Martin A. Gelock

Page 503-504 - Martin A. Gelock, founder and executive head of the Gelock Transfer Lines, and for more than half a century an honored resident of Grand Rapids, is one of the enterprising and public spirited men of this city who has made his way to prominence and honorable prestige through his own well directed energy and efforts. Becoming self-reliant when a boy of fourteen, he has risen to a place of commanding influence, and his character and achievements have honored himself and the city in which his progressive activities have been centered. He had had a varied business experience, knows the value of consecutive industry, has had the discipline of "hard knocks", but in the maturing and broadening of his character he has no reason to regret the early struggles and experiences which marked his progress toward the goal of success. Mr. Gelock was born in Grand Rapids, January 10, 1865, and is a son of the late Cornelius Gelock, who was born and reared in the Netherlands and who was seventeen years of age when he came to the United States and established his residence in Michigan. Loyal and patriotic and appreciative of the land of his adoption, Cornelius Gelock enlisted when twenty-one years of age for service in the Civil war and was a valiant soldier in defense of the Union during that great conflict. After his honorable discharge he returned to Grand Rapids, and both he and his worthy wife were residents of this city at the time of their death. The early and limited educational advantages of Martin A. Gelock were those afforded by the public schools of Grand Rapids. At the age of fourteen years he found employment in the local shoe shop of Barney McLaugherty, and later he worked in a brush factory in this city, and was also employed for a time in the Nelson & Matter furniture factory. He was early taught the habits of industry and economy, and placing a true valuation on honest toil and endeavor of whose dignity he has ever continued deeply appreciative, he worked at any honorable employment he could find. His maximum of pleasure and satisfaction however, was working around the horses kept by his father and his fondness for horses undoubtedly had much to do with his choice of vocation. For thirty years he was engaged in doing draying work for the firm of Brown & Foster and its successor, Brown & Hill. Later he engaged in the draying and transfer business in an independent way, and from a modest inception he has developed the substantial and prosperous business of which he is head and which is one of the leading industries of its kind in the city of Grand Rapids. He owns a large number of fine draft teams and a fleet of modern trucks with office headquarters and general equipment at 136-8 Ionia avenue, southwest, where he is able to give prompt and efficient service to the public in all work along this line. He makes a specialty in the supplying of teams and men required in contruction and all other work along this line as well as doing a general transfer business. Besides his business connections Mr. Gelock is loyal and public spirited in his civic attitude, and gives generously of his time and money to charitable movements and all mesaures tending to the public good. As a business man his course has been one of secure and consecutive progress, and through his well directed endeavors he has done not a little to further the industrial and commercial prestige of his native city. Mr. Gelock was married in 1885, to Miss Minnie Stein, a member of an old established and highly respected family of the Netherlands, and to this union were born seven children: Cornelius, Herman, Anthony H., Martin A., Jr., Henrietta, Adrian A., and Margaret, the first two of whom are deceased.

Transcriber: Gloria Paas
Created: 25 November 2002