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, June 12, 2005, pg. 2

It’s a sign of the times. This year’s Albion High School graduating class of 2005 had only 91 members. Last time the number of graduates was that low was in 1950 when it was 84.

Each year at this time we present information about the Albion High School class of 100 years ago. The Class of 1905 had thirty-two members. Fourteen were boys, and eighteen were girls. The valedictorian was Gertrude May Babcock, who went on to become a teacher at Peck, Michigan. In those days, Albion High School students majored in one of the four offered courses: Latin (six did); Scientific (seven); German-English (eighteen); or English (one).

The commencement program was held June 8, 1905 at the Methodist Episcopal Church on E. Erie St. Featured speaker was Rev. W. T. Jaquess of Detroit who spoke on the topic “What Constitutes an Education.” The class motto was “Non Quis Sed Quid,” which is Latin for “Not Who but What.” The class flower was the red carnation, and the class colors orange and black. The class gift was six arm chairs for the auditorium stage.

Several students participated in the program, including four boys who formed a “quartette” as it was spelled in those days, which sang “Happy Songs of Long Ago,” followed by a ladies quartet which sang “In Primrose Lane.” The Presbyterian Church orchestra provided the music, assisted by the High School Glee Club.

In looking over the list of class members, we find that several subsequently attended Albion College: Raymond A. Austin, Charles B. Carmen, Almeda B. Clancy, Florence Fall, Thera J. Finley (Mrs. Jesse Clone), Gretchen Lutz, Ada L. Sackett, James Clifford Smith, Margaret Susan Smith, John E. Terrill, and Howard Richard Worthington. J. Clifford Smith (1877-1967), of course, became a well-known Albion insurance agent. He also was a photographer who took some classic Flood of 1908 photos, such as the one of the Erie St. bridge we featured in our March 6 column.

Clyde Lamont Emery and Glenn Laverne Foskit attended the Michigan Agricultural College. Mary L. Dobson and Allen T. Jeffery went to the University of Michigan, while Bessie Maud Hicks went to the Ypsilanti Normal College.

Several class members went into the teaching profession: Gertrude Babcock at Peck, Glenn A. Bechtel at Coldwater, Irma Joslin in Albion, and Bertha M. Wolford at St. Johns.

Other class members, their occupations and subsequent places of residence were: Laura Franc Clark (Mrs. Emmett Carpenter) who subsequently lived in Chelsea; Florence Altabelle Eldridge, an Albion stenographer; Richard Frank Hahn who operated a shoe store here with his brother; Caroline Jennings (Mrs. Lloyd Clark) of Crystal River, Florida; Helen Ida McCormick, and Alice Ina McConnell both of Albion; Henry R. Pennell, a stenographer in Jackson; Asa S. Reed of Bellows Falls, Vermont, Bessie E. Seaver, a milliner in Albion; Wilbur Floyd Smith, a baseball player in Pueblo, Colorado; and Maud M. Starks, a nurse in Detroit.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the Albion High School Class of 1905. Notice the long “horn” they are holding. This was a tradition at Albion High just like the Stanley Cup--they kept adding another layer/section each year until it got too long. Only a few persons have been identified in this photo; if you recognize anyone not listed please let yours truly know so I can properly label them. Front row, No. 5 is Edwin Brunner. Third row, the man standing on the far right with a bow-tie is Richard Hahn. In the top row, No. 7 with his hair parted in the middle, is James Clifford Smith.

Albion High School Class of 1905


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