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 30, 2005, pg. 19

We continue with our theme of “Albion--100 Years Ago,” when the stories of three sensational murders filled the newspapers that month. Week ending February 9, 1905: “W.N. Eastman is putting up an ice house at Montcalm Lake, and will be able to supply lake ice to customers this coming summer.”

Week ending February 18, 1905: “Famous Mitchell Murder Case. A jury of 12 men was secured at 5 minutes of 12 today to determine whether John O. Mitchell is guilty of premeditated murder in killing Henry Devonshire at Duck Lake Sunday afternoon September 18th last, or whether the killing was justified and done in self-defense. February 23, 1905: “Mitchell Cleared. “At 8 p.m. they [the jury] brought in the verdict which makes the prisoner a free man.” February 26: “Hung in Effigy. Springport, Michigan. John C. Mitchell, who was recently acquitted of the murder of Henry Devonshire at Duck Lake last September, was hung in effigy here last night, and the dummy remained until 11 o’clock this morning when the marshal of the village cut it down. Mitchell was a former resident of this place and is said to be in Detroit now. His wife lives here, but it is said they are not on friendly terms.”

Charles R. Mains

February 14, 1905: “Arrested for Murder. Charles R. Mains Again in the Toll Charged With Shooting a man. A dispatch from Seattle, Washington says that Robert Ball, under arrest at Juneau for murdering William Deppe on Fox Island on January 2, is said to be Charles R. Mains, an attorney, formerly of Battle Creek [and Homer], Mich. There, it is alleged, he was tried for attempted murder and was indicted for perjury. He was arrested and convicted in San Francisco, it is alleged, for using the U.S. mails to defraud. The shooting of Deppe was a culmination of a series of legal fights and personal encounters.” February 20, 1905: “A quiet tip was dropped by the law firm of Mechem & Bailey Saturday night that Charles R. Mains’ mother bore the maiden name of Ball, the same name under which a man supposed to be Mains is held in Alaska for murder. This would indicate that Mains had merely taken his mother’s family name.” From our Historical Notebook this week we present an image of Charles R. Mains, who was making news 100 years ago this month.

February 15, 1905: “Mad Dog Scare. A poor yellow dog wandered into Albion several days ago and cast around for some companionship. But the Albion dogs are an aristocratic bunch and do not permit strange dogs into their society unless they come with a pedigree. This dog was yellow and couldn’t even remember his parents. After several days of solitude he became an anarchist. He decided to turn against all dog kind. He began operations on Superior St. Tuesday afternoon and whipped every dog on the street. Jim McGuire finally shot the lonely stranger and he is doubtless chasing butterflies in the happy hunting ground to-day. Since a number of dogs were bitten, the city officials thought it best to investigate the matter of the dog’s condition, and today its head was sent to Lansing for examination.”

February 26, 1905. “Mrs. John Mains, of Eckford, died in Chicago Sunday where she was visiting friends. Mrs. Mains had been ill about 2 weeks, with pneumonia. She was 69 years old and the mother of Charles R. Mains. The remains were brought here [Marshall] this afternoon and taken to her late home in Eckford. Interment at the West Eckford Cemetery.”

“Life Convict George Hardy will attend the funeral of his brother, Louis, and wife this Monday afternoon dressed in civilian’s clothes and escorted by Joe Vincent, the brother of Warden Alonzo Vincent of Jackson prison. The unique spectacle will also be presented of a prisoner attending the double funeral of his own brother and his wife, who had once been the convict’s wife, and from whom he had never been divorced. Further, the spectacle will also be presented of the former husband of a murderess attending her funeral and the funeral of his brother, whom she slew. The double funeral of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Hardy, the victims in Homer’s distressing tragedy, will take place from the M.E. Church in Homer. Following the services the remains will be taken by train to Springport, and will then be conveyed to Duck Lake to be interred close to the grave of Hardy’s father.” “The general opinion in Homer is that Mrs. Hardy shot her husband and then herself. She has been jealous of her husband’s attentions to other women and this coupled with the lack of attention he has given her, drove her to the deed if she committed the crime.”


Next 100 Years Ago article: March 1905

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