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.

ALBION HIGH SCHOOL's FIRST FOOTBALL TEAM, 1891

Morning Star, September 2, 2012, pg. 3

Just a reminder that yours truly will have his Albion History Booth in front of Citizens Bank as usual during the Festival of the Forks on Saturday, September 22. I will have my Albion history books and other materials for sale. Be sure and stop by.

It was sad, but not surprising to hear the news that there will be no football team at Albion High School this year. This is the first time since 1890, 122 years ago, that there has been no team at Albion High. It's a sign of the times, as football is not as prominent a sport as it once was in many schools across the Midwest.

Albion's athletic program dates back to the fall of 1891 when Albion's first competitive football team was organized. Albion's team quickly mastered the game, thus giving it an advantage over their "green" opponents. The players had to supply their own uniforms and equipment, and were happy to find any team in existence which they could play. Unfortunately there are no records from that first year.

During that 1891-92 school year, area high schools formed the Inter-High School Athletic Association, and the first annual meet was held at the Albion Fairgrounds on May 20 and 21, 1892. This event featured the spring sports of baseball and a track meet. The Association was disbanded in 1894, and Albion teams thereby arranged their own schedules with area teams for several years to come.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Albion High School's first football team, fall of 1891. Front row, left to right: The boy in the black cap is unidentified. Sitting in front are Carlton Gardner and Frank Roudenbush. In the center row are: (note, one name is missing in this row and we don't know which one) John Raftery, George Hopper, Allen Oakes, and on the far right end is Charles Bolden. Charles was the first black graduate of Albion High School (1892), and we featured him in the May 14, 1995 edition of this column. Top row: Unidentified, C. Edward Bascom, Roy Peterson, Carl Jacobs, and Fred Godding. Fred became an actor and we featured him in the January 29, 2012 edition of this column.

We hope last year's football team wasn't the last, but if it is, we'd like a photo of that team for our Historical Notebook along with identifications.


Albion High School's first football team, fall of 1891

Next: G.A.R. HALL DEMOLISHED IN 1960


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