Leitelt Iron Works has seen many changes such as location, leadership
and line of work since Adolph and Edward Leitelt founded it in
1862. The A. Leitelt and Brother Blacksmith and Machine Shop
was located at 5 Erie Street, the site of the present day Devos
Place Conference Center. By 1867 the brothers added a foundry and
called themselves Valley City Iron Works. They made machinery
for flour and saw mills. Eventually they added a boiler shop and
began to manufacture steam boilers and fabricate structural iron.
In 1891, shortly after Edward left the business it was incorporated
as Adolph Leitelt Iron Works. Adolph Leitelt Jr. took over the
business when his father died in 1897, and after he died in 1906
his sister Matilda and Rosetta kept the business in the family
until 1919, In that year the business was sold to David McKay
and Fred Meyer, who reincorporated the business under it present
name of Leitelt Iron Works.
After Leitelt was sold to McKay & Meyer, it then reached out
and expanded into the dominant local lumber industry. Leitelt
employees designed and built a heavy platform supported by four
rotating corner screw columns, which raised and lowered a load
of lumber. It was the first lumber lift installation in the country.
The original lift designs were refined and became well know in
the lumber and furniture industries.
In time, Leitelt expanded
the lift with a line of transfer cars, turntables and car pullers.
Still today, Leitelt lumber handling products are found throughout
the country. In time, Leitelt designed and built cable and hydraulic
elevators and became a well known name in the elevator industry.
Over the years Leitelt has designed and built many specialized
machines for the steel industry such as sheet pack turnovers and
coil handling equipment. As the industry changes, Leitelt's focus
became machinery repair, machining and fabrication services.
The company moved to is present location in the early 1960's
because of the urban renewal projects in downtown Grand Rapids.
The 90,000 square-foot plant and highly skilled work force,
allows the company to handle a variety of jobs large and small.
We have customers in food service, furniture, power generation
and automotive industries. The early adaptability and ingenuity
is still evident in the company today and is a major factor
in the company's success along with the policy of providing
quality workmanship and going the extra mile for our customers.
Much about the company seem to stay long term. There are five
employees who have been with the company 25 years or more.
We attribute our employee loyalty to a relaxed work atmosphere,
competitive wages and pride in workmanship.
The company itself remains loyal to its customers. We can list jobs in New York, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Arkansas,
Colorado, Nevada and California, but the long-term customers relationships in West Michigan have been the driving
force for our success and longevity.