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, January 5, 2003, pg. 3

We continue with our theme of “Albion 100 Years Ago.” Week ending January 2, 1903: “Albion College is Now Relieved of Its Burdensome Debt of $92,000. As a result of a most strenuous campaign by President Dickie, culminating in success at the last hour, Albion College is able to greet the people of this city and state with the announcement that she is practically free from debt.”

Week ending January 8, 1902: “Tuesday night, at about 6:30 o’clock, Joseph Bezke, while unloading a car of coal at the electric light works, slipped and fell to the frozen ground, a distance of about 8 feet, and broke one of his legs below the knee...Bezke is a Polander, with a wife and 4 children dependent upon his daily labor for support, and will be quite likely to need assistance until he is able to work again.”

“An unusual stabbing affair is reported from the Taffee School district, No. 5, fractional of Clarendon and Eckford. The particulars as reported are that a few days ago Frank Face, a boy of about 14, got into an altercation with Ross Bramble, a lad not much more than half as old and tried to stab him. It is claimed that the latter knocked a book out of Face’s hand and when threatened repeated the provocation, when Face slashed him with a knife. Frank Jennings, 13 years old interfered, when Face cut his hand and inflicted a wound in his back. The Face boy carries a big knife and has a gun and is now thought to be unsafe in the community. It seems quite probable that as the boy has developed such vicious traits he may be sent to the state reform school in Lansing.”

“For several months, Rev. W. T. Jaquess has been in correspondence with Andrew Carnegie in an effort to get him to make an offer of a sum of money for a public library building in Albion...Last Saturday, Mr. Jaquess received a favorable reply. The offer is to give the city of Albion $12,500 for the erection of a library building, on condition that the city furnish the site and vote to make an annual appropriation of $1,250 for the maintenance of the library.”

“Dear Editor: Permit me through your valuable paper to express an opinion relating to our business condition as a city. After 50 years in business, and a general review of the same, I am convinced that largely the reason for falling off in business comes from a lack upon the part of our business men to accommodate their customers.”

Week ending January 15, 1903: (Marshall Chronicle) “Some 70 men from this city and Albion put up a dollar each Saturday night for the pleasure of witnessing a cocking main between birds from this city and Albion. The affair was pulled off at Brace Lake. Ten battles were fought, Albion winning 8, and Marshall 2, most of them being bloody contests.”

January 22, 1903: “Two Mormons are doing missionary work in Albion and have established a mission on college hill. The good Methodists should get after them with a sharp stick.” “Concord News. Another great industry is about to assume gigantic proportions right under our door. A side track is being built at Spring Arbor station, buildings and machinery will soon be put up and in place, for the shipment of marl for the manufacture of Portland cement. Concord will be greatly benefited by this new business venture.” [NOTE: this was the digging out of what became Lime Lake].

January 29, 1903: “Frank Beilfuss was arrested last Thursday night, charging him with indecent language in the presence of women and using insulting language to Martha Baughman in the presence of her little daughter, Hazel...Martha Baughman was milking the cow. She ordered him to leave the barn, but he refused to comply with her command...Mrs. Baughman went to her daughter’s rescue and used a more effective argument in the form of a pitchfork...Martha Baughman’s grandmother tried to drive him away with a broom...When found by the officers Beilfuss was at home in bed.” “Fred Bizke, age 13, was sent to the industrial school for boys at Lansing today for stealing a gun of Albert Behling about a month ago. He had traded the stolen gun for another one, so that it made it difficult to trace the matter in convicting him. He was in trouble over another stealing scrap last fall, but was let off on suspended sentence.”

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles.

Next 100 Years Ago article: FEBRUARY 1903


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