Part 2 of "Supplement to the Vicksburg Commerical"
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The Mc Elvain House
You can travel the U.S. over and you won't find in a town of the
size of Vicksburg a much nicer and better kept hotel than is the
Mc Elvain House in the second village of the county. J.W. Mc Elvain,
the proprietor, started in here 17 or 18 years ago in a little
old wooden building. Twelve years ago this summer he built the
commodious brick block in which he is at present located. Mr. A.H.
Sheldon, formerly connected with the Morton House in Grand Rapids,
wears the hotel clerk's diamonds and assists the proprietor in
welcoming the coming and speeding the parting guest.
Mr. Manfred Hill, known as Fred for short, began business in '74, in
the quarters now occupied by Franklin and Rayner. He bought out
Mr. Lewis C. Kimble who had run the store for three or four years,
and having a good established trade to build on, he has steadily
added to the number of his patrons, until now he has a business
which might be envied by many dealers in much larger places. The
Hills are old residents.
A Boston Man
Mr. J.H. McMaster was born and brought up amid the culture and
astheticism of the Athens of America. It is also in the "Hub"
that he served his apprenticeship as a harness maker. He came
to Michigan just before the outbreak of the war, but went back
to enlist in the Massachusetts Fifth, in which he served during
the rebellion. He came to Michigan again in '65, and worked at
his trade, serving different masters. He was for a time employed
by Mr. Green, in Kalamazoo. In '67 he finally located in business
for himself in Vicksburg, and during the 17 years which have
elapsed since, he has gained the confidence of the community and
established a lucrative trade. He keeps a full line of harness,
whips, horse furnishing goods and trunks, and on made-to-order
work, he doesn't take a back seat for anyone in the country. Mrs.
McMaster is a music teacher of many years experience and has been
very successful as an exponent of musical pedagogy. She keeps a
line of musical goods at her head-quarters on Prairie Street, and
is the agent for Whitney's Royal Organ, manufactured in Detroit.
Mr. John Bishopp, who is now up north preaching, was the first attorney
who located in Vicksburg, but he was closely followed by Mr. L.M.
Flint. Mr. Flint received his head education in the offices of
Kimble and (Conlon), of Charlotte, and of another firm of attorneys
in Hastings, and was admitted to the bar in ('61). He practiced law
for ten years in Vicksburg. Six years ago he accepted a position
in the public school of Marcellus, and from there went to other points
in the state. Two years ago he took up his residence in Battle Creek,
where he resided until last Spring when he returned to Vicksburg. The
outlook from the legal standpoint is, he assures us, encouraging, and
we hope somebody will contest a will down there pretty soon, so that
he can get some fat fees out of it.
Mr. Boyne enjoys a monopoly in the tailoring business of the village
and his 41 years of experience in the trade gives him success in
constructing stylish suits, which does not need the existence of
competition to stimulate. Mr. Boyne is a Maine man, and (2 words)
the main tailor of Vicksburg. He hopes (1-2 words) will be
successful, but thinks strongly of (1 word) for St. John. It was
after a branch of Mr. Boyne's family that Boyne River and Boyne Falls
up in Charlevoix County were named. He was located for six years in
Schoolcraft, but moved to Vicksburg (expecting) a change, which
resulted in a great increase of trade. He will make an effort to
secure a more (commodious) place of business further up the street, and
if not successful, will probably move to Charlevoix or some other
live town in the north.
Richardson and Strong
On the fifth of last March, Messrs. Richardson and Strong formed a
co-partnership for the purpose of carrying on a general jewelry business
and retailing gold, precious stones and plated ware to the citizens in
the south of the county. Mr. Strong had been located in Vicksburg
over a year upon the formation of this partnership and is a practiced
watch maker of 12 years experience, having learned his trade in Elkhart,
Ind. He may be said to take the cake in engraving and other fine work,
and in adjusting the watches he may be said to capture the whole bakery.
The firm keeps a line of solid and plated goods and while they don't have
many $500 diamond rings in stock, they keep all the articles usually
found in jewelry stores. The jewelers' harvest is, of course, during
the holiday season, but they are doing a fair business for the time
of the year.
C.E. Spicer, M.D.
Dr. Spicer is a son of Mr. Nate Spicer, well known to thousands of
Kalamazoo people who frequent the Long Lake summer resort. He was
for nearly two years in the employ of the G.R. & I.R.R. at Grand Rapids.
He received the foundation for his medical training by practicing under
Dr. Newton who only recently moved from this county. He received his
degree last Spring from the Cincinnati Eclectic Medical Institute and
three weeks ago Monday hung out a shingle in Vicksburg. This is a
pretty healthy season around that village this year, but the Doctor
feels encouraged. We wish him success and an army of patients.
