From 1869 when a Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution store was established along the main highway, a small string of general stores, shops, and public and religious buildings has gradually filled in the modest business district. The ZCMI was initially a profitable venture, delivering a 68 percent dividend in 1870, its first full year of operation. In time, other private co-ops and general mercantiles were founded to offer ZCMI some competition. A general store built of rock in 1880 with an 1884 dance hall and theater addition was the most imposing of the private commercial structures in the early days. By 1885, Fountain Green formally organized its city government, electing Reese R. Llewellyn as the first town president.