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.


Albion Recorder, November 22, 2001 pages 19 and 23

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday and with Christmas not far behind, we have been reminded in recent weeks of the many blessings we enjoy here in America for which we can be thankful. Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to get together and enjoy the fellowship of being with one another again. In the next few weeks many of us will be attending various programs, banquets, and special events by area churches, non-profit organizations, schools, clubs, and employers. Beyond the food and calories will be the quality time spent together with one another.

While you’re waiting for the food to cook, check out my Albion history articles and photographs on the www.albionmich.com internet site. Over 200 of my historical articles have now been added to this site, and they contain some fantastic photographs. You may also want to take your visiting relatives to the Albion Chamber of Commerce at 416 S. Superior St. where they have many of my Albion history books and materials available. This includes my Riverside Cemetery tour booklets and this years “German Hill Tour” program which has been quite popular.

People enjoy historical group photographs of happy occasions. I searched the archives and found a happy gathering from over 70 years ago. The occasion was the 85th birthday of one of Albion’s early residents, Delos D. Snyder (1844-1933) on April 12, 1929. The photo was taken at his home, 406 Allen Place where Delos lived with his daughter Carrie (Snyder) Ott and her son Clifford Snyder Ott.

Delos was born on the family farm in the 900 block of Irwin Avenue (north side). His parents Samuel (1811-1857) and Deborah (Whipple) (1819-1908) Snyder were among Albion’s pioneer settlers, and came here from Dryden, New York in 1838. It was at the Snyder home on Irwin Avenue that the first five fugitive slaves that passed through Albion on the “Underground Railroad” stayed as a stop along the route across Southern Michigan. While growing up as a boy, Delos attended Albion’s “Little Red Schoolhouse” and knew David Duncan, the “Albion Hermit” who lived nearby south of Irwin Avenue. In 1869 he and his wife Viola (Benham) (1849-1904) purchased a farm south of Albion which they farmed for many years. While living there Delos served for 16 years as a clerk on the Albion Township Board of Supervisors, and was a member of the Benham School board.

Delos moved back to Albion in 1917 with his daughter Carrie to their newly-constructed home on Allen Place. A divorcee with a son to support, Carrie ran a boarding house for Albion College students from her home, located directly behind the Sigma Nu Fraternity house. The family was quite active in the Methodist Church and its various programs and events for many years. They made many friends, and this surprise birthday party for Delos was an expression of love and celebration from the family and friends who appear in this photograph. Of those pictured, only two are known to be living today, Dorothy (Doty) Anderson and Kenneth C. Murray. Special thanks to Clifford C. Ott of Cleves, Ohio for this week’s photograph, and to Dorothy (Doty) Anderson of Albion and Beth (Murray) Wiest of Concord for their help with identifications.

From the Archives this week we present this fantastic photograph. Front row, left to right: Dorothy Doty-Anderson (b. 1922) who lives in Albion today; her sister Ilah Doty-Clarke (1917-1994); William M. Murray (1916-2001), a 1934 graduate of Albion High School who passed away in Concord on October 3; and his brother Kenneth C. Murray (b. 1918) a 1936 graduate of Albion High School who now lives in Mojave, California.

Second row: First woman unidentified; Cora Henderson (1876-1960) (Mrs. Dr. Lewis Henderson). The Hendersons were next door neighbors to Delos on Allen Place; Maria C. Church (1850-1950); man unidentified; Delos D. Snyder; unidentified woman; and Bessie (Collyer) M. Doty (1891-1994), the mother of the two girls in front.

Third row: Victor Doty (1912-1981); Frank M. Church (1855-1945), a local downtown grocer; his wife Lillie Adele (Broas) Church (1860-1952) who was a niece of Delos Snyder; their daughter Orma (Church) Murray (1896-1973) who was the mother of the two boys in front; Delos’ grandson Clifford Snyder Ott (1909-1987) who attended Albion College and operated a laundry/dry cleaning business in Maryland; Carrie (Snyder) Ott (1877-1959) and the mother of Clifford; Kathryn (Hathaway) Thunold (1883-1970); and her husband Arthur Thunold (1889-1963) who later served as foundry superintendent at the Gale Manufacturing Company.

Top row: Louis N. Doty (1883-1955); Willis Brown and Enos Butenuth who were college student boarders; Edward S. Henderson (1908-2000), a next door neighbor and close family friend for many years; C. Adams, Phil Butenuth, and an unidentified young man, all college friends and/or boarders at the Snyder/Ott residence.

Carrie (Snyder) Ott and Kathryn (Hathaway) Thunold were “ex” sister-in-laws. Carrie’s first husband Willoughby Hartung (1870-1904) was struck and killed by lightning at Delos’ farm, while his brother Clarence Hartung (1880-1907), the first husband of Kathryn, died here in Albion of the measles. Both widows were very active in the South Albion Woman’s Club for many years.

When you gather together this Thanksgiving, why not take a group photograph, have it reproduced in large size, put identifications on the photo, and send everyone a copy? This will be a way to help make the memories last for years to come. A Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers.

85th birthday of Delos D. Snyder (1844-1933) on April 12, 1929


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