Charles N. Remington

Pages 260-261 - Charles N. Remington. Perhaps to no one does the city of Grand Rapids owe more than it does to Charles N. Remington for the cause of civic betterment and improvement has been one of the moving forces of his life there. As chairman of the Municipal Affairs committee of the Grand Rapids Association of Commerce he has performed noteworthy work in furthering the welfare of his community, and in the matter of the cityís parks, he has been a constant worker in protecting and enhancing the beauty spots of Grand Rapids. To his ability as a business man Grand Rapids owes a goodly share of her commercial and industrial prestige, and in real estate work he has been one of those instrumental in platting some of the most beautiful subdivisions of which the Furniture City can boast. On his fatherís side of the house he is of English descent and Irish on his motherís side. He was born in Earlville, New York, April 29, 1865, the son of Charles N. and Betsy C. (Sherrill) Remington. When he was but an infant eighteen months old, his family came west, settling in Grand Rapids, where William B. Remington, the uncle of our subject, was then engaged in the wholesale notion business. Charles N. Remington, Sr. entered the employ of his brother as a traveling salesman, a contemporary of the late Alonzo Seymour, who is generally conceded to be the first man who represented a Grand Rapids firm to the retail trade of Michigan. Young Charles Remington attended the public schools of Grand Rapids until he was fourteen years of age, when he entered the employ of the Berkey & Gay Furniture Company as a pad hopper, a job in which he manufactured the pads used by that company in packing its furniture for shipment. His weekly wage at this work was but two and a half dollars per week. At the end of a year he secured employment as an office boy in the merchandise brokerage office of his brother-in-law, H. F. Hastings. He found the work to his liking, taking such an interest in it that his efforts were rewarded by steady promotion until at the end of thirteen years he was taken into partnership. Following the death of the senior partner, he acquired the interest of Mrs. Hastings and continued in sole ownership of the thriving business. His entire connection with this work was approximately forty years in duration and in it he gained a reputation of being one of the able business men of the city. He sold the business to Arthur Hurst to assume the active management of the Grand Rapids Mutual Building and Loan Association of which he had been a director for twenty years. Until 1908 he served as director of that institution, when he became vice-president, discharging the duties of that office in a manner that won him the presidency in 1923. As head of a concern whose resources total $7,500,000, he has exercised a policy which in its execution has stamped him as one of the ablest business men of Grand Rapids. The investments which he has authorized were made only after careful consideration of the merits of such investments, and the success which the company enjoys is proof of the acumen and foresight which he brings to his work. The Briggs North Park addition of eighty-two acres was platted by him. The Edgewater addition of thirty-one acres adjoining Reeds Lake; the Marywood addition, comprising twenty-four lots located opposite the Sacred Heart Academy, east of the city, and the eighty-acre Flood farm, east of the Marywood addition, are all numbered among the larger achievements of Mr. Remingtonís business career. He built the original freight depot of the Holland Interurban road, now occupied by the Grand Rapids Steel and Supply Company. The building occupied by Crane and Company, the Tousant block leased by the William A. Berkey Furniture Company, and the adjoining Campau office building also stand as monuments of his initiative as an executive. He is a director of the Grand Rapids Trust Company, the Fourth National Bank and the Grand Rapids Gas Light Company. As president and general manager of the Ludington Gas Company, he has directed the affairs of that concern for the past twenty years, and as a member of the Grand Rapids Park and Boulevard Association, he was instrumental in the construction of the boulevard around Reedís Lake. He has been secretary of that same organization for more than ten years, a capacity in which he has rendered the people of Grand Rapids indispensable service. Every good movement for the cause of civic betterment found him a strong supporter, and his devotion to the preservation and development of the parks of Grand Rapids has been one of the strongest factors in making the cityís park system one of the most comprehensive and beautiful in the state of Michigan. Mr. Remington married Miss Kate Dreher, of Grand Rapids, and they have one daughter, Katherine. Mr. Remington is one of the early members of York Lodge, F. & A. M., and is now charity fund treasurer of the lodge. He is a Thirty-seconde He e . H. Degree Mason and a Shriner. For the reason that he has been a constant worker in the cause of civic improvement, for the reason that he has, in a business way, devoted his life to the development of the city where he makes his home, Charles N. Remington richly deserves the plaudits of his fellows, and though he has never sought popular applause for his unselfish service on behalf of the people, he stands as one who has done more than any other man, with the possible exception of one, for his city.

Transcriber: Nancy Myer
Created: 20 June 2003