The Wagemaker Company

The Wagemaker Company. In the year 1897 Isaac Wagemaker, Clarence E. Mosher and Isaac VanDomelen formed a partnership and, on a very modest scale, engaged in the manufacturing of filing devices and other office supplies. The original headquarters of this progressive Grand Rapids industrial concern were in the Bissell building on Erie street, and at the start the corps of empoyes numbered twelve men. The products proved their value, and the increasing demand eventually made it essential to acquire larger quarters and greater facilities for production. The result was that removal was made to the present plant, at 556 Market street, and by 1901 two additions had been made to the factory building, to keep pace with the trade requirements. In 1912, as a matter of commercial expediency, the business was incorporated under the title of Wagemaker Company, and thereafter Isaac Wagemaker continued to be president of the company until his death, December 13, 1923, Mr. VanDomelen having become vice-president, and Mr. Mosher the secretary and treasurer of the company at the time of its incorporation. Isaac Wagemaker, who gained place among the successful manufacturers and representative business men of his native city, was born in Grand Rapids in the year 1870, and here he continued to maintain his home until his death, which occurred when he was fifty-three years of age. His wife succeeded him as president of the Wagemaker Company and she still retains this office. In the meantime John H. Bushnell has succeeded Mr. Mosher as secretary of the corporation. After completing his studies in the Grand Rapids public schools Mr. Wagemaker learned the trade of cabinetmaker, and he was employed at his trade in the W. A. Berkey furniture factory and later in the Macey factory. He married Miss Elizabeth VanDomelen, who is now president of the Wagemaker Company, and he is survived also by five children, three sons and two daughters. Isaac VanDomelen, who was the original vice-president of the company and who is the brother of Mrs. Wagemaker, was born in the city of Holland, Ottawa county, Michigan, and is a son of Cornelius VanDomelen, who was born and reared in the Netherlands and who became an early settler at Holland, Michigan. Isaac VanDomelen, like Mr. Wagemaker, served a practical apprenticeship in connection with furniture manufacturing, and he had been employed in various factories in Grand Rapids prior to engaging in independent business with Mr. Wagemaker and Mr. Mosher as his associates. At the time of his death he was in active charge of the finishing department of the factory of the Wagemaker Company. Miss Jane VanDomelen, sister of Isaac, entered the employ of the company in 1905, in the capacity of office stenographer, and since 1922 she has been the vice-president and treasurer of the company, she begin a most resourceful and valued executive officer. Miss VanDomelen was born at Holland, this state, and after her graduation in the high school she completed a course in the McLaughlin Business College in Grand Rapids. John H. Bushnell, who is now secretary and manager of the company, was born in the state of New York and was reared and educated in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 1902 he became a salesman for the Wagemaker Company, and he also had three years of practical experience in the different departments of the factory, of which he has been general manager since 1923. This is one of the progressive industrial concerns of Grand Rapids and its business has become one of important scope, so that it contributes in no small degree to the commercial prestige of the city.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 16 February 2005