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.

BIOGRAPHY

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.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

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.

FOLDER LIST

BOX 1

TOPICAL, 1958-1987

            A - miscellaneous

            American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers

            American Society of Real Estate Counselors

            Auto World

                        Clippings

                        Correspondence

                        Indians

            B - miscellaneous

            Bishop Airport

            Buick

            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

            Downtown

                        General

                        Clippings

                        Study of high-rise apartments, 1966

            Doyle Urban Renewal Area

            E - miscellaneous

            Economic development

                        Clippings

                        Correspondence and reports

            Education

            Enterprise Development Corporation (James W. Rouse)

            F - miscellaneous

            Fauth, Gerald W.

            Flint - clippings

            Flint Area Chamber of Commerce

 

BOX 2

            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

            Franchises

            G - miscellaneous

            GMI Engineering and Management Institute

            General Motors Corporation

                        General

                        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

            Hospitals

            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

 

BOX 3

            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

            Sale-leasebacks

            Shopping centers

            Skarritt, Donald J.

            Society of Industrial Realtors

            Soley, Ted (General Motors Corp.)

            Somerset Village Apartments

            Speeches

            T - miscellaneous

            Tallberg, Bud R.

            U-V - miscellaneous

            UAW-GM

            Urban Land Institute

            W - miscellaneous

            Warehouse Club

            Warehouse property

            Windmill Place

            Y-Z - miscellaneous

 

PROPERTY DATA SHEETS, 1926-1971

            Industries - Labor and manufacturing conditions

            Industries and railroad frontage

            Other cities

            Flint

                        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.

 

BOX 4

                        Lapeer St.-Lyons St.

                        McFarland St.-Root St.

                        N. Saginaw St.

                                    201-1753

                                    1802-6314

                        S. Saginaw St.

                                    100-347

                                    400-629

                                    700-6204

                        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.

                        514-516

                        522

                        816

            Beecher Rd.

                        G-3237

                        Miscellaneous

            2901 Bennett Ave.

            Bishop Airport

            202 E. Boulevard Dr.

            Bristol Place

            Bristol Rd.

                        2051 (Arlans)

                        2480

                        at Bishop Airport

                        Miscellaneous

            1336 Carpenter Rd.

            Catsman Companies

                        General

                        1968-1976

 

BOX 5

                        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)

                        5100

                        5120

                        5152

                        5190

                        5200

                        5520

                        5989

                        Hamady land

                        Miscellaneous

            E. Coldwater Rd.

                        1121

                        at N. Saginaw St.

            Corunna Rd.

                        at 1-75 (Carman Plaza) 3300

                        3367

                        Utley School property

                        Miscellaneous

            Court St.

                        East                

                                    224

                                    at Harrison St.

                                    at Stevens

                                    at Lapeer St. (University of Michigan-Flint)

                                    1835

                                    7256

                        West

                                    225

                        Miscellaneous

            1611 Crescent Dr.

            Davison Rd.

                        2825

                        4001

                        at Belsay

                        Miscellaneous

            Detroit St.

                        600

                        5515

                        Miscellaneous

            610 Dexter St.

            Dolan Dr.

                        4054

                        Westwood Heights Mobile Home Park

            Dorothy St.

                        1047

                        1071

 

BOX 6

            Dort Highway

                        North

                                    at E. Court St.

                                    2010

                                    2110 (Dort Mall)

                                    2310

                                    2610

                        South

                                    205

                                    1780

                                    2051

                                    3549

                                    3600-3750 (Dort Mall)

                                    Miscellaneous

            625 East St.

            Fenton Rd.

                        at Hemphill

                        Miscellaneous

            E. Fifth Ave. at North St.

            First Ave. - Miscellaneous

            First St.

                        East

                                    134

                                    336

            Flushing Rd.

                        4562

                        Diplomat Plaza

                        Miscellaneous

            Forest City Enterprises

            310 E. Fourteenth St.

            1025 E. Fourth Ave.

            Garland St.

                        605

                        Miscellaneous

            Genesee Towers

            Gorey Ave.

            Grand Traverse St.

                        North

                                    102

                                    129

                        South

                                    625

                                    Miscellaneous

            Grand Trunk Railroad

            Harrison St.

                        529

                        630

                        719

                        Miscellaneous

            Health Plus

            2160 E. Hemphill Rd.

            W. Hill Rd.

                        2164

                        5301

            4129 Holiday Dr.

 

BOX 7

            Kearsley St.

                        East

                                    120

                                    123

                                    125

                        West

                                    111

                                    116

                                    115-121

                                    117-127

                                    120

                                    126

                                    510

                        Miscellaneous

            Kelso St.

