Albion Interactive History / Businesses / Vaughn & Ragsdale

Albion Interactive History

Albion Interactive History / People

Vaughn & Ragsdale Co.

Lige H. Vaughn and J.M. Ragsdale became partners in the mercantile business in 1918. When their organization was incorporated in 1927, Mr. Vaughn became president and general manager of the company and Mr. Ragsdale became vice-president, a position he held until his health failed in 1937 and he had to resign. He died a this home in Columbus, Montana in 1941.

Mr. Vaughn came to Albion in 1929 and established headquarters at 200 ½ South Superior Street for the Vaughn and Ragsdale Company clothiers, which included at its zenith 22 stores in Michigan, Montana and Wyoming. In the 1937 edition of the Albion City Directory an advertisement directs customers to its men’s store at 200 S. Superior and the ladies’ store at 302 S. Superior, – “Brining merchandise of quality and merit direct from the makers’ hands – Eliminating waste and unnecessary expense – Making the selection easy for you – Selling for cash at lowest prices. This is the ‘V & R Way.’ It saves you money and gives your dollar greater purchasing power and you can ‘Enjoy the Difference.’” T.L. Stephen was manager of the Albion stores for a number of years.

An ad in the 1958 edition of the Albion City Directory indicates that the Women’s Store had moved to 223 South Superior, while the 1967 edition shows the general offices of The Vaughn Company remained at the original location at 200 ½ South Superior.

In 1941 L.H. Vaughn retired as president and general manager of Vaughn & Ragsdale, though the company continued in business until approximately 1969. Mr. Henry Hirsch bought the building at 223 South Superior in 1971 from the estate of H.H. Sheldon, and said he though the place had been vacant “for a year or two”. Mr. Hirsch and his wife operated Henry’s Clothing Store at that location until 1986 when it closed. Dr. Judy Warren remodeled the building and opened her dental office there in 1996.

Mr. Vaughn was an active, long-time resident of Albion. In 1935 he was president of the Duck Lake Country Club and a pst-president of Boosters and Knockers. During his years in Albion he served as a director of the Albion Rotary Club, as treasurer of the Calhoun County Board of Health, and was a member of the Board of Directors of Michigan Children’s Aid. In 1954 he moved to Phoenix, Arizona but maintained a summer residence at Duck Lake until a few years before his death, at the age of 90, on May 8, 1982. Interment is at Riverside Abbey.

(Researched and written by Barbara Cook for the Albion Historical Society – sources were obituaries for Mr. Vaughn and Mr. Ragsdale filed in the historical room of the Albion Public Library, Albion City directories, Albion’s Business Places… compiled in 1950 and Mr. Hirsch.)

Source: Barbara Cook, 2001.

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