Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Albion Recorder, October 6, 1997, pg. 4
You are invited to attend my annual Riverside Cemetery tour this Sunday, October 12 at 1:30 p.m. We will be meeting on the south side of the cemetery to begin with, and then proceed inward and end up in the southeast corner. The tour should take approximately an hour and a half. Bring your whole family for an enjoyable afternoon together. We’ll see you there.
One person we will be featuring will by Frank F. Bennett (1888-1945), who operated a pool room and taven at 110-112 W. Porter St. from 1917 to 1945. Bennett was one of only two Albion downtown black businessmen at the time, the other being Moses Union, who operated a barber shop across the street at 107 W. Porter St. The tavern was located on the east side of the building, with the pool room on the west side. His establishment was known as "Uncle Dud’s" by patrons. The Bennett family lived upstairs.
A native of South Caroline, Frank came to Michigan and first lived in Charlotte, where he trained trotting horses. He loved horses and would go to races across the state of Michigan. Bennett was a veteran of World War I, and came to Albion in 1916.
In the 1920s Frank and a partner, George Wright from Jackson, operated a "black" bank in Albion which went under around the time of the stock market crash.
This week we present a photograph of Frank Bennett, courtesy of his daughter Diane (Bennett) Jones of Painesville, Ohio, and Kenneth Bennett of Albion, who supplied it along with the information for this week’s article. In lieu of a photograph of Bennett’s establishment (does anyone have one?), we also present a photograph of his former building on W. Porter St. For many years this was the 2-Hour Laundry, and finally Tina’s Laundry, which closed in 1995. How many persons can remember Bennett’s on West Porter Street?
All text copyright, 2021 © all rights reserved Frank Passic