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.

Albion 100 Years Ago - FEBRUARY 1917

Morning Star, January 29, 1917, pg. 9

We continued with our theme of "Albion 100 Years Ago." February 1, 1917. "The marriage of two young Polish people of this city, Miss Helen Kowalski, and Walter Waleyske, which occurred Tuesday in Jackson, was celebrated with much merry-making at the home of the bride’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Kowalski, 712 N, Albion St."

"A very pretty home wedding occurred at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Bigelow on W. Mulberry St. Wednesday evening at 5:30 o’clock when their sister, Miss Flora Ruth Wolcott, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. L J. Wolcott, was united in marriage to Earl Lee Caines of this city."

February 2, 1917: "Some of the colored men of the city are stating that before next summer they will have organized a brass band. Such a musical aggregation will be welcome, for no city can have too many such."

"E. C. Deyoe, who for the past ten years has operated a grocery store at the southeast corner of Austin Ave. and N. Eaton St., died at his home at 10’5 o’clock Thursday night.""William Szesik, 25 years old, died at 8 o’clock this morning at the city hospital as a result of hernia. He received an injury while scuffling with a fellow Pole at a dance in the foreign settlement a few days ago. He was unmarried and worked in the Malleable Iron Works."

February 8, 1917: "Pupils Refuse to Sing German Air. Patriotism was rife in the high school assembly room at chapel time a morning or two ago, when one of the students at the time for the usual singing of a song from the school’s music book, called out the page number of "The Watch on the Rhine,"the German national anthem. A few looked up the page, learned the identity of the selection, and bedlam started to break loose. Hissing and cat-calling started up which soon increased to a general participation din…The favorite song of the Teutons will probably be on the taboo list at Albion High School chapel exercises in the future, for many months to come, at least."

February 8, 1917: "Mr. and Mrs. Sam Bilicki have arrived in Albion from Hammond, Indiana to make this their home. The former will be with Bean’s drugstore, in which place he was employed before going to Hammond. He has been in the drug business in the latter city."

"A man about 70 years old, a Russian Jew, was placed in the city jail today because he has been exhibiting signs of insanity…It is expected that a number of his fellow countrymen in the city will chip in and buy him transportation to New York from which city he came here and where he is said to have relatives."

February 12, 1917. "The coal shortage has at last hit Albion, and evidently has hit it hard. It developed this morning that all of the local dealers were practically sold out of all kinds of coal and coke and even orders for wood cannot be filled right away. One fuel concern expected a shipment today from the mine north of the city, which may if dealt out in small enough quantities to go around among the families suffering the greatest help the situation for the time being…At the college it was necessary to call off a number of classes this morning because of the cold and the pupils of the Austin School were sent home until noon because the building was not heated."

"Big Liquor Raid Saturday Night."Eighteen city, county and special officers raided some 20 houses in the foreign settlement and secured approximately 160 cases of beer and 40 gallons of whiskey, as well as making nearly a score of arrests, two of those apprehended being women."

February 13, 1917: "City Goes into Coal Business. Through the efforts of City Manager Sloman, the City has secured a car of coal and it will be given out to those in the city who are out of fuel, which will be exceedingly good news to all who have been affected by the present coal shortage."

"89 cases of beer and 98 gallons of whiskey were received at the home of Joe Kowalski, 712 N. Albion St. between September 30, 1916 and February 10, 1917 according to evidence given in Kowalski’s examination before Justice W. M. Watson this morning. The defendant in this case is one of the 20 arrested as the result of the big liquor raid made in the foreign settlement Saturday night."

"Offers Local Plant to Government. Immediately following the severing of relations with Germany, George E. Dean, president of the Union Steel Products Company offered the local plant to the government to be used any way it saw fit. "

February 15, 1917: "Aged Woman Dies of Asphyxiation. Asphyxiation by coal gas is thought to have caused the death of Miss Jane A. Gardner, 402 W. Center St., who was found dead in bed at her home about 10 o’clock Wednesday night…She was a sister of the late A. P. Gardner and Nelson Gardner, who were pioneers of this section and had made her home in the city for a great many years."

"The Homer schools have closed indefinitely because the board of education has been unable to obtain any coal…School at Homer was out last Friday also on account of frozen water pipes."

"Elmer Dean, who lives north of the city in Sheridan Township, was arrested in Albion today by Deputy State Game Warden William Huber of Battle Creek on a charge of setting traps nearer than six feet to muskrat houses, contrary to law."

"Albion is to have a new garage building to cost in the neighborhood of $5,000 and to be located on the NW corner of Michigan Avenue and Ionia St. The new garage which will be the local headquarters of the Dodge automobile agency, will be a one story and basement building constructed of brick and concrete in strictly fireproof fashion."

February 21, 1917. "The case of the people vs. William Williams, colored, charged with carrying a concealed weapon, was heard before Justice W. M. Watson this morning. The witnesses were Eugene Jefferson, who said Williams threatened him with a revolver, Will Davis, and Mrs. Jefferson, who said they saw the revolver in Williams’possession."

"The old vault of the defunct Albion National Bank, in F. J. Graves’shoe store, the former location of the bank, is being removed and will be shipped to a firm in Toledo which purchased the metal from it from Mr. Graves. The vault is constructed of railroad rails and was so solidly built of iron and brick that it would have taken several big charges of dynamite for its cracking by safe-blowers. Its removal will give Mr. Graves some much needed display space in his store."

"February 23, 1917: Otis A. Leonard recently purchased the former quarters of the Commercial & Savings Bank at the SE corner of Superior and Erie Sts. And he stated today that on or about April 1 the place would be occupied by the offices of Mr. Leonard, the Homestead Loan and Building Association, and Attorney E. R. Loud."


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