Rollin H. Owen

Pages 456-457 - Rollin H. Owen, treasurer of Owen-Ames-Kimball Company, contractors and builders, is not only one of the successful business men of Grand Rapids from a financial standpoint but through his ability in that constructive line of work has been a real builder of the city as attested by many beautiful business buildings and industrial plants and thereby a substantial contributor to the splendid material appearance of the community. He is a native of Newark Ohio, born on July 8, 1870, and received his public school and high school education in Newark. In 1889 when just coming into young manhood, he came to Grand Rapids and started in a the bottom of his line of work with the Valley City Street and Cable Railway Company. They then had under construction the Lyon street line and he remained with that company until the completion of that work, over a period of about five years. He then engaged in general contracting with J. G. Nordella, under the firm name of Nordella and Owen, for another period of five years, until he joined the firm of Hauser-Hayden and Owen, of which his brother, Edwin Owen, now president of the Owen-Ames-Kimball Company, was already a member. Out of this former company evolved the present company, of which the subject of this narrative is treasurer. The Owen-Ames-Kimball Company have had the contracts for many of the largest and most important buildings in Grand Rapids and western Michigan, and these buildings have not only reflected credit upon this company but have generally been under the direct supervision of Rollin H. Owen. Some of these buildings deserve special mention at this point in that we may give proper recognition to the ability displayed in this line of work and in the improvement of the community by Mr. Owen: Herpolsheimer building, Steketee building, Grand Rapids Savings Bank building, Grand Rapids National Bank building, Furniture Exchange building, New Bell Telephone building, Pantlind Hotel, Rowe Hotel, Klingman Exhibition building,and Fine Arts building. Mr. Owen has found time to devote part of his energies to other lines of commercial and civic development in this community. He is also a director in the Battjes Fuel & Building Material Company; vice-president of Grand Rapids Forging Company, and vice-President of the Rowe Hotel company. He is a thirty-second degree Mason and Shriner, member of the B.P.O.E. and K.O T.M., and a charter member of Highland Country club and Peninsular Club. On January 15, 1897, he married Nellie M Kane, of Amhersburg, Ontario, who is one of the prominent women in Grand Rapids. She has twice held the City Gold championship in the club of which she is a very active member, and is also a member of the Woman's city club and the Alliance Francaise.

Transcriber: Terry Start
Created: 4 March 2003