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Gladwin County, Michigan

Edward A. Coan

On the roll of capable business men in the city of Gladwin, Michigan, appears the name of Edward A. Coan, who is a member of the firm of Coan & Armstrong, dealers in jewelry, hardware and farm implements. Mr. Coan is a man of extraordinary executive capacity and he has engaged in the general merchandise business for over twenty years. He was born in Elgin county, province of Ontario, Canada, on the 8th of January, 1870, a son of George and Amelia (Swanton) Coan, both of whom were likewise born in Canada, where their deaths occurred when Edward A. was a mere youth. He pursued his education in the public schools of his native county but was thrown upon his own resources at the early age of thirteen. He continued to reside in Canada for the ensuing four years and in 1887 he decided to try his fortune in the States, removing, accordingly, to the state of Michigan, where he resided for a number of years at Edenville. His first work was that of scaling logs, but being possessed of an ambitious nature and desiring to rise higher than an employe he became a clerk in a store, where he received the meager salary of five dollars per month. He soon drifted into the lumber business, however, and in 1894, at the age of twenty-four years, we find him doing an annual business of seventy-five thousand dollars, on borrowed capital. In time he opened a mercantile establishment which he conducted in connection with his lumber business, in order to supply his workmen with the necessities of life. This enterprise was initiated at Nolan, Roscommon county, Mich-igan, at which place he was incumbent of the office of postmaster for a period of fourteen years. He held all the important offices that the county could confer upon him and in 1896 he located a German colony, consisting of fifteen families, which is in a prosperous condition at the present time, in 1911, and which has done much to advance the general welfare of Roscommon county. In 1906 his supply of timber being ex-hausted, Mr. Coan took up his abode in Gladwin, where he established a jewelry, hardware and farm-implement business, admitting F. Armstrong as a partner in the business in 1909. A fine trade is now controlled and the firm is doing a business amounting to about thirty-five thousand dollars per annum. They have two large store rooms and a warehouse and the enterprise ranks as one of the most important concerns in the city. In the year 1894 Mr. Coan was united in marriage to Miss Grace Carpenter, and they have become the parents of three children, namely, Bernice, Edaline and Max DeVere. In politics Mr. Coan is a stanch Republican and he has ever manifested a deep and sincere interest in all movements projected for the good of the community. He is a man of deep and abiding sympathy and fine natural intelligence and it may be said of him that the list of his friends is coincident with that of his acquaintances. Fraternally he is affiliated with various representative organizations and he and his wife are zealous members of the Episcopal church.  [A History Of Northern Michigan And Its People; vol.3; By Perry F. Powers; The Lewis Publishing Company; 1912]

Norman J. Dolph
Norman J. Dolph, manager of the shingle mills at Gladwin, Mich., was born at Cherry Valley, Ohio, November 26, 1865. He is a son of L. H. and Sarah (Akins) Dolph, and came with them when three years old to Montcalm County. Here he attended the Pierson schools, and later pursued his studies in the Cedar Lake and Stanton High Schools. He had to suspend his studies on account of ill-health, and as he had from a child displayed a natural love for mechanics he soon entered into lumber manufacturing. He also took charge of his father's store at Dolph's Mills. In 1836 this young man, being then only twenty-one years old, obtained of his father the use for a year of his mills, and in that one year he made $2,000. He then entered into a partnership with Hyde Bros. He bought one of his father's mills and removed it to Gladwin. Here he bought a tract of land and engaged in the manufacture of shingles and lumber under the firm name of N. J. Dolph & Co. He had the mill in nice running order and three months later sold his share for $5,000 to F. Neff, of McBride. He now became the manager of the establishment, which place he still holds at a salary of $1,200. He has been a successful dealer in pine lands and real estate, and is a member of a syndicate that owns some twenty-four hundred acres of pine land north of Duluth, Minn. lie intends moving there this spring to take charge of the manufacture of lumber and shingles. In August, 1888, the subject of this brief sketch was married at McBride to Luella Neff, daughter of Louis and Lena Neff, of McBride. She is a native of Ionia County. Mr. Dolph has been Township Treasurer of Gladwin for two terms. He is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Gladwin,and like all his family is a stanch Republican. [Portrait and Biographical Album of Ionia and Montcalm Counties, Mich; Chapman Bros., 1891]

Fred Powell
Fred Powell is a conspicuous figure in the business world of Gladwin, Michigan, in which city he has been engaged in the hardware and furniture enterprise since 1897. He formerly conducted an undertaking establishment in connection with his present line of business but abandoned it in 1910. Mr. Powell was born in Orleans county, New York, on the 20th of July, 1863, a son of John B. and Mary (Money) Powell, both of whom were born and reared in England, whence they emigrated to America in 1851, locating in Orleans county, New York. In 1883 John B. Powell moved to the state of Michigan, where he engaged in the agricultural business. He now maintains his home in Gladwin and of his nine children six are still living, - Mrs. W. R. Gunn, Gertrude, Alice, Fred (of this sketch), Archie E. and Irving W.
Mr. Powell is indebted to the public schools of Genesee county, Michigan, for his educational training, having there also pursued a course in a business college. That he put his scholastic attainments to good use is evident when it is stated that for thirteen years he was engaged in teaching in various districts in Michigan. In 1892 he became agent for a piano and later a stationery store, with headquarters at Saginaw, and he was a traveling salesman for those concerns for a period of five years prior to his locating in Gladwin. His present place of business consists of a store thirty by eighty feet in lateral dimensions, besides which he also requires the use of two large storehouses. He is now engaged in the erection of a store building forty-five by one hundred and twenty-six feet, two stories high, with basement. He controls a large and lucrative trade and is most popular in this city as a salesman and citizen. He has been a resident of Gladwin county since 1896 and has maintained his home at Gladwin since 1900. Mr. Powell is a Democrat in his political proclivities and he has been a member of the board of education for eight years. In 1908 he was nominated on the Democratic ticket for state senator, but owing to normal political exigencies he met with defeat at the ensuing election. Fraternally he is connected with the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and he and his wife are zealous members of the Methodist Episcopal church. Mr. Powell has been twice married. In 1888 he was united to Miss Carrie Ayers, and they became the parents of one son, Max R., who was born on the 7th of May, 1890. In 1892 was solemnized his marriage to Miss Nellie B. Jones, a daughter of James B. Jones, of Millington, Michigan. No children have been born to the latter union. Essentially progressive and enterprising, Mr. Powell has gradually worked his way upward to a position of prominence in the business world, where he is recognized as a man of impregnable integrity and marked capacity. Courteous and affable in manner, the circle of his friends is constantly broadening and he enjoys the high regard of all with whom he comes in contact.   His is one of the finest homes in the city.  [A History Of Northern Michigan And Its People; vol.3; By Perry F. Powers; The Lewis Publishing Company; 1912]

Farwell A. Wilson
Representative from Midland, Clare and Gladwin counties in 1887, was born July 18, 1841 in Vienna Michigan. He received a common school education. He was first a farmer, then ran a saw-mill for five years. In 1871 removed to Isabella county, where he bought pine land, built a saw-mill, and has been interested in other business. Politically a Democrat. [Early History With Biographies Of State Officers; Lansing: Thorp & Godfrey, State Printers and Binders; 1888]

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