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, November 17, 2013, pg. 13

As we approach Thanksgiving, here is a helpful hint: how about purchasing a copy of my latest book "Albion Postcards" to place on your coffee table for relatives to look at while they are waiting for the turkey to get done? Iíve got the books all ready to go, so give me a call at (517) 629-5402. Iíve got the books with me around town, at my house, and also will mail them to people if you prefer. Make sure your coffee table has something on it this Thanksgiving.

Recently there has been some interest in Battle Creek concerning one of its celebrated historic artists, Franklin C. Courter (1854-1947). Courter was a native of New Jersey and came to Michigan with his family in 1868. He was a student at the Albion Preparatory School at Albion College from 1873 to 1876, and included art in his studies. He subsequently moved to Battle Creek in 1878. There he set up a portrait studio which he operated for several years.

Courter is best known for his paintings of landscapes, portraits, and portraits of President Abraham Lincoln. His most well-known work was a painting of Sojourner Truth being shown a bible by President Abraham Lincoln. That painting was displayed at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

In 1888 he returned to Albion College, this time as an art professor, and became the head of the School of Painting from 1891 to 1895. He painted the portrait of College president Lewis R. Fiske which hangs in the Stockwell building today. Courter is listed as an "Instructor in drawing, perspective and painting" at Albion College in the 1894-95 Albion City Directory.

You can go on the internet and read interesting stories about his paintings, and auction results. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Franklin Courter from the Albion College 1891 yearbook entitled "The Symplegades," opposite page 36, and a cartoon he drew for that yearbook, found on page 104. His signature is in the lower right corner.

Franklin C. Courter (1854-1947)

Personals, from 1891 yearbook "The Symplegades" page 104


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