Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, April 17, 1994, pg. 18
There have been several examples in Albion’s history where its residents have taken off to other states in the union, with the prospect of gaining wealth and fortune. Quite a number of Albionites, for example, headed west in the late 1840s as part of the California gold rush. And there were around 200 persons who traveled to the Dakota territory in the 1880s as part of a land development offer.
In the 1890s a group of Albionites invested their money in gold and silver mines in Colorado and other western states. Each particular mine would have individual investors. If you struck gold, you were rich; if you didn’t, well, you invested in another venture.
Albion’s participation in such speculation out west made front page news in the local newspaper dated September 7, 1899. In it an announcement was made of a new mining company in New Mexico, and also of Albionites investing in Cripple Creek (near Colorado Springs, Colorado). The article states:
“Those of the speculative turn of mind in Albion have of late been much interested in mining interests in Colorado, and as a result, a company was organized a short time ago in the Cripple Creek district on what are supposed to be valuable claims. Mr. Floyd Hoaglin, who has been spending several weeks in the west looking up mining propositions, tells us that the Albion representatives have recently extended their interests and have entered into a combination with other parties formerly from Michigan for the development of claims in New Mexico which promises some very flattering returns. The new company is known as the Consolidated Virdie and will operate in the Cimaron mountains about 35 miles from Springer, New Mexico. The place is reached by stagecoach and it is said that the ore is very valuable all through this district and that the locality is rapidly filling up with prospectors.
Those directly interested in the movement are: H. C. Foster and J. H. Callahan, of Albion, George W. Stone and George Cochran, formerly of Lansing, and Charles Page, Robert G. Miller, and George Munson, of Colorado Springs. Plans are being made to put in machinery and to begin active operation at once. Mr. Hoaglin has also located a claim in this vicinity.”
This past year a stock certificate of the “Albion-Michigan Gold Mining and Milling Company” of Colorado Springs, Colorado dated 1902 turned up. With a name like that, there is no doubt where the investors came from. The certificate, courtesy of collector Lawrene Falater, shows that the company had a capital stock of $1.5 million, with each share worth $1. This particular certificate is issued to James G. Gotwale for one thousand shares, and is dated May 22, 1902. It is signed by a L. J. Aurand, assistant secretary, and a George Cochran (?), president.
The “Albion-Michigan Gold Mining and Milling Company” was incorporated in the State of Colorado. Apparently, the Albion investors continued to invest in speculative ventures out west for a few years after the original 1899 article.
From our Historical Notebook this week we present a copy of the certificate. Does anyone have any copies of these certificates, or have old family stories about investing money out west in these “Albion” mines?
Albion Gold Mine Stock Certificate
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All text copyright, 2016 © all rights reserved Frank Passic