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Mason County Memories

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Scottville Attractions History Column By Dave Petersen During the Ludington the Beautiful campaign of the 1890's a great deal of effort was expended in the marketing of the area to attract more business and also more population. In an earlier column we mentioned that they had hoped to attract an additional 50,000 people to the County, primarily to Ludington. While a population of 50,000 might be possible for the population as a whole in the next 20 years the population of Ludington seems to hover consistently at around 9,000 or fewer. Yet for a small town in 2005 as in the circa 1896 publication that we are going to be quoting from there were many benefits and reasons to live, work and play in the Mason County area. This booklet "Ludington and its Vicinity" was another effort to advertise and attract industry, and people to the area. I've excerpted some of the information about Scottville for today's column. As it appeared in 1896 "SCOTTVILLE. Situated 9 miles east of Ludington in the midst of a fertile and populous agricultural district, the beautiful little village of Scottville is the second town in size in Mason County. The village now contains a population of about 500, and is noted for its excellent stores and the thriftiness of its business men, nearly all of whom are men yet young in years. It is situated on the F. & P. M. R. R.; has Adventist, Evangelical and Methodist churches; a graded school, various manufacturing institutions, and a weekly newspaper, The Enterprise, edited by Mr. Geo. Ray. THE SCOTTVILLE HARDWARE CO. One of the foremost mercantile institutions in Mason County is the Scottville Hardware Company, Hon. D.W. Goodenough being its president. The company owns and occupies a large brick store, a view of which is herewith shown, and carries a complete line of general hardware, building supplies, etc. They- also deal in agricultural implements, harness, carriages, wagons, etc., in all of which their customers have a liberal stock to select from. As to the members of the firm individually, nothing need here be said. That they enjoy the respect and confidence of the community is fully attested by their large and increasing trade. Mr. (Goodenough is referred to in another part of this work. Hon. GEO. H. READER, A member of the firm of Reader Bros., is well and favorably known throughout Mason County, both in a political and business way. He was born in England in 1854, his parents removing to the State of New York a year later, where the subject of our sketch spent his boyhood days and received a good education, He came to this county in 1875; taught school several terms until 1881, when he came to Scottville, since which time his career as a business man is familiar to every resident of the community. In 1881 he was married to Miss Viola Carpenter. Their charming home is graced by two children, Earl A. and Vera A. Mr. Reader is an ardent Republican and has .served in various political capacities. He was elected to the Legislature in 1887. READER BROS. A leading grocery store conducted in Scottville, is that of Reader Bros., the firm consisting of Geo. II. and T. R. Reader. An excellent stock of goods is always carried and of course a large patronage is enjoyed. Views of the residences of both members of the firm are shown on the opposite page. F.J. READER. Although yet a young man, Mr. F. J. Reader is one of the most successful business men in Mason County. He conducts a hardware store and an implement store under separate roofs, both of which are admirably stocked, and his customers can always rely on the best bargains to be found anywhere. Mr. Reader was born in Jefferson County in 1805. After receiving a common school education there he came to Scottville and entered upon the business career which has terminated in such a grand success. Perhaps no resident of Scottville or community could think of F. J. Reader and his enterprises without at the same time thinking of Henry McCowan, his trusted clerk, who is one of the most popular young men in his vocation in the county. NEW FLOUR MILL. An institution which will supply a long felt want and which will be appreciated by the people of Scottville and community is a flour mill, which is now being built here. It is a substantial structure and will be equipped with the latest and most approved machinery. It will have a daily capacity of 75 barrels of flour, and will also have facilities for grinding feed, etc. The mill is being built by Mr. F. L. Kyser, a man of valuable experience in this line, and will be one of the substantial industries of the community, Mrs. WM. QUIRK. But few families in Mason County are better known than the Quirks, who reside on an excellent farm near Scottville. A view of the residence and farm buildings is shown in this work. Mrs. Ouirk is a sister to Messrs. James E. and M.B. Danaher, of Ludington, and enjoys a large circle of friends throughout the county." I would like to provide additional columns on out county communities and families, if you have any information or photos that you wish to share with our readers please feel free to contact me at 757-3240 or davep@blackcreekpress.com

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