Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, July 23, 2000, pg. 2.
It certainly was sad to see an historical area barn burn on June 22, and the tearing down of the adjacent farmhouse on Division Drive just west of Albion. This historically was the farm of Asahel Warner (1800-1879), one of Albionís earliest pioneers. Asahel came to Michigan in 1831, first settling in Marshall where he helped erect the first mill there. In 1835 he helped his father Wareham Warner and Tenney Peabody erect the first saw-mill in Albion, located where the Market Place sits now.
Ashael was a farmer by profession, and owned considerable amounts of land in Albion, Marengo and Sheridan Townships. He purchased the farmland on Division Drive in 1862 during the Civil War which at the time consisted of 333 acres. An adventurer, Ashael went out to California along with other relatives from 1851 to 1853 as part of the gold rush. Three of his children were also adventurers themselves and were part of the land rush to the Dakota Territory in 1883, and there are numerous descendants. They settled at a place called LaFoon, South Dakota where 16 other Albion area families also went to live at the time.
There are also numerous descendants of Wareham Warner and/or the related Warner clan, and Warner family reunions were held for many years up to the Great Depression. From our Historical Notebook we present an 1877 lithograph drawing of Ashael Warner and the farmhouse which has now been dismantled, and the large barns on the right. Between the two is a windmill that looks much like a Wolcott Union Windmill that was produced here in Albion. This lithograph appears after page 146 in the 1877 History of Calhoun County.
Asahelís land later was acquired by Albion banker James W. Sheldon, where it remained in that family until the early 1960s when descendant James Sheldon "Don" Riley sold off his remaining holdings in this area.
By the way, if your doing some house cleaning and find you donít need your old Albion City directories, I am looking for specific years for my Albion history archives. I use these quite frequently in research for these articles. The years needed are: 1885, 1894-95, 1897-98 (county), 1901, 1906-07, 1909, 1913, 1923-24, 1926, 1934, 1941, 1948-49, 1953, 1960, 1963, 1979, 1982, 1984, 1988. Thank you for your support and help. There are other printed items I am also looking for which I will mention in future columns.
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All text copyright, 2013 © all rights reserved Frank Passic