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 RECORDER SPONSORED TOBACCO TO U.S. SOLDIERS IN 1917

Morning Star, October 22, 2017, pg. 4

It was one hundred years ago that the Albion Recorder spearheaded a local fundraising drive to raise money to supply tobacco to U.S. soldiers serving overseas during World War I. It was called the Albion Recorder’s Soldiers Tobacco Fund.

The October 17 issue of our local paper observed, "They are over in France and cannot get tobacco that they like or can smoke with any enjoyment. How would you feel if you were in their place and then to have someone come along and give you a supply of smokes enough to last you a week?"

By date of publication, the Recorder had already sent two checks for tobacco to the American Tobacco Company in the amounts of $63.00 and $31.70. Most contributions were made in amounts of 25¢ or 50¢, with merchants giving more. Some merchants included Franklin’s Grocery $1, Van Gorden’s Drug Store $2, and the Recorder office, $1.75. Individual donors included: Mrs. Minnie Hobart, D. A. Schaffer, Mrs. Charles Baker, W. H. Crosier, E. M. Chauncey, and Fred Carnell.

Albion’s contributions totaled at least $140.70. This amounted to 252 packages of tobacco funded by Albion persons that were sent overseas. In an article entitled "Sammies Smokes Are on the Way to the Trenches" published on October 11, 1917, the Recorder appealed, "Send in your quarter or dollar. Remember that the Red Cross sees to it that the American tobacco goes directly to our boys…Keep the tobacco money coming. Maybe you don’t smoke yourself, but you might want to if you were in mud and water in the trenches and you wanted something to make you forget for a moment the hideousness of war."

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of the Recorder Press Company’s check (the first of several) in the amount of $63. It is made out to the American Tobacco Company for them to send tobacco to Albion soldiers in France. It is dated September 18, 1917, and is signed by the Recorder treasurer, Arthur Hudnutt.


The Recorder Press Company’s check (the first of several) in the amount of $63

Next: Albion 100 Years Ago: November 1917

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All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic

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