Clay H. Hollister

Clay H. Hollister, president of the Old National Bank of Grand Rapids and associated with other corporations of major importance in his native city and state, is one of the substantial capitalists and loyal and liberal citizens of Michiganís vital "Valley City," and here is upholding fully the high honors of a family name that has been one of prominence and that has represented large influence in Michigan. To the late and distinguished Harvey J. Hollister, father of the subject of this review, a memoir is dedicated on other pages of this publication, and in the article appear adequate data concerning the family history. Clay H. Hollister was born in Grand Rapids, October 7, 1863, and is a son of the late Harvey J. and Martha (Clay) Hollister. In the public schools of his native city he continued his studies until his graduation in the high school, and he then entered historic old Amherst College, in which he was graduated as a member of the class of 1886 and with the degree of Bachelor or Arts. Thereafter he was for eighteen months associated with the Cummer Lumber Company, at Cadillac, Michigan, and in 1888 he initiated his alliance with the great banking institution of which he is now the executive head. In 1891 he became cashier of the bank, and of this position he continued the incumbent until 1903, when he was advanced to the office of cashier. He has been president of the Old National Bank since 1915, and he has been a resourceful and valued factor in the upbuilding of this bank, one of the most important and influential financial institutions of western Michigan. Hr. Hollister is president of the Newaygo Portland Cement Company, the important industrial plant of which is established at the judicial center of Newaygo county, and he is a director of each of the following named corporations: The Antrim Iron Company, the Commonwealth Power Corporation, the Grand Rapids Show Case Company, the Merchants Life Insurance Company, the Grand Rapids Veneer Works, the Grand Rapids Brass Company, and the Grand Rapids Railway Company. Like his honored father, Mr. Hollister has given loyal support to measures and enterprises that have conserved the civic and material progress and prosperity of Grand Rapids, and it is needless to say that he is one of the distinctly prominent and influential men of affairs in his native city. The political allegiance of Mr. Hollister is given to the Republican party, and while he has had no desire for participation in practical politics or for the holding of public office, his civic loyalty was effectively exemplified in his seven years of service as a member of the board of education in his home city. He was, in 1925, treasurer of the Kent Country Club, was the first president and is still a director of the University Club of Grand Rapids, and he has membership in the Peninsular Club and the Grand Rapids Boat and Canoe Club, besides being a member of the University Club in the city of Chicago. Mr. Hollister is a trustee of the Blodgett Memorial Foundation, through which perpetual honor is paid to the late Delos A. Blodgett, who was long one of the most substantial capitalists and men of affairs in the state of Michigan and who was one of the most honored and influential citizens of Grand Rapids for many years prior to his death. In the year 1888 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Hollister to Miss Justina Merrick, of Holyoke, Massachusetts, and of the four children of this union three are living: Lieut. George M. Hollister, the third son, sacrificed his life in the great World war, he having met his death while at the front in the Argonne sector in France, October 12, 1918, and having been at the time a second lieutenant of the Sixty-first Regiment of Infantry, Fifth Division of the American Expeditionary Forces. The surviving children are: Paul M., of Boston; Martha H., (wife of Charles Wadsworth III, of New York), and Clay H., Jr.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 24 March 2005