Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, February 26, 2006, pg. 8
We conclude our theme this month entitled “Biography.”
He had a “nose for news” and kept Albion residents thoroughly informed. It was under his editorial leadership that the Albion Evening Recorder newspaper served as the major daily source for timely local news for decades. He was George V. Mather (1910-1992). George was descended from a family-line of Methodist ministers who came to Michigan in 1867 from Groton, NY (Groton, by the way, was also where the Cuatt family originated). Rev. Vernum Mather (1817-1896) and his son Rev. Elbert Mather (1858-1937) pastored various Methodist churches across the state. Elbert (the father of George) came to Albion to attend school here and graduated from Albion College in 1888. The family home then was at 509 E. Erie St.
George came to Albion from Lyons his Junior year, and graduated from Albion High School in 1928. Even while still in high school, his journalistic talents were quite evident. He was the athletic editor of the high school “Breeze” newspaper and also for the 1928 yearbook. That year George began writing for the Albion Evening Recorder newspaper, continuing into his Albion College years when he was hired full time as a reporter at the Recorder. Throughout his long career, George wrote/compiled hundreds of articles which he clipped and saved in stacks of scrapbooks he prepared.
When Recorder editor Mark Fall died suddenly in 1941, George was named as the new editor. It was a position he retained through his long career until he retired in 1976. George’s responsibilities included writing/compiling local news stories/items from a variety of angles. Remember when there used to be separate daily columns filled with information under headings such as: Of Local Interest, Hospital Notes, Events Calendar, Facts and Trivia, 25 and 15 years ago, Court News, and others? These were complete with published names, addresses, and ages--all compiled by George and his staff.
From a research standpoint, George is best remembered for annually compiling day-by-day chronologies of Albion happenings which are still used by researchers today. Those chronologies and necrologies were also published in our city directories through the 1960s. His writings are standard references to anyone researching daily happenings in Albion’s history.
His meticulous filing system, cross-references and tallies on people, sports, and various topics in Albion were hallmarks of his work there at the Recorder. If you look in the back of the 1928 Albion High School Breeze Annual in the athletic section, you’ll see a chart entitled “Wearers of the A.” Here George compiled and charted the participation-years of each member of various sports.
George was also involved in the Albion community. He served on the Albion School Board from 1942 through 1953, which included several terms as its secretary. He was a member of the Albion Housing Commission. For his many years of service to our community, the George Mather Apartments on W. Erie St. were named in his honor. George was also a long-time member of our local Albion Rotary Club. Why, there is even a George Mather Award given to members here. Ask any Rotary member to tell you about its significance.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1954 photograph of George V. Mather, long-time editor of the Albion Evening Recorder. How many of our readers remember George Mather?
George V. Mather (1910-1992) in 1954
All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic