Ralph Fowler did everything and anything to build this village -- maybe that's how one gets a village named after them! Anyhow, he built a business years earlier while helping to build and promote the construction of the plank road. He also was a dry goods merchant and following are some of the short blurbs found in 1877 under the local news of The Fowlerville Review:
R. Fowler & Co. received five crates of crockery a few days since, making the largest stock in the county.
Note the change in R. Fowler & Co's ad. They have an immense stock to select from and will guarantee quality and prices. They have a large and steadily increasing trade by square dealing and low prices.
R. Fowler & Co. offer you some good bargains in another column. They mean business. Go and see them.
As a side note, years later -- in particular between 1922 and 1924 -- while Grand River Avenue was being excavated and prepped for paving, rotted planks from the original plank road were dug up. In addition, the same happened in the late 1990s in Lansing in front of the Plymouth Congregational Church -- old planks were discovered and construction was halted until some of these could be excavated and taken away for historical purposes. Makes one wonder exactly how many other planks could be found -- with some major digging!
This ends a short series of 1877 information. Starting with the article tomorrow and for a few days, I will explore some 1880 scenarios. As I've mentioned before, if you are interested in a particular year -- especially 1875 to 1929 -- let me know and I will see what I can find.