A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men of the City of Detroit

Edited by Albert Nelson Marquis


A. N. Marquis & Company


Copyright, 1908 by Albert Nelson Marquis

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Pages 22-23

Special Thanks to Bonnie Pattok for transcribing these pages.

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Page 22


A potent influence in the business and civic life of Detroit is the Board of Commerce, whose existence is almost coincident in time with the period of the city’s most rapid growth. The Board was formed by the combination of three other commercial associations, and completed its organization of three other commercial associations, and completed its organization June 30, 1903. It includes in its membership representatives of all the large manufacturing corporations and mercantile firms, bankers, capitalists, retired business men and members of all the learned professions. It has been instrumental in bringing many new factories here; in creating the best possible industrial and municipal conditions; in securing favorable freight rates and close railroad connections. Having civic as well as commercial purposes, it has inaugurated movements for beautifying the city; has aided in maintaining a low rate of taxation, and has been responsive to every effort to secure clean and capable municipal administration in all departments. It works mainly through committees, for whose membership it has been able to command the services of many of the most capable business and professional men in the city. It has aimed to foster civic pride and to aid in the creation of such residential, civic and industrial conditions as to verify its motto, "In Detroit - "Life Is Worth Living."

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The Board of Commerce recently offered a prize for the best article upon Detroit. The award was given to Mrs. P. H. Zacharias, whose article contains many valuable facts concerning the history, development, and advantages of the city. The following extracts pertaining to the attractiveness of Detroit as a place of residence, a health and pleasure resort, a convention city, and a business and manufacturing center are timely and interesting:

"Detroit is famed for its beauty and hospitality among those who hold conventions. Scarcely a year has passed in which some national assembly, political, social, scientific, religious or artistic organization has not held itself in readiness to accept an invitation from the delightful and accessible Detroit. Indeed, every year sees some two or three hundred conclaves of various sort holding forth.

"Detroit is a delightful place in which to live; indeed, ‘In Detroit - Life is Worth Living.’ Seekers after rest, those who desire to escape from the toil, the heat, the grime and soot of the cities of the East, South and West, naturally come to this beautiful, health-giving place, with its broad shaded flower gardens. From all quarters of the earth people come seeking health and comfort, to a city where they are sure of a hearty welcome, for the ‘latch-string’ is always out.

"To fully realize what the opportunity for outdoor amusements means to the people of Detroit, one should spend a Saturday on the river, in the parks, or amid the living-tide that ebbs and flow aboard the electric cars, the trains, the steamers. Men, women and children, babies in arms, babies in carts, babies in all forms, styles and colors, are from the cool surface of Lake St. Clair and other bodies of water. We have much to be thankful for in Detroit; its freedom, its pure air, pure water, its happy homes, and its prosperous, honest citizens, sons of toil and capitalists. It is a city where men live and let live, where the poorest have within their reach the pleasures the rich come thousands of miles to enjoy.

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"To specify in what Detroit stands preeminent and be faithful in the details, would be to write the history of nearly all the lines of principal manufactures. Detroit has excelled in everything that has been specialized. What has been the result? Prosperity. Prosperity of a lasting nature.

"Too much praise cannot be given business men who have earned a reputation like that conveyed by the magic words, ‘Made in Detroit.’ Having already passed the 400,000 mark in population, Detroit has now taken its place among the great cities of the country, and the sign ‘Made in Detroit’ is accepted everywhere as a guarantee of excellence. This shows that the manufacturers and merchants are wide awake and progressive. It is no wonder under those circumstances that trade seeks the City of the Straits. It is not remarkable that from the East, West and South buyers are coming to Detroit for the goods they formerly went to other cities to secure. The result o this growth has been to establish at Detroit the largest manufactories for non-proprietary medicines, the largest stove factories, the largest automobile center, the largest varnish factories, the largest paint industries, largest malleable iron works, largest see house, a factory having half the capsule output of the United States, and some of the largest, fastest and most luxuriant excursion steamers in this country. "This is the Detroit of today, where the rights of all are respected, rich and poor alike. Life in Detroit is worth living."

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