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, February 9, 1997, pg. 4

For many years Albionís local hospital was named for the philanthropy of the descendants of Albionís prominent 19th century banker, James Wadsworth Sheldon. James Sheldon "Don" Riley (1879-1968) of Los Angeles donated $50,000 for the hospital from the estate of his mother, Madelon (Sheldon) Leffingwell (1859-1921), daughter of banker James W. Sheldon.

The City of Albion purchased land in the 800 block of S. Superior Street and received the property of the old South Ward Schoolhouse (closed in 1919) as a donation from the Albion Public Schools. With the property secured, the City of Albion proceeded with plans to construct a new hospital building. Although city officials soon discovered that $50,000 would not be enough to complete the project, an additional $50,000 was raised by approval of a bond issue, by a vote of 1082 to 295--a victory which demonstrated Albionís strong support.

The cornerstone was laid May 25, 1923 in an elaborate ceremony, with dedication ceremonies occurring April 28, 1924. The James W. Sheldon Memorial Hospital officially opened for business on May 1, 1924.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a very interesting photograph showing the cornerstone laying. In the upper left corner is the old South Ward Schoolhouse. Many Albion dignitaries are present at this event, along with the builders who erected the edifice. Notice the large U.S. flag draping the front of the stands. [A few identifications: the man behind the cornerstone layers to the left with his hands folded in front is Samuel Dickie. The man standing in back as part of group of three men on the far left on the right end is O. Harry Gale.]

Laying the cornerstone for the Sheldon Memorial Hospital


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