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.

CHARLES BISHOP BOGUE, DOWNTOWN GROCER IN THE 1870s-1880s

Albion Recorder, August 24, 1998, pg. 4

I am always on the lookout for old photographs of downtown Albion merchants. Recently one surfaced as a result of my article a few weeks ago about wildlife artist Lynn Bogue Hunt. Lynn’s uncle was Charles Bishop Bogue, who operated a grocery store in downtown Albion during the 1870s and 1880s.

Charles Bishop Bogue was born in New York state in 1856, the son of Samuel Bishop and Sally (Garfield) Bogue. As we mentioned a few weeks ago, their daughter Nancy was the mother of the famous Albion artist. The Bogue family was of Scottish origin, and were descendants of Daniel Cook who came over to America on the Mayflower.

Charles’ grocery store was first located in the Clift Block in downtown Albion during the 1870s. The early 1870s historic photograph of the west side of S. Superior St. clearly shows his name on the south side of the Clift Block before the Sheldon Block was erected in 1872.

I recently made a copy off the original photograph now in the possession of Betty Farley of Cleveland, Ohio, a Bogue descendant via the artist Lynn Bogue Hunt’s sister Lena, who married Minard Farley, Sr. Betty is the daughter of the late Minard Farley, Jr., and is a 1970 graduate of Albion High School.

This is a "discovery" photo which I am sharing with our readers for the first time. It shows the Charles B. Bogue store in the northern third of the Sheldon Block, now the location of Parks Drug Store. Apparently Bogue moved just one door southward when the Sheldon Block was erected. To the far right we see the window ornamentation of the south half of the Clift Block, now the site of the Parks Drug Store new wheelchair & related equipment sales room. The Clift Block windows match perfectly the ornamentation found on the early 1870 photograph when Bogue had his store there.

The sign above the store states, "HUDSON RIVER SHAD!," followed below by "CHAS. B. BOGUE. WE ROAST OUR OWN [probably peanuts]." The wooden sidewalk area is overflowing with various goods, in the days before zoning laws. On the right are vegetables, flour and edible goods, while the left portion contains crockery, cups, glasses, etc. The two hitching posts in the forefront bear an advertisement for "ECLECTRIC OIL." This appears to be a cross between the words electric and eclectic.

In the center doorway stands Charles (left) and a worker (right). Charles has his hands placed upon a wooden barrel marked "JAVA," while the barrel on the right appears to state "RIO."

On the far left is a portion of a sign which stated "HOTEL," and the stairway leading up to the second floor of the Sheldon Block. In those days the second floor served as the Hotel Allen. An elegant balcony once existed on the front of the Sheldon Block, and a portion of it can be seen at the very top of this photograph.

In his personal life, Charles B. Bogue was married to Martha Gleason Harris in 1876, and the couple had three children, all of whom are buried in Riverside Cemetery. After their divorce in 1899, Martha married Charles’ brother George Bogue. Charles in the meantime married Eva Knight of Chicago and moved there where he continued in the mercantile trade under the firm name Bogue Soap Company. He had one daughter by his second marriage. Charles was still living in Chicago in the late 1920s.

Special thanks to Betty Farley for supplying this week’s photograph. If you have old photographs of Albion, let this writer know, as he is always looking for "new" ones to share with our readers. My camera has a macro-lens that can take pictures of pictures without even having to borrow the original if you wish to keep it. Thank you for your support.


Bogue Grocery Store in 1870s

Next: POSTER A REMINDER OF HOOPER MYSTERY


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