L. John Witters

Page 488-489 - L. John Witters has been engaged in the retail grocery business in his native city of Grand Rapids more than thirty years and during this entire period he has been continuously associated with Hubert Daane, under the firm name of Daane & Witters. The substantial and prosperous business controlled by this progressive firm stands in indubitable evidence of the fair and honorable policies that have made possible the development of the prosperous and representative enterprise. Mr. Witters is also associated with his two sons in the conducting of a prosperous automobile sales business. Mr. Witters was born in Grand Rapids in the year 1868, and is a son of Martin L. and Lavina (Haan) Witters, both of whom were born in the Netherlands, their marriage having been solemnized in Grand Rapids. Martin L. Witters was a young man when he left his native land and came to the United States. He became one of the early settlers of Grand Rapids, and was a member of the first volunteer fire department of this city. He was still a young man at the time of his death, in 1871, and his widow survived him by a number of years, both having been earnest members of the Reformed church. The early education of John L. Witters was acquired in the public schools of Grand Rapids, and as a youth he served an apprenticeship to the trade of upholsterer, at the factory of the Phoenix Furniture Company, where he continued to be employed during a period of seven years. He then in 1891, formed a partnership with Hubert Daane, and the new firm of Dane & Witters opened a small grocery store at its present location on Monroe avenue. Energy, industry and careful meeting of the requirements of customers caused the enterprise to expand rapidly, and within a short time an additional room to the north of the original quarters was secured, further enlargement of quarters having later been necessitated, and the large and well equipped establishment being now arranged in one store room, the former partitions having been removed. The firm controls a large and representative business and its members are known as reliable and progressive business men and loyal and public spirited citizens of Grand Rapids, where theirs is secure place in popular confidence and esteem. In the automobile sales business Mr. Witters has as his co-partners his sons, M. Leonard and Howard, who are making their mark as enterprising and popular young business men of their native city. The sons conduct this business under the title of Witters Motor Company and the enterprise had its inception in November, 1920, when headquarters were opened at 321 Bond avenue. In the following year removal was made to 147 Weston avenue, and in 1922 was erected the concernís present modern building, at the corner of Oakes and Sheldon streets. The firm controls a substantial and well ordered business in the handling of the Franklin and Oldsmobile cars. Mr. Witters is an active member of the Association of Commerce, and he and his wife, whose maiden name was Lena DeBoer, hold membership in the Reformed church. They have four children, M. Leonard, Joseph E., Howard E., and Martha L.

Transcriber: Nancy Myers
Created: 22 November 2003