Name of the collection: GERALD F. HEALY PAPERS
Inclusive years: 1911-1987 
Quantity: 12 linear feet and 400 photographs
Acquisition: This collection was donated to the Genesee Historical Collections Center in May and October 1988 by donors no. 120 and 183. 
Access: There are no restrictions on access to this collection. 
Photographs: Photographs are kept separately from the papers in the collection. 
Processed by: Paul Gifford, October 1988.


Gerald Francis Healy was born October 14, 1893, in Watertown, New York. After graduation from high school in 1911, he attended Cornell University on a scholarship. He received a civil engineering degree in 1915 and then worked for the New York State Highway Department. From 1917 to 1919, Healy served as first lieutenant and captain in the 303rd Engineers, 78th Division, in France (researchers interested in this aspect of his life would be well advised to consult his self-published World War I Diary: 1917-­1919). Following military service, he worked in Washington as Field Representative in the Purchase, Storage, and Traffic Division, Office of the Director of Purchase and Storage, War Department.

A friend from his high school days, Albert Kelly, had moved to Flint, where he had begun a successful real estate company. The local economy was booming, and housing was scarce. Kelly's enterprise concerned itself with building houses; and it, too, was booming. Kelly invited Healy to Flint and offered him the position of vice president in charge of real estate, and Healy accepted. On January 2, 1920, Healy arrived in Flint.

During the years with Kelly, Healy's reputation increased, and he became a highly sought-after speaker at realtors' conventions. By 1924 he had begun to concentrate on commercial sales and leases. In 1925 Matthew Carey, a Cornell classmate with a background as a business statistician, came to work for the G. A. Kelly Company as treasurer.

In 1925 Healy and Carey left Kelly to form a partnership in a new realty company. Healy & Carey handled only commercial and industrial real estate, a specialization largely unknown at the time. Although they prospered during the remainder of the decade, the Depression was hard on their business. The partnership folded in 1936.

Healy formed a new partnership with Robert Gerholz in 1938. Gerholz was a home builder and wanted to develop the Bassett Park area. Healy's responsibility was to acquire land and arrange sales and financing, although he continued his commercial real estate activity. By 1945 the firm had constructed 1600-1700 houses, most in the northwest quadrant of Flint. Healy and Gerholz dissolved their partnership in order to profit from the sale of the company's assets.

From 1945 to 1987 Healy owned and operated the Healy Realty Company, handling only commercial and industrial properties. The company was, for many years, essentially a one-man operation, although Healy employed a secretary and, until the 1970s, a salesman. Healy's friendship with Arthur E. Summerfield, Sr., Flint's automobile dealer and Postmaster General in the Eisenhower administration, resulted in Healy's serving temporarily as Assistant Postmaster General for three months in 1953.

He found time to serve as chairman of the clubs and organizations division of the fundraising campaign for Flint College and Cultural Development, about 1959. During the last years of his life, Healy acted as a consultant to the Flint Downtown Development Authority. In this capacity he arranged the purchase of property on Saginaw Street for redevelopment.

Healy died in February, 1988, in Flint.


The bulk of the Gerald F. Healy Papers documents his activity as a Flint realtor, specializing in commercial and industrial real estate. They provide a wealth of data on Flint properties and buildings, especially in the downtown area. The time span covered by these files---1924 to 1987---­is broad enough to allow the study of both the rise of downtown commerce in the 1920s and its decline in the late 1950s and 1960s.

The largest series in this collection, the property files, is arranged by address and correspondent. Each file documents the sale or lease of a particular parcel and typically includes incoming and outgoing correspondence with buyers, sellers, and other realtors; legal documents, including listings, options, closing agreements, and leases; blueprint plans of the property and building appraisals; and market and assessment summaries. Information contained in these files thus is valuable in different ways. Besides their primary purpose as documentation of a sale, the files can provide information useful both to preservationists interested in the design of a particular building and to researchers interested either in a particular business or in commerce in Flint generally. Although this series contain material from the entire time span, most material dates from about 1955 to the early 1980s. Access is by street and number.

The property data sheets series is primarily material from the 1920s. Each sheet covers a particular property, regardless of whether or not it was being sold, with standard elements: name of owner, dimensions, assessed valuation, and a sketch plan. Many of these sheets also contain newspaper clippings concerning the business at that address, reports of recent sales, and photographs. Residential as well as industrial and commercial properties are included. The purpose of the sheets was to provide Healy with enough data so that he could establish a market price for a given parcel.

Topical files date from 1958 to 1987. They contain correspondence, newspaper clippings, and publicity brochures, concerning both general topics (for example, percentage leases and mobile home parks) which affected the Flint real estate market and specific individuals, corporations, and organizations with which Healy had dealings.

Healy's friendship with Flint automobile dealer and Republican Party fundraiser Arthur E. Summerfield, Postmaster General during the Eisenhower administration, is not well documented in this collection, but this association led to Healy's handling negotiations for the lease and purchase of postal facilities in Michigan. The construction of the main Flint Post Office is especially well documented. This material is contained in the "Post Offices" series. For Healy's reminiscences of his service in Washington and his friendship with Summerfield, see My Montie, 1900-1985:

Remembrances by Her Husband, which Healy published in 1986.

