John G. Oom

Page 337 - John G. Oom is another of the native sons of Grand Rapids who has here found ample opportunity for achieving success in business, and he is the sole owner of a well equipped retail hardware establishment, at 755-57 Eastern avenue, southeast. Mr. Oom was born in Grand Rapids August 4, 1884, and is a son of Aaron and Elizabeth (Gelock) Oom, the former of whom was born in the Netherlands and the latter of whom was born in Grand Rapids, her father, a native of Holland, having been an early settler on the west side of Grand Rapids, where he established his residence in the late ‘50s or early ‘60s, he having been a wagonmaker by trade and vocation and having been one of the substantial citizens of Grand Rapids at the time of his death. Aaron Oom was a young man when he established his home in Grand Rapids, and here he continued to follow the trade of cabinetmaker until his death, in 1893. His widow is still a resident of this city, which has represented her home from the time of her birth. She is an earnest member of the Christian Reformed church, as was also her husband. In the public schools of the west side of Grand Rapids John G. Oom acquired his early education, and at the age of fifteen years he became a cash boy in the Boston Store. He worked ten hours a day, and on Saturdays continued to apply himself during the evening hours also, his compensation having been $2.50 a week. After one year of this service he entered upon an apprenticeship to the trade of machinist, in the shops of the Fox Typewriter Company, and later he was employed at his trade in the establishment of Wilmarth & Morman. After devoting four years to work along this line he completed a course in the McLaughlin Business College, and then obtained a position in the office of the Elliot Machine Company, with which he continued his association until 1908, when he formed a partnership with M. T. Cramer and engaged in the retail hardware business at his present location under the name of Cramer & Oom. Seven years later he purchased his partner’s interest, and he has since continued the business in an individual way and with marked success, his store being forty by sixty feet in dimensions—the expansion of the enterprise requiring a store about twice the size of that in which the original firm initiated business. Mr. Oom is a loyal and appreciative citizen of the fair city that has ever been his place of residence, is a Republican in political alignment, and he and his wife are active communicants of the Sherman Street Reformed Christian church. July 29, 1909, Mr. Oom wedded Miss Mattie Cramer, of Muskegon, and they have four children: Arthur, Robert, Lois, and John G., Jr.

Transcriber: John Miller
Created: 22 March 2003