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 18, 2004, pg. 3

Each year at this time we feature the Albion High School class of 100 years ago. The AHS Class of 1904 had 34 members. 22 were girls, and 12 were boys. The class motto was “Labor Omnia Vincent,” which is Latin for “Labor Conquers All.” The class flower was the marguerite. The class memorial was two large flower urns for the high school grounds.

Valedictorian was Olah J. Hill, whose father Seymour Y. Hill operated a boot and shoe store in town. Salutatorian was Agnes Ermo Abbott. The class president was Ralph Burdette Lacey. The speaker for the commencement program held at the Methodist Church was Rev. George Elliott from Detroit who spoke on the topic, “The Measure of a Man.” His speech was preceded by a Ladies quartet which sang the song, “Rest Thee on This Mossy Pillow.”

In looking through the list of class members, the most prominent appears to have been Rev. Grover Cleveland (1886-1967). He began working at the Albion Post Office in 1906 and worked there until 1917. At that time he left the P.O. to enter the Baptist ministry, and subsequently pastored several area rural churches. He later returned to the Post Office in 1933, and retired in 1956. At one time he was Albion’s assistant postmaster. Grover continued to perform ministerial duties part-time, however. He officiated at many weddings and funerals in our area throughout his many years of ministry.

The following is a list of the graduates of the AHS Class of 1904, which came from the 1908 public school handbook. It listed a graduate’s name, their married name, their occupation, and place of residence. Several were finishing up their four years of college at the time this list was prepared. Those listed were all living in Albion in 1908 except as noted here. Do our readers recognize any of these names?

Agnes Ermo Abbott, student Albion College; Florrel A. Auringer, teacher; Mabelle Elizabeth Anderson (Mrs. Clarence Gardner); Donald Ray Belcher, student Kalamazoo College, Kalamazoo; Fred H. Blanchard, post office clerk; David Leonidas Boyd, student Michigan Agricultural College, East Lansing; Lettie Lorissa Brezette, telephone office, Indianapolis, Indiana; Eva Elizabeth Carey; Grover Winfield Cleveland, post office clerk; Maud Marie Cortright, teacher Duck Lake; Lloyd Robinson Clark, Crystal River, Florida; Roy Milton Doud, artist, Havana, Cuba; Leroy Russell Haag, student Albion College; Laura Hard, teacher; Olah J. Hill, student Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY; Ethel Mary Howe, deceased; Julia Ward Howe; Gertrude May Hovey, Lake City; Katherine Adelia Hoaglin, Gale Mfg. Co. office; Vera R. Hoaglin (Mrs. Benjamin Ford); Mildred Louise Jesson (Mrs. Walter Lee), deceased; Ralph Burdette Lacey, student University of Michigan, Ann Arbor;

Walter Fred Lee, Huntington Park, California; Bernard Francis Miles, Michigan Central Railroad; Cleora Althea Miller, teacher, Hillsdale; Effie Jenette Murray (Mrs. Claud Clearwater); Clarence E. Messacar, Prouty Works; Myrta May Perine, office Malleable Iron Co.; Bessie Emaline Powers, clerk; Donald Ronan Ramsdell, student Albion College; Mabelle Adelle Randall, student Albion College; Blanche Clark Snyder, clerk; Orpha Artone Sine (Mrs. Grover Cleveland); and Pearl Antoinnette Thomas (Mrs. Harvey D. Boyd).

There was probably a photograph taken of the Class of 1904, but I’ve never seen one and don’t know who has one. If you’ve got one let me know and we’ll publish it. So in lieu of a class photograph, this week from our Historical Notebook we present a photograph of how Albion High School looked at the time. In the center is the original 1872-built Central School. The 1885-built east and west wings can be easily seen at on the sides. Attached in the rear of the wings were additions erected in 1893. Of this scene, only a portion of the left (west) wing remains today, located behind the auditorium at the Washington Gardner facility.

Albion High School (in 1905)


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