Page 535-536 - Walter Henry Semeyn is one of the enterprising representatives of the automobile business in his native city of Grand Rapids, where he has the agency for the Oakland and Pontiac automobiles, his well equipped garage and sales rooms being established at 147 Weston street, southeast. Mr. Semeyn was born in Grand Rapids, May 13, 1895, and is a representative of a family that has been established here more than seventy years. His is a son of Leonard H. and Louise M. (Schwehm) Semeyn, the former of whom was born here October 28, 1863, and the latter of whom was born at Menominee, Wisconsin. Henry Semeyn, grandfather of the subject of this review, was born in the fine old Netherlands of Europe, in 1839, and was about twelve years of age when his parents came to the United States and numbered themselves among the pioneer-settlers in Grand Rapids. Henry Semeyn continued his residence in this city until the time of his death, in 1915, and he was at the time one of the venerable and honored pioneer citizens of Kent county. Leonard H. Semeyn is one of the veteran figures in the plumbing and heating business in Grand Rapids, where he initiated his business along this line in the year 1882, there having been at the time but one other dealer in plumbing supplies in the city. He has long controlled a large and prosperous business and is known and honored as one of the substantial citizens of his native city. His marriage was solemnized in 1887 and of the same were born five children: Franklin died when about ten years of age; Fannie is the wife of Ernest B. Benjamin of Detroit; Walter H., of this review, was the next in order of birth; Louise is the wife of Stephen Vander Plass, of Grand Rapids; and the youngest of the number is Leonard J. In the public schools of Grand Rapids the youthful education of Walter H. Semeyn included that of the high school, and his entire business career has been one of association with the automobile industry. He conducted a general garage three years in Grand Rapids, and thereafter had the Hupmobile and Chevrolet agency at Ionia, Michigan, until his return to Grand Rapids, in August, 1924, where he has since resided. Mr. Semeyn is a member of the Peninsular Club and is affiliated with the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. In 1916 was solemnized his marriage to Miss Leolyn Bettes, daughter of the late Harrison C. Bettes, who was at the time of his death one of the representative farmers near Sparta, Kent county, where his widow still remains on the old homestead farm. Mr. and Mrs. Semeyn have two children: Walter Harrison and Don Bettes.

Transcriber:  Nancy Myers
Created: 13 November 2002