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History of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) online

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all Albion people that this interest, so long identified with the city, may,
under its new management, take a jilace among tiie suci-.-ssful enter-
prises of the city.

During the years of its histoi'y. Alliion has had a number of in-
dustries, other than those mentioned, of more or less importance, which
have for a time flourished and then passed out of existence. There has,
however, never been a time when the city had so many manufacturing


concerns as now; never when there was so much money invested in
buildings, grounds and equipment ; never so much money paid in wages,
and never from this point of view has the outlook for the future of
Albion been so full of promise.

Albion College

Under the aljle administration of president Samuel Dickey, the
burdensome debt that long rested upon the college has l)een lifted and
the institution is now free from financial obligation. A hundred
thousand dollars have this year, 1912, been added to the productive
endowment. There are more students in the college cla,3ses than at any
time in the history of the institution. Its hold upon its patrons was
never so secure and its future never so full. of promise as now.

The churches and the schools, with other interests, are fully set forth
elsewhere. It is only necessary to say that they have grown and de-
veloped with the growth of the city.

The Flood of 1908

The greatest single disaster that has come to the city within the
memory of the present generation, if not in its history, was the flood
in the second week of March, 1908. There was an unusual combination
of conditions that made the disaster possible. The February preceding,
closed with the heaviest fall of snow Michigan had known in many
years; IMarch was ushered in with a rain that froze into a sleet as it
fell, holding the recipitation on the surface; two or three days later it
rained very hard again, and following this it turned very warm with
bright sunshine. The large quantity of snow and ice was suddenly
changed to water. The brooks and rivulets became torrents. The
marshes appeared changed into lakes. Everywhere the surplus water
seemed to be seeking an outlet. Before nine o'clock on a Saturday
morning the Kalamazoo had overflowed its banks; before noon it had
carried away the Porter street bridge, the north foot bridge on Erie
street and had made a lake of the market place. By night the south
foot bridge on Erie street gave way. Dynamite was used to break up
the ice jams against the wagon bridge and every eifort made to save
endangered property. By dark the water was flowing over the Supe-
rior street bridge and through the stores on both sides of the street.
Two dams at Homer had given way under the unusual pressure and the
water they had been holding back was emptied upon Albion. At mid-
night the water on Superior street bridge was a foot deep, on the Cass
street bridge eighteen inches deep, and on the Erie street bridge two
feet deep. Wlien Sunday morning came it was found that not only
were many of the cellars in the business houses filled with water, result-
ing in great damage to goods, but in addition to the bridges already men-
tioned, the foundation of the nortli end of the new cement bridge on
Superior street had been undennined and the bridge so damaged that
later it had to be entirely rebuilt. Six stores over and ad.ioining the
river were in ruins, the water washing away the foundations preeipi-

lllSTOltV OK CAMlorX COrXTY 4-J7

tating the superslnu-turcs iiiln the rivrr. Tin- dii'crl il;iin;it:v was es-
timated at $125.()()0.(ll). while llie iiulire.-t injury nmUl hanli.v hr eoiu-
puted in figures. I)ut it was very great.

The greatest shoek in finaneial circles and to tlie ((inliilciii f the

people in the integrity of trusted ofificials was i,nven on New Year's
day. 1!I12. when it lieeanie generally known that'

The Albion National Bank

had closed its doors and that its cashier, a man over seventy years of
age and having long enjoyed the unquestioned confidence of the com-
munity, was in custody of the United States officials. Later investiga-
tion and developments revealed a systematic scheme of deception, run-
ning through a series of years, so perfectly conceived and so adroitly
manipulated as to long hatWe alike the scrutiny of the bank directors
and of the National bank examiners.

ilany who had trusted the bank with the custody of their funds
suddenly discovered that they were bereft of the savings of a life time.
Elderly' people, retired from the active duties of life, who had placed
their surplus here for support and maintenance for the remainder of
their years, saw that support swept away as by a flood. Widows, aged
and alone, found the staff upon which they leaned broken and them-
selves left helpless and destitute. Frugal and industrious working girls,
who through a series of years had denied themselves that out of their
meager earnings they might each week make a small deposit in the bank
and so have something in the day of need, suddenly realized that their
frugality and self-denial availed them nothing. Not only manufactur-
ers and business men and farmers, who deposited here, found the de-
posits swallowed up, but the working man, who left in tru.st a portion
of his weekly earnings until he could have accumulated enough to
make a payment on his home, found his trust betrayed and his money
gone. Township treasurers, fraternal societies, churches, missionary so-
cieties, Sunday-schools, teachers and students in the college, who had
placed confidence in the bank, found their deposits gone beyond n-

Henry JI. Dearing, long the trusted cashier and honored citizen, but
by self-confession the betrayer of the people's confidence, the mal-
manipulator of their funds, and the violator of the Nation's laws, not
only brought himself, but with him his own soil to serve a federal sen-
tence behind prison liars.

