Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, September 22, 2002, pg. 5
Coming up on Sunday, October 6 at 1:30 p.m. is my annual guided tour of Riverside Cemetery, sponsored by the Community Enrichment Program of the Albion Public Schools. Our tour this year is entitled “The Other Pioneers of Albion.” We’ll begin the tour at the cemetery office. Everyone is invited, and I hope to have the honor of your presence as we walk the “Old Grounds” of the cemetery together. Already I’ve received confirmation of visitors coming just for the tour from Utah who are descended from an Albion Township pioneer, and direct descendants of Albion’s founder, Tenney Peabody are also coming. If you ever wanted to know what a real Peabody looks like--now is your chance.
One person we will be featuring on the tour is buried in an unmarked grave in a lot supposedly by himself, as records for the period are incomplete. But this person had a prominent role in the early life of our community. Solomon Hurst (1819-1895) was one of just a handful of black families that lived in Albion before the Civil War. This was during the era when slavery was still rampant in the South, and slave-catchers would come into the north to capture their property. Blacks found refuge here in Calhoun County, and the Albion area was no exception.
Mr. Hurst was a native of Virginia and came to Albion in 1851. He was a barber by trade. His barber shop was on the second floor of the Howard Block (204 S. Superior St.) which is still standing today. Solomon owned several tracts of land in the village of Albion, worth about $1,000, and at one time was the wealthiest black person in town. Before the Civil War he lived on the west side of S. Eaton St. just south of the W. Porter St. intersection. After the War he lived on the southeast corner of W. Cass and S. Ann Streets.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a copy of the 1858 Village Plat Map, showing the Hurst home and property.
1858 Village Plat Map
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic