Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.


Morning Star, April 8, 2001, pg. 6

The results are in. Albion officially has a population of 9,144 persons according to the count taken last year by the U.S. Census Bureau. It is this number which will be used for the next 10 years as part of the formula to determine state and federal aid to our community. This is our racial make-up. 61% (5,582) white; 33.2% (3,038) African-American; 3.1% (281) two or more (mixed) races; 1.6% (147) some other race; 0.7% (63) Asian; and 0.4% (33) Native American. 8,863 persons (96.9%) claimed one race. From the preceding figures, 4.5% (416) of our population is Hispanic/Latino.

We can be assured that the 9,144 number is a fair and accurate count of our community. This was due to the cooperation and help of our citizens, merchants, the City of Albion, and the support of the U.S. Census Bureau in Detroit. Our superb team of local Census crew leaders and enumerators, utilizing a number of different approaches and techniques and visits, painstakingly worked hard to make sure that no one was missed. Our "hats off" to our Albion Census workers, who under the direction of supervisor Robert Whiston worked together to make Census 2000 here a huge success. My own mother Pauline enjoyed her participation as a crew leader assistant and our house was "Census Central" for several weeks in April and May. We ate TV dinners each night until the Census was over (no time to cook).

We had a fantastic management team for our 7-county "local census office" area, headquartered in Battle Creek. In our Morning Star readership area this included rural Marshall area residents Julia Gunger who masterfully managed Field Operations, and her assistant Jeff Hallock who successfully supervised the enumeration of "Special Places" like rest homes, hospitals, and Albion College. Springportite Glenda Peckham managed the mounds of paperwork in the administration department which resulted in all of us getting paid weekly and on time. It was also her department that processed the census forms from seven counties that came into the office, a monumental task, indeed.

Your truly had the honor and privilege of serving as manager of the Census jobs recruiting department for the entire 7-county area. It was an experience I heartily enjoyed and will never forget. Out of the 5,881 persons we recruited to take the Census job test, 1,781 were from Calhoun County. From that number there were many persons from Albion and vicinity who were hired to work both in the field and in the office with wages ranging from $8.75 to $13.00 per hour and up. In addition, the Census Bureau purchased advertisments in the local media, and distributed some fantastic promotional materials to our non-profit organizations and schools. Remember those big posters?

It was truly a win-win situation for us. We got an accurate count, earned decent wages, and got to know some wonderful people along the way. I encourage you to keep the Census in mind several years from now when the process begins again, and consider taking the job test for Census 2010 when it is offered. Tell them Frank sent you.

What is Albionís historical Census pattern? Our population peaked in 1960 when it reached 12,749 persons. Albion College students were included beginning with the 1950 census. Letís face it--if it werenít for Albion College students, our population would be minus 1,000 or so persons. Their attendance here helps us receive more needed state and Federal funds for our community.

Here then is Albionís official Census population by decade beginning with 1860. Albion wasnít legally incorporated as a village until 1855 and was divided between two townships, and so the 1860 Census is the first one available using our municipal boundaries. What do we learn from these statistics? Clip this article out and discuss your own conclusions over the restaurant table this week. 1860--1,720; 1870--2,409; 1880--2,716; 1890--3,763; 1900--4,519; 1910--5,830; 1920--8,354; 1930--8,267; 1940--8,345; 1950--10,406 (college students first included); 1960--12,749; 1970--12,112; 1980--11,059; 1990--10,066; 2000--9,144. Census results for anywhere in Michigan can be found on the internet at: www.state.mi.us/dmb/mic. From our Historical Notebook this week we present the Census 2000 logo.

Census 2000 Logo


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