                        502

                        601

            814 Kensington St.

            Kessel, Al

            Lapeer St.

                        2312

                        Miscellaneous

            Lavelle Rd.

                        2591

                        Michigan Bell

            501 Lewis St.

            Linden Rd.

                        South

                                    3274

                        north of Lennon

                        Miscellaneous

            Lippincott Blvd.

                        2716

                        Agree Industrial Park

            Maple Rd. at Linden Rd.

            Mercury Real Estate Co.

            Michigan State Office Building

            Miller Rd.

                        3100

                        3415

                        3451

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

                        4081

                        4337

                        4511

                        Miscellaneous

            Mount Morris (Summerfield property)

            3196 W. Pasadena

            Payne St.

                        620

                        706

            4408 W. Pierson Rd.

            Pierson Rd. - Miscellaneous

            Richfield Rd.

                        5220

                        Miscellaneous

            Saginaw St.

                        North

                                    432 (Northbank Center)

                                    450 (Metropolitan Building)

                                    500-502

                                    514

                                    601

                                    602

 

BOX 8

                                    623

                                    701

                                    833

                                    2520

                                    2700 block

                                    2712 (Summerfield Chevrolet)

                                                General

                                                Appraisals

                                                Blueprints

                                    6201

                                    6259

                                    7015

                                    7151

                                    7188-7218 (Mt. Morris Commons)

                                    Miscellaneous

                        South

                                    242 (Commerce Building)

                                    322

                                    328 (Citizens Bank Building)

                                    341

                                    401-415

                                                (1 of 2)

                                                (2 of 2)

                                    415

                                    421

                                    424

                                    427

                                    433-451 (Smith-Bridgman's)

                                    452

                                    459-463

                                    460

                                    503-517

                                    510-514

                                    523-525

                                    526

                                    531

                                    532

                                    538

 

BOX 9

                                    550

                                    551

                                    552-562

                                    559

                                    560

                                    562

                                    565

                                                1937-1969

                                                1983-1985

                                                1985-1987

                                    601

                                    602

                                    607-609

                                    615

                                    626

                                    629

                                    649

                                    653

                                    700

                                    at M-78

                                    1200-1214

                                    1515

                                    3375

                                    4014

                                    Miscellaneous

            St. John Industrial Park

            607 Second Ave. (Durant Hotel)

                        Correspondence

                                    1964-1973

                                    1973

                                    1974-1979

                                    1983-1985

                                    1986

                        Descriptions and projections Drawings

                        Feasability studies and appraisals

                        Financial information

                        Legal papers

                        Newspaper clippings

 

BOX 10

            Second St.

                        East

                                    139 (Capitol Hotel)

                                    715

                                    Miscellaneous

                        West

                                    132-134

                                    230

                                    607

                                    901

            Stanley Rd. (A. E. Summerfield)

                        1957-1972

                        1972-1979

            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)

            Burton

            Clio

            Davison

            Dearborn

            Flushing

            Grand Blanc

                        Bella Vista Mall

                        Grant Plaza

                        Miscellaneous

            Owosso

                        Mitchell-Bentley Co.

                        Miscellaneous

            Richville

            Saginaw

                        Fontaine Gardens

                        Montgomery-Ward

                        Second National Bank

            Swartz Creek - Swartz Creek Elevator and Lumber Company

 

POST OFFICES

            Adrian

            Ann Arbor

            Clio

            Detroit

            Flint

                        Cody Station

                        S. Dort Hwy. at Hemphill

                        250 East Boulevard

                                    1956-1957

                                    1958-1959

                                                Appraisal

 

BOX 11

                                                Construction

                                                General

                                                Maintenance

                                    Assessment, 1961

                        3102 N. Franklin Ave.

                        North side

            Flushing

            Grand Blanc

            Kalamazoo

            Kalkaska - Air Force base

            Livonia

            Miscellaneous

 

FLINT DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, 1979-1987

            Billings

            Bollinger, Bruce, appraiser

            Clippings

                        (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

            Properties

                        117 E. First St.

                        414 Harrison St.

                        E. Kearsley St.

                                    116

                                    117-127

                                    120

                                    122-126

                        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

                                    301-325

                                    333

                                    347

                                    401

                                    421

                                    431

                                    451

                                    453-455

                                    459

 

PERSONAL, 1980-1987

            School records, 1911-1917

            Diary, May 26, 1918-July 4, 1919

            Military and War Department records, 1917­-1919, 1924

            Correspondence

                        1980-1982

                        1983

                        1984

                        1985

                        1986

                        1987

            Cornell University

            Flint College and Cultural Development

            Rotary International

            Awards and certificates

 

MAPS

 

OVERSIZE

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