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, May 25, 2014, pg. 6

Be sure and attend our annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday. This is one local event that has not been discontinued and it needs our support. Each year at this time we like to feature one of Albionís Civil War veterans. Some of our Union soldiers came back with lasting injuries as a result of their service to our country. One of them was our subject this week. Charles Cadwell Aiken (1839-1915) came to Michigan in 1844 as a child with his parents from Huron Township, Wayne County, in their native New York State.

Charles Cadwell Aiken (1839-1915), Company K, 9th Michigan Cavalry

The family first settled in Parma and Concord Townships in Jackson County, Michigan. In 1852 they purchased a farm in Sheridan Township, 2 Ĺ miles northeast of Albion. The 1857 Plat Map of Calhoun County shows that the father, Samuel Malsted Aiken (1807-1885) owned 160 acres of farmland along the north side of D Drive North beginning at the corner with 29 Mile Road and eastwards. Here our subject was raised and farmed the land until moving to 403 N. Mingo St. in 1892. He then lived there until his death. The 1894-95 Albion City Directory lists his occupation as a "drover." No, thatís not past-tense for "driver." A drover is a person who drives cattle or sheep. In those days livestock would be delivered and unloaded by train at the Michigan Central Railroad along N. Eaton St. They would then be driven through the streets of Albion into the country to area farms.

Charles enlisted in Albion in March, 1863 in Battery L, 1st Michigan Light Artillery. His obituary states, "He became 1st Sergeant of Company K, 9th Michigan Cavalry, serving first in Kentucky and Tennessee, and was on Morganís Raid. The winter of 1863-64 he spent in the hospital at Detroit but recovered in time to join his company with General Sherman on the march to the sea, during a part of which he was in command of his company. He also fought in the Battle of the Wilderness. In South Carolina, early in 1865, his horse was shot and Mr. Aiken was badly ruptured. As a result of injuries during service he was an invalid for many years during the latter part of his life, but such was the loving care of his wife that his years were prolonged well beyond the allotted three score and ten."

Charles had married his wife, Kate Brown of Parma, just two weeks before he had enlisted into the service. The couple had no children. At the time of his death in December, 1915 he was survived by his widow, and four sisters. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a 1913 photograph of Charles C. Aiken. Wouldnít it be fitting if memorial bricks could be purchased for Albionís Civil War veterans and placed on the Veteranís Memorial Stage at Riverside Cemetery? I only know a few of such "Civil War" service bricks there now.


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