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.

DEVEREAUX POSTMARK

Morning Star, October 21, 2007, pg. 14

Extra copies of my 2007 Riverside Cemetery tour program (as well as those from previous years) are available at the Albion Chamber of Commerce or from yours truly. These programs are loaded with local history material you won’t find anywhere else. Is your set complete?

The Albion High School football team’s wonderful 74 to 0 win over Jackson County Western on October 5 was the second best lopsided victory for the Wildcats in its 110 year history of playing the sport. (Note: Football began at AHS in the fall of 1891). I hope they saved the ball used in the game for the school trophy case. For the historical record, it was on November 11, 1927 that Albion defeated rival Marshall by a score of 83 to 0. The ball in that game was saved and specially marked with the team names and score.

A while back at a postcard show I purchased a card picturing the general store (presently Merritt’s) in the village of Devereaux. This community, located between Albion and Springport, was once a stop along the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad. The village was named after J.H. Devereux, a railroad director at the time the line was built in 1872.

A general store was erected on the north side of Devereaux Road just west of the tracks in the late 1870s. This store, still operating today in downtown Devereaux, has seen several owners over its long history. We are focusing this week upon one owner, Frank Crittenden (1864-1928) who operated his general store from 1899 to 1919 under the name Barnes & Crittenden. At the time of his death in 1928, he was survived by several siblings, and was interred in his hometown of Eaton Rapids.

Of special interest to us is the Devereaux postmark. The card is stamped “Devereaux, Aug 31, 1904.” The text is written by Frank Crittenden, and is addressed to his mother, “Mrs. S.R. Crittenden” in Eaton Rapids. It should be noted that the Devereaux post office was located in this store in the late 19th century, including when the store was owned/operated by Nathan F. Wilder. Mr. Crittenden served as postmaster here in 1907 and 1908. The office was later moved across the street in 1911 to Ernest Stoke’s hardware store. Ernest served as Devereaux’ last postmaster.

When the U.S. government discontinued the Devereaux post office around 1920 (I’m still looking for the exact date), the addresses were assigned to the Albion post office. Thus, the Albion rural routes still cover Devereaux today. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photo of a genuine Devereaux postmark, along with the Crittenden store photo from the other side.

There were a couple of other post offices in our vicinity from which I’d like to see a postmark. They are Duck Lake, and Rice Creek, both offices of which closed around 1900. If you have one, I’d like to make a copy to share with our readers at which time I can give the exact dates and information. The Marengo and Eckford post offices both closed in the 1930s, and are not quite as rare.


The Devereaux Postmark


Crittenden Store in Devereaux

Next: FALL, 1942 ALBION HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TEAM PHOTO


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