Dudley E. Waters

Page 530-531-532 - Dudley E. Waters is concerned with large and important financial, industrial an corporate interests in his native city of Grand Rapids, has general supervision of the estate of the Waters family, and his appreciative loyalty to his native city and state has been shown in his effective stewardship as a man of affairs and as a liberal and public-spirited citizen. Of his many activities a an executive and stock holder in various corporations of maximum importance, more specific mention will be made at a later point in this review, but at this juncture it may be stated that Mr. Waters is president of the Grand Rapids National Bank, one of the most substantial and influential financial institutions of Michigan. Dudley E. Waters was born in Grand Rapids on the 27th of November, 1863, and is a son of the late Daniel H. and Mary (Leffingwell) Waters, his father having established his residence in Michigan seventy years ago and having been a prominent figure in the earlier civic and industrial development of the state, especially through his extensive and well-ordered operations in the handling of pine lands, in the period when the great lumbering industry of Michigan was at its zenith. Daniel H. Waters, one of the honored and influential citizens of Grand Rapids at the time of his death, which occurred March 17, 1894, was born in the state of New York, village of Colden, in the year 1834 (December 29), and was a scion of a family that was founded in America in the early colonial period of our national history. The founder of the American branch of the family was Lawrence Waters, who came from his native England and made settlement in Lancaster, Massachusetts, prior to the time when began the colonial protestation that eventually culminated in the war of the Revolution. Representatives of the Waters family were prominently concerned in the great conflict that brought national independence, and it is a matter of record that one member of this early New England family assisted Paul Revere in crossing the river and setting forth on his historic ride to warn colonists of the approach of British troops. It is interesting to record that in a well-preserved condition the ancient house that was the homestead of the Waters family at Lancaster, Massachusetts, is still standing, as one of the landmarks of that section of the old Bay state. From Erie county, New York, Daniel H. Waters came to Michigan in the year 1856, and he first made settlement in a little village that was then known as Kelloggsville, in Kent county. There he engaged in the contracting business, and within a comparatively short time he transferred his residence and base of operations to Grand Rapids, where he continued in the same line of industry, and where eventually he founded the Michigan Barrel Company, which became one of the important industrial concerns of the city and state. He made also large and judicious investments in pine lands, and in the sale of the same, as well as through the medium of large lumbering operations there carried forward, he did much to advance his accumulation of a substantial fortune. Mr. Waters loyally concerned himself with measures and enterprises that made for the civic and material progress of his home city, and he was one of the organizers and incorporators of the Grand Rapids National Bank and the Michigan Trust Company, on the boards of directors of which he continued his services until his death. He retired from active association with manufacturing and other industries when he was forty-six years of age, and he had attained to the age of fifty-nine years when death brought a close to his worthy and useful life, his entire course having been guided on a high plane of personal and communal integrity. He was one of the heaviest stockholders in the Grand Rapids National Bank at the time of his death, and the largest stock holdings in the institution are those represented by the shares held by his estate and individually by his only son Dudley E, who is the president of the bank. Daniel H. Waters was a man of broad mental ken, and of well-fortified convictions regarding matters of economic and governmental policy. He was a staunch supporter of the cause of the Democratic party, but never manifested aught of ambition for public office of any kind. It was after he came to Michigan that Daniel H. Waters was here united in marriage to Miss Mary Leffingwell, who was born in the state of Pennsylvania (at Somerset), and who survived him by nearly a quarter of a century, and continued to maintain her home in Grand Rapids until her death, September 27, 1917, at the venerable age of seventy-seven years. She was a daughter of the late General Christopher W. Leffingwell, to whom a brief memorial tribute is dedicated on another page of this volume. Mr. and Mrs. Waters are survived by three children, of whom the only son is Dudley E., immediate subject of this review; Anna is the wife of Morris Cassard, of Grand Rapids; and Mabel is the wife of Hubert C. Schwartz, of Chicago. Dudley E. Waters is indebted to the public schools of Grand Rapids for his youthful education, and his early business responsibilities and experience well fortified him for the assumption of control of the large family estate at the time of his fatherís death, in 1894. In thus taking supervision of the family estate in behalf of his widowed mother, his two sisters and himself, Mr. Waters adopted the estate administrative title of D. H. Waters, Son & Company, and he was elected successor of his father as a member of the board of directors of the Grand Rapids National Bank, in which he and the Waters estate are now among the largest stockholders, and of which he has been the president since 1901. He was one of the organizers and is a director of the Peopleís Savings Bank, another of the important financial institutions of his native city. Mr. Waters has found many avenues for expressing his appreciation of and loyalty to Grand Rapids, and not the least of such expressions was that which he gave in his efficient service as a member of the municipal board of public works, a position that he retained seven years, during four of which he was president of the board. Mr. Waters has identified himself fully and influentially with the communal affairs of his native city, and in a more specifically social way it may be noted that he has membership in the Peninsular Club, the Kent Country Club, the Highland Country Club, and the Cascade Hills Country Club, of Grand Rapids, the while he is a member also of the Yondotega Club, the Detroit Club, the Bankers Club and the Detroit Athletic Club, all representative organizations in the Michigan metropolis. Mr. Waters takes much satisfaction and justifiable pride in his fine dairy farm of 600 acres, near Grand Rapids. This is one of the fine rural properties of Kent county, with the most modern of improvements, and is given over largely to the breeding of pure-blood Holstein cattle. On his farm Mr. Waters has raised Holsteins that have been national and state prize-winners, and he has been influential in the affairs of the National and the Michigan Holstein Breeders Associations. In the year 1892 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Waters to Miss Florence Hills, of Rome, Georgia, and they have one child, Dudley Hills Waters. Mrs. Waters is a gracious and popular figure in the representative social circles of her home city.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 25 November 2002
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net//white1924/personal/watersde.html