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, December 31, 2017, pg. 12

Happy New Year everyone! We continue with our theme of "Albion—00 Years Ago."January 1, 1918. "With the beginning of the New Year the doors of the Raymond grocery at Marengo will open under a new management, Warren S. Nowlin, having purchased the stock and fixtures. Mr. Nowlin and family will move to Marengo at once."

January 2, 1918. "Splendid Program for Emancipation. Eloquent tributes to the advancement made by the colored race…were the key notes of the big colored celebration at the A.M.E. church on W. Cass St. last evening."

January 3, 1918: The biggest item of business at the council meeting last evening was the offering of an ordinance on its first reading, setting the salaries of city officials for the coming year. These items are: City Manager, $2,000; clerk, $1,600; Assessor, $900; Attorney, $150; Justice of the Peace, $600; Superintendent of the Cemetery, $1,200; Chief of Police, $1,080; Night Watch, $1,020; Chief of Fire Department, $1,080; assistant $1,020; first firemen, $960, second firemen, $900."

January 4, 1918. "Victor Calderone, formerly of Albion, engaged in the shoe repair business here, now of Camp Custer has been visiting in the city and is now at Hillsdale with his brother."

January 5, 1918. "The funeral services of William Priebe, Albion's first boy to meet death in the service of his country, were held Sunday at 10:30 at the German Lutheran church."

"Twenty of the Albion coal miners were at work this morning, only four being off duty. The wage dispute has not been settled but the men will stay on the job."

January 7, 1918. "A secret service official was here from Battle Creek Sunday afternoon and with Deputy Sheriff George McCarty, arrested two Russians, Ostop Veramay and Paul Truss of 508 Austin Avenue…a trunk full of Bibles and literature was also seized by the officers."

January 8, 1918. "Ostop Veramay and Paval Truss, the local Russians charged by the government with making seditious utterances against the United States…demanded a hearing…Friends of the men state that religious jealousies in the local Russian colony are back of the complaints."

January 9, 1918. "The Albion Coal Mine company's office is besieged every day by calls for coal. Yesterday there were 20 long distance calls and representatives from Grand Ledge, Jackson and Lansing factories were here in person, trying to get fuel for their plants."

"George Bohm, proprietor of the Censor theatre, returned this morning from the Great Lakes Training Station, where he enlisted yesterday in the Naval Reserves."

January 10, 1918. "Floyd Starr Makes Statement…u8220 In regard to the divorce matter, I can only say this: That it is an affair between husband and wife, and can and must have no connection with the work here. I have nothing to say against Mrs. Starr. I vastly prefer to suffer accusation silently, rather than to criticize or censure others, much less my wife, whom I still love with the same tenderness I have always felt for her as the mother of my child, whom I idolize."

January 12, 1918. "Worst Storm in 35 Years. Albion went to bed last night with the temperature in the 20s and a light snow falling. She awoke this morning in the worst blizzard in many years. The thermometer registered 18 degrees below zero. A 50-mile gale added to the cold and filled the air with snow that it was often impossible to see more than a few hundred feet ahead."

January 17, 1918. Albion Factories Shut Down Friday. 2,000 Men in forced Idleness for the Next 5 days. About 2,000 Albion men will be forced into idleness tomorrow for the next 5 days by the orders of Fuel Administrator Garfield. All Albion factories are expected and forced to close down."National headline: "All Industries Close Down for the Next 4 days. Drastic fuel order issued to relieve coal conditions throughout the Country."

January 18, 1918: "College Closes, Schools Cut Down. Following the plan to aid in fuel conservation, Albion College will close this afternoon and will not reopen until Tuesday, January 29.""Fuel Holiday Jolts City Life. 2,000 Men Feel New Sensation in Being Left Free From Work for 5 Days."

"The Albion mine is now working to full capacity and is turning out about 120 tons a day. Yesterday a carload was shipped to the Jackson City Hospital, which along with the Nichols hospital in Battle Creek, is entirely dependent upon the Albion mine for fuel supply. Thursday the president of Litchfield village telephoned the min office, making an urgent appeal for help. He stated that there was not a pound of coal in the city. A car may be sent them."

January 19, 1918: "The family of Ellsworth O. Elmer of Devereaux have given up all hope that he escaped death in the burning of the Hotel Wright at Saginaw last Saturday."

January 23, 1918. "Will Register All German Aliens Here. All German aliens over 14 years of age in Albion are to be registered. Chief of Police Hubbard has just received word from the Attorney General of the United States through the U.S. Marshal that he will be chief registrar for Albion."

January 23, 1918. "Flint, Michigan. Floyd Starr, founder and head of the Starr Commonwealth for Boys at Albion, has filed answer in circuit court here entering a general and specific denial of the charges made by his wife, a former Fenton girl, and asking that her petition for a decree of divorce be dismissed."

January 24, 1918. "C. W. Sellers, one of the owners of the Albion Coal Mine, states that this morning he was routed out of bed by the engineer of the Nichols Hospital who wanted to impress on his mind that the institution would have to have more fuel quickly. A car was to have been sent the hospital today."

January 25, 1918. "Paul Truss and Nestor Komerchuck, the Russians charged with anti-war propaganda, had their hearing at Battle Creek and were released on account of a lack of evidence."

January 30, 1918: "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Shellman, 716 Albion St., local Albion Russians, charged with selling liquor were before Justice P. D. Wright yesterday afternoon. The police raided their rooms and confiscated a considerable quantity of whisky and beer. Their hearing was continued until next Tuesday. Joe Kowalski, a Pole, 712 N. Albion St., charged with the same offense, had his hearing before Justice Wright this afternoon.

"At the Dalrymple School this morning, a spelling match took place between the 6th grade and the ungraded room. This was conducted under a baseball schedule system, with Miss Bess Crofoot as umpire. Two games were spelled, the 6th grade winning the first and the ungraded room winning the second game."

Read more Albion 100 Years Ago articles.

Next 100 Years Ago article: February 1918

Next week: HELEN SHARP

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