Henry J. Steele

Henry J. Steele, who is prominently identified with the coal business of Grand Rapids as the general manager of Oakdale Coal and Fuel Company, was born in that city, November 23, 1879, the son of G. J. and Anna (Kruizenga) Steel, both of whom were natives of the Netherlands. G. J. Steele came to the United States with his mother when he was fourteen years of age, settling at Chicago. His wife came to America when she was a girl of twelve years. He and his wife came to Kent county, Michigan, and engaged in farming, following that occupation for thirty years. In 1910, G. J. Steele retired, removing at that time to Grand Rapids, where he still lives. His wife died in 1921. Henry J. Steele attended the rural schools of Kent county. His education completed, he took up farming on the family homestead farm with his father, continuing in that work during the ensuing twelve years. With the expiration of that time, he bought a farm in Ottawa county and until 1913, he worked the land successfully. In that year he came to Grand Rapids, establishing Steele Brothers Coal Company at that time in partnership with his brother, Jacob G. Steele. In 1922, he sold out his interest to his brother and organized the Oakdale Coal and Fuel Company, Inc., becoming general manager of the corporation, a position which he still retains. He is ranked as one of the ablest executives in Grand Rapids engaged in the coal and fuel business, and commercial dealings are characterized by the utmost fairness and integrity. He married Miss Ada Northouse on February 18, 1902. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Northouse, farmers in Ottawa county, both of whom are dead. Mr. and Mrs. Steele have two children: Harold G. born in 1904, who is assistant manager of Grand Rapids Savings Bank branch, located at the corner of Grandville avenue and B street; and Inez, who was born in June, 1914. Mr. Steele is affiliated with the Christian Reformed church. He still owns his farm in Kent county to which he makes daily trips to superintend the feeding and care of his livestock. He has developed the land into one of the finest pieces of farm land in the county, and it is thoroughly modern in every respect for the best breeding of cattle.


Transcriber: Marcia Shears
Created: 13 December 2002
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/steelehj.html