Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Squint Shot 100610

Well, as it turns out, I do not have an obituary for any of the Beans but I am wondering if this large family headstone would be for the Bean family that was quite prominent in the 1880s and into the 1890s, and the small marker was for the "James Bean" that operated various business ventures in Fowlerville during this time.In the book I put together, The Fowlerville Chronicles, the first time his name shows up is in an 1877 business directory -- "Bean, James, livery stable." I added a footnote to his name with additional information I found in a newspaper article in The Fowlerville Review, After eight years of farming in Marion Township, James Bean sold out and moved to Fowlerville. He operated a livery business and was proprietor of the Commercial Hotel, as well as being involved in the mercantile business. He constructed two buildings south of the Commercial Hotel, one being the Bean Opera House at one time.

The Commercial Hotel (known previously as the Reason House as well as "Independence Hall" before the wooden structure burned in 1878), was a brick structure finished in 1880 at the southwest corner at the main four corners. The building was one-half floor down and two-and-one-half stories up.

In later years, James Bean was noted as operating a general store from 1879 to 1883, then in 1885 the business directory shows "Bean, James & Son (James and Ira), livery, general store and stave mill." Another footnote proved the information Mr. Bean had closed the mercantile business earlier in the year. In 1889, the directory indicates "Bean, James, propr Commercial Hotel and livery and general store." By 1894, he was also selling clothing.

The term "block" was usually attached to the owner's name of a building, and, in this case, the "Bean Block" was used extensively when articles were found regarding Mr. Bean's various enterprises in the buildings at the southwest quadrant.

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