Submitted by Lisa Hoffous & Bill Moore
Ralph B. CLOSE, executive head of the Close Electric Company, Inc., which is one of the leading concerns of its kind in Muskegon, is skilled in the technical and practical details of applied electricity, has had broad and varied experience, and in the handling of electrical supplies and the installing of electrical appliances he has built up a substantial and prosperous business. Mr. CLOSE was born at Janesville, Wisconsin, March 12, 1893, and is a son of Ralph A. and Agnes (IRWIN) CLOSE, he being the eldest in a family of three children and his two brothers, Louis G. and William J., being now with him in Muskegon, where they are members of his home circle. The father made a record of successful service as a drop-forge mechanic of exceptional skill but he is now deceased and his widow resides in Janesville, Wisconsin. The public schools of the Badger state afforded Ralph B. CLOSE his early education, which was there supplemented by a course in the Southern Wisconsin Business College, in which he was graduated in 1908. Thereafter he gained experience in connection with electrical work, and in 1911 he found employment as an electrician in an establishment at Muskegon. Thereafter he was similarly engaged four years in the city of Grand Rapids, and for one year he had charge of the electrical shops of the Pere Marquette railroad. He was thereafter employed seven months in the establishment of the Lewis Electric company, Grand Rapids, and he then returned to Muskegon, where, after a few months of employment with the Electric Service Company, he engaged independently in the electrical business, under the title of the CLOSE Electric Company, and with headquarters on South Terrace street, whence removal was later made to the present location at 78 Peck street. The establishment and stock of the CLOSE Electric Company, Inc., were destroyed by fire October 30, 1923, but with characteristic energy and self-reliance, Mr. CLOSE promptly reestablished his business on a larger scale and with improved facilities for the handling of all kinds of electrical repair work, besides which he handles the celebrated Exide batteries, for which he has here built up a large trade. Mr. CLOSE is one of the vital and progressive young business men of Muskegon, is affiliated with the Loyal Order of Moose, is an independent in politics, and he and his wife are communicants of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in their home city. Mr. CLOSE married Miss Viola G. BRADLEY and they have four children: Aileen, Irwin, Maxine and Ruth. Mrs. CLOSE is a daughter of Isaac BRADLEY, who was long identified with the lumber industry at Muskegon and who died in 1924.
Source: “Historic Michigan”, George N. Fuller/ James L. Smith (1925) Vol. III, pp.136-137