William Middlebrook was born in Lindsley, Steuben Co. New York on July 22, 1864. He received his early education in Lindsley and then went on to attend Allen’s Business College in Elmira, New York. Middlebrook worked for a time as a bookkeeper in New York before coming to Manistique in the spring of 1886. Here, Middlebrook found employment with the Weston Lumber Company and was placed in charge of the Clothing and Dry Goods Department of the company’s general store on Deer Street. He married Dora R. James in a ceremony at Manistique on June 2, 1887.
Lazarus Rosenthal was born on November 4, 1874 in Syracuse, New York to Saul and Celia (Rubenstein) Rosenthal. He came to Manistique in 1895 and operated a dry goods store for four years under the name of Rosenthal & Blumrosen. Rosenthal married Rachael Blumrosen in a Jewish ceremony in Detroit, Michigan on January 28, 1898.
Becoming sole owner of Rosenthal’s Clothing Store in 1899, he remained in business in Manistique for 27 years. In February of 1926, he sold the clothing store to Henry Neville and W. J. Raredon. The Rosenthal building later housed the Lauerman Department Store. While in business in Manistique, Rosenthal was active in civic affairs and a great booster for Manistique and Schoolcraft County.
Julius Larson was born in Vastergotland, Sweden on June 20, 1868. He immigrated to the United States in 1888 and arrived in Manistique on April 3, 1888 at age 19. He was employed with Frank N. Cookson’s crew, working in the woods. In 1893 he traveled back to his native Sweden for a visit. Returning to Manistique in 1894, he continued his employment with Frank Cookson in the woods.
Larson left Cookson’s employment in 1899 and opened the City Meat Market in partnership with Albert Gustafson. The first customers at the store were Margaret Curley, Mrs. A. S. Putnam and Mrs. Virgil Hixson. Paddy Hunt was hired as the first delivery boy.