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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Furniture Industry 1876-1908

by William Widdicomb

William Widdicomb catalogs the new furniture companies, or additions and changes to firms already established, for each year from 1876 to 1908.




No addition; strenuous times


Wm. A. Wight, Erie St.


E.A. Roberts, 28 Mill St.


Folger & Ginley, 28 Mill St.

Geo. W. & Hiram Gay, 434 Canal St.

Roberts Brothers succeed E. A. Roberts


Wolverine Furniture & Chair Co., Pearl St.

Kent Furniture Co. North Front St., L.H. Randall, Pres.; J. H. Wonderly, V. Pres.; C.W. Watkins, Treas.; E.C. Allen, Sec.

McCord & Bradfield, R.C. Luce, Pres.; T.M. McCord, V. Pres.

New England Furniture Co., Succeeding Ward, Skinner & Brooks, sash and door manufacturers.

Sligh Furniture Co., L.H. Randall, Pres.; Chas. R. Sligh, Sec.

Stockwell, Bryne & Co.

John Waddell & Co.

Stow & Haight


Wm. A. Berkey & Koskul, Lyon St.


F.L. Furbish


Oriel Cabinet Co., North Front St.


The Folding Chair & Table Co.

Ford Furniture Co., Wm. Winegar, Pres.; J.L. Shaw, V. Pres.; Chas. H. Hooker, Sec. and Treas.

The Luther & Sumner Co.

Worden Furniture Co., Henry Fralick, Pres.; A.E. Worden, Sec. and Manager

Winchester & Moulton


Stockwell & Darragh Furniture Co.

Nathan Strahn

The Union Furniture Co.

Fogg & Higgins


Stephen Cool & Co., Fourth St.

S.E. Allen, 44 Mill St.

Peninsular Furniture Co.


West Michigan Furniture Co., Third St.

Wm. A. Berkey Furniture Co. Succeeding Berkey & Koskul


Stow & Davis

Strahn & Long, Composed of Harry W. Long, John E. Moore, Nathan Strahn

Union Furniture Co., Grand Trunk Junction, Successors of S. Luther & Co., with A.S. Richard, E.G.D.Holden and Cyrus E. Perkins as officers

Grand Rapids School Furniture Co.

E.F. Winchester & Co., 34 Mill St.


Wm. T. Powers again enters the furniture business

I.C. Smith, J.C. Darragh and Jos. Penny doing business as American Dressing Case Co., Canal St.

Empire Furniture Co., 32 Mill St.

S.L. King, Pearl and Front Streets.

Welch Folding Bed Co.


Clark & Hodges Furniture Co., North Canal St.


Valley City Rattan Works

J.J. White, T. Bedell and H. Bedell doing business as the Crescent Cabinet Co.

Grand Rapids Cabinet Co., M.C. Burch and B. DeGraff, officers

Grand Rapids Parlor Furniture Co.

Grand Rapids Table Co.

Martin L. Sweet


Klingman & Limbert Chair Co.

Birge & Shattuck

Grand Rapids Enamel Furniture Co.

Universal Tripod Co., the original of the Royal Furniture Co.

Michigan Chair Co.


C.E. Amsden

Richmond & Lyman Co.

Standard Table Co.

Valley City Table Co.


Stickley Bros. Co.

Central Furniture Co.

Mueller & Slack Co.

Royal Furniture Co.

McGraw Manufacturing Co.


C.A. Berge Upholstering Co.

Grand Rapids Church Furniture Co.


C.P. Limbert & Co.

Valley City Desk Co.

Grand Rapids Wood Carving Co.

Ryan Rattan Chair Co.

Grand Rapids Carved Moulding Co.


J.A. Anderson & Co.

Grand Rapids Seating Co.

H.N. Hall Cabinet Co.

Grand Rapids Standard Bed Co.

Hansen Bros.

Retting & Sweet


Hake Manufacturing Co.

Arlington Cabinet Co.

Grand Rapids Bookcase Co.

Grand Rapids Fancy Furniture Co.

Luce Furniture Co., Succeeding McCord & Bradfield

Fred Macey Co.

Michigan Art Carving Co.

Grand Rapids Wood Carving Co.


Reuben H. Smith

John Widdicomb Co.


Novelty Wood Works

Boyns-Morley Co.

Gunn Furniture Co.

Wernicke Furniture Co.


Chase Chair Co.

Raymond Manche Co.

Chas. F. Powers Co.

Wagemaker Furniture Co.


Furniture City Cabinet Co.

C.S. Paine Co.

Standard Cabinet Co.

Van Kuiken Bros.


Century Furniture Co.

Grand Rapids Show Case Co.

Grand Rapids Table Co.

Nachtegall & Veit

G.S. Smith


Burnett & Van Overan

Ideal Furniture Co.

Imperial Furniture Co.

Linn-Murray Furniture Co.


Grand Rapids Cabinet Co.

Greenway Furniture Co.

Hetterschied Manufacturing Works

Michigan Order Work Furniture Co.


Cabinetmakers Co.

C.A. Greenman Co.

Michigan Desk Co.

Retting Furniture Co., Succeeding Retting & Sweet

Shelton & Snyder Co.


Veit Manufacturing Co.

Grand Rapids Cabinet Furniture Co.

Grand Rapids Parlor Furniture Co.

Kelley & Extrom

Luxury Chair Co.

John D. Raab Chair Co.

Raab-Winter Table Co.

Sweet & Biggs Furniture Co.


Grand Rapids Upholstery Co.


Criswell Keppler Co.

Dolphin Desk Co.

Michigan Seating Co.

Rex Manufacturing Co.


The surprising number of manufacturing efforts compared with the moderate number that have survived is, perhaps, a true indication of the vicissitudes that attend the furniture manufacturing business. No more than three or four new institutions for the manufacture of fine grades in furniture have been successfully established in the United States within the past ten years. There is not business demanding such unremitting personal attention as our industry.

Excerpted from, The Early History of the Furniture Industry in Grand Rapids, by William Widdicomb. Grand Rapids Historical Society. 1909. Grand Rapids Public Library, Coll #141-20-3

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