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.

WHITE'S PROMINENT IN GALE COMPANY

Morning Star, April 5, 1998, pg. 24.

(Continued from last week). Two of H. Kirke White Srs. sons were involved in various positions in the Gale company through the years. H. Kirke White, Jr. (1862-1937) came to work in the Gale office in July, 1892. He was appointed secretary in 1895, a position which he retained until he moved back to Detroit in January, 1902. At that time he became president of the Kemiweld Can Company in Detroit, a position he retained until 1910. He later went into the securities investment business.

Louis E. White (1869-1927) worked in the office during the early 1890s, and became auditor of the Gale in 1896. He later served as vice-president and secretary of the company in the early 20th century. Louis also wrote a history of the Gale Manufacturing Company which appears on pages 447-450 of Washington Gardner's History of Calhoun County, published in 1913.

The Whites all lived next door to each other on the south side of Irwin Avenue in elegant Victorian homes which are still standing today. According to the 1894-95 Albion City Directory, Louis E. White lived at 105 Irwin, uncle Albert E.F. White at 109 Irwin, and H. Kirke White, Jr. at 113 Irwin AVenue (Note: some numbers are different today).

Beginning in 1926 until his death in 1949, vice-president of the Gale was William A. Comstock (1877-1949) who served as Governor of Michigan 1933-34. Comstock, a real estate broker and industrialist investor, married Kirke White Srs.' daughter Josephine in 1919. She owned considerable company stock.

Josephine's son Kirke White Morrison-Comstock (son of Josephine and her first husband, Army captain George L. Morrison. Kirke was adopted by W.A. Comstock) (1905-1947) came to work in the Gale office beginning in 1929. He lived at 618 E. Michigan Avenue, later moving to 602 Manor Drive. A native of Fort Apache Arizona Territory, Kirke was a world traveler and an expert model railroad hobbyist. He was president of the National Model Railroad Association in 1940. In 1938 the position of treasurer was added to his duties, and in 1940 he became its purchasing agent as well. Kirke was killed in an auto accident on U.S.-12 three miles east of Albion in Parma township in 1947. He was buried in Riverside Cemetery.

Governor Comstock's 1933-34 Secretary of the State Administrative Board and Michigan Budget Director Burnett J. Abbott (1894-1953) became president and general manager of the Gale in 1935. Burnett was succeeded by his son Robert Abbott after his death in 1953, who operated the company until it closed in 1968.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Albert E. F. White, vice-president of the Gale Manufacturing Company from 1892 to 1897.



Albert E. F. White

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