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 9, 2018, pg. 16

As we approach the Christmas season, I'd like to remind you that I still have copies of my books "Growing Up in Albion," and "Albion in Review" still available. These make great gifts for relatives and friends. Contact me if you are interested at (517) 629-5402, or Albionfp@hotmail.com for details.

On October 2-3, 2018, one of Albion's older houses was demolished at 404 E. Michigan Avenue across the street from Washington Gardner High School. Albion residents may remember this structure as the chiropractic offices of Dr. Dale Claucherty, and later Dr. Kirk Lee.

This was originally the home of one of Albion's prominent 19th century citizens, John Fanning (1833-1898). John Fanning was an Irish immigrant (1853). An accountant by trade, he served in various public capacities and was a leader in the development of Albion. Shortly after his arrival here, he became one of the founding members of Albion's first fire department, "The Alert Fire Engine Co. No. 1 of Albion," in 1856. Fanning was partner in the firm of Sheldon & Fanning, a tannery located on N. Clinton St. by the Kalamazoo River.

Fanning served on the Albion Public School board from 1873 until his death in 1898. He served as the board president from 1881 to 1885. He also served as an Albion Village president, alderman, township clerk, and in other important offices. In the early 1890s Fanning became Superintendent of the Michigan School for the Blind, before returning to Albion to become postmaster, a position he held at the time of his death. His daughter Mary R. Fanning was a member of the first graduating class of Albion High School (1878). She was employed as a clerk at the Post Office and lived in the family home her entire life.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of John Fanning, his house which was recently demolished, and his Alert No. 1 fire department badge, indicating that he was the treasurer of the group. How many of our readers have been in 404 E. Michigan Avenue at some time for chiropractic adjustments?

John Fanning

John Fanning house, Sept. 23, 2018

Fanning Fire badge


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