Ludington author to speak about Justus Stearns.

July 7, 2016
J.S. Stearns

J.S. Stearns

LUDINGTON — Ludington author Michael W. Nagle will be at The Book Mark, 201 S. Rath Ave., on Saturday, July 16 from 1 to 3 p.m. to discuss his book “Justus S. Stearns, Michigan Pine King and Kentucky Coal Baron, 1845-1933.”

Nagle will highlight Stearns’s contributions to the development of Ludington with the presentation, “Justus S. Stearns, Ludington’s First Citizen” which will be followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase and light refreshments will be served. This is a great opportunity to learn about a local business leader and philanthropist who offered many significant contributions to the community of Ludington.

Near the turn of the 20th century, “Pine King” Justus S. Stearns was Michigan’s largest producer of manufactured lumber and the owner of a prosperous coal mining operation headquartered in Stearns, Kentucky, a town he founded.

Over the course of his career, Stearns would own at least 30 manufacturing businesses—making everything from finished lumber to kitchen utensils, game boards, and motors—as well as hotels, a railroad, and a power company.  

This biography, recently published by Wayne State University Press, details Stearns’s astounding range of accomplishments and explores the influence of both paternalism and Social Darwinism in his business practices.

Nagle is a Professor of history and political science at West Shore Community College.

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