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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

A Grandson Remembers John R. Cassleman

by John R. Cassleman III

Very few knew that my grandfather’s first order of business at the beginning of his incredibly long and busy work days was to find a job for every man that was waiting in a line outside his office door in the morning, especially during the Depression years. Nothing else happened until that was accomplished. My grandfather was known to most of his colleagues as a consummate statistician, financial whiz, and salesman for the city. There were many different impressions and opinions of him. Yet I remember the best part about him was revealed when he and I went to lunch one Saturday in the late 1950s. We were walking on Monroe Ave. toward his favorite hangout, the Morton House Hotel café, when one man after another stopped him, grabbed his hand and thanked him again for getting him a good job during the Depression or after the War.

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