Elbridge G. Studley

Pg. 410-411 - Elbridge G. Studley has been for half a century a resident of Grand Rapids, where he is now living retired after many years of active and influential association with commercial, industrial and financial enterprises of important order. His career as a man of affairs was marked alike by exceptional business ability and by a sterling integrity that gained and retained to him inviolable popular confidence and good will. Mr. Studley was born at Claverack, New York, December 6, 1848, and is a son of the late Elbridge G. and Catherine (Cole) Studley, the former of whom was born in Massachusetts and the latter in the state of New York, both families having been founded in America in the early colonial period, and six of the ancestors of the subject of this review having been patriot soldiers in the war of the Revolution, while one forebear had previously served in the French and Indian war. Mr. Studley of this sketch is thus eligible for and holds membership in the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. After profiting by the advantages of the common schools of the old Empire state, Elbridge G. Studley, Jr., there attended the Hudson River Institute, and in his native state, he gained also his early business experience. In 1875, almost immediately after his marriage, Mr. Studley came to Grand Rapids, accompanied by his bride, he having been assigned the responsibility of opening a store for the E. B. Preston Company, of Chicago, dealers in rubber products and mill supplies. One year later, he purchased the store and business, and he continued the enterprise in an individual way until he admitted W. Y. Barclay to partnership, whereupon the firm name of Studley & Barclay was adopted. Under this title the business was continued many years, and the firm had quarters in the building where is now established the Friedman-Spring mercantile establishment, 163 Monroe street, northwest, the other part of the building having at that time been occupied by the Henry Spring dry goods store. In his business and civic activities, Mr. Studley was prominently identified with the development and progress of Grand Rapids, and had many and important interests aside from the business which he here first established and which grew to one of large scope. He was one of the organizers of the Grand Rapids Felt Boot Company, and was also an official in the Carem Archerena Company, manufacturers of game boards. He was for a number of years a director of the Old National Bank, the Valley City Milling Company and the Worden Lumber Company, besides which he was senior member of the firm of Studley & Jarvis, dealers in sporting goods, this enterprise, at 204 Monroe avenue, being now conducted under the title of the Jarvis Company. He was influential in the affairs of the old Grand Rapids Board of Trade, and was made a life director of the same. The political alignment of Mr. Studley has always been with the Republican Party, but he has never had desire for public office, though as a citizen he has ever been liberal, loyal and progressive. He has been a zealous worker in and support of the First Methodist Episcopal church, and for a number of years was a member of this church. He was also an active worker in the Y. M. C. A. In later years Mr. and Mrs. Studley became most earnest and influential members of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Grand Rapids, and in the same Mrs. Studley served a number of years as first reader, she having been one of the early members of that church, and her active interest in Christian Science being initiated in 1884. Mrs. Studley studied deeply and broadly the principles and system of Christian Science, completed a course in the Massachusetts Metaphysical College, conducted under the auspices of The Mother Church in Boston, and she was a teacher of Christian Science in her home city of Grand Rapids for many years prior to her death, March 31, 1922, her memory being revered by all who came within the compass of her gracious, gentle and unselfish influence. In the city of Chicago, in 1875, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Studley to Miss Ida M. Beatty, and the entire period of their ideal married companionship, marked by mutual devotion and interests, was passed in Grand Rapids, where the gracious bonds were severed only when the loved wife and mother passed to the life eternal, she being survived by two daughters: Edith, who married Robert E. White, of Grand Rapids, and Miss Helen Elizabeth, of whom individual mention is made in the sketch immediately following this review.

Transcriber: Mary Huizen
Created: 12 March 2003