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.

TUCHTENHAGEN CLOCK

Morning Star, July 9, 2006, pg. 8

Albion has been making news in far-away places in recent months. The first concerns the publishing of the diary/letters written by “Albion’s Greatest Hunter,” Charles H. Billinghurst (1849-1946). We wrote about Mr. Billinghurst in the October 21, 1993 edition of this column, which is republished on the www.albionmich.com website. Mr. Billinghurst was a professional hunter in the “Old West” during the 1870s and 1880s. The classic photo featuring his hunting party made the front cover of “The Black Powder Cartridge News” magazine, Issue No. 53. It is part of a four-part series about Mr. Billinghurst which began in the Winter, 2005 issue No. 52, and continues in the current Summer, 2006 issue, No. 54. The final installment will appear in issue No. 55 to be published this fall.

There are numerous references to Albion both in Mr. Billinghurst’s writings, as well as by the compiler of the article, Leo Remiger whom this writer has corresponded with many times. If you’d like copies of this magazine, you can contact them for more information at P.O. Box 1625, Cody, WY 82414. E-mail: www.blackpowderspg.com.

The other mention of Albion concerns a feature story about the legendary president of Albion College, Dr. Samuel Dickie (1851-1925). A native of Burford Township in Canada, that fact kept Dickie running for President of the United States on the Prohibition Party ticket in the 1890s during the time when Albion was the national headquarters of the Prohibition Party. Instead, Samuel ran for Mayor of Albion and won, serving from 1896-97. The Cass St. bridge, i.e. “Dickie’s Folly,” was one long-lasting reminder of his legacy here.

The story ran in the Saturday, June 3 issue of the Brantford (Canada) Expositor, Section D, “Weekend,” pages 1 and 11. This front section story is entitled “The Man Who Would Be President,” and features Dickie’s belated 1921 U.S. citizenship application in the background of his photograph. The author, Heather Ibbotson, researched Dickie’s Canadian roots and found the family of William and Jane Dickie (Scottish immigrants) living on Concession 1, Lot 23 South in 1849 where Samuel was born. The sub-heading of the article states, “Burford Townhip Native’s bid for top U.S. office scuttled by his Canadian Roots.” The last sentence in the excellent researched piece states, “Dr. Samuel Dickie is likely the greatest son that Burford never knew.” Anyone interested in getting a copy of this fascinating story can contact the paper at: www.brantfordexpositor.ca, or the author at heatheri@execulink.com.

It is nice to see an old-fashioned clock placed back on S. Superior St. This one, placed in front of Homestead Savings Bank, is in honor of retired long-time Homestead executive Robert Tuck. It has a clock on one side, and yes, there is a temperature gauge on the other side.

Did you know that Albion once had an antique clock which stood for many years as a landmark in downtown Albion? It was built by Albion jeweler Arthur Tuchtenhagen (1893-1950), who placed it in front of his establishment, Tuchtenhagen’s Jewelry, at 215 S. Superior St. Silver in color, this clock was a familiar sight for everyone driving through downtown Albion.

Unfortunately, it was struck by a semi-truck backing up, and was destroyed. It was never replaced. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1971 photograph of this historic antique clock. How many of our readers remember it? An excellent place for such a clock to be placed today would be on the corner of W. Porter and S. Superior St. on the site of the former Eslow Block that was demolished a couple of years ago. It could be placed on the inside corner just behind the sidewalks at the start of the so-called “green space.” With some proper landscaping, a clock at that location would greatly help the appearance of downtown Albion.


1971 photograph of the Tuchtenhagen clock

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