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.

ALBION 100 YEARS AGO--JUNE 1903

Morning Star, June 8, 2003, pg. 11

We continue with our theme of “Albion--100 Years Ago.” Week ending June 4, 1903: “The committee having charge of the matter of the donation of land for street purposes on E. Erie St. reported that they were able to secure the grant of land on satisfactory terms to the city, and recommended that the present roadway on E. Erie between the Michigan Central railroad track and the Electric street railway, be changed to the south of the Electric street railway line, along the line of land donated by Mrs. Albert Gale [Note: this is the origin of the Erie St. “spur” road that goes south of the tracks to Hannah St.].”

“Ordinance. Appropriation bill for the City of Albion...The City of Albion ordains that the following sums of money shall be raised by taxation for defraying the expenditures of said city...A. That .0046 of one per cent of the assessed valuation of the city of Albion be raised for general purposes. B. That 1 1/8 mills on the dollar of the assessed valuation of the city of Albion be raised for interest and sinking fund. C. That 7 cents on every $100.00 be raised for the said first ward street district, and 3 cents on every $100.00 of said ward be raised for crosswalk purposes.”

“The widening of the tail race of the brick mill has necessitated the cutting down of the four or five magnificent elms on the east side of the race. It is a pity they had to be destroyed, as they were the largest in the city, and with the high bank on the other side and the wild growth of shrubs and water-course vegetation, formed a romantic dell that has adorned many an art student’s sketch book.”

“The digging of the new wheel pit at the new electric plant is a slow process, because the workmen have to dig through rock. Water constantly runs into the hole from between the layers of rock on the side wall, but it is pumped out with a revolving pump run by Sebastian’s threshing engine. The new dynamos and transformers have been installed in the building.” “John Wochholz died Sunday morning at the home of his daughter, Mrs. William Beilfuss, W. Ash St. He was 75 years old and had resided in or near Albion since 1861.” “While Nicholas Wright was gone from his barber shop in the Hurley Block a few minutes Tuesday afternoon, some unknown person slipped in and stole half a dozen razors, leaving all other tools, and the cash in the drawer. No trace of the thief has been found.”

June 25, 1903: “Scientists will undoubtedly be interested in an item appearing in an Olivet paper, which states that during the recent destructive cyclone at Marshall: “Frank Skinner was killed, but not seriously.” “The Marshall Chronicle says that Judge Hopkins is contemplating having divorce days the same as they do in the large cities. There were 42 cases on the calender when the term opened, and from the way the bills for divorce are being filed it does not look as if there would be any let-up, as 11 suits have been instituted this month.”

“The Albion Handle factory is having a great demand for the new hardwood baseball bats that the company has begun to run out and place on the market. The proprietors made each member of the college ball team a present of one of these bats some time ago, and it is proving to be a fine advertisement for them.”

As baseball was a very popular sport here 100 years ago and due to the fact that a baseball bat factory was once located here, from our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of an early baseball team courtesy of Larry Ketchum. It features the Albion Malleable Iron Company baseball team, circa 1910.

UPDATED 8/30/2003: Only a few persons have yet been identified. In the front row (l-r), the second person is William F. Reichow (1889-1964), who is leaning with his left elbow on the knee of the next guy. In the top row (l-r), the third person is William Bieske (1888-1955), the fourth person is Emil F. Holtz (1886-1954), and the fifth person is Emil W. Holtz (1887-1959), who is the brother-in-law of Bill Bieske. The two Holtzes, Emil F. and Emil W., were distant cousins.

Any ideas as to the identities of the others?


Albion Malleable Iron Company baseball team, circa 1910

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles.

Next 100 Years Ago article: JULY 1903

Next: ALBION HIGH SCHOOL CLASS OF 1973


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