Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Albion 100 Years Ago - February 1903

Morning Star, February 2, 2003, pg. 2

We continue with our theme of “Albion-100 Years Ago.” Week ending February 5, 1903: “Italian borrowed money, then skipped out of town and left his countrymen to whistle. The Italians in this city are very much excited over the disappearance of one of their number, Peter Antonio. Peter has for some time been saving his money for the purpose of bringing over his wife from Naples, Italy. Last Sunday he borrowed various amounts from his friends ranging from $10 to $40, telling them he was in a hurry to see his wife and would repay them all right. Monday he left town, and it is now thought that he started for his country.”

“Rumors have been afloat for a few days that stamps have been sold at the Albion post office, which have gone to territory outside of Albion. Postmaster Irwin has been blamed in the matter. It now appears that the only foundation for the matter is that Mr. H. Kirke White [NOTE: President of the Gale Manufacturing Company] who is a resident of this city, and a large buyer of stamps, purchased two or three years ago large quantities of stamps, some of which were taken to Detroit, a thing it is claimed he had a perfect right to do.”

“County News. There are 17 divorce cases on the calendar for the February term of the circuit court...It almost looks as though men and women get married nowadays merely as an experiment, with no notions of living together any longer than it suits them.” “This month each day of the week occurs four times [Note: all just 4 times, not some 5]. This has happened but 15 times in the last 132 years, in: 1778, 1789, 1795, 1801, 1807, 1818, 1829, 1835, 1846, 1857, 1863, 1874, 1885, 1891, and 1901. In the next 50 years it will occur 5 times in: 1914, 1925, 1931, 1942, and 1959.” [Note: February 2003 also.]

February 19, 1903: “The Smallpox Scare. On account of the fact that there is a case of smallpox in the city, the board of health at a meeting held last Thursday evening ordered that notices be posted about the college buildings to the effect that no student should attend classes unless he or she had been vaccinated within the last 5 years.” “Henry Penzotti, one of the students who was arrested on the charge of disorderly conduct last Saturday, was on trial in Justice Lane’s court Wednesday and this forenoon. About noon today the jury brought in a verdict of not guilty, after being out about 5 minutes. The case developed into a perfect farce, and the city now has a good sized bill to pay.”

February 26, 1903: “No Vacant Houses. Demand Exceeds Supply, and Calls for a Building Boom. There are now but few if any, vacant houses in Albion--certainly not enough to give an applicant anything beyond a Hobson’s choice.” “Another Factory Here. The Albion Handle Manufacturing Company is the name of a new firm that has this week branched out in business in this city in the plant formerly occupied by William Loder as a planing mill. The proprietors are C. E. Smith and F. W. Perrin.” “Trade Unionism. Perfect Harmony in Albion. At an open meeting of the Albion Federal Labor Union last Thursday evening, Mr. H. R. Stoepel, general superintendent of the Gale Manufacturing Company, read a very interesting and profitable letter.”

“Obituary. Mrs. Frederick C. Belcher died last Saturday forenoon at her home south of this city. Matilda Snyder was born February 1, 1827 at Dryden, Tompkins County, NY. When 19 years of age she in company with her two brothers came to Michigan with a team of horses and wagon or sleigh. They arrived at their destination March 1, 1846, settling on the farm now owned by Wesley Snyder, the only survivor of a family of 11 children.”

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles.

Next 100 Years Ago article: MARCH 1903


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