Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, January 13, 2013, pg. 9
On February 9, 1855, the Michigan State Legislature approved the incorporation of portions of Albion and Sheridan Townships into the Village of Albion with its own jurisdictional functions. Section 2 of the law stated, "The officers of said village shall consist of a President, Recorder, Treasurer, Marshal, eight Trustees, and two Assessors." The eight Trustees and the President formed the Common Council of the village.
Section 5 listed the duties of each: "The President shall be the chief executive officer of the village; he shall preside at all meetings of the Common Council, and it shall be his duty to see that all the officers of said village faithfully discharge their duties; and in the case of his absence or inability to serve, the Trustees shall have power to elect from their own number a president pro tem, who shall have all the powers, and perform all the duties of the President."
Weíve all seen lists of names and photographs of our Albion Mayors, beginning in 1885 when Albion was incorporated as a city. But there has not been a list made of Albionís Village Presidents who led our community from 1855 to 1885. Iíve been putting together such a list and here is what I have been able to come up with, so far. It will take time looking at newspapers on microfilm at council minutes if published to determine the missing names and years. But for now, we recognize our forefathers who pioneered our community in its infant years, through the Civil War, and into "cityhood" in 1885. Terms were for two years, but some served just one year, due to resignations. Here they are listed in order of service and the year their term began.
1. George Hannahs, 1855. 2. William H. Brockway, 1857. 3. Martin B. Wood, 1859. 4. John E. Wilde, 1860. 5. Ira Mayhew, 1861. 6. Carmi C. Olds, 1863. 7. William H. Brockway, 1864. 8. Israel Coggshall, 1865. 9. Wellington Bidwell, 1866. 10. George N. Cady, 1867. 11. James W. Sheldon, 1868-69. Later ones included: Frederick W. Sheldon, 1873, William H. Brockway, 1875, and Augustus J. Gale, 1877. Also Orton Robinson, Orlando C. Gale, and Eugene P. Robertson were in there someplace.
Regarding Albionís first Village President, George Hannahs (1823-1906), Hannah St. (originally Hannahsí St.) is named after the family. George and his father Marvin operated Albionís first bank in the 1850s, called the Hannahs Exchange and Banking Office at 304 S. Superior St. George also served on Albionís first fire department, "The Alert," in 1856, and was Albion Treasurer in 1858. George later moved to South Haven in 1864, where he also served as that villageís first president in 1869, and another term 1875-77. He later served in the Michigan Legislature 1871-72. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Albionís first Village President, George Hannahs.
Albionís first Village President, George Hannahs (1823-1906)
All text copyright, 2021 © all rights reserved Frank Passic