David Edwin Uhl
Page 263

David Edwin Uhl is the owner of the business conducted under the title of the Grand Rapids Fancy Furniture Company, and has developed the same into one of the important industrial enterprises of the city that is the great center of furniture manufacturing in the United States. Mr. Uhl was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, July 23, 1870, and is a son of Hon. Edwin F. and Alice (Follett) Uhl. The Uhl family has pioneer prestige in Michigan, and adequate record concerning the family history is given on other pages of this work, in the memoir dedicated to Hon. Edwin F. Uhl, who was a distinguished Michigan citizen and a prominent member of the bar of the state. David E. Uhl was six years of age at the time of the family removal to Grand Rapids, and in the public schools of this city he continued his studies until he had profited by the advantages of the Central high school. Thereafter he completed a course in a business college at Sewannee, Tennessee, and after his return to Grand Rapids he held, for three years, a position in the Grand Rapids National Bank. He then, in 1892, turned his attention to the manufacturing of furniture – an enterprise in which he at first encountered distinctly adverse conditions, owing largely to the general financial depression that soon swept over the entire country. Of this period in his career a previous publication has given a record that is consistently reproduced here: "Those who were in business in 1893 remember that the year was not a good one for new enterprises. But Mr. Uhl needed experience, and the year of financial panic offered all that could be delivered along this line. Mr. Uhl took philosophically the bumps of a dull market and went on making tables and selling them to whomever would buy. Business was not so lively that it kept him chained to his desk, and some of his time was spent in the acquirement of practical knowledge of the business he had undertaken, this knowledge having been gained by his direct association with operations in his factory. Mr. Uhl found that the business of manufacturing and selling furniture was not so unsatisfactory as it might be, and at this juncture he found it expedient to turn from the manufacturing of tables to the production of music cabinets, writing desks and bookcases of fine and medium grades. A warehouse of commodious order was erected, and upon its walls was inscribed the name under which he has transacted his furniture manufacturing business –The Grand Rapids Fancy Furniture Company. Since the foregoing was written the factory has been enlarged and otherwise improved, so that it ranks among the important furniture producing establishments of Michigan’s vital "Furniture City". From time to time the productive output has been expanded and made to include additional types of furniture and cabinet-work, including pional music cabinets, highboys and lowboys of most artistic and substantial order, spinet desks, radio cabinets, etc. Mr. Uhl is the sole owner and the general manager of the business, which has frown under his progressive policies to be one of broad scope and importance, with trade extending into all sections of the United States, as well as into the Canadian provinces. In his individual control of this substantial and prosperous manufacturing and commercial enterprise Mr. Uhl has made a splendid record of achievement, as well as a valuable contribution to the industrial precedence of his home city. He is one of the staunch and appreciative believers in Grand Rapids and its still greater future, and his loyal civic stewardship is shown in his readiness to give support to measures and enterprises that tend to advance the general welfare of his city. He is an active member of the Grand Rapids Association of Commerce, the Peninsular Club, Kent Country Club and the local lodge of Elks; his political alignment is with the Democratic party, and he is a communicant of St. Mark’s church, Protestant Episcopal. On the 11th of April, 1904, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Uhl to Miss Sarah Harmon, of Grand Rapids, and their one child is a daughter, Elizabeth Mary.

History of Kent County, Volume III by Arthur White, 1925
Location: Grand Rapids Public Library

Transcriber: Evelyn Sawyer
Created: 29 March 2002