Jenison Historical Association - Oral History with Bob Andre | News
by Virginia Timmer
[This conversation was between Virginia Timmer and Bob Andre , and was held on January 26, 1999.]
Bob, who formerly had a State Farm Insurance business and built the State Farm building across, and east of, what was the L & L Jenison Mill.
We talked about Ben Hanchett. I said my dad started working for the Hanchetts in 1928--several years before the Great Depression and Ben Hanchett's death (1933) which must have made my dad very busy at the L & L Jenison Co.
We talked about Bessie Hanchett, Ben's wife, formerly Bessie Husband, and what a nice lady she was and Bob said, "They had class." "They" meaning Bessie and her mother Margaret Husband. I agreed wholeheartedly with what he said.
We agreed that the two children of Ben and Bessie (Gerald Jenison and Elizabeth Jeanette "Brownie" Hanchett) had an easy life. Bob said he was their insurance agent and got to their 125 College Ave. home several times. I told Bob the story my dad told, that Bessie and Ben always wanted the kids to look nice--maybe to put them on show--and they were kind of sickly. A doctor told Ben and Bessie to let the kids play and get dirty. Bob said that sounded like something old Dr. Wedgwood would have said; also, Dr. Hager who Bob said was kind of blunt.
I said Gerald or Brownie really never held a job. Gerald was...