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, April 2, 2006, pg. 18

We first pause here to remember Robert B. Abbott (1923-2006), who passed away on March 20. Bob was the final president of the Gale Manufacturing Company, one of Albion’s pioneer industries, which closed in 1968. Bob helped yours truly on numerous occasions in identifying people in old photographs, including the one we’re presenting this week. From our Historical Notebook comes this 1954 photograph showing Bob (center) at his desk, with his brother-in-law Eric Fairley on the left. Standing is Michigan Bell Telephone Company manager Milton McKay, and Gale executive Lachlan Currie.

We continue with our theme of “Albion, 100 Years Ago.” Week ending April 5, 1906: “Dan McAuliffe Easy Winner. Next Monday evening, Mayor Brownell will retire in favor of Dan McAuliffe. Dan was elected with a lead of 286 votes, and only one year ago Brownell was elected with a lead of 297 votes. The new Mayor will give the city a clean administration and to assist him in this he has a council of competent Alderman.”

“Man Killed by Live Wire.” One young man, Robert Allen, of Battle Creek, lies in the undertaking rooms and three others, Peter Myers and Floyd and Arthur Kinsey are suffering from burns as the result of an accident which occurred on North Eaton St. Tuesday afternoon about 2:30 o’clock. These men were taking the telephone wire from the old loop which runs west from N. Eaton St. When this loosened, the end flew up and touched the high tension wire.”

“Burglars At Work Again. Two Business Houses Entered Early Tuesday Evening. Back window artists were busy Tuesday evening on the east side of Superior St. The Granger hardware store and Sibley & Clark’s grocery have been broken into. The fact that Albion needs more police protection at night is being demonstrated. One night watchman for the whole east side is not sufficient.”

“A parsonage will be built adjoining the German Lutheran Church, S. Superior St. The trustees, Albert Pahl, Otto Polzin, and Fred Gress, have purchased the house and lot south of the church and the house will be sold next Wednesday. The building will be moved off by the purchaser, and work will begin on the parsonage.”

“Mystery of Land Sale of 30 Acres just North of Malleable Iron Works. Several weeks ago, Fred Brown sold the land on Albion St., just north of the Malleable Iron Works. The buyers name was withheld and many rumors were started. It now develops that the Malleable Iron Company purchased the land and expect to use it for a settlement scheme. Ten new houses are being built and others will be added. These houses have 6 rooms and will be for working men. The difficulty has been to secure houses for the working men and the Malleable people are solving this problem by building their own. Monday, the plan of giving employment to girls as core makers was started and there are a number of women at work. Others will be added to the force. A new core room has been built, and the girls are out of the noise and dust of the factory.”

“E.P. Burrell Dropped Dead. The many friends of Edward P. Burrell were shocked Friday morning to learn of his death Thursday night at Platteville, Wisconsin, where he had gone on a business trip for the Michigan Wagon Company. Death came suddenly, and was caused by heart disease. Mr. Burrell went Jackson from Albion. He and his family lived in the house now occupied by the Christian Science church. He was interested in the Albion Buggy Works.”

April 19, 1906: “Aged Minister Dies. Rev. William A. Prouty died at his home on Michigan Avenue last night at 5 o’clock. Rev. Prouty was a superannuated minister of the Methodist Church and came to Albion about 10 years ago. Rev. Prouty preached at Marengo two years before coming to Albion. He also served as a missionary to Kentucky for several years after the Civil War.” “Marriage licenses: Frank E. Nowlin and Margaret Cole both of Albion; Frank Landenberger and Adeline King both of Sheridan.”

“Arrested for Assault. Clair Agnew, superintendent of the Union Steel Screen Works, was arrested this morning on a warrant sworn out by John Dean. The trouble arose because the Albion stockholders in the company and Ray Agnew are having difficulties over the disposition of some of the stock and this morning Clare fired John Dean. Dean being refused his wages, wanted to take his tools and in trying to do this was assaulted by Claire Agnew who, with the assistance of his father-in-law, got Dean down and pounded him. The result was the charge of assault and battery against Agnew.”

“Several Albionites in California. Allen Culver wires that he escaped without injury. Lawyer Adelbert Culver was on the anxious seat yesterday on account of his son Allen’s presence in San Francisco. Allen was on the 4th floor of the California Hotel and this hotel was partially destroyed. This morning Mr. Culver received a wire from Allen saying that he escaped without a scratch.”

1954 photograph, Bob Abbott at his desk, (left) Eric Fairley, (standing) Milton McKay, and Lachlan Currie


Next 100 Years Ago Article: May 1906

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