Isaiah H. Gingrich

Page 497-498 - Isaiah H. Gingrich has developed from a most modest inception a large and prosperous industrial enterprise that is of much importance as touching and supplementing the general and diversified phases of the manufacturing industry that give Grand Rapids acknowledged pre-eminence along this line. The large and well equipped establishment of Mr. Gingrich is eligibly situated at 15-17 Market street, southwest, and has provisions for high-grade repair and construction work along all mechanical lines, special attention being given to the motor truck department of the enterprise, besides which Mr. Gingrich has the western Michigan agency for the celebrated Federal motor trucks. He has won success through his own ability and well directed activities and has gained place as one of the substantial business men of Grand Rapids, which city has represented his home since he was nineteen years of age. Mr. Gingrich was born in Floradale, Waterloo, county, Province of Ontario, Canada, May 7, 1870, a son of John B. and Mary (Hembling) Gingrich, and is a representative of a family that was founded in America more than two hundred and fifty years ago, the original ancestor having come from Germany and settled in Pennsylvania, whence representatives of the family later removed to the province of Ontario, Canada. In a somewhat limited way Mr. Gingrich was afforded the advantages of the public schools of his native province and he early gained fellowship with honest toil and endeavor. It is a matter of justified satisfaction to him that he has been one of the world's productive workers, and his is high appreciation of the dignity and value of honest labor. At the age of nineteen years he came to Grand Rapids and found employment with the Buss Machine Company. Later he was employed by the Leitelt Iron Works, and in these connections he effectively developed his natural mechanical ability. He continued to be employed as a skilled mechanic until 1909, when he rented a small place at 7 Fulton Street and established a shop for the handling of mechanical repair work of all kinds. The excellent and reliable service that the gave caused the little enterprise to expand continuously, and after the passing of two years he found it essential to obtain larger quarters. During the ensuing four years his shop was maintained in the Gentz building, near the present post office building, and the continued growth of his business then led him to erect at 216 Fulton street, southwest, a building 50 x 100 feet in dimensions, to which he later made an addition of the same dimensions on Market street, so that his establishment is now a large one, with mechanical equipment and accessories of the best modern order. With the wonderful development of the motor-truck usage Mr. Gingrich has found it expedient to utilize his establishment almost entirely in the repairing and re-equipping of such trucks, besides being agent for the Federal trucks, as previously noted. His sons, Arthur, Earl, Walter, Wilbur and Clarence, have all virtually grown up in the business, and they are now his efficient and valued assistants therein-young men who are an honor to their father and to their native city. Mrs. Gingrich, whose maiden name was Louise Raab, was born and reared in Allegan county, this state, where her, father, Adam Raab, settled in an early day.

Transcriber: Gloria Paas
Created: 13 November 2002