Herman M. Liesveld
Herman M. Liesveld has been prominently identified with the business interests of Grand Rapids for the past forty years and since 1899 has been secretary and treasurer of the Globe Knitting Mills, his ability as a financier contributing largely to the development of that concern from one with a capitalization of approximately $6,000 to its present size with a capital stock of a million and a half dollars. His father, also named Herman, came to Grand Rapids from Holland in 1854, where he married Mary Westerhold, a native of Germany. The elder Liesveld established a monument manufacturing concern on the present location of the Steketee stores, but with the growth of the city, he moved his plant from Monroe Street to Division Street, locating in the rear of the Livingston Hotel. He died in 1877, a prominent and respected citizen of the city, and his widow died in 1892. Herman M. Liesveld was born in Grand Rapids in 1863. Until the age of fourteen, he attended the public schools of his native city and then sought and found employment with the Nelson & Matter Company. During the three years with that concern, he learned the trade of cabinetmaker, but by that time, he had decided against following that trade as a life work. Accordingly, he left the company to enter the employ of Ed Killeen, a grocer conducting a store at the corner of Bridge and Clancy streets. Mr. Liesveld found the work to his liking and applied himself assiduously to the task of learning every phase of the business, equipping himself against the time when he should go into business for himself. At the age of twenty-two he bought a grocery store located at the corner of Cherry and Packard streets. The success of this venture began with its inception, and during the ensuing fifteen years Mr. Liesveld build up a grocery trade that marked him as one of the most successful men then engaged in his business in the city. His life has been characterized by his foresight in commercial matters, and when in 1899 he was offered the position of secretary and treasurer of the Globe Knitting Mills at the time of its incorporation he fully realized the possibilities lying ahead of such an enterprise and accepted the offer. That his faith in his own judgment and the men with whom he became associated has been amply rewarded lies in the record of the company, which is now one of the largest concerns of its kind in Michigan and sells its products throughout the United States. Mr. Liesveld’s part in the development of the company has been no inferior one. As secretary and treasurer, he has been an active and influential member of the firm, the large plant and the enormous volume of business standing as monuments, which he has been one of the few to erect. Mr. Liesveld married Cornelia Van Dyke, the daughter of Peter Van Dyke, of Hudsonville. The Van Dyke family is prominent in the locality of Hudsonville, where they still live on the farm taken up by Peter Van Dyke in 1848.
Pages 210-211 History of Kent County
Transcriber: Mary Huizen
Created: 7 February 2003