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Kalamazoo County Michigan
Business & Mfg.

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Kalamazoo, MI (Elite Theatre) (1912) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

"Kalamazoo Cold Storage"
This fine and enterprising; organization, which conducts an enormous trade in all parts of the United States and Canada, was founded in 1891 with a capital stock of twelve thousand dollars as a limited corporation. The first officers were: J. N. Stearns, president; F. C. Balch, vice-president; A. C. Balch, treasurer, and J. B. Balch. secretary. The company erected a plant on Walbridge street, forty by eighty feet in size and three stories high, with commodious dry warehouses for the storage of non-perishable merchandise, and ample facilities for the cold storage of commodities of the other class. The capacity of the establishment is sixty-five carloads and it handles every kind of produce, being the most extensive jobber in onions in the state. The company is the pioneer of South Haven in carload shipments, and one of the most extensive dealers in this sort of traffic, having shipped in one year more than two hundred carloads, sending them all over the country. It was the third company started in Michigan and is now the third in the Miagnitude of its business. In 1897 a reorganization was effected with the same capital stock but n new directorate, the officers chosen at that time and still serving being J. R. Balch, president, and B. E. Pierce, secretary, treasurer and manager. Mr. Balch was born in Allegan county, this state, in September, 1868. He is a son of A. R. Balch, brother of the late Hon. Nathaniel A. Balch. one of the leading lawyers and public-spirited citizens of this county, whose forensic efforts and public services won him high renown throughout the state and gave him a high reputation far beyond its borders. A. R. Balch, the father of the subject of this writing, was a pioneer of Allegan county and owned large tracts of pine land in that county. He also lived for a number of years in this county, but died in Allegan county in 1872. Like his brother Nathaniel, he was prominent in politics, and to the end of his life was a faithful and earnest Democrat. He operated large saw mills and carried on an extensive lumber business, furnishing large quantities of pine lumber to the industries in Kalamazoo. His son. J. B. Balch, grew to manhood in Allegan county and was educated in the public schools and at the Kalamazoo Baptist College. He entered business as a clerk for Robert R. W. Smith & Sons, of Kalamazoo, with whom he remained two years at a compensation of three dollars a week. Then, after passing two years in the employ of P. W. Henley, he became a traveling salesman for the Busch Cattle Guard Company, through the South, remaining with that company until the organization of the cold storage company, of which he is now president. In 1897 he married with Miss Mabel S. Severance, a daughter of Judge Severance. Mr. Balch has never taken an active interest in partisan politics and has never accepted or desired public office of any kind, being well pleased to serve his city, county, state and country from the honorable post of private citizenship and with earnest attention to their best interests in every way but through political contention. He was the candidate of the Democratic party for secretary of state in 1904, the nomination being a surprise and unsolicited by him. Throughout southern Michigan and the neighboring territory he is highly respected as a leading and representative business man and citizen.
Portrait and Biographical of Kalamazoo MI 1892

Kalamazoo, MI (Kalamazoo Stove Company) (1909) - Contributed by Paul Petosky

Plant and Community House
"World's Model Paper Mill"

Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Co.
Kalamazoo, Michigan U.S.A.

(Kalamazoo Wagon Company), with a Kalamazoo, MI
flag cancellation dated February 8, 1900 - Contributed by Paul Petosky

"Sugar Paper Company"
One of the interesting and progressive industrial institutions of the city, with a large trade and engaged in the production of a great variety of choice marketable products, was organized on January it, 1901, with a capital stock of one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars, the stock- holders being nearly all local men. The company manufactures high grade sized and super calendared and machine finished book and lithograph, catalogue. French folios and either specialties in paper. The officers are W. S. Hodges, president and general manager, H. H. Everard, vice- president, Frank H. Milham, secretary, and H. P. Kauffer, ex-president of the Home Savings Bank, treasurer. The company is but three years old, but it has been managed with vigor and enterprise and has built up a very large trade with patrons in all parts of the country. Mr. Hodges, the president and manager, is a native of this county, born near Galesburg in 1855. His parents. George S. and Mary E. (Ellis) Hodges, were born and reared in the state of New York. The father became a resident of this county in 1844. taking up a farm in South Comstock township, where he farmed a number of years, then moved to Galesburg. In 1861 he enlisted in defense of the Union in Company I, Second Michigan Cavalry, and was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland. He remained in the service until the close of the war and saw much active field duty, participating in many important engagements, among them the battles of Franklin, December 24, 1863, Franklin, January 4, 1863, and Mossy Creek, December 29, 1863, and the campaigns incident thereto, with other campaigns of his branch of the service. He was mustered out as captain of his company. Returning then to Kalamazoo, he served two years as sheriff of the county, and afterward engaged in the livery business. He died in 1878, leaving a widow who is still living. W. S. Hodges was their only child. He was educated at Galesburg and Kalamazoo, and began life in the service of the United States and American Express Companies, and after some years in their employ became connected with the Kalamazoo Paper Company in 1883. In 1887 he went with George E. Bardeen to Otsego, Allegan county, and helped to organize the Bardeen Paper Company there. He remained with this company until 1899. and in 1901 he united with others in founding the Superior Paper Company, which he has managed ever since with gratifying and pronounced success. He is also a stock- holder in and director of the Home Savings Bank, the Kalamazoo Paper Box Company, and the Kalamazoo Railroad Supply Company. Fraternally he is connected with the Masonic order in lodge, chapter and commandery, and with the order of Elks. In 1882 he married Miss Nettie Carmer, a daughter of Peter and Elsie (Hall) Carmer, early settlers of Galesburg. They have one child, their son George C. Hodges. On the business interests of the city and county Mr. Hodges has had a decidedly forceful and wholesome influence, uniting in his methods an enlightened conservatism with a broad-viewed progressiveness, using every opportunity and means to advantage yet not carried away in chimerical or spectacular schemes. His counsel is highly appreciated and his energy is worthy of all emulation.
Portrait and Biographical Kalamazoo MI 1892


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