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, December 20, 1998, pg. 5

A reminder: All of my Albion history materials are available at the Albion Chamber of Commerce. These would make interesting “extra” Christmas gifts for family and friends. Stop by the Chamber and see what’s available. These include my History of the Albion Public Schools, and my Riverside Cemetery tour programs.

One person we featured this past October during my annual Riverside Cemetery tour was the gravesite of a very early settler of Albion Township, the Rev. William Farley (1807-1872). William was a native of Hunterton, New Jersey, and came to Michigan in the fall of 1836. A farmer by occupation, he purchased 160 acres of land in Sections 15 & 22 of Albion Township along F Drive South, west of 28 Mile Road. If the name Farley sounds familiar, it should. William’s brother David Farley (1805-1888) purchased the property adjacent to William in 1837 and started his nursery. The Farley Nursery was in existence for over 140 years.

Rev. William Farley served as a local minister at the South Albion Methodist Episcopal Church, where he and his wife Sally Ostrom (1814-1871) taught the first class. The couple were married in 1832. Farley was elected as Albion Township Supervisor in 1838, 1839, 1841, 1842, 1853, and 1856. Furthermore, he was treasurer of Albion College during the Civil War.

Politically, Farley was a “Copperhead” Democrat, which went against the pro-Union grain of popular northern opinion in the days leading up to the Civil War. Because of this, he never succeeded in getting elected to office after 1856.

Rev. William Farley is buried in Riverside Cemetery with his wife on the hill overlooking the Kalamazoo River in Block 29. Numerous other Farley members are buried in the lot, as well as some of William’s descendants.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Rev. William Farley, his wife Sally, and son Nelson Farley. These are courtesy of a descendant, Pattie Burkitt of Franklin, Tennessee. Her great-great-grandfather Nelson Farley was the son of Rev. William Farley. The name of Nelson Farley by the way has been passed down from generation to generation. There is currently one living in California.

Rev. William Farley, his wife Sally, and son Nelson Farley


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