Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Henry Herin (Bros)

Hesperia Crate Works - circa 1948
This film starts with the felling of trees and then being taking to the crate mill and made into celery crates taken to the celery fields at Muskegon.
 There are some good closeups of some of the people working at the Crate Mill. Some of them you probably recognize and could put names to. . Enjoy this old time movie, taken by Charlie Morse

 click for film

The above horses were Jerry and Molly. Notice they are pulling a loaded truck and trailer out of the woods.  Not only were they good in the woods but they won several pulling contests including, Hart, Fremont, Ludington and Hesperia Fairs along with a lot of showmanship/sportsmanship awards. Many people have told me that he never shouted poked or misused his horses in any way. He made his living with them and was proud of them also.

In 1929 Henry Herin was hauling a little gravel and decided to go into the logging business.  He hired a neighbor, Forrest Herin who was a relative of his and neighbor. Business was such that as his sons Everett and Darroll grew and worked with dad, so did the business. The young strapping boys were just what dad needed. Of course modernization also came with the boys. Somehow through the years they managed buy two Model T trucks and trailers.
The above picture shows Henry Herin with their first log hauling rig.
A Model T somewhere between a 1922 and 1930.
  It sure made the trips to the mills a lot faster and like a lot of businesses, if the mill didn't get it you didn't get paid. Remember things were a lot different then. When they were working quite a ways away from home they set up a camp and stayed right there through the week. Betty Herin told me how she got to go to a camp over by Rockford once and how it was cold as they worked the swamps when they were frozen. This was probably in the late 40's or early 50's.
 A sidelight to this story is that Henry's brother Bill was logging up at Seney in the UP. He caught pneumonia and died. Henry took the train from White Cloud to Seney. Once there he had to hike in 5 miles and bring the body out on a toboggan, then the train back to White Cloud so Bill could be buried at home.
Darroll with sons Terry and Dan the night before he went into service. 1943
  Darroll and Everett were both drafted into the army and left in 1944.
With the boys gone overseas dad continued working with various employees and when the war was over, thankfully they both returned, and they bought into the business and went full speed ahead. Benny Plaunt also returned from the war and he went to work for them.
 They bought a military 6X6 and a half track with a 50 ton winch.

    Henry Herin standing by a load of logs on the 6X6 and you can see that it could haul a lot of logs. The logs were from the Don Edwards property,
The half track that they bought was a lot like this picture and with the 50 ton winch they could pull just about anything.

Above is Everett Herin and Benny(Frenchy) Plaunt with  the cat that they loaded logs with. No
longer did they have to use the horses to load the trucks all of the time.
As time went by they modernized their equipment and graduated to new and better things.
                              Everett Herin and Geo Mumford with another load of logs ready to go.

    Darroll standing with 5900 board feet of logs in 1956, going to Chris Craft Boats in Holland, MI.
                                       Notice they had graduated to a Reo "Speedwagon"
 About the same time they were hauling logs they started hauling some crates, lumber and seasonal produce from the local growers.
  Logging was still the main business for Henry and he loved his horses and continued using them until he retired. Everett and Darroll became more interested in the produce and trucking end of the business. Henry retired in 1965 and logging became a less of a factor. In the early 1960's their DBA was changed to Herin Bros Trucking. In 1975 Terry and Randy (Darroll's sons) formed a corporation known as Herin Bros Inc. Through the years they'd increased their authority and soon were hauling under their own permits in agricultural commodities.
 They moved into their new building on M20 in 1983 and also acquired more interstate authority and today they have trucks willing and able to run the 48 continental U.S.
 It is still being run by the Herin family, namely Anthony (grandson of Darroll and Tony's (grandson of Terry) and are a major employer in Oceana County.
 In a few short years the business will be celebrating 100 yrs and as of now it is still in the family.
  Darroll & Everett are still active in the community. 
   Above is a video taken in 1948. It shows the cutting of a large tree, somewhere around Hesperia. They then cut it to length skid the logs out using a small dozer and load it up on their trucks. One of the trucks is a military 6X6. Also if you watch close you can see that they had a "half track" which was military surplus also.

  Darrell Patton