Merlin E. Shanteau

Pg. 414-415 - Merlin E. Shanteau, president, general manager and treasurer of the Investigating & Adjustment Company, inc., is making this corporation function to the great advantage of its clients and has gained to it a representative support as a valuable adjunct to the general business activities of Grand Rapids. Mr. Shanteau founded this business in February, 1922, and while he adopted methods and policies that gave assurance of success, the business in the careful and honorable investigating and adjusting of claims for clients has grown far in excess of his original anticipations. In 1923 Mr. Shanteau found it necessary to enlist assistance in the general handling of the constantly expanding business, and admitted his brother, Rollin S., to partnership. In 1924 the business was incorporated, with a capital stock of $15,000, and in the meanwhile Mr. Shanteau had become associated also in the organizing of the United Detective Agency, Inc., which was incorporated with a capital stock of $5,000 and which likewise has become most successful in its operations. Mr. Shanteau had prepared himself for the legal profession and had also gained broad and varied experience in practical business affairs, so that he was well fortified for the specific line of business in which he eventually engaged in an independent way, and in which he has been substantially successful, the effective service of the two corporations with which he is identified constituting their best medium of advertising. He has adopted many original methods in the conducting of the affairs of his company, and has eliminated the use of the form letters usually employed by similar concerns. His plan is one involving personal contacts in the adjusting of claims, and the results give almost invariable satisfaction to all parties concerned. Mr. Shanteau was born on his fatherís farm at Point Place, near Toledo, Ohio, and is a son of Samuel and Anna M. (Pecotte) Shanteau, both of French ancestry. Samuel Shanteau gained first-class certificates as a marine and stationary engineer, and as such, he was for thirty years employed on the Great Lakes, besides which he owned and operated one of the well-improved farms near Toledo, in Lucas County, Ohio. Mrs. Anna M. Shanteau has been active and influential in Republican politics in Lucas County within recent years, and is now serving (1925) as deputy treasurer of that county, in the courthouse at Toledo. Merlin E. Shanteau gained his early education in the rural schools of his native county, later attending a business college in Toledo, and he gave also close attention to the study of law, with the intention of engaging in practice. He was deflected from this course and has had no reason to regret his entrance into the business world. He found employment in important clothing stores in Toledo, and finally he there became manager of a large credit store, a position that he retained four years. He next became manager for a still more extensive mercantile establishment in Toledo, and about four years later, he resigned this position to accept that of manager of the Peopleís Clothing Store in Grand Rapids, his removal to this city having occurred in 1921. Eighteen months later, he engaged in business in an independent way, as noted in the early part of this sketch. He is one of the vital and progressive young business men of Grand Rapids. His wife, whose maiden name was Lillian Brunt, was born and reared in Michigan, her childhood home having been just across the state line between Michigan and Ohio, and not far distant from the city of Toledo.

Transcriber: Mary Huizen
Created: 12 March 2003