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, February 15, 2015, pg. 6

Last month we wrote in this column about the Hahn Brothers shoe repair shop on W. Cass St. This week we feature two other Hahn brothers: Bernard (1882-1951), and Richard (1887-1973) Hahn. These two brothers operated a clothing store at 111 S. Superior St. in the 1910s and 1920s. The 1917-18 Albion City Directory lists them as "Hahn Bros. Clothing, Menís Furnishings, Merchant Tailoring, Hats and Haberdashery." If you donít know what that last word is, it is a dealer in menís clothing and accessories.

Richard was a 1905 graduate of Albion High School. He went into business in 1908 with his brother George repairing shoes at 103 W. Cass St. Richard then left after several years, and went into partnership with longtime Albion clothier W. J. Morse at 111 S. Superior St. Morse had been one of the merchants whose building had collapsed over the raging waters of the Kalamazoo River in the Great Flood of 1908 and subsequently moved to a new location. The firm was called Morse & Hahn, and is listed in the 1913 Albion City Directory. Richard and Bernard purchased Morseís business during World War I and renamed it the Hahn Brothers Clothing at that same location.

The brothers sold their business to the L. R. Lepird & Company in 1926, which specialized in shoes. It went out of business by 1930. Subsequently, Bernard became a beginning employee at the Decker Screw Nut Company (later, Decker Manufacturing Company) at its inception in 1927, and remained there until his retirement in 1949.

Richard subsequently became a district shoe distributor for Thom McAn Shoes for twenty-five years following the sale of the brothers clothing business. He later moved to Detroit and Jackson. Upon his retirement from that work he returned to Albion and worked as a part time clerk at Seelyeís Menís Wear before retiring.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of an unusual item which is a physical reminder of the brothers establishment here. It is a shoe horn spatula of sorts, which looks like a wide butter knife. Perhaps it could have been used for both. You know, put butter on the spatula and your shoes would slide in easier. The handle states, "HAHN BROS. ALBION MICH. CLOTHING, FURNISHINGS, & SHOES." This object is about one foot long, and 1 ľ inches wide. This would have been manufactured either in the late 1910s or early 1920s.

Hahn Clothing Spatula, Full View

Detail view


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