FRANK P. TOWN
FRANK P. TOWN is one of the representative business men of Eaton county and is the present able and popular president of the village of Vermontville, his administration of municipal affairs having been so satisfactory that he is now serving his sixth consecutive year as president. He claims the old Green Mountain state as the place of his nativity, having been born in Hyde Park, Lamoille county, Vermont, and being a son of Hiram and Maria (Belknap) Town, the former of whom was born in Vermont in 1806, his death occurring in that state also, at the venerable age of ninety-two years. His wife, who was born in the state of New York in 1826, is still living on the old homestead farm in Vermont. Hiram Town was an extensive landholder in Vermont and also dealt largely in livestock for many years, giving special attention to the buying, breaking and selling of oxen, which are still much in requisition for farming among the hills of Vermont. He was twice married, the mother of the subject of this sketch having been the second wife. One son and four daughters were born of the first union, and nine children were born of the second marriage. Seven of the children are living, all remaining in the East, except Frank P. and his half-brother, Hiram J., who makes his home in California. Mr. Town was educated in the public schools of his native place and remained at the parental home until he was seventeen years of age, when he engaged in teaching school. He soon afterward came to Michigan, first locating in the city of Grand Rapids, where he found employment with a lumber concern. He remained in the "Valley City" three years, and for fourteen months of this period was bookkeeper and superintendent in a wagon factory. He then came to Vermontville and began business for himself. With a capital of but two hundred and ninety five dollars he started a lumber business, to which he gave his attention for the ensuing seven years, conducting a retail yard. He then sold the business and engaged in the manufacture and sale of hardwood lumber, showing marked aggressiveness and discrimination and building up a most prosperous enterprise, in which he continued eight years, having the largest hardwood manufacturing concern between Jackson and Grand Rapids. After disposing of this business he again entered the retail lumber trade in Vermontville, his quarters being the same utilized by him when he first came to the village. He has been very successful in his operations, and his present enterprise shows each succeeding year a gratifying expansion in scope. Mr. Towns is the largest stockholder in the Vermontville Creamery Company and is a member of its board of directors, while he has capitalistic investments in various other enterprises, which tend to conserve the welfare and prosperity of the community. In politics, so far as national issues are involved, he is a stanch adherent of the Democracy, but in local matters he maintains an independent attitude and votes in support of men and measures according to the dictates of his judgment. He is serving his sixth year as president of the village, his desire having been to retire from the office after the first year, but he has yielded to the importunities of the citizens and through their ballots had been retained in the office consecutively, there having been no opposing candidate the last three elections. This fact bears its own significance of public appreciation. During his administration many public improvements have been made and worthy objects and measures advanced. He stands privately and officially for the spirit of progress, and his efforts in both lines have redounded to the benefit of his home town and country. President Town yet remains in the ranks of the celibates, and is known as one of the "eligibles" of Eaton county.