Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, May 30, 2004, Pg. 12
This year’s Memorial Day Parade on Monday May 31 here in Albion will be extra special. Be sure and come. The new Veteran’s Memorial Stage has just been completed on the south side of Riverside Cemetery and will be used for the first time. This includes the ten flagpoles/flags that have been placed along the sidewalk behind the stage representing each branch of service and related organizations. This Memorial really looks impressive while driving past along M-99. Are the names of your family’s veterans molded on the bricks on the stage floor?
As we approach Memorial Day, we are reminded of the origins of this holiday which was originally known as Decoration Day. It grew out of the Civil War and the desire to remember the graves of fallen comrades. Many men in the Albion area went off to war to fight for the Union during the Civil War.
In the October 3, 1990 edition of this column we featured the “Albion Rifle Rangers,” a local group of men that went together as a unit to fight in the Civil War. It was officially organized as Company I of the 6th Michigan Infantry. One of its members was Seymour Gay (1830-1911). His father John Gay had settled north of Albion on 29 Mile Road, and the rural Gay country school district was named for the family. Seymour enlisted at Albion on August 19, 1861 and was mustered into the Union Army the next day with the official induction of the group at Kalamazoo. The 6th Michigan Infantry spent the winter of 1861-62 at Baltimore, and then from February 1862 onwards fought battles in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Alabama. Seymour was promoted to the rank of Corporal on January 20, 1863. Following the expiration of his term of service on August 20, 1864, Seymour was honorably discharged and returned to his Sheridan Township home.
After the War, Seymour married a widow, Ann (Bruce) Holt in 1882. The couple had four children: Casper, Harry, William, and Frederick Gay. Seymour was a member of Albion’s E. W. Hollingsworth Post No. 210 of the Grand Army of the Republic. An Albion GAR flag marker is placed next to his grave in King Cemetery in Devereaux where he is buried. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Seymour Gay in his Civil War uniform.
We’ve been corresponding with a Gay family descendant, Margaret (Gay) Williams who supplied this week’s photograph. She is looking for information about the Gay family, and also of the Gay School. If you’d like to correspond with her, e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seymour Gay (1830-1911)
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