Coatsworth, King and Holland’s fruit-growing industry

Steve VanderVeen

John Coatsworth and C.L. King migrated to Holland to take advantage of its successful fruit growing industry.

Coatsworth was born in 1815 in Quebec and moved to Mason, Michigan, in 1836, where he became a carpenter, then partner in a mill, a hardware store and a bank. In 1842, he married Lovina Abbot. From 1840 to 1844, he served as a county clerk — then postmaster. He moved to Holland in 1865 to start a fruit farm.

Before moving to Holland, Coatsworth had local hardware dealer Jan Kleyn design a modern-style dwelling, which was built in 1863 at 236 W. Ninth St. But his time in Holland was short-lived. In 1867, Coatsworth married Frances Lathrop of Ingham County and made his dwelling there.

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Even though Coatsworth was one of the largest shippers of peaches in Holland in 1874, he’d sold his grand house in Holland to Gerrit and Mary Van Raalte Kollen, daughter of Albertus Van Raalte, by 1880.

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