During the last years of his life, Healy worked as a consultant to the Flint Downtown Development Authority. This agency purchased land on Saginaw Street for redevelopment, and he had charge of arranging sales. This series includes not only appraisals and documents relating to the transfer of these properties, but also documentation on the agency's activities and studies on downtown traffic.

The personal series includes a diary he kept during his military service in World War I and documents relating to his service. These form the basis of his self-published memoirs, World War I Diary: 1917-1919, which the interested researcher should consult. The correspondence in this series is both outgoing and incoming and was carried on mainly with relatives.

Certain buildings and institutions are well documented, and these deserve special mention. These include the Flint Rotary Club and the Flint City Club, both of which Healy was a member; the Metropolitan Building/Northbank Plaza; the Durant Hotel; the Sill Building and the Fenton (Kresge) Block.

The approximately four hundred loose photographs and twenty-seven slides mainly depict commercial and industrial buildings in Flint from the 1920s to the 1980s and complement the collection. Two albums contain photographs taken in France during World War I.



TOPICAL, 1958-1987

            A - miscellaneous

            American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers

            American Society of Real Estate Counselors

            Auto World




            B - miscellaneous

            Bishop Airport


            C - miscellaneous

            Carriage Town

            Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Co.

            Citizens Commercial and Savings Bank

            Commission Schedule

            Country Club (subdivision)

                        Completed sales

                        Tax record and legal descriptions

            D - miscellaneous




                        Study of high-rise apartments, 1966

            Doyle Urban Renewal Area

            E - miscellaneous

            Economic development


                        Correspondence and reports


            Enterprise Development Corporation (James W. Rouse)

            F - miscellaneous

            Fauth, Gerald W.

            Flint - clippings

            Flint Area Chamber of Commerce



            Flint Area Conference, Inc.

            Flint Area Convention and Tourist Bureau

            Flint-area headquarters

            Flint-area realtors

            Flint Board of Realtors

            Flint City Club

            Flint Journal

            Flint Township


            G - miscellaneous

            GMI Engineering and Management Institute

            General Motors Corporation


                        Sale lease-backs

            General Tire Company

Genesee County Metropolitan Planning Commission

            Genesee Township

            B. F. Goodrich Company

            Grand Blanc

            Greater Flint Downtown Corporation

            H - miscellaneous

            Healy and Carey - Information on Michigan cities [l930?]

            Healy Realty brochures


            Hurand, Arthur

            Hutchison, Lewis D.

            I - miscellaneous

            Industrial parks

            Industrial properties

            J - miscellaneous

            Jacobson Stores, Inc.

            K - miscellaneous

            Keyes Realty International, Inc.

            S. S. Kresge Co.

            L - miscellaneous

            Lee, William (WKMF, WCRZ)

            M - miscellaneous

            Maloney, John T.

            Marian Hall

            Marathon Flint Oil Company

            Matthews, Ernest (Bay City)

            Mc - miscellaneous

            McLaren General Hospital

            Michigan Association of Realtors



            Michigan Bell locations

            Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulation

            Mitchell, William (Owosso)

            Mobile home parks

            Mott Foundation

            N - miscellaneous

            National Association of Realtors

            O -  miscellaneous

            P - miscellaneous

            Parking ramps and lot

            Percentage lease

            Plunkett, Mary K., estate

            Population - Genesee County

            R - miscellaneous

            Rental rates

            Riverbank Park

            Rosman, Carl

            S - miscellaneous


            Shopping centers

            Skarritt, Donald J.

            Society of Industrial Realtors

            Soley, Ted (General Motors Corp.)

            Somerset Village Apartments


            T - miscellaneous

            Tallberg, Bud R.

            U-V - miscellaneous


            Urban Land Institute

            W - miscellaneous

            Warehouse Club

            Warehouse property

            Windmill Place

            Y-Z - miscellaneous



            Industries - Labor and manufacturing conditions

            Industries and railroad frontage

            Other cities


                        Averill Ave.-Burton St.

                        Cadillac St.-Crescent Dr.

                        Dartmouth St.-Dye Rd.

                        East Boulevard Dr.-Franklin Ave.

                        Garden St.-Harrison St.

                        Hasselbring St.-Kelso St.



                        Lapeer St.-Lyons St.

                        McFarland St.-Root St.

                        N. Saginaw St.



                        S. Saginaw St.




                        St. John St.-Stone St.

                        Taylor St.-Woodlawn Park Dr.

            Appraisals, 1924-1926


PROPERTY FILES, 1929-1987 (by street or correspondent)

            3019 Air Park Dr.

            622 Ann Arbor St.

            2002 Bagwell St.

                        (1 of 2)

                        (2 of 2)

            1207 N. Ballenger

            Beach St.




            Beecher Rd.



            2901 Bennett Ave.

            Bishop Airport

            202 E. Boulevard Dr.

            Bristol Place

            Bristol Rd.

                        2051 (Arlans)


                        at Bishop Airport


            1336 Carpenter Rd.

            Catsman Companies





                        G-3255 Beecher Rd.

