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Ann Arbor

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In histories and sketches, college towns appear only in their romantic aspect. We are led to think of them as sort of Sleepy Hollows, where frolicsome students, stern professors and rather common-place shopkeepers constitute the bulk of the population. According to tradition, the spirit of such communities is decidedly anti-worldly. The ïntroduction of a humming factory, or a metropolitan store, would, it is assumed, be opposed as strenuously as the invasión of a hostile army. ■Vhile such a description might well apply to most of the old-world seats of learning, it is entirely mal apropos, so far as the new world is concerned. Americana are more practical, and imbued with less of the mere scholastic spirit, than are their European cousins. It is not thought necessary in the United States to give a university the appearance of a convent, or to lócate it far from the scènes of active business life. Indeed, it is believed to be a positive advantage to bring young men into close contact with the world so soon as practicable. Ann Arbor is a type of the American college town. In the great northwest and middle states, it has the pre-eminence that is enjoyed by Oxford in England. It is often fitly called the " Athens of the West." And so it is - but it is more than this. It is also a thriving commercial and manufacturing center. Surrounded by the best farming country in the world, Ann Arbor is bound always to thrive as a business town; 1,000 well to do persons are much preferable as customers to 2,000 paupers Add to this fact the further fact that the trade of 3,000 transients is in the hands of our merchants, and it can easily be seen that Ann Arbor has nothing to fear, so far as mercantile prosperity is concerned, For a romantic college town, the manufacturing interests of Ann Arbor are unduly prominent. There are some persons bom in this city who do know that over 8500,000 is invested in the various plants, and G00 men are employed. Many cities, it is true, not larger than Ann Arbor, can make a better showing than this, but they are not college towns, and henee have no excuse if their resources are not as fully developed as they should be. In years past, Ann Arbor itself was backward. Many of its residents labored under the delu6ion, to which we have before referred, that nothing could be expected in a college town. But, with the advent of the Toledo, Ann Arbor and North Michigan railroad, some ten years ago, a new spirit was infused into the business men, and since that time manufacturing has taken a wonderful start. In bringing about the new era, the Business Men's Association has played an honorable and effective part. The work naturally falling to this association is not, by any means, flnished. Much has been done in the past, but still more remains to be done, if Ann Arbor's future is to be what its advantages ought to make it. In accomplishing this rasult, not much can be done by individuals as such. By organized effort, the most desirable results may be brought about. It is plainly the duty of every citizen to assist, by word and deed, the association whose aim it is to promote the general welfare of Ann Arbor. In this special edition we have endeavored to point out clearly the advantages of this city as a residence, educational, business and manufacturing center. If our efforts shall result in renewed activity on the part of our business men, we shall feel amply repaid.


Old News
Ann Arbor Register