Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Albion 100 Years Ago - DECEMBER 1902

Morning Star, December 8, 2002, pg. 15

As we begin the month of December, I encourage you to give the gift of Albion history this Christmas season. Stop by the Albion Chamber of Commerce for an autographed copy of my latest book “Albion in the 20th Century.” My Riverside Cemetery tour booklets also make great “stocking stuffers.”

We continue with our theme of Albion--100 Years Ago. Week ending December 4, 1902: “A dispatch to the Grand Rapids Herald, dated November 28, states that the Rev. John P. Ashley, D. D. formerly president of Albion College, has been dismissed by letter from the M. E. Church at Pacific Grove, California, to the Christian Disciple Church of that place. By them he has been immersed and re-ordained and has been called to the pastorate of the Christian Church at Saratoga. Dr. Ashley left Albion College under charges of immoral conduct.”

December 5-11, 1902: “Salvation Army Dinner. The Salvation Army is working earnestly to carry out a project the like of which has never been attempted on so large a scale in this city. On Christmas day they will serve a free dinner at their barracks, to all the poor and needy people of the city...Captain Biddle is now soliciting provisions from various citizens...It will be necessary to have in all as much as a quarter of beef, 25 chickens, half a hog, 5 bushels each of potatoes and apples, any kind of vegetables, etc. Those who desire to donate provisions may either take them to the Salvation Army barracks on Cass Street, or drop a card to Captain Biddle and they will be called for.”

“The first of the week it became known in the city that the Jackson-Battle Creek Traction Company had closed a deal with John J. Hurley for 20 acres of his farm just west of the city limits, on which to erect car shops, barns, etc.” “Dr. Dickie [Note: president of Albion College] suggested Monday morning in chapel that there were three or four students that would probably sleep better after they had made him a call. He also said that there were three or four students who would not be in school next term.”

“It is reported that the deal for the sale of the brick mill to the electric road people has been closed and that the work of remodeling it for a transmitting station will be begun in two weeks.” “The sight of a locomotive passing through Superior St. Monday forenoon was an exceedingly novel one. It was the first moving thing to be run over the electric road through this city and therefore makes Monday, December 8 a very memorable day.”

December 12-18, 1902: “James C. Eslow has taken a contract to build a large sewer in Eaton Rapids.” “City Council Minutes, December 15, 1902: The Finance Committee reported favorably on following accounts and recommended payment of same: F. Hoyt, killing dogs $2.00; Mrs. Farnham, washing, $11.65; George E. Dean, building cement walks, $120.86. Alderman Gress moved that the council sell the old fire engine. Carried.”

December 25, 1902: “Dr. Henry Van Ostrand died at his home in Yankton, South Dakota at 9 o’clock Tuesday morning. Dr. Van Ostrand is the last of but one of the old physicians in Albion practicing here during the Civil War. For many years under the firm name of Johnson & Van Ostrand, he carried on a drug store in the Eslow building.” “Last Monday evening an overcoat suddenly disappeared from one of the forms which stood in front of Schneider’s clothing store. Working on a slight clue, the officers were able to follow up the thief without the least trouble. They went directly to the home of Frank Beilfuss, where they found him snugly in bed, with the brand new overcoat nestling close by his side and well protected from the cold winter’s blast, such as that in which the poor, coatless “dummy” was left to stand without shelter and without friends.”

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles.

Next 100 Years Ago: JANUARY 1903

Next: BATH MILLS


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