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 - JULY 1903

Morning Star, July 6, 2003, pg. 4

We continue with our theme of Albion--100 years ago. Week ending July 2, 1903: “Albion Factories Prosperous. Deputy Factory Inspector Mapes has completed his annual visit to the factories of this city and pronounces them in a very prosperous and satisfactory condition. The number of Albion factories inspected this year was 31, against 23 last year. The number of people employed in local factories this year was 796, against 770 last year, an increase of 26.” “Oscar Cooper has resigned as rural mail carried and Gardner Low has been appointed to fill the vacancy. Mr. Cooper has made application for a motorman’s position.”

“Two thousand union men from Battle Creek will spend Labor Day at Albion. For several weeks the good people of Albion have been fidgeting for fear the health food unions would take in Kalamazoo’s celebration instead of going to Albion as promised. They need fear no more. A vote of all the 16 unions, just completed, found all to be in favor of going to Albion. The Trades Council acted on the vote and 2,000 union men will invade Albion on September 1.”

July 9, 1903. “The council room and the men’s headquarters at the engine house have been repapered, and a bath tub has been installed for the use of the firemen after a fire, as well as for those who occupy the rooms permanently. Improvements of this sort are greatly appreciated by the boys, and there is no reason why the city’s employees should not have as good conveniences as other people, as long as they make the city’s building their home.”

July 16, 1903: “After an illness of several weeks, Mrs. Maria C. Blanchard, one of Albion’s oldest residents, passed quietly to her reward at 3:30 Tuesday morning, her two daughters, Mrs. Flora Gale, of this city, and Mrs. Jennie Phipany, of Loveland, Colorado, being at her bedside when death came. She was married in 1841 to Charles Blanchard, at the same time that her brother, Marcus H. Crane, was united in marriage with Miss Julia Peabody.”

“One of the largest and finest herds of cattle that was ever sent out of Albion was shipped Tuesday by George Howard. There were 51 head in the bunch and when they were driven through Superior St. they were admired by every one along the line.” “Minnie, the little 3½ year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hobus, West Chestnut St., was struck by the 10:10 westbound Michigan Central train Wednesday forenoon at the Albion St. crossing, near the Malleable Iron works, and died about an hour later.”

July 23, 1903: “Leman Lake, of Marengo, came very near being strangled last Sunday morning by a piece of meat which he got in his throat, but was saved by the quick work of a physician who was hastily summoned.” “George Hardy, sent to Jackson prison 27 years ago from Clarence Township, on charge of murder, is one of the oldest lifers in that institution. He has become a fine engineer and acts in that capacity at the prison.” “Asphalt blocks [for paving Superior St.] are guaranteed by the manufacturers, the Lake Erie Asphalt Block Company, to remain under ordinary traffic for 5 years without repairs.

July 30, 1903. “Finley Family Reunion. The 8th annual reunion of the Finley family was held at the residence of Barton C. Finley, in Concord, July 25th. About 75 were present, representing 29 families. All are descendants of Charles Finley of Ireland.”

Back in the 1890s when the Albion Malleable Iron Company was just getting started, they utilized some interesting advertising techniques at trade exhibitions. From our Historical Notebook this week we present the “Malleable Girl” dressed in her unique outfit. The embellishments on her dress were not sequins, but tiny casting ornaments made at the plant! The woman advertising the furniture firm (not in Albion) on the right is wearing wooden objects with her dress, likewise. A new trend in fashions? Instead of sequins today, how about CD discs?


The Malleable Girls

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles.

Next 100 Years Ago article: AUGUST 1903

Next: A & P SUPERMARKET


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