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, December 19, 2004, pg. 9

I’d like to take the time to wish all my readers of this column a very Merry Christmas during this holiday season, and may your New Year be prosperous and fulfilling. Thank you for your support this past year including donations of Albion photographs, yearbooks, directories, information and other “stuff” which have helped in the preparation of these articles.

There is still time this week to make a visit to the Albion Chamber of Commerce and choose some last-minute Christmas gifts. My Albion history books and materials make excellent “stocking stuffers.” My 2002 book “Albion in the 20th Century” has been reprinted, and autographed copies are available only at the Chamber.

Within the past month Albion lost two more of its former prominent businessmen of the 20th century: Norm Davey, who served as president of Union Steel Products 1969-1971; and insurance agent C. Parker Smith. Both these men were once part of a special dinner club called the Boosters and Knockers Club. Founded in 1913, it was sort of a cross between a Chamber of Commerce and a Rotary Club. There were no dues, no constitution, or no membership card. You just had to “show up” and pay for your meal. Meetings were held once a month, usually at Baldwin Hall at Albion College.

The B & K Club members would sit around and discuss various community topics, and invite special speakers to share their areas of expertise. Yours truly had the honor of speaking at one meeting during the waning years of the group. Gradually the members got older, and no newer ones replaced them. The group finally disbanded in the 1980s after several decades of existence.

1961 Gathering of the Boosters & Knockers Club

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1961 gathering of the Boosters & Knockers Club. Special thanks to Albion’s former funeral home duo, Kenneth King and William Helrigel (the latter of whom now lives on Signal Mountain, Tennessee) who both appear in this photo, for their help in identifying the majority of the persons here. If you recognize someone who is unidentified, please let yours truly know and I’ll add their name to the list, and include it when this article is placed on the www.albionmich.com website.

First row, left to right: unidentified, unidentified, unidentified, Dan Birdsall, John Brundage, Frank Costello, Bob Reed, Glenn Sebastian, unidentified. Second row: Garfield Farley, unidentified, unidentified, Dr. Louis M. Henderson, Gene Slowey, Bert Fiske, Alvin Dice, Dan McAuliffe, Donald Harrington, Homer Blair, J. Clifford Smith, Dr. Thomas Carter. Third row: Leslie Engstrom, Dr. Richard Bethune, Lambert McClintic, Francis Fish, Vernon Bobbitt, Kenneth Hollingshead, Glen Deal, Fred Blanchard, Floyd Rogers, unidentified, unidentified, unidentified, Charles Beal, ___Hoag, Charles Loud, Norm Davey, George Matthews, Paul Ewbank. Top Row: Jack Bedient, Paul Hawes, Edward Henderson, Parker Smith, unidentified, Otis Myers, Rev. Bill Whitledge, Harry Gardner, unidentified, Kenneth King, Rev. Floyd Northrop, Leonard Butters, William Helrigel, Dan Siler, Don Gilbert, Hugh Simmons, Hubert Gaskell.

How many of our readers remember the Boosters & Knockers Club?


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