Mr. Thompson came to Vicksburg from Charlotte two years ago. He does
a fair trade in confectionery, bread, miscellaneous baker's goods,
canned goods, ice cream and cigars and tobacco. He is the agent in
Vicksburg for Henika's famous bread. He is doing a good trade for
the amount of stock he has, and makes a big percent on capital
(Note: At this point, only one-half of the original newspaper
column is visible. It was overlapped by another page at the time
of filming. Approximately 8-10 of these "mini-biographies" are missing,
including those of G.P. Kingsbury, an apparent storeowner, and
D.L. Corwin, the village photographer. However, the article
was continued on a new page and follows.)
Large quantities of grain are shipped from Vicksburg every year, the
trade being handled by two firms of grain dealers. The elevator on
the east side of the G.R. & I.R.R. is owned by Bishop and Robinson
and the business is carried on by Robinson and French. They have been
in business there several years and are prospering. Four years ago
the elevator burned down, but with that pluck which is characteristic
of the owners, they immediately rebuilt. Both are good men, also have
the interests of the village at heart.
The warehouse on the west side of the railroad is conducted by Mr.
Myron Gleason. The old firm name was Gleason and Kimble. Last year
Mr. G. sold out to S.G. Richardson. This gentleman, however, ran it
but a short time, when Mr. Gleason bought the property back, and has
done himself credit by the manner in which he has conducted the
This gentleman was formerly in the lumber business at White Pigeon. He
moved to this town some five years ago. Gave up the lumber business about
two years ago and went to selling family groceries and provisions, of
which he keeps a select assortment. It is very dull now and will be so
until the glad voice of the reaper is heard singing bass on the sweet
harvest home, but taken on an average, year in and year out, he is
doing a good trade.
Mr. Fehr is a harness maker. He came from Eastern Pennsylvania when he
was 20 years old and has been in Vicksburg 15 years, during which time
he has been engaged at his trade excepting during a year and a half when
he ran a bakery and restaurant. He is doing a fair business at custom
work and in selling horse furnishing goods, of which he has a fair stock.
Mrs. E.D. Rawson
Mrs. Rawson learned the millinery trade of Mr. Morse in this city, and
three years ago she purchased the establishment of Mrs. O.E. Taylor in
the second village of the county. Mrs. Rawson is a very successful
business woman and we dare say makes a good sales lady. She does an
aggregate business of some $(8,000) a year, which, when we recollect the
profit on millinery goods, makes a very good showing. She will remove
on the 25th of this month to a more convenient stand, the store now
occupied by George Thompson.
Dr. J.S. Mead
Dr. Mead practiced medicine for some time with Dr. J.B. Sweetland of
Edwardsburg, and then took a three years' course at Ann Arbor. He is
a homeopathist. Took his degree a year ago last June. Practiced
in Edwardsburg for a time, and located in Vicksburg last Spring. He has
already built up a good practice and is an intelligent young man who will
undoubtably make a success of life. We hope to see him President of
State Medical Association.
One of the most successful merchants of the village is Mr. R. Baker.
He came there in 1877 and engaged in the grocery and drug trade, his
son George being partner in the concern. In '81 the son retired,
since which time Mr. Baker has been sole proprietor. By courteous
treatment of customers and careful attention to details, he has
increased his aggregate yearly sales from $7,000 in '77 to over $20,000
in '83. Last spring he adopted the cash basis of doing business
which is proving successful. He has a good, and what is better, a
Mr. Briggs is the owner of the excellent water power mentioned elsewhere,
and which ought to be an important factor in the village's prosperity.
Mr. Briggs utilizes the water power in running a saw and planing mill
and general wood working establishment. The wood work of the Kimble
separator is manufactured at this shop. The dam was washed away by
a flood a year ago last April, inflicting a loss of $1500, but Mr. Briggs
immediately rebuilt it and is now doing a business which will recompence
his loss and reward his enterprise.
Mr. Notley is a butcher and supplies Vicksburg with the tender poultry,
the juicy beef steak and the savory mutton chop cheap for cash. Mr. N. has
always lived in the village, but has followed his present business only
since '81. He has a little market on Main street which he keeps up in
good shape. Mr. Notley is an experienced buyer, and the sight of some of
his tender cuts would make old Pythagoras himself swear off dieting on
There are nine families of Smiths in Vicksburg, but it is to a goldsmith,
Mr. J.J. Smith, that we would briefly call our readers' attention in a few
well chosen words. Mr. Smith is a Toledo man. He learned his trade in
that city some 23 years ago, and resided there for a long time. He
subsequently removed to Lima, Ind., and on the first of last February
came up to Vicksburg to fit the niche in the watch-making line left
vacant by J.E. Parr. He keeps in stock quite an assortment of jeweler's
goods - watches, precious jewels for ornamental purposes, and a general
line of silver and silver-plated ware. He deals in machine needles of all
shapes, sizes, colors and previous conditions of servitude, and is agent
for the best spectacles made in the country. He is an expert watch-maker
and makes a specialty of repairing fine time-pieces.
