Richard Schaddelee

Page 656-657 - Richard Schaddelee is not only vice-president and general manager of the United Light and Power Company of Grand Rapids, but has achieved a success in the field of electric light and power development which reaches far beyond the borders of the state of Michigan. He was born in the Netherlands on March 30, 1873, a son of William and Hubertha (Kievit) Schaddelee. His father in 1887 came to Holland, Michigan, and in the fall of that year came to Grand Rapids, where he spent the remainder of his life, passing on in 1916 at the age of seventy-four. His wife had died in 1892 at the age of fifty-seven years. Richard Schaddelee received his early education in the Netherlands public schools. He was fourteen years of age when he came to Holland, Michigan. There he began his busy career of industry upon a farm, and later at carpentry work, finally coming to Grand Rapids. He spent about two years of employment in the Widdicomb Furniture Factory of Grand Rapids and then assisted for two years in the office of Dr. Louis T. Barth and later helped in a dentistís office. He then began his career in the line of public utility work, in which he has achieved such a notable success by entering the employ of the Grand Rapids Gas Company. In 1891 he started in with the Grand Rapids Gas Company as a meter reader and collector and in 1902 was made cashier for the company. Later in 1902 he went to Albion, Michigan, where he assumed the more responsible duties of general manager of the Albion Gas Company. In 1905 he found a partnership with Frank Hulswit, Ralph S. Child and Howard Thornton, all of Grand Rapids, under the name of Childs-Hulswit Company. Mr. Schaddelee took the position of vice-president and general manager with this new company. In 1910 Mr. Hulswit and Mr. Schaddelee founded the United Light and Railway Company, of which Mr. Schaddelee became vice-president and general manager. In 1924 the name of this institution was changed to United Light and Power Company, of which Mr. Schaddelee now holds the position of vice-president and general manager. The growth of this company has been phenomenal. Its gross revenues in 1910 were about $800,000. In 1924 this business had so expanded that its gross revenues were approximately $34,000,000. Through recent acquisition of properties and expansion of the scope of operations this company has acquired utility properties, plants and systems until it now serves 289 communities very generally situated in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Nebraska, Missouri, and Canada. Mr. Schaddelee is also president of the Continental Gas and Electric Corporation, with properties in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Canada; president of Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gas Company; vice-president of United Light and Railways Company of Delaware; vice-president and director of Tri-City Railway and Light Company (Davenport, Iowa); president of the Lincoln Gas and Electric Company (Lincoln, Nebraska); director of Grand Rapids Gas Company; director of American Light and Traction Company of New York City; president of Fort Dodge (Iowa) Gas and Electric Company; president of Mason City (Iowa) and Cedar Lake Railway Company; and an active member in the National Electric Light Association, American Gas Association and American Electric Railway Association. In local civic affairs Mr. Schaddelee is a member of the Grand Rapids Association of Commerce and the Peninsular Club. He is also secretary and treasurer of the Highland Park Association. In June 1902, he was married to Miss Gertrude Klomparens, of Fillmore, Michigan. Their children are Herbert R., born January 17; 1905, now a sophomore in the University of Michigan; Leona G., born November 26, 1906, a senior in the Central High School of Grand Rapids; and Geraldine J., born November 25, 1911, a student in East Grand Rapids School. Mr. Schaddelee has long been a student of the best literature and is well informed on all subjects. When the son of the great Russian poet, Tolstoy, was in Grand Rapids, Mr. Schaddelee had the honor of entertaining this noted gentleman in his own home. He is personally acquainted with Doctor Kellogg and other men of note connected with the Battle Creek Sanitarium and is an ardent advocate of the methods used in this institution.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 17 January 2004