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, May 19, 2013, pg. 10

When the Michigan State Legislature passed a law on February 9, 1855 establishing the Village of Albion as its own separate entity from Albion and Sheridan Townships, it authorized much responsibility to the Albion Village Council, consisting of eight Trustees and the Village President. A significant portion of the law concerned policing the citizens of our community. This law makes interesting reading; if you like semi-colons, you can count how many are used in just this portion we are quoting here.

Section 7 of the law states, "The Common Council shall have power to…regulate the police thereof; to preserve the public peace; to prevent riots, disturbances and disorderly assemblages; to appoint watchmen and policemen and fix their compensation as such; to organize a fire department, define their duties and prescribe penalties for the delinquencies of the members thereof; to restrain, apprehend, confine and punish vagrants, mendicants, drunkards and all disorderly persons, by fine or imprisonment, or both, in conformity with the general laws of the State of Michigan and of this act; also all persons guilty of lewd and lascivious conduct; in the streets or other public places or gatherings; to suppress and restrain disorderly and gaming houses, to restrain billiard tables and all other devices and instruments of gaming; and shall have the exclusive power and authority under the laws of this State, to license such persons as tavern keepers and common victualers as they think best (but no license shall be granted for a period exceeding one year, which may then be renewed from time to time for a like period); to prevent the selling or giving away of spirituous or fermented liquors to drunkards, minors, apprentices, to prevent and punish by fine and imprisonment, immoderate riding or driving in the streets and over the bridges in said village; to prevent, abate and remove nuisances; to suppress all disorderly houses and houses of ill-fame, and to punish the keepers and inmates thereof by fine and imprisonment."

Under the leadership of Albion's first Village President George Hannahs, our first Trustees (Village Council) consisted of: William Britton, William H. Brockway, Richard G. Hall, Martin B. Wood, William S. Loomis, and Rufus Burr. William Britton died in mid-term in 1856 and was replaced by Jacob Hoffman in a special election that was held to fill the vacancy.

Albion's first police chief, called the Village Marshal, was Marcus H. Crane (1819-1905) son-in-law of Tenney Peabody, Albion's first settler. He served in that position for one year. Crane was married to Tenney's daughter Julia, and was part of the first double wedding in Calhoun County which occurred on October 27, 1841. Crane was also active in politics, and was one of the founders of the Republican Party "under the Oaks" in Jackson in 1854. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of our first Village Marshal, Marcus Horatio Crane.

Marcus H. Crane (1819-1905)


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