Grace Van Heusen

Grace Van Heusen

One of the articles in the upcoming summer 2016 issue of Michigana is about Grace VanHoesen (1870-1959), a very active citizen of Grand Rapids.

Grace was an involved citizen, dedicating her time to service on county boards and political entities. She was an organizer of Grand Rapids’ League of Women Voters, co-authoring their first edition, in 1929, of Our City Government, and serving as their finance chair in the 1930s. Grace ran unsuccessfully for a city commission seat in 1923, and lost an early bid to sit on the Board of Education. Grace was a member of progressive Fountain Street Church, a charter member of the Women’s City Club, and served on the finance committee of the YWCA.

Grace also seemed to be fond of traveling throughout her life. In 1909, her name was included on the passenger list of the S.S. Ionia, leaving Glasgow, Scotland, for a return trip to the U.S.; but it was not until March 1921 that Grace applied for a (then) optional passport. Upon her application, her stated purpose was to travel abroad, via Montreal, to France, Italy and Switzerland.

For more about this amazing woman, check out the latest issue of Michigana! (Volume 62 Issue 2, summer 2016). The article is written by Heather R. Edwards, librarian at the Grand Rapids Public Library downtown.

R. Waybrant, Editor, Michigana