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, September 27, 2020, pg. 3

Albion used to have numerous neighborhood grocery stores, most of which were gone by the early 1960s after the local supermarkets opened. There also used to be small grocery stores up-and-down Superior St. in downtown Albion; one of them was the Church & Broas Grocery.

Frank M. Church (1855-1945) and his brother-in-law John W. Broas, Jr. (1871-1958) were partners together for over 20 years on N. Superior St. Their establishment first appears in the 1901 Albion City Directory in the Maher Block, at 119 N. Superior St. Today this is the location of Stirling Books & Brew bookstore. In 1911 the Odd Fellows building was erected several doors away, and the duo moved their business into that newly erected structure, located at 201 N. Superior St. Today this is the location of Dickerson Music.

Before forming the partnership with his brother-in-law, Church had served as a clerk in the Flinn & Riechter grocery at 402 S. Superior St. Frank was a descendant of Albionís pioneer Warner family-clan. Broas had worked as a clerk at the Sibley & Clark grocery store (1897 City Directory) at 114 S. Superior St. before teaming up with his brother-in-law.

The grocery was sold at the end of 1919. The Albion Recorder reported on December 30, 1919. "An important business change was announced today as the result of the purchase of the Frank M. Church grocery at 201 N. Superior St. by Charles H. Baker and son, Robert C. Baker, who will operate the business under the firm name of R. C. Baker & Co. Mr. Church has been connected with Albion grocery firms for over 30 years and will now take a much needed rest."

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an unusual close-up photo of the cleanup and reconstruction of N. Superior St. following the Great Flood of 1908. The small building on the left at 117 is the Frank Stinekrauss Saloon. Next is the Church & Broas grocery, whose name appears on the overhead awning. The word "GROCERIES" appears vertically on the left. Notice the baskets of fruit displayed on the sidewalk out front, a familiar practice in those days. Following that is the Archibald Miller drug store at 121 N. Superior St.

Frank Stinekrauss Saloon, next is the Church & Broas grocery

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