Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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ALBION 100 YEARS AGO—DECEMBER 1917

Morning Star, November 26, 2017, pg. 28

If you wish to meet Albion's latest author, Dr. James L. Curtis, now is your chance. The book signing for his new book "Memoirs of a Black Psychiatrist"(see the November 12 edition of this column) will be held this week. The date is Tuesday, November 28 at 7 pm. at Stirling Books & Brew at 119 N. Superior St., and there will be books for sale. You can park in the back via N. Clinton St. and use the back door because of the road construction. You'll be glad you came to this special community event.

We continue with our theme of "Albion, 100 Years Ago."December 1, 1917: "The Negro people of the city who are of the Baptist faith are building a new church on Culver St. This will make two Negro churches in Albion. O. J. Teller has the contract."

"Dominico Chickey, the Italian who was arrested here a few days ago on a charge of deserting the Army at Camp Custer and was taken back to the Camp by Deputy George McCarty, is now in the guard house and it all depends on the captain of his company whether he will be taken back into the ranks or be tried as a deserter."

December 3, 1917: "Joseph Steere of Camp Custer was in the city yesterday as the guest of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Horton. Mr. Steere formerly lived in Albion and was a conductor on the Michigan Railway [Interurban]."

"Carl Riddick of Lewistown, Montana is a guest of his father, Rev. Isaac Riddick. Mr. Riddick was a former student at Albion College and a member of the famous football team which licked Michigan back in the nineties…Mr. Riddick earned part of his way through college by working at the Recorder office."

December 6, 1917: "W. A. Knapp of Bay City was in Albion yesterday and today, on business at the Albion Coal Mine, north of the city of which he is a part owner. The Albion mine is an important factor in the coal situation in Southern Michigan. Battle Creek factories have been in a large measure depending on the output of this name for a large part of their fuel. The company is now mining in the neighborhood of 175 to 200 tons of the coal per day and as soon as the new shaft, which the company has been surveying for is finished, the output will be increased to about twice that amount."

December 8, 1917. "The two Gilcrist boys of Homer, who have been terrorizing the community with nightly exploits, have been removed. Their father, L. E. Gilcrist, came from Toledo where he is working Monday, and took them back to Detroit where they will be placed in a detention home."

December 14, 1917: "Mrs. Albert Witchiniski and son Richard of Chicago arrived in the city last evening to make their future home here. Mr. Witchiniski came to Albion several weeks ago and is a night foreman at the Malleable."

"There have been numerous rumors passed around the city that the men employed at the Albion Coal Mine north of the city had struck for higher wages and that work had been suspended until the differences were settled."

December 17, 1917. "Robbers Break into Hahn Store. The arrival of Night Patrolman Pierce in the rear of the Hahn Brothers Clothing Store between 12 and 1 o'clock this morning, was all that prevented a gang of colored men from carrying about $800 worth of goods from this store."

"Question Blanks Arrive Today…The questionnaires are mailed in the order of the registrant's liability in the draft, and again state the first one goes to "58," John Pasuk, an Albion Russian who happens to be an alien and therefore exempt from military service until he declares his intention to become an American citizen."

December 31, 1917. Big Celebration on Emancipation Day. Colored People of Albion and Other Cities Will Fittingly Observe 55th Anniversary on Evening of January 1st. The colored people of Albion have arranged for an elaborate observance of Emancipation Day on Tuesday evening January 1st [1918] at the W. Cass St. A.M.E. church. This will be the first formal celebration of the day in this part of Michigan…The committee wish it emphasized that the program is for both white and colored people and the color line will not be drawn. Mr. Aurelius B. Leggett, secretary of the local committee, states that they expect to provide for a crowd of around 800 people and that an effort will be made to care for all who come."

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles.

Next 100 Years Ago article: January 1918

Next week: 1940 BRICK STREET DEDICATION


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