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.

A FLAG STOP CALLED DEVEREAUX

Morning Star, October 31, 2010, pg. 18

A new history book has just been published about a special community in the greater Albion area. It is about the village of Devereaux located between Springport and Albion. This scholarly soft-cover book, a whopping 390 pages long, is entitled "A Flag Stop Called Devereaux," It is authored by Jim Bilsborrow, whose ancestors hailed from this community which is sophistically supposed to be pronounced "DEV –ER –ROW." Many of us however, know it as "Dev – er – Roo." Bilsborrow, a Devereaux native, has spent several years of researching the information for this book.

Devereaux was a "flag stop" along the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad and was established in the 1870s. It was named after a railroad official named J. H. Devereux, and eventually the letter "a" was added to the name of the community. We’ve written about Devereaux several times in this column through the years, and those articles are republished on the www.albionmich.com website.

There are 32 chapters covering a wide variety of topics. The author covers in detail numerous aspects of the various businesses, organizations, schools, and families that lived in this village. Devereaux once had it’s own boy scout troop, a general store, a grange, a creamery, a cider mill, an auto repair shop, a meat locker, hardware store, a farm implement dealership, a beekeeping facility, and other businesses. The Devereaux Furniture was this community’s big "claim to fame" in the early 1960s when its advertising was broadcast over WILX TV-10. The Merritt General Store is what remains today of this once-bustling community.

Family names such as Bilsborrow, Chamberlain, Clawson, Cuatt, Elmer, Grundeman, Hoag, Honeywell, King, Hammond, Landon, Martin, Merritt, and Stokoe are just some of those discussed in the book. There are many personal family stories that are shared within its pages.

This book contains a wealth of information you won’t read about anywhere else, such as the story of how the poor citizens of Devereaux were forced to switch to Springport telephones and give up their Albion ones at long distance prices. The author even reveals who was responsible for that controversy. Another topic includes an almost play-by-play action report about the big Devereaux Furniture fire on August 6, 1965.

The book was printed by Standard Printing & Office Supply in Marshall, the same firm which printed the last two books of yours truly, "Growing Up in Albion," and "Albion in Review." There are extensive footnotes in the back, listing the various sources, including interviews that the author used in writing this masterpiece. Only 200 copies were printed. This book is surely destined to become not only an historical reference, but a collector’s item as well.

I encourage our readers to obtain a copy of this book, as it is both enjoyable and educational . There of course is lots of connecting information about Albion and Springport in the book. You may even want to move to Devereaux after reading it.

This book is available from the author Jim Bilsborrow. His address is 191 Fairfield Drive, Coldwater, MI 49036. (517) 278-2182. E-mail: jacque51@hotmail.com. The price is $16.95 plus tax, or $17.97. By mail the total cost is $23.00. Even better yet, you can drive to downtown Devereaux and visit Merritt’s General Store where they have copies for sale right there which you can purchase. Headed west into Devereaux from M-99, it’s the first store on your right.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present the cover of "A Flag Stop Called Devereaux." When is the last time you visited Devereaux?


The Cover of "A Flag Stop Called Devereaux."

Next: ALBION 100 YEARS AGO -- NOVEMBER 1910


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