James Stratton, the well-known painter and carpenter, is an Englishman
having been born in the realms of Britannia, the fabled female who is
supposed to rule the wave. He came to Vicksburg in '59, and since
his residence there has been honored by election to several positions
of trust and responsibility. In Mr. Stratton are united the two
avocations of painter and carpenter and people can be assured of satisfaction
in consulting him concerning either branch of work.
Dr. Van Antwerp
Dr. S.C. Van Antwerp graduated at Ann Arbor in 1872, and located in Vicksburg
in 1877. He has built up a fine practice during his seven years' residence
in the place, and has established and enviable reputation as a good
citizen and careful, skillful physician.
Mr. Frank Murray is another Hoosier. He came from Indiana in '80 and is
a painter. Without pausing to go into the details of Mr. Murray's biography,
we will say that he is worthy of patronage and commend him to all desiring
anything his line. He is an excellent workman and is doing well.
Anderson & Son
Mr. Daniel P. Anderson and son, Willard P., are the proprietors of
the flouring mill located near the Union depot. Mr. Anderson Sr. was
part owner of the old water mill which burned about a year ago. The
steam mill was built in about '76 or '77, and the proprietors are doing
a good business in custom grinding and shipping flour. An incendiary
attempt was made to burn this property, but failed on account of
prompt action of the fire brigade.
Geo. A. Douglas
Mr. Douglas' commercial career dates from December, '83, in which month
he bought out the stock and good will of Young Brothers, dealers in hardware.
Mr. Douglas has a good business head and the concern has suffered no
detriment on passing into his hands. Besides a general line of shelf goods
and builder's hardware, he keeps on hand a large stock of agricultural
implements of the best makes. He is agent for the Reed Spring-tooth Harrow
and for the Walter Wood reaper. He handles the Charlotte buggy and is the
authorized agent for the Peninsula Gassoline Stove of which he has
sold 33 this season - pretty good for a town of 900 inhabitants. Mr. Douglas
enjoys a lucrative trade and will continue to merit patronage by always
endeavoring to give every man a square deal.
Malcolm Hill, Medicine Doctor
This skillful and very successful physician was born in St. Joe. Co, 1841.
He took his degree at the medical department of the University of Michigan
in '68 and very soon afterwards located in Vicksburg. His name occurs in
the county directory published by Jas. M. Thomas in 1869, at which time
there were three other physicians in Vicksburg, none of whom have remained
until the present time. Dr. Hill has a very large practice, and half the
younger population of the village were ushered into the world with the
Doctor as master of ceremonies.
A Knight of St. Crispin
"Sam" Oman looks the embodiment of "ye merry cobbler", and certainly the
world and the good people of Vicksburg in particular, must treat him well.
Mr. Oman has stitched and pegged away in his little brown shop for several
years, each day making new friends and gaining new customers. He is now
handling a small, but well selected stock of the best makes of ready made
boots and shoes, and is steadily increasing his trade in the same.
The public schools under the careful administration of Prof. Ashley Clapp
are in a flourishing condition.
Vicksburg is quite a society town, and a large number of the different
social and secret orders have local organizations here. These are lodges
of Masons, Odd-Fellows, K. of P., L.O.G.T., a Subordinate Grange, a G.A.R.
post and a Social Science and Literary club. There is also a flourishing
Ladies' Library Association and a lodge of K.T.M.
Mrs. A.E. Daniels conducts a successful millinery business on the east
side of Main St., and keeps lots of these ribbons and fixings that cost
so like the dickens.
Vicksburg has three barbers, Mr. Fred Shulters, Mr. William Clayton,
whose striped pole projects out over Main St., and Mr. Fred Simmons,
whose tonsorial parlors are situated on Prairie St.
(Transcriber's note: For unknown reasons, the writing style of this
article changes here to short "blurbs". I've kept true to this original style).
Fitch & Thompson
Fitch & Thompson Livery: Feed and Sale Stables situate near depot -
know good horses when they see them - get left once in a while - boys
happy - (plenty of) parties like to hire horses from them - horses
gentle and safe for ladies to drive. Willing to accomodate everybody.
Call on them when you want to go for a drive.
(1 word) host of the Junction House: Keeps good hotel - everything quiet -
no rowdying - loves a good horse - knows one when he sees it - gives the
boys lots to eat when they stop there.
