Our Founder

In 1888, John B moved his family to Cleveland due to business interests in the Cleveland Carbon Company. John Robert graduated in 1893 from Cleveland Central High School. He traveled back to Michigan for burial of his mother Betsey in Hartland Cemetery that same year. Crouse attended University of Michigan and graduates in 1897. Crouse began as a lamp salesman for the Fostoria Incandescent Lamp Company. He was promoted to Vice President of the firm in two years. In 1901, the three create the National Electric Lamp Association (NELA PARK)



His vision of Cooperation described in the booklet “The Spirit of the National Lamp Works” was later transferred to his dream, the Hartland Area Project.



He believed in fostering good work through a love of one’s work. The spirit of the National was based on friendship, a genuine and harmonious relationship between employees. The ideals of the founders was responsibility, given freely to all,  to act as they saw best. and in cooperation among themselves. The goal was to develop their employees personally and in cooperation among themselves. These ideals, fostered in Cleveland, were recognized by various organizations who honored John Robert Crouse, Sr.

In 1926, John Robert Crouse retires from the business world and returns to his boyhood home-Hartland.