Near the turn of the twentieth 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 thirty manufacturing businesses—making everything from finished lumber to kitchen utensils, game boards, and motors—as well as hotels, a railroad, and a power company. He was also an active member of the Republican Party who served one term as Michigan's secretary of state and a philanthropist who gave a great deal of his wealth to causes in both Michigan and Kentucky.
Michael W. Nagle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and Master of Arts degree in history from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington. He teaches history and political science at West Shore Community College, in Scottville, Michigan, where he also serves as chair of the social sciences division. His book, Justus S. Stearns; Michigan Pine King and Kentucky Coal Baron, 1845-1933, published by Wayne State University Press, won the Kentucky History Award from the Kentucky Historical Society in 2016. Currently, he is working on a biography of business leader Eber Brock Ward, who was the richest man in Michigan when he died in 1875. Nagle lives in Ludington, Michigan with his wife and two daughters.
"We are thrilled to partner with McCreary County Museum to tell the wonderful story of Michigan's Pine King and Kentucky Coal Baron and how our two communities, while far apart, share a history that binds us together through the life and work of Justus S. Stearns.", said Rebecca Berringer, executive director of the Mason County Historical Society.
To join go to Mason County Historical Society’s or McCreary County Museum’s social media pages on Facebook.
Deadline Tuesday, April 13th
Google Forms Link: https://forms.gle/x1MkTZsLBPe66o9PA
DateWednesday, April 14, 2021
7:00 PM EST