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, February 11, 1996, pg. 16

Continuing "on the road" in our Historical Notebook this week, we are going real far--all the way to South Dakota! Back in the 1880s dozens of Albion residents representing over 20 families pulled up stakes here and joined the rush to settle the Dakota Territory. Many of these persons were the grown children of Albionís original pioneers who inherited that pioneer spirit. They farmed the Dakota soil which brought in abundant harvests of wheat.

A significant number of them settled in Faulk County, South Dakota at a place called La Foon. The town was originally planned to be the county seat, but when the railroad came through, it bypassed La Foon and went through Faulkton instead to the west. La Foon declined and became a ghost town, but numerous Albion residents remained in the Dakotas.

An "Albion Reunion" was held in La Foon on July 4, 1884 at the home of Adelbert Warner, a descendant of Albion pioneer Wareham Warner and son of Asahel Warner. At this picnic came 42 persons representing 16 families, all formerly from Albion, and all living within a three mile radius. Other Albionites settled in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and Jamestown, North Dakota. There are still Albion descendants in the Dakotas today, and I have corresponded with some of them.

Some of the surnames from Albion (and Concord) who settled in La Foon or in the Dakotas include: Warner, Finch, Fuller, Rockwell, Higgins, Young, Austin, Parmelee, Goodrich, Sackett, Cool, Welch, Weston, Finley, Yost, Oakes, Metz, Harroun, Lamont, Heiss, Durgy, Hubbard, Canning, Waldo, Hart, Marsters, Babcock, Parmeter, and Oderkirk.

Anyone researching their 19th century Albion genealogy should consider checking with lists of names of persons who left Albion during the early1880s. The exodus was so profound here that it apparently affected local real estate prices, according to the May 11, 1883 issue of a local Albion newspaper. It was later mentioned that Porter St. was particularly affected by the mass exodus of our citizenry for greener pastures. For more information, consult my article in the Journal of Albion, July 4, 1987, pages 6 and 7.

La Foon, in Faulk County, South Dakota.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present an 1880s era map of Faulk County, showing La Foon as the county seat, with Faulkton just to the west. A few years later Faulkton was the county seat and La Foon was no more. Just to the north in Edmunds County I have marked where a place called Albion once existed, found on a later map. Was it named after our Albion? Two counties north of that there is found a Coldwater.

This brings up a subject, we ought to compile a list of all the Albionís in the United States and see what we can come up with. Weíll work on that for a future topic here in our Historical Notebook.


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