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 4, 2004, Pg. 2

Soon the huge Eslow Block in downtown Albion will be demolished. We’ll feature this building in the near future in this column. The huge “functionally obsolete” Eslow building lost much of its ornate character when the fourth floor was removed in 1919, and has had that “plain” look for many years. The “catwalk” which gave the building some character, turned out to be its undoing, quite literally. There certainly will be a big “hole” in downtown Albion once the Eslow Block is down. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a view of downtown Albion, showing towering Eslow Block in the distance. This photo was taken in the early 1910s, and shows how this building once dominated the landscape of downtown Albion.

Streetscape of Eslow Block in 1910

We continue with our theme of “Albion--100 Years Ago.” Week ending January 7, 1904: “The record of 1903. A good showing for Albion. About $100,000 expended for Improvements. The record for 1903 for expenditure of money and constructive improvement in Albion is one that will compare favorably with any in the history of the growth and prosperity of the place--in fact has never been equaled in any one year.”

Week ending January 21, 1904: “The Gale Manufacturing Co. has just issued a handsome catalogue of 112 pages, magazine size, for the year of 1904. The embossed title page of the cover is very artistic and bears the regular trade mark of the company, also the figures 1853-1904 the date when the factory was established.”

“A Charming Wedding at Edenwold. At her home, Edenwold, three miles west of the city, on Thursday December 31st, at 6 p.m, Miss Eva J. Billinghurst was united in marriage to Mr. William James Salter of Cleveland, Ohio.”

“Charles Courtright was arrested Saturday night charged with stealing a razor from D. E. Williamson, and locked up.” “The Leisure Hour Club was the scene of a pleasant euchre party Friday evening. There were 14 tables. There were five ties for first place in the gentlemen’s contest.”

“The Uniformed Rank of the Albion Knights of Pythias was at one time the pride of the state. In various contests and drill tournaments the Albion company easily took its place among the best. It was a matter of great regret that interest in this feature of the Pythian work was ever allowed to lapse. Recently, however, the interest has been revived and strong efforts put forth to place the company on its former prosperous basis.”

“Child burned to death. The only child of Charles Hogel, a boy of three years, living near Partello, in Lee Township was burned to death Tuesday night. The little fellow in some way caught fire from the stove while the mother was out of the room and before it was discovered had rushed about the house, setting fire to it in several places.”

Week ending January 28, 1904: “Truant officer Hagle had Herman Steincroft arrested Saturday forenoon for non-compliance with the law requiring attendance of his daughter at school, and the trial was set for Friday.” “Much sickness is reported in and about the city and the doctors are kept on the jump. Pneumonia and grippe [i.e. the flu] are the prevailing diseases.” “The German Soldiers’ society gave their first dance this season at Howard Hall, Saturday night.”

“Horace S. Ismon, a retired banker and merchant, died Sunday afternoon at his home in Jackson. His parents came to Michigan in 1845, settling in Albion. In company with his brother, Henry Ismon, he built the Paw Paw railroad between Paw Paw and Lawton, and was its first president and manager.”

“The Sunday morning sermon of Rev. W. H. B. Urch was a clear and forceful exposition of the result of yielding to the first temptation. Rev. Mr. Urch spoke plainly of the relation of the church to certain amusements. The clause in the church doctrine regarding this subject was quoted and in comment upon it, he maintained that if the members of the church make no effort to enforce its provisions, it should be stricken out. Dancing is plainly spoken against and every member of the church should attempt to discourage it.”

Next 100 Years Ago article: FEBRUARY 1904

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles


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