George K. McMullen

Page 603-604 - George K. McMullen, founder of the McMullen Machinery Company, 64-66 Ionia avenue, opposite the union depot for seventeen years, has built up a remarkable business that is a distinct contribution to the industrial life of Grand Rapids. The McMullen Machinery Company are distributors in western, central and northern Michigan of complete lines of wood working machinery, metal working machinery, electric motors, transmission equipment, complete wood and metal working machinery accessory equipments, general shop equipment, and contractors equipment, and represents exclusively in their territory a number of the largest, oldest and most prominent manufacturers of such equipment in the country. George K. McMullen was born in Woodlake, Montcalm county, Michigan. He came to Grand Rapids in 1880 with his parents, William and Rachael McMullen. The father was a lumberman, and among other distinctive business achievements during his career in Grand Rapids constructed the McMullen building. He died in 1891, at the age of forty-nine years, and his wife survived him until 1917, and she passed on at the age of seventy-two years. George was educated in the public and high schools of Grand Rapids and then supplemented that educational career with a course at the University of Michigan, from which institution he was graduated in the electrical engineering department in 1896. He was employed with the Citizens Telephone Company during the latter part of the installation of its system. He was then for a short time employed in the manufacturing of office and filing equipment. On April 13, 1898, he became connected with the Fox Machine Company, then of this city, and later was advanced to the sales managership, remaining with that company until November, 1908. That employment gave him occasion to work in practically all parts of the country among machine distributors. This experience led him to reach the conclusion there should be a machinery depot, so-called in western Michigan, as in other parts of the country. For this he chose Grand Rapids as the natural distributing point for this territory and in December, 1908, organized and established the McMullen Machinery Company and opened it at the location, as above stated, opposite the union depot. Mr. McMullen is a member of the Rotary Club and Kent Country Club. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and Shriner. In his professional affiliations he holds membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He married Miss Mary Louise Waters, of Grand Rapids, a daughter of Oliver S. Waters, the founder of the Michigan Barrel Company, and who was manager of that enterprise until his death in 1898. Mr. and Mrs. McMullen have one daughter, Jean Louise, who is attending the public schools of Grand Rapids.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 13 December 2002