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Gilbert A. Coutchie


Gilbert A. COUTCHIE is a native son of Muskegon and a representative of one of the sterling pioneer families of this city and county.  Here in his business activities he has kept pace with the march of progress in the passing years, and through his substantial operations in the real estate business he has done much to forward that progress, along both civic and material lines.  He is one of the substantial, loyal and honored citizens of his native city and is specially entitled to recognition in this publication.  Mr. COUTCHIE was born in Muskegon on the third day of May 1863, and is a son of Alexander and Merderies (BOURDEAU) COUTCHIE, of whose fine family of fifteen children, four are now living.  Alexander COUTCHIE was born in the year 1826, and was one of the venerable and honored pioneer citizens of Muskegon at the time of his death when seventy-six years old in 1908, his widow having passed away in 1910, at the age of sixty-nine years.  Alexander COUTCHIE was a young man when he established his residence in Muskegon, in 1857, and here he followed his sturdy trade, that of blacksmith, for more than half a century.  He erected for the family home more than fifty-seven years ago the first brick house in Muskegon, the brick for this building having been manufactured at the plant of the old Muskegon brewery.  The names of Alexander COUTCHIE and his wife merit enduring place on the roll of the honored pioneers of Muskegon County, where they lived and wrought wisely and well.  The other three surviving children are: William E., who resides at Manchester, Washtenaw county; Delia, who is the wife of Charles DOYLE, of Hastings, this state; and Emeline, who is the wife of Emmet JONES, of Detroit.  The public schools of Muskegon afforded Gilbert A. COUTCHIE his early education, and when he was fourteen years of age he began to assist in the work of his father’s blacksmith shop, the summer seasons having been for a number of years given by him to the “dogging” of logs and pulling rafts in connection with the great lumber industry then centered in Muskegon.  As a youth he followed work at the blacksmith trade and also worked at carriage painting.  For a time he conducted a shoe store, but his major success has been gained through his extended activities in the real estate business, of which he has here been a prominent and influential representative during a period of fully twenty years.  He is one of the progressive and liberal citizens of his native city and takes vital interest in all that concerns its welfare and advancement.  He is an influential member of the Muskegon Chamber of Commerce, is a Democrat in politics and is a charter member of the local lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.  In 1886 was solemnized the marriage of Mr. COUTCHIE to Miss Edith ENRIGHT, who was born in the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but who was a child at the time when her parents established the family home in Muskegon.  Mr. And Mrs. COUTCHIE are popular in the social circles of their home city, where they were reared and educated, where their marriage occurred, and where their circle of friends is coincident with that of their acquaintances.  They have two sons: Raymond V., who lives in Hollywood, California, and Kenneth G., who lives in Salinas, California.


Source: “Historic Michigan”, George N. Fuller/ James L. Smith (1925) Vol. III, pp. 139-140

Submitted by Lisa Hoffius


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