Frank Vandeven

Page 458-459 - Frank Vandeven, president of the Grand Rapids Paper Company, 19 Ottawa street, has risen to a position of business leadership in his native city. He was born in Grand Rapids on January 16, 1860, son of Frank and Gertrude (Garrison) Vandeven, both natives of the Netherlands. They came to Grand Rapids in 1857, where the father died in 1861 at the age of thirty-seven years, survived by his wife, who lived to a ripe old age of eighty-three years before her death at Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Of their seven children, two died in infancy and three daughters and two sons, Byron and Frank, the subject of this sketch, are now living. The father was a highly educated man, speaking seven different languages. He came to the United States at the time a colony of settlers was brought over by Holland ministers to begin life in America. Mr. Vandeven was so anxious to familiarize himself with American ways and so readily absorbed knowledge from his attendance at American churches that although he was only in this country approximately three years before his death, he had become a teacher in the Sunday school in the Congregational church, which position he capably filled until his untimely death. The son, Frank Vandeven, who is the subject of this narrative, has achieved the success indicated by his present business leadership in Grand Rapids through the great school of experience. At the tender age of seven years the re-marriage of his mother to Paul Dangler, a shoemaker by trade, interrupted young Frankís educational course. The family removed to Wisconsin, where by the time he was nine years old, he was being initiated into the shoemakerís trade by his step-father. Determined to excel in whatever he undertook, Frank thoroughly equipped himself in that trade, which he followed until he was twenty-two years of age, having in the meantime secured his own shop. At the age of twenty-two, he followed the course of empire, westward, to the untamed territory of Washington, upon the Pacific coast. There he took up government land, but in six months returned to his native city of Grand Rapids, to follow commercial pursuits. For seven years he served as a clerk in grocery stores, and later for two years was employed with the Judson Grocery Company, of Grand Rapids. He took to the road and for two years was a traveling salesman for northwest territory with the headquarters at Minneapolis, representing the Diamond Crystal Salt Company, of Saint Clair, Michigan. Mr. Vandeven then returned to Grand Rapids and organized the Grand Rapids Paper Company, of which he has since been manager, then later becoming secretary and manager, and upon the death of George Hernzelman in 1924, Mr. Vandeven became president of the company, and is now its executive head. Mr. Vandeven is a member of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, the Association of Commerce, Credit Menís Association, and York Lodge No. 410, F. & A. M. He was united in marriage to Miss Jennie May Reeves, of Eagle, Wisconsin, and to their union were born three children: Gertrude May, now the wife of Lee Thomas, of Eagle, Wisconsin; Irene Rhoda, wife of A. H. Konkle, of Grand Rapids, and Robert Warren who died at the age of four and a half years, second child of the three. Mr. Vandevenís wife died in 1895 and in 1899 he was married to Miss Amelia Ernestine Heinzelman, and of this union there have been two children born, Frances Louise, wife of Oliver Wallace, of Grand Rapids, and Dorothy.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 5 May 2004