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, July 8, 2018, pg. 5

The Morning Star shopper has been around a long time in Albion, dating back to 1940 when it began as a mimeographed/stencil style publication, 8Ĺ x 14"in size. Published on Thursdays, it contained at least six pages of print consisting of three sheets of paper stapled in three places on the left margin. The Morning Star was begun by the husband/wife team of Rollin and Coral Davis in their home at 1002 E. Porter St. when they moved here from Litchfield in 1940. The philosophy for the Star was that it was distributed free to Albion residents, in contrast to the Albion Evening Recorder where only subscribers/purchasers received that publication. The Morning Star originally contained just advertisements; there was no news nor feature articles in it.

The Davisímoved their business to 121 N. Superior St. in the early 1950s. A few years later they sold it to Willard Snyder and John Gilbert who moved it to 108 W. Porter St. where it remained for many years. Such is the early history of the Morning Star.

Morning Star cover July 3, 1941

From our Historical Notebook this week we present the cover of the July 3, 1941 edition of the Morning Star, featuring an advertisement from Driscollís fruit and vegetable Market, 204 S. Superior St. Notice that they were open on July 4. Driscollís had a reputation of being the only store in Albion that was open on a holiday. That meant they did a fantastic business on those days for people who needed milk, bread, eggs, and other commodities.

The display ads artwork for the Morning Star in the early 1940s was etched by Robert Benjamin (1921-2006), a student at Albion College from 1938 to 1942 who graduated with two majors: art and math. His art skills came in handy for earning money during his school years. He was paid about 50Ę an hour for his work. Robert would also do artwork for the College newspaper, the Pleiad, as well as paint some signs on business windows. The artistic family traits has carried over to another generation, as Robertís daughter Maggie LaNoue, a well-known Albion artist, produces the colorful "General Guide"calendar of events listings which is inserted in the Morning Star.

Today the Morning Star name has continued as part of the Salesman Publications. How many of our readers have old copies of the Morning Star from the 1940s?


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