About Jim (DiPiazza) Winslow

Grew up on Grand Rapids, MI returns to GR after 16 years living in Los Angeles, CA

The Orators

Mark Twain Ad

Powers’ Opera House.
Wm. H. Powers — Manager.

Saturday Evening, December 13, ’84.
(Mr. S. L. CLEMENS) As a Reader of
his own superb fun: and Mr.
The distinguished Southern novelist presenting
his own matchless scenes. To appear Together.

Mark Twain’s world famous wit. Mr. Cable’s
exquisite humor and pathos. A combination of
genius and versatility that appeals freshly
to the intelligent public.

Prices of admission, including reserved seats,
50¢, 75¢ and $1.00, according to location.
JAS. B. POND, Manager.
Sale of seats begins Thursday morning at Hall’s
Carriages at 10 o’clock.

Samuel L. Clemens “Mark Twain” and George Washington Cable 1884

Samuel L. Clemens “Mark Twain” and George Washington Cable during the 1884–85 Huck Finn Tour.


The “Mark Twain” — Cable Readings.

The readings by Messrs. Clemens and Cable at Powers’ Opera House last evening proved a very pleasant entertainment. Readings usually are rather tedious affairs, and an audience is sure to get wearied long before the close of the program is reached. In the present instance the time passed away delightfully, and the only regret experienced seemed due to the fact that the “solemnities” of the occasion, as Mark Twain put it, had been brought to a close altogether too soon to suit the pleasure of the very large audience present.

Of course ‘Mark Twain” is simply himself, and to be appreciated must be heard. Being a humorist by profession, he looks a good deal like an undertaker during a lull in business; his voice is of a low pitch, the expression of his countenance non-committal, his movements not really graceful, his gait just a trifle shambling. He talks in a matter-of-fact way, has a very pleasant smile which lingers with apparent fondness ‘neath the cover of a heavy moustache, seems not all distressed by his own jokes, and goes at his work evidently aware of the fact that “business is business,” and must be looked after. Mr. Cable is of a dark complexion, slight in figure, rather high-pitched voice, somewhat given to gesticulating freely while reading, and thoroughly in earnest while at work.

Daily Morning Democrat, December 14, 1884

Samuel L. Clemens “Mark Twain” 1884

Samuel L. Clemens “Mark Twain” during The Huck Finn Tour 1884–85.

George Washington Cable 1884

George Washington Cable during The Huck Finn Tour 1884–85.


Powers Jonathan Children 1920

left to right standing: Susan Dow (Powers) Heath, Daniel Heath Powers, Mary Ann (Powers) Filley, seated: William Thompson Powers, Deborah Ball (Powers) Currier, Ebenezer Kendall Powers, Jonathan Powers


Welcome to my Web Blog; Powers Behind Grand Rapids. This is my first attempt to share some of materials I have gathered over the years on the early history of Grand Rapids, Michigan and the Powers and Ball families. They originally came from New Hampshire, having spent the better part of ten years in Lansingburgh and Troy, New York before arriving in Grand Rapids. This is the story behind John Ball and his extended family that settled the Grand River Valley. Remnants of the family are still present nearly 170 years later.

Some of the Powers and Ball descendants include; Winslow, Currier, Chaffee, Pipp, Poisson, Putnam, DiPiazza, Webster, Heath…

In addition I’m hoping to share about those friends of the family that have influenced us and the world. Some of those are; Margaret and Maude Fealy, former President Gerald R. and First Lady Betty Ford, Spencer Tracy, Dean Jagger, Selena Royle…

Thank you for visiting. Enjoy.