History of Kent County - Page 354 - 355 - Hans Clemetsen, who is vice-president and general superintendent of the Valley City Desk company, a concern that lends a noteworthy quota to the industrial and commercial importance of Grand Rapids, was born in Norway, in the year 1862, and was reared and educated in his native land, where also, in the fine old capital city of Christiania, he learned the cabinetmaker's trade, under the careful methods characteristic of all such apprenticeship in that section of the far Norseland. Believing that in the United States were afforded better advantages for the winning of success and advancement through personal effort, Mr. Clemetsen came to this country in 1883, shortly after attaining to his legal majority. The day before he left his native land he was united in marriage to his young sweetheart, and the voyage across the Atlantic was virtually their wedding tour. The maiden name of his bride was Augusta Berg. They landed in the port of New York City and thence they proceeded to Chicago, in which city they arrived with their cash capital reduced to $2.00, but with an abundance of self-reliance and ambition. As a skilled workman at his trade Mr. Clemetsen readily found employment in the great western metropolic, and there he won advancement through the efficiency of his work and through his fidelity to all trusts reposed in him. In 1904 Mr. Clemetsen came to Grand Rapids to assume the position of superintendent of the Valley City Desk Company. He introduced many improvements in the general working system of the factory and this, together with his valuable suggestions relative to the business policies of the company, brought about a distinct expansion in the output and in the scope of the business. In 1906 he was elected vice-president of the company, in which he had become a substantial stockholder, and this office he has since retained, together with that of general superintendent. O.C.S. Olsen, of Chicago, is president of the company, and Addison S. Goodman, of Grand Rapids, is its secretary and treasurer. The loved and devoted wife of Mr. Clemetsen passed to the life eternal in the year 1896, and is survived by four sons and two daughters. Ujalman, the eldest son, is now a resident of Chicago. In the World war period he was in the ordnance division of the war department, at Washington, D.C., where he was chief buyer of office supplies for the use of the United States army. Norman, the second son, likewise resides in Chicago, and, under the administration of his father, Garfield is assistant superintendent of the Valley City Desk Company. Harold, a graduate of Michigan Agricultural College, is now retained as district engineer of roads, with headquarters at Alpena. In the World war he was in overseas service two years. He was made a first lieutenant of cavalry, but was assigned to duty with a machine-gun company of the Second Division of the American Expeditionary Forces. He was wounded while at the front and was confined to a hospital during a period of six months. The two daughters of the family are Inger Helena Humann, living in Chicago, and Dagne Alwelda, in Grand Rapids. Mr Clemetsen is a Republican in political alignment.
Transcriber: Terry Start
Created: 4 March 2003