J. Russell Jontz

Pages 295-296 - J. Russel Jontz Grand Rapids is one of the relatively few cities in the United States to sponsor the Big Brother movement, and it is a credit to the organizers of the Grand Rapids branch that they had the foresight and the public spirit to make provision for the boys of the city whose environment is such as to not be conducive to the best type of American citizenship. The success with which that movement has met has more than justified the faith of the original incorporators in the plan advanced by Col. Ernest Collier, clerk of the juvenile court of New York City, at whose instigation the Grand Rapids Big Brother movement gathered momentum which ended in the establishment of Big Brothers, Incorporated. During the past seven years the major portion of the administration of the movement in Grand Rapids has rested on the shoulders of the secretary, J. Russel Jontz, whose work in this connection has marked him as an able boy welfare worker. He is a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, where he received his public school education. After his graduation from De Pauw University, Greencastle, Indiana, he entered Y.M.C.A. work, being sent to South Bend, Indiana, as boy’s secretary. His success in working with boys attracted the attention of the directors of Big Brothers, and in February, 1919, he was called to Grand Rapids to take charge of the work there, beginning his duties on the first of February. The Big Brothers organization is a tribute to the unselfish interest of a number of big business men of Grand Rapids who incorporated the organization in 1915. The original incorporators were as follows: Dr. D.H. Dengman, Charles H. Mills, and Joseph W. Putman, H.A. Cutler, Herbert A. Goetz, J.R. Fitzpatrick, Oscar J. Fox, Walter S. Palmer, and Harry Sanford. At that time J.B. Lindsley became the secretary and after the lapse of one year Leo McCarthy, of St. Louis, assumed the position, remaining until he was supercede by Mr. Jontz. Under the management of Mr. Jontz, the Big Brothers organization has done excellent work in aiding delinquent boys, and it is due primarily to the training and ability of Mr. Jontz in boy welfare work that the movement has been as successful as it has. Mr. Jontz married Miss Maude MacNab, of Niles, Michigan, who has been a constant source of help and encouragement to her husband.


Transcriber:  Ann Ed
Created: 22 October 2003
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/jontzjr.html