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.

JAMES W. SHELDON MAUSOLEUM

Morning Star, October 8, 1995, pg. 13

Last week in our Historical Notebook there was one sentence that was omitted in the article due to a typographical error. Near the end it should have stated, “The first black professor in the country was Charles Lewis Ransom, a well known black educator and activist.”

I do hope you are making plans to attend my Riverside Cemetery tour on Sunday October 8, at 1 p.m. We’ll meet at the main cemetery office. See you there.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the erection of the Sheldon Mausoleum, which holds the remains of prominent Albion banker James W. Sheldon (1830-1894). His wife Mary (1832-1905) was a daughter of Paul Tenney Peabody, Albion’s first settler. Upon James’ death in 1894, Mary purchased property at the entrance of the cemetery from the Peter Aldrich cemetery, whose remains were subsequently reinterred elsewhere. She contracted with a Mr. Shaffer of Battle Creek to erect the mausoleum in 1895, at an original cost of $10,000. It was built of granite and marble. Masons for the project were the local Schumacher brothers, Carl, Albert and Fred and their father, Carl, Sr.

This elegant mausoleum prominently graces the entranceway to the cemetery today. Inside are mosaic tiles that spell out the letter “S” for Sheldon. Although extensive damage has occurred in the top skylight and in the interior, the Sheldon mausoleum is an impressive landmark in Riverside Cemetery today.

A descendant, Mrs. Barbara (Riley) DeGroot of California has offered $5,000 towards repair of this structure, but more funds will be needed to completely repair this structure. At least the skylight on top should be repaired to help keep water from entering. Anyone willing to take on this project?

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a view of the Sheldon Mausoleum at the entrance to Riverside Cemetery.


Sheldon Mausoleum

Next: NATURALIZATION RECORDS IN STATE ARCHIVES


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