Jacob Herrmann has to his credit forty-five years of successful activity as a contractor and builder in the city of Grand Rapids, and today he may consistently be designated as the veteran dean of this important line of business enterprise in Kent county. Her learned, in his native Germany, the trade of brick mason, became a skilled artisan and continued to work at his trade in Germany until he came to the United States and established his residence in Grand Rapids, in April 1881. Here he is now the highly esteemed senior member of the firm of Jacob Herrmann & Son, building contractors of important and substantial operations, with office at 10 Perkins building. Mr. Herrmann was born in Holler, Germany, July 25, 1856, and is a representative of a family established many generations in that district of the German empire. There he gained his early education and there he served his thorough trade apprenticeship. He was an ambitious young man of twenty-five years when he came to the United States, in 1881, and he forthwith selected Grand Rapids as the stage of his activities. He soon demonstrated his ability as a builder, and gained recognition as an industrious, reliable and progressive business man Ė a genuine worker who enjoyed work and made his work expressive of his civic loyalty. For many years Mr. Herrmann has controlled a large and representative business as a building contractor, and many of the substantial and important buildings of Grand Rapids have been erected by him in the passing years, including the John Widdicomb furniture factory, St. Alphonsus Catholic School, the chapel of the St. Johnís Orphans Home, the First Church of Christ Scientist, the Ypsilanti Reed Furniture Companyís factory, the factory of the Gibson Refrigerator Company, at Greenville, and many other public and business buildings in his home city and other places in western Michigan. During the past twenty-two years he has had as his partner and able and valued coadjutor in the business his son, Leo V. Herrmann, whose association with his fatherís building operations began when he was but fourteen years of age, and who by practical experience has made himself skilled and resourceful in all technical and executive details of the business. Jacob Herrmann has figured as one of the vital, unassuming, industrious and reliable business men of Grand Rapids, and his civic loyalty has been marked by his deep appreciation of the manifold advantages and attractions of the land of his adoption. He and his family are communicants of St. Maryís Catholic church and he is affiliated with the Knights of Columbus. In 1885 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Herrmann to Miss Anna Mary Mueller, who was born and reared in Grand Rapids, and they have a fine family of eight children: Paul, Leo V., Margaret, Lonie, Lewis C., Bertha J., Carl J. and Raymond J. Leo V., who is associated with his father in business, as already noted, married Miss Bertha Heyer, daughter of August Heyer, who was one of the pioneer German settlers in Clinton county, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Leo V. Herrmann have three sons and three daughters. Lonie Herrmann, second daughter of the subject of this review, is secretary in the office of Jacob Herrmann & Son. Lewis C., who took a course in mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, is now associated with his father in business.
Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 24 March 2005