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, September 13, 2009, pg. 17

A reminder: Your truly will have his Albion history booth in front of Citizens Bank at the Festival of the Forks on Saturday, September 19. Be sure to come and purchase a copy of my new book, “Albion in Review,” and let your out-of-town relatives who come know about the book, too. Thanks for your help.

This year in this column we’ve reviewed several books with Albion connections. Another one has just been published entitled, “Ancestral Roots and Descendants of Charles Robert Looney and LaVanchie Margaret Cool.” Authored by Richard Witters of 106 Repton Court, Cary, North Carolina 27519, this work features the lineage of Albion’s Cool family, both ancestors and descendants. John Friese Cool was a South Albion (29 Mile Road) farmer who came here with his family from New Jersey in 1854.

There is an index in the back of the book. This well-researched work covers the family heritage all the way back to England, and the reader will learn of the reasons and logistics of the family coming to America prior to 1700. The author has spent many years researching his ancestry, and this book is the result of his work.

The book comes either soft or hardcover, and is 332 pages long. ISBN 978-1-4415-2936-7. Library of Congress control number 2009903770. This is a self-published book via the www.xlibris.com company, where books are printed “made to order.” For ordering information, contact the printer, or the author Richard Witters at: rwitters@nc.rr.com.

A focal point of the book concerns LaVanchie Cool (1882-1935), a 1900 graduate of Albion High School. Her picture is included in the class group photograph in the first Albion High School yearbook, “Albionesis.” LaVanchie subsequently attended the Cleary Business College in Ypsilanti from 1901 to1904. LaVanchie died in Valparaiso, Indiana in 1935. LaVanchie was only daughter of Crittenden Cool. She married Charles Looney in Windsor, Ontario in 1907. The couple had numerous children.

In going through the section about the Cools who lived in the Albion area, I found quite interesting the obituaries of various family members. A hundred years ago the names, details, reasons, and other tidbits of information were readily available to the public reader. Whether it was a “normal death,” accident, or a suicide, the Albion Recorder printed “it all.” Quite often a good hunk of an obituary was spent explaining how the person died, rather than what they did in life. The author has printed these detailed obituaries “in full” in the book. For example, on page 96, a 1913 obituary begins, “Jehiel Cool, of Homer, age 71 years, was found dead in the toilet of the First National Bank in Marshall about 11:45 o’clock Monday morning by G. E. Grant, assistant cashier.” If you want to flush out more details, get the book.

Another interesting section concerns one branch of the family whose members moved to South Dakota, as did several other Albion families in the 1880s. The author traces those descendants. A large portion of the book however deals with the family’s colonial years in New England and various documents are reprinted and referenced. In summary, this is a genealogy book of an historic Albion family. Have you ever tried to trace your family genealogy?

From our Historical Notebook this week courtesy of Richard Witter, we present a photograph of LaVanchie M. Cool and her 1900 Albion High School graduation photo.

LaVanchie M. Cool, 1900 Albion High School graduation portrait


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