Edward J. Clark

Page 649-650-651 - Edward J. Clark has standing as one of the substantial and progressive business men of his native city of Grand Rapids where he is president of the W. B. Chalmers Company, one of the well-ordered and important contracting concerns of this section of the state, and vice-president of the Michigan Hardware Company, besides which he is president of Zoerman & Clark Manufacturing Company, of Chicago, a concern engaged in the manufacturing of threading tools. Mr. Clark was born in Grand Rapids, June 11, 1886, and is a representative, in the third generation, of one of the honored pioneer families of Kent county. He is a son of Melvin J. and Emily (Jewell) Clark, of whose three children he was the second in order of birth, the youngest of the number being Melvin Jewell Clark, and the one daughter, Marguerite, being the wife of Edmund W. Wurzburg, of Grand Rapids. Melvin J. Clark was born in the province of Ontario, Canada, in 1835, and was eight years of age when his parents came to Kent county, Michigan, and settled on a pioneer farm in Cannon township, his parents having here passed the remainder of their lives and his father having done much to advance the earlier civic and industrial development and progress of this now favored section of the Wolverine state. Melvin J. Clark was reared and educated in Kent county and eventually became one of the prominent business men and influential citizens of Grand Rapids, his business and capitalistic interests having been of broad scope and large importance. He became associated with his brother, I. M. Clark, in the wholesale grocery business that was here conducted under the title of I. M. Clark & Company and which became one of the leading concerns of this kind in Grand Rapids, with a trade extending through many Michigan counties. This firm eventually was merged into the Clark-Jewell-Wells Company, which continued one of the foremost concerns in its field of operations until 1896, when it closed its business. Mr. Clark was prominently identified with the establishment of the wholesale hardware house of the Clark-Rutka-Weaver Company, the title of which later became the Clark-Weaver Company. Mr. Clark became prominently interested also in lumbering enterprise in the west and also in mining operations in Minnesota. He was president of the Grand Rapids Timber Company, with large holdings in Washington and Oregon; and was president of also of the Clark-Sligh Timber Company and of the Clark-Nickerson Timber Company, of Everett, Washington, besides which he was a director of the Grand Rapids National Bank. Mr. Clark became widely known as a substantial capitalist and representative business man, but in his home city and county he will be best remembered for his civic liberality, his generosity and his manifold acts of charity, benevolence and practical philanthropy. He was the donor of the beautiful Clark Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, on Sherman street, Grand Rapids, and also of the Clark Memorial Home, generously provided and endowed by him for the use of superannuated clergymen of the Methodist Episcopal church and for their widows. His was a noble conception of personal stewardship, and he appreciated to the full the duties and responsibilities that individual success brings. Thus he expressed his stewardship in liberal support of charitable and benevolent agencies, and marked the passing years with kindness and helpfulness that shall long cause his memory to be revered. Mr. Clark died November 23, 1909, and his wife is now living in Grand Rapids. Edward J. Clark duly profited by the advantages of the excellent public schools of Grand Rapids, and as a youth he became actively associated with the wholesale hardware business of which his father was the executive head. In his integrity of purpose, his initiative and executive ability as a business man, and his loyalty and progressiveness as a citizen he has proved a worthy successor of is honored father, and is one of the representative business men of the younger generation in Michiganís fair "Valley City." Mr. Clark gained intimate knowledge of all details of the wholesale hardware business, and eventually became one of the organizers of the Michigan Hardware Company, which succeeded the Clark-Weaver Company and of which he is now the vice-president. He organized the W. B. Chalmers Company, of which he is president and which under his careful and progressive policies has gained high standing and reputation, especially in connection with its admirable work in street improvement service in Grand Rapids, where it has successfully handled large contracts along this line. Mr. Clark has other large capitalistic and business interests, the more important of which have already been mentioned in this review. He is an active member of the National Asphalt Association, is a Republican in political alignment, and he and his wife are communicants of the parish of Grace church, Protestant Episcopal. His basic Masonic affiliation is with Malta Lodge, A. F. & A. M., and he has membership in the various other Masonic bodies in his home city, including those of the Scottish Rite, besides which he is a noble of the Mystic Shrine. He is affiliated also with Grand Rapids Lodge, B. P. O. E., and in his home community has membership in the Peninsular Club and the Highland Country Club, while in the great western metropolis he is a member of the Chicago Yacht Club. In the year 1914 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Clark to Miss Florence Teele, of Grand Rapids, and they have two children: Edward J., Jr., and Virginia.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 17 January 2004