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.

WILLARD DURKEE

Morning Star, October 4, 2009, pg. 13

With the Albion Chamber of Commerce having moved to its new location next to the Bohm Theatre, they are still settling in. My books won't be available there until further notice. You can still purchase them at my house, 900 S. Eaton St. (please use the back door Mechanic St. entrance). My latest book "Albion in Review" is also available at the Five Points Veterinary Hospital, Jolly Green Junction, General Store and Hardware, Books and More, and Top Notch barber shop.

I'll be looking forward to seeing you at my annual Riverside Cemetery tour on Sunday, October 11 at 1:30 pm. We'll meet in the center of the cemetery near the former pond, now transformed into a prayer garden. Use the center cemetery entrance. The tour will last about an hour and a half.

Each year I try to feature at least one of Albion's Civil War veterans. This year I've picked out Willard C. Durkee (1845-1928), who ironically has the same birth/death years as the Hon. Washington Gardner. Anyway, Willard was a native of Cortland, NY and served in Company B of the 11th U.S. Infantry, and also the 8th Michigan Cavalry. He was married twice: first to Helen Foskit (1844-1882), and second to Emma Hopkins (1859-1937).

When Willard came to Albion following the War in 1866, he worked as a boot and shoemaker for Albion shoe merchant Robert J. Frost until his retirement. His home was at 201 S. Berrien St. Willard was civic minded, and served as a City Alderman for the 3rd ward. He was also active in the local Grand Army of the Republic.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Willard C. Durkee.


Willard C. Durkee

Next: ALBION 100 YEARS AGO--OCTOBER 1909


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