Frank Theodore Hulswit

Page 665-666 - Frank Theodore Hulswit, president of the United Light and Power Company: is a native of Grand Rapids, in whose career is reflected the opportunity for an American boy of vision and a capacity for hard work, to reach the top of the business ladder and become a national leader in a great industry. Mr. Hulswit was born in Grand Rapids, September 10, 1875, the son of Frank Michael and Johanna Ursula (Louis) Hulswit. His father was born and raised in Amsterdam, Holland: his mother in Rotterdam. His paternal ancestry was of pure Holland blood: his mother's, Holland on the maternal side and of French descent on the paternal side. Mr. Hulswit's father and mother came to America in the early seventies and were married in Grand Rapids. Mr. Hulswit went to work when he was fourteen years of age. His meager elementary education was applied to his varied tasks and supplemented with a determination to climb, ability to master detail, and the great gift of ability to learn big business in that greatest of all schools-experience. During his fifteenth and sixteenth years he served as an apprentice to a jeweler in Grand Rapids: then as a clerk in the post office for two years. He then embarked into work that gave him an insight into financial affairs, as he progressed from one situation to another, from 1895 to 1902, with the Michigan Trust Company, of Grand Rapids, leaving there to take a position and gain a further experience as a bond salesman for MacDonald, McCoy & Company, of Chicago. He began to connect this experience with the new and growing utility world in which he was destined to become such an important figure in October, 1904, when he became associated with Ralph S. Child and Richard Schaddelee in the formation of Child, Hulswit & Company, conducting a general bond business in Grand Rapids and securing ownership of a number of gas and electric properties. In 1910, Mr. Hulswit formed an association with Richard Schaddelee, the United Light and Railways Company, which recently was absorbed by a greater enterprise, the United Light and Power Company, of which Mr. Hulswit is president. The growth of the United Light and Power Company has been rapid and is best reflected by citing that its gross revenues, in 1910, approximated $800,000, and in 1925 its gross revenues reached $40,000,000. Through properties largely located in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Nebraska and Missouri this company now serves almost 300 communities with light, gas and power, or some branches of those utility products. In addition to being president of the United Light and Power Company, Mr. Hulswit is a director of the Michigan Trust Company of Grand Rapids: of the American Hide and Leather Company: president, United Motors Products Company; vice-president and director, Tri-City Railway and Light Company; director and chairman, executive committee, American Superpower Corporation; director, American Light and Traction Company, and president, American States Securities Corporation. Mr. Hulswit engages in many activities aside from his business responsibilities, as evidenced by his membership in the National Guard of Michigan; the Metropolitan Club of New York; the Union League Club of Chicago; the Union Club of Cleveland; the Westchester-Biltmore Country Club, Rye, New York; the Peninsular Club of Grand Rapids; the Highland Country Club of Grand Rapids; and the Congressional Country Club, Washington, D. C. Mr. Hulswit married Cornelia Maria Hoebeke on June 20, 1900, and they have two children: Charles Louis Hulswit, who is now a graduate engineer from the Univeristy of Michigan and Robert Marius Hulswit.

Transcriber: Gloria Paas
Created: 3 April 2003