                        2201 W. Bristol Rd. (Holiday Industrial Park)

                        932 S. Center Rd. (Howard Johnson Motel)

                        Clio and Pierson Roads

                        4501 Van Slyke Rd. (Flint Bowl-o-mat)

                        2810 Wroxton Dr.

                        Airport property

                        Glen Haven

                        Harbor Springs

            Center Rd. - miscellaneous

            502 Church St. (Flint City Club)

            Citizens Bank Building

            Clio Rd.

                        5000 (Woolco Shopping Center)








                        Hamady land


            E. Coldwater Rd.


                        at N. Saginaw St.

            Corunna Rd.

                        at 1-75 (Carman Plaza) 3300


                        Utley School property


            Court St.



                                    at Harrison St.

                                    at Stevens

                                    at Lapeer St. (University of Michigan-Flint)






            1611 Crescent Dr.

            Davison Rd.



                        at Belsay


            Detroit St.




            610 Dexter St.

            Dolan Dr.


                        Westwood Heights Mobile Home Park

            Dorothy St.





            Dort Highway


                                    at E. Court St.


                                    2110 (Dort Mall)








                                    3600-3750 (Dort Mall)


            625 East St.

            Fenton Rd.

                        at Hemphill


            E. Fifth Ave. at North St.

            First Ave. - Miscellaneous

            First St.




            Flushing Rd.


                        Diplomat Plaza


            Forest City Enterprises

            310 E. Fourteenth St.

            1025 E. Fourth Ave.

            Garland St.



            Genesee Towers

            Gorey Ave.

            Grand Traverse St.







            Grand Trunk Railroad

            Harrison St.





            Health Plus

            2160 E. Hemphill Rd.

            W. Hill Rd.



            4129 Holiday Dr.



            Kearsley St.














            Kelso St.



            814 Kensington St.

            Kessel, Al

            Lapeer St.



            Lavelle Rd.


                        Michigan Bell

            501 Lewis St.

            Linden Rd.



                        north of Lennon


            Lippincott Blvd.


                        Agree Industrial Park

            Maple Rd. at Linden Rd.

            Mercury Real Estate Co.

            Michigan State Office Building

            Miller Rd.




                        at S. Linden Rd. (Genesee Valley Shopping Center)





            Mount Morris (Summerfield property)

            3196 W. Pasadena

            Payne St.



            4408 W. Pierson Rd.

            Pierson Rd. - Miscellaneous

            Richfield Rd.



            Saginaw St.


                                    432 (Northbank Center)

                                    450 (Metropolitan Building)











                                    2700 block

                                    2712 (Summerfield Chevrolet)








                                    7188-7218 (Mt. Morris Commons)



                                    242 (Commerce Building)


                                    328 (Citizens Bank Building)



                                                (1 of 2)

                                                (2 of 2)





                                    433-451 (Smith-Bridgman's)
































                                    at M-78






            St. John Industrial Park

            607 Second Ave. (Durant Hotel)







                        Descriptions and projections Drawings

                        Feasability studies and appraisals

                        Financial information

                        Legal papers

                        Newspaper clippings


BOX 10

            Second St.


                                    139 (Capitol Hotel)








            Stanley Rd. (A. E. Summerfield)



            1602 W. Third Ave.

            307 E. Third St.

            4501 Van Slyke Rd.

            Water St. - Miscellaneous

            Water Street Pavilion

            1806 Webster Rd. (Holiday Village Mobile Home Park)


PROPERTY FILES, 1929-1987 (by city)

            Bay City (Orchard Manor)






            Grand Blanc

                        Bella Vista Mall

                        Grant Plaza



                        Mitchell-Bentley Co.




                        Fontaine Gardens


                        Second National Bank

            Swartz Creek - Swartz Creek Elevator and Lumber Company




            Ann Arbor




                        Cody Station

                        S. Dort Hwy. at Hemphill

                        250 East Boulevard





BOX 11




                                    Assessment, 1961

                        3102 N. Franklin Ave.

                        North side


            Grand Blanc


            Kalkaska - Air Force base






            Bollinger, Bruce, appraiser


                        (1 of 2)

                        (2 of 2)

            Correspondence, 1979-1982

            Deeds and sales

            Property data sheets

            Realtor's agreement

            Relocation assistance

            Reports and memoranda

            Status reports

            Survey of Flint-area Residents' Perceptions and Practices Regarding Downtown Flint


                        117 E. First St.

                        414 Harrison St.

                        E. Kearsley St.





                        S. Saginaw st.

                                    257 (Sill Building)

                                                Apartment 1

                                                Apartment 2


BOX 12

                                                Apartment 3

                                                Apartment 4

                                                Apartment 5

                                                Apartment 6

                                                Apartment 7

                                                Apartment 8

                                                Apartment 9











PERSONAL, 1980-1987

            School records, 1911-1917

            Diary, May 26, 1918-July 4, 1919

            Military and War Department records, 1917­-1919, 1924








            Cornell University

            Flint College and Cultural Development

            Rotary International

            Awards and certificates





16 lithographic prints of old Flint buildings by J. Anthony, John Davies, Stefan Davidek, Robert Knapman, 1961-1962