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, May 1, 1994, pg. 19

It is that time of year when we turn our thoughts to high school graduation, and open houses for our graduating seniors at Albion High School. In our Historical Notebook each year, we take a look at the gradating class of 100 years ago, and discover Albion ancestors of community members who are still around today. In my book A History of the Albion Public Schools page 200, I list the Class of 1894, giving their maiden name, married name, occupation, and place of residence as of 1906. The Class of 1894 had 31 members; 23 of which were women. The class consisted of the following persons:

Wallace Taylor; Alta M. Allen, teacher, Albion College; Isaelle Bliss, stenographer, Albion Milling Company; Genevieve A. Bond (Mrs. E. W. Wright), Pittsburgh, PA; Gardner B. Gunnison, Albion; Carrie E. Brown (Mrs. Fred Hoag), Battle Creek; Gertrude M. Carrington (Mrs. George Romans), Kalamazoo; Reed Carty, clerk, Kalamazoo; Ada M. Dickie (Mrs. Neil Hamblin), Detroit; Mary L. Dean, Gale Mfg. Company, Albion; Fannie T. Dissette, stenographer, Detroit; John L. Boyd, farmer, Albion; Metta S. Ellis (Mrs. W. H. Sloan), Albion; L. Belle Ford (Mrs. T. O. Martin), Minneapolis, MN; Lulu L. Green, Orion; Floyd V. Green, oil refining, Dallas, TX; Anna M. Holt (Mrs. Fred Cann) Devereaux; Minnie A. Hunt (Mrs. Charles Shearer), Elkhart, IN; Rena M. Kersten, milliner, Jackson; Frank M. Peck, Albion Recorder, Albion; Ruth Ludlow, teacher, Mt. Vernon, IN; Jessie L. Marsh, teacher, Charlotte; Fred A. Perine, student, Harvard Cambridge Mass; Emma R. Osborne, teacher, Portland; Edna L. Pugsley, teacher, Albion; Viola E. Ruff (Mrs. Kingsnorth), Albion; Edgar A. Robie, U.S. Navy; Lena Stark, stenographer, Battle Creek; Lulu D. Wiltse; Bessie W. Bruce (Mrs. J. O. White), Trimountain; Nellie A. Albertson (Mrs. F. E. Wilcox), Addison.

From the above list, there are a few persons in the class we would like to briefly mention. Ada Dickie (1876-1963) was the daughter of Albion College professor and later president, Dr. Samuel Dickie. She later lived in Seattle, Washington, and died there in 1963.

Fred A. Perine (1878-1971) lived in Detroit, and was the president of the F. A. Perine Paper Company, an art supply firm. He was also associated with the Ferry Seed Company for many years, and was the editor of several trade publications.

Viola E. Ruff (Mrs. Otis Kingnorth) (187401954) was a long time Sunday School teacher at the First Baptist Church, and was the mother of Stuart T. Kingsnorth. Nellie A. Albertson was the class Valedictorian.

Commencement services were held at the Methodist Episcopal Church on E. Erie St., (now demolished) on Thursday, June 7, 1894. Music was provided by Albion’s elementary schools choir, who sang the “Anvil Chorus.” How would you like to have the “Anvil Chorus” sung at your graduation? Each class member was required to give a speech, consisting of a learned topic of the day. One graduate, however, Wallace Taylor, had died before the graduation, although he had completed his class work. Thus the class was already absent one member. The class motto was “Vincit, Qui Se Vincit,” Latin for “He conquers who conquers himself.”

From our Historical Notebook this week we present a photograph of Albion High School as it appeared in the 1890s. We wish we had a class photograph to publish here, but to our knowledge, there is none. The next Albion High School class photograph we know of is that of 1897. If you have any Albion High School class photographs from the 1890s, let me know.

Copies of my hard-cover book A History of the Albion Public Schools are still available for $20 each at the school central office or at the Albion Chamber of Commerce. These would make excellent graduation gifts, in addition to that new car that you are purchasing for your graduating senior. Also, if your high school class is having a reunion this summer, it would be a good idea to have these books on hand for sale at your reunion. Contact the APS office at 629-9166 to make arrangements.

Albion High School in the 1890s


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