Frederick W. Folger

 Page 610-612 - Frederick W. Folger - Whenever interior decorating is discussed in western Michigan, the name of Frederick W. Folger, of Grand Rapids, sooner or later is mentioned in connection with this branch of the arts. He comes of a long line of English artists on his mother’s side of the house, and his brother, Gilbert Folger, was a prominent artist of Grand Rapids. Frederick W. Folger was born in Blendon township, Ottawa county, Michigan, May 25, 1865, the son of E. and Lucy (Hall) Folger, the former of whom was born in New York in 1827, and the latter in London, England, in 1824. E. Folger was one of the prominent pioneers of Ottawa county where he farmed the land for fifty years. He retired from active life at the end of that time and made his home in South Blendon where he died in 1887, his widow dying in 1906. They were actively identified with the work of the Ottawa county Pioneer Association. E. Folger was a leading figure in the politics of the county, at one time serving as supervisor and at another as treasurer of Blendon township. Frederick W. Folger was educated in the public schools of South Blendon, Michigan, and with the completion of his education, he returned to the home farm where he worked with his father for many years. He was not satisfied to continue in farm work, however, and came to Grand Rapids where he found employment as a cabinet maker and later as a shipping clerk with a large furniture manufacturing concern. He gave up that work to become a traveling salesman for a wall paper and paint company, continuing in that work two years. During all these years of work in fields foreign to his tastes, he had applied himself to his art, and in 1904, he went into business for himself so that he might be able to turn that art to something more than a hobby. His work as an interior decorator found almost instant favor among builders in the vicinity of Grand Rapids. His reputation spread so far that today many of the largest churches, theaters and large buildings of western Michigan bear his oil paintings on their walls, his pictorial and scenic painting being among the best of any decorator in Michigan. In connection with his chosen work, he also handles a fine line of wall paper, paints and picture frames. His management of this phase of his business has shown him to be not only an artist but also a business man of the first rank, and for both qualities he is admired and respected throughout Grand Rapids and vicinity. Mr. Folger married Miss Ada Scott, the daughter of John and Catherine (Seeber) Scott, deceased, Georgetown, Michigan. John Scott was born in London, England, March 28, 1824, and his wife was born in Canada in the same year. After he came to the United States, he engaged in the lumber business at Grand Rapids. After his retirement from active business life in Muskegon and Grand Haven, Michigan, he lived on his farm in Ottawa county until his death, May 24, 1888, his widow dying in Grand Rapids in 1919. He was a charter member of the Grand River Masonic lodge. Mr. and Mrs. Folger have one son Albert F., who was born October 21, 1888. He is now living in Grand Rapids where he is a partner in the Allen-Folger Garage. During the World war he served eighteen months in France with the Thirty-seventh Engineers. Frederick Folger has been a member of the Grand Rapids Masonic lodge for the past thirty-four years, and his wife is a member of the Order of the Eastern Star. Both he and his wife are members of the Pioneer Association, and Mrs. Folger is affiliated with the Christian Science church.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 30 December 2002