was a son of John Watkins, one of the earliest settlers in Courtland township, where he established his home in the midst of the dense forest and literally hewed out a farm from the forest wilds. Mrs. Rachel (Watkins) Young was ninety-six years of age at the time of her death, April 12, 1924, and had resided seventy-six years in the house that was the place of her death. She taught in the pioneer schools of Kent county, and in the house that was her home for three-quarters of a century had previously lived the person who was the first white teacher in the county. Of the six children of Ezra M. and Hannah (Young) Chaffee four are living the three sons who constitute the business concern whose name appears at the head of this review, and one daughter, Mrs. T. S. Hutchings, of Hilts, California. The Chaffee Brothers were reared and educated in their native town, and the first of the brothers to engage in the furniture business was the late Guy Chaffee, who, in 1891, became associated with his maternal uncle, Robert Young, in opening a retail furniture store in Grand Rapids. He continued his connection with the business until his death, in 1913, and was succeeded by his brother, Burt K. Chaffee. In December, 1914, the brothers, Owen R. and Glenn D., became associated with their brother, Burt K., in organizing The Chaffee Brothers Furniture Company, and opened a retail store in the Gilbert block in Grand Rapids. All were experienced in this line of enterprise, and through honorable and progressive policies the business rapidly expanded in scope and importance, with the result that in 1925, they erected for their business the large and modern building now occupied at the corner of Division and Oak streets. The concern is one of the largest and best equipped enterprises of its kind in the city of Grand Rapids, and its status has long been one of prominence in connection with the representative commercial activities of the country. The brothers are all practical business men and have made many friends in Grand Rapids. They have made their business helpful to those in moderate circumstances, their slogan being "No pay when sick or out of work." The utmost harmony prevails in the fraternal and business relations of the brothers, and they have enjoyed working together for the genuine success that has attended their combined efforts in the upbuilding of their present substantial business.


Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 7 January 2004