deceased, was one of the influential and substantial citizens of Grand Rapids where he lived for nearly thirty years. He was born in the Netherlands, January 20, 1863, the son of Thomas Thomasma. He came to the United States with his parents when he was seven years of age and after residing in East Saugatuck and Lamont for seventeen years, he removed to Grand Rapids with his family. His mother and father are both dead. He received his education in the public schools in Vermont. In Grand Rapids he engaged in the retail meat business, in which he engaged for the rest of his life. His long business career in Grand Rapids is exemplary of the best ideals carried into commercial dealings, and the results of this were shown in the expansion of his business which was little short of phenomenal. His first meat market was started on the west side on Alpine avenue, and he later moved to the corner of Broadway avenue and Leonard street. After operating that market for several years he built another on the corner of White avenue and Leonard street. This last place of business was destroyed by fire after a few years, and he returned to his original location on Broadway avenue and Leonard street. He worked up a new business in this location, and then he decided to broaden his business by building a second market at the corner of Turner avenue and Leonard street. He left the old market in charge of competent employees, assuming the direct management of the new one himself. He continued to operate the second market until the time of his death on June 10, 1916. He was deacon of the Broadway Christian Reformed church for many years, and at the time of his death he was president of the Sunday school of that church. May 27, 1890, he married Miss Catherine Proos, the daughter of David and Alinda (Broadway) Proos, deceased, both of whom were pioneer residents of Grand Rapids. To Mr. And Mrs. Thomasma were born fifteen children, who are: Thomas, David, Walter and Harry, who are now conducting a butcher shop which their mother built for them at the corner of Davis avenue and Leonard street; Elena, married; Blanche, married; Nell, at home; Gerurda, married; Katherine, a graduate of Ypsilanti Normal School, who is now teaching at Grand Rapids; Ann, at home; Ray, a student at the Michigan Agricultural College; Grace, a student at Ypsilanti Normal School; and Marvin, John, and Eleanor, all of whom are at home with their mother. The meat market operated by her four sons is doing a prosperous business and the young men have already gained a reputation of being excellent business men. During the World war, Walter and Harry R. Thomasma served with the United States army in France.
Transcriber: Evelyn Sawyer
Created: 22 June 2002