Page 489-490 - James DeGood may be said to have a splendid industry heritage through ancestral influence, as he is a native of Holland, that sturdy little country where constructive industry has ever been represented in its best form. He was born in 1888, a son of Henry and Jennie DeGood, and was an infant of six months at the time of the family arrival in Grand Rapids, which has continued to represent his home and been the stage of his practical activities during the intervening years. Through his own energy, ability and honest policies he has here built up a large and prosperous transfer business, besides which he controls an extensive business as a contractor for excavation work, with an equipment of the best modern machinery and accessories used for such work. In the public schools of Grand Rapids, Mr. DeGood continued his studies until he had completed the work of the eighth grade, and even as a boy his inherent predilection led him to obtain employment at such work as would make him a wage earner. As a youth he was in the employ of the Columbia Transfer Company, and later he became one of the first employes in connection with the newly established transfer business of Helmus Brothers. His initial venture of independent order was made when he began operations with a one-horse wagon, his "office" having been in a cobbler’s shop at the corner of Fulton and Commerce streets. The business proved successful so far as its limitations made possible, and after two years Mr. DeGood rented a larger barn on Bond avenue, where he maintained headquarters four years, and then sold his well established business to the firm of Golden & Boter. During the ensuing four years he was variously employed, the while he was ever on the lookout for an opportunity to establish himself in business in an independent way and in a line where energy and good management would bring consecutive advancement. Finally he engaged again in the transfer business, at 145 Lewis street, and soon, with the aid of a loyal and valued friend, he had in commission five or six horses and two wagons. The enterprise grew rapidly, and after the lapse of one year Mr. DeGood found it essential to obtain larger quarters and better facilities. It was at this time that he purchased the large three-story brick building formerly occupied by the Furniture City Brewery Company, at the corner of Ionia and Goodrich streets, and here he has since continued his successful operations in the transfer and general hauling business, with the best of modern equipment, including a fleet of motor trucks, and his contracting business in excavation work is likewise one of substantial and important order. Mr. DeGood has prided himself in keeping splendid horses, ever well groomed, and not withstanding the preset use of motor trucks, he still works thirteen fine teams in his transfer business. Mr. DeGood is the owner of a fine farm of eighty acres, about one mile from Grand Rapids, in Plainfield township, and it is his intention there to establish the family home, for which purpose he is remodeling and otherwise improving the house on the place. His first wife, whose maiden name was Susan VanHouten, died in 1915, and is survived by three children. The second marriage of Mr. DeGood was with Mrs. Alice Bomers, who presides over the domestic and social affairs of the attractive home.
Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 22 November 2003