Inventor of the Spring Tooth Harrow and Seeder: Patented several other
inventions - has got the best harrow now - never gets left, and always
on the lookout for something new.
Elbridge G. Demming
Carpenter and builder: Built M.E. church at this place, also several
other buildings - fine workman - has all he can do - is now building
a new residence for himself on Water Street - nothing like it in town -
is quite unique.
Young & Howard
Stock buyers and wholesale dealers in Carriages and (1 word): Lively
business fellows - sharp dealers - know when they get a good thing and
how to keep it - sell lots of carriages - ship stock every Monday - give
highest prices to farmers for their stock.
Auctioneer and General Salesman: Commenced business five years ago -
has had good success - is quite an attraction at auction sales -
everybody says the best they've ever heard - draws money right out of
the purchasers present - gets all the property is worth, and a little
more - other auctioneers jealous - sellers don't care - employer
generally the same - his address, Vicksburg.
Just commenced keeping Restaurant and Bakery on Prairie Street. Pretty
good fellow - well-known here - advise newly married couples to get
their wedding breakfasts with him - came from St. Joseph County - that
county's loss, our gain.
William G. Hawkins
The Lightning Shoe Maker: Outtalks most men in the town - is great on
the motor - second rival to Keeler - invented car coupler, railroad
company stole it - anti-monopolist - will vote for Butler.
Always lived in Vicksburg - graduate of Olivet College - taught school
a few terms - gave general satisfaction - sells hardware now - has bought
the right to manufacture and sell "The Universal Combination Fencer" -
thinks he has a good thing - just what farmers want and sells lots of it -
has grand trade in hardware and agricultural implements - sales large
this year - buy all things. Store on Main Street, south side.
L.C. Rapp & Bro.
Lumber dealers and builders. One of the heavy firms of Vicksburg - doing
fair trade - have lots of work - building all the time - several contracts
on hand at present. Will Bohner tends to yard in their absence - pretty
good business fellow - gives general satisfaction - just came to town -
graduate of Parson's Business College of Kalamazoo. Yard and office west
of G.R. & I.R.R. on Town Lane Street.
One of the old pioneers of this section, and "Uncle Sam's" keeper of
the great seal at the post office of this place - is one of the leading
men of this section - has seen Vicksburg rise up to become a prominent
burg - always jolly - keeps good humor under all circumstances - was
"squire" for twelve years - dispensed justice impartially - lawyers
couldn't fool him - had only one case reversed during his term of office -
quite an old man - good for 100 years more.
Blacksmith and carriage maker, came to Vicksburg in October, 1882 and
bought out Mr. Worthington. Is a good workman and gives general satisfaction
to all his customers - has splendid trade, and the work he turns out is
second to none in the county. His shop is corner of Pond and Prairie Streets.
Painter and wholesale dealer in Fine Carriages and Wagons, came from
Richland several years ago - likes the place - place likes him - is
doing fine business - sells lots of carriages - runs paint shop and has
all the work he can attend to. Shop located in the rear of Winterdorf's
Henry C. Peck & Co.
Wagon and Carriage makers and General Blacksmiths. This firm consists
of Henry C. Peck and Calvin Grovenberg. Mr. Peck is a well known
gentleman, and formerly resided at Galesburg. He located in Vicksburg
about a year ago and purchased the lot where he is now doing business.
Shortly after his advent in this place, he formed a partnership with
Mr. Grovenberg, who lived about three miles south of the village, and
who conducted a farm successfully for a number of years. This firm
is extensively engaged in the manufacture of road wagons, and have a
contract to supply parties in Toledo, Ohio, and elsewhere. They have
shipped this season over 145 wagons. With improved and larger buildings,
which they intend to erect this fall, their facilities for manufacturing
will be greatly enhanced. They have in their employ Mr. Harry Agnew,
a fine workman, and one who has had twenty years experience in carriage
Blacksmith and Horse Shoer. His shop is located on Prairie Street. He
started in business in 1882, having learned his trade under Mark
Worthington. Although starting with but small means, he has by constant
attention to business succeeded in building up quite a trade.
Agent of Mutual Life Insurance Company of Marshall, came here three months
ago - has hard check, same as all in trainee agents - is like a leech,
never leaves a man until he gets him - always gets there - going west
in about a week - will (hoop) it up to the boys when he gets back -
has secured for his company one hundred numbered at this place - Company
always pays losses in full.
Was brought up in Brady township on a farm, stayed there until 1879,
when he came to Vicksburg - built the brick store on Main Street which
he now occupies - keeps heavy and light hardware - has fair trade and
prospects are bright for the future.
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