Clarence S. Dexter

Page 271-272 Clarence S. Dexter has shown in the most significant way his possession of the attributes of success-achievement, and has by his own ability and well ordered activities gained place among the substantial and influential figures in the great industrial activities centered in the city of Grand Rapids. Here he is secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Grand Rapids Chair Company, one of the largest manufacturing concerns of its kind in the United States, and he is also president of the Imperial Furniture Company, director of the Foote-Reynolds Company, Michigan Trust Company and the Old National Bank. Mr. Dexter figures as a resourceful motivator of industrial, commercial and civic progress in his home city and is distinctly one of the representative men of affairs in Grand Rapids. Mr. Dexter was born in the city of Chicago, on the 4th of June, 1882, and is a son of George W. and Laura A. (Sawyer) Dexter, his father having been long and prominently engaged in the wholesale grocery business in Chicago, as a member of the firm of Merriam, Collins & Dexter. Albert A. Dexter, grandfather of the subject of this review, was born and reared in the state of New York and became one of the prominent business men of Chicago, where he settled many years ago. The early education of Clarence S. Dexter was acquired mainly in the public schools of his native city, and there also he acquired his initial business experience. He has proved a driving power in connection with constructive business enterprise, and his advancement has come as a natural result of well applied energies. His first association with the industrial activities of Grand Rapids came when he assumed the position of Pacific coast salesman for the Imperial Furniture Company, in 1907. In the following year he became also representative in a similar way for the Grand Rapids Chair Company. He produced results. In 1910 he was given assignment to the more important eastern territory, and in 1917 he was made secretary and treasurer of the Grand Rapids Chair Company, of which dual office he has since continued the incumbent, besides which he has been also the general manager of the company since October 29, 1920, he having assumed this office upon the death of the former incumbent, Elijah H. Foote. At this time he succeeded also to the position of president of the Imperial Furniture Company, another of the large and important manufacturing concerns of Grand Rapids. Mr. Dexter assisted in the organization of the Foote-Reynolds Company, of which he became vice-president. In 1924 he was made the president of this corporation, but later in that year a controlling interest was acquired by Charles J. Kindly, who assumed the active management, Mr. Dexter continuing his alliance with the company as a director. He is a loyal and public spirited citizen who is ever certain to give effective co-operation in the advancing measures and enterprises for the benefit of his home city. Mr. Dexter was for three years president of the Grand Rapids Furniture Manufacturers Association. His political alignment is in the ranks of the Republican party. Mr. Dexter wedded Miss Emma H. Foote, daughter of Elijah H. and Frances A. (Howe) Foote, of Grand Rapids, and the two children of this union are daughters, Frances J., born June 12, 1911, and Dorothy M., born February 7, 19l5.

Transcriber:  Gloria Paas
Created: 23 January  2003