Great as was the shock to the general public and severe as was the
strain upon the finances of the people, it is due all to sey that the otiier
banks of the city felt the adverse wave of influence but a brief time,
business revived with the coming of spring and the summer found the
manufacturers, the merchants, the builders and the people generally
busy and trying to forget the shadow that had so recently enveloped
the fair name of our city. It still remains, however, that many incfi-
viduals will never be able to recover from their losses.

Albion's increase in population has been constant and licaltii.x. The
moral, religious, educational and business intere.sts. upon which its


present and future depend, have kept pace with its growth in popula-
tion. In its material aspects, it is gratifying to note the many and in-
creasing evidences of thrift and enterprise as seen in the growing number
of new and beautiful homes, the well kept lawns with shrubbery and
shade, its system of water works and sewage, its electric and gas lights,
its increasing number of paved streets and extension of sidewalks.

In the seventy-six years since the first plot of Albion was made and
recorded, many men and women have wrought faithfully and well for
its upbuilding. The names of a few and the things they did or at-
tempted to do have been noted elsewhere, but for this reason to infer
there were not many others worthy of special mention would do great
injustice. Augustus P. Gardiner, George N. Cady, Phineas Graves, Don
C. Seranton, A. M. Pitch, Charles Dahymple, Martin Haven, Samuel
Irwin, John Fanning, Lewis R. Fisk, John Brown, Henry Crittenden
and George Maher are a few among many who have helped to make
Albion what it is and are gratefully remembered by the later genera-



Public Improvements (by Adrian F. Cooper) — City Officials (1885-
1912) — Albion Public Schools (by W. J. MoKoke)— The Press
OP Albion (by William B. Gildart) — Albion Post Office (by A. D.
Baugiiam) — Albion Attorneys — City Hospital (by Mrs. A. J.
Brosseau) — Banks and Bankers of Albion (by Arthur C. Hud-
nutt) — The Gale Manufacturing Company (by L. E. White) —
Albion Malleable Iron Company (by Raymond H. Gardner) — The
Union Steel Screen Company (by George E. Dean) — The Cook
jNIanufacturing Company (by L. J. Wolcott) — National Spring
AND Wire Company.

Public Improvements of Albion

By Adrian F. Cooper

The first public improvement of any magnitude undertaken by the city
of Albion was the installation of a waterworks system. This improve-
ment was begun in the year 1885, just as the village had risen to the
dignity of a city. The original cost was .$50,U00, wliich sum was raised
by bonding the city. This was afterwards found to be insufficient to com-
plete the system, and an additional $5,000 was borrowed for that pui-j^ose..
Since that time water mains have been added to the system until at the
present time there is about twenty-three miles of water main, which has
cost the city all told approximately $100,000. The pumping station is
located on Cass street about one block east of Superior street, and pumps
the water into a l:{2-foot staiulpipe, located in Washington park. The
water supply of the city at pn-sent comes from three eight-inch artesian
wells over a hundnd iVct ilicp, which flow into a 250,000-gallon rein-
forced concrete resi-rvnii' whidi was constructed in the year 1909, to
replace the old reservoir which was built of brick and had a capacity of
about one-third of the present reservoir. The water sujtply of the city
originally came from two six-inch wells, tiie casings of wliicli became
so decayed that at the time of the building of the new reservoir it was
found necessary to plug them. The plant was originally opei'atcd by
two steam pumps which were replaced in !!)()() by a siiiglc-stagi' clcctrir
driven i-cntrif\igal |)uiii|i opei-ati'il hy electric power furiiislied hy the


Commonwealth Power Company. In 1909 a two-stage electric driven
centrifugal pump was installed. The cost of pumping by electricity was
found to be more economical than by steam, the present rate for current
being one and a half cents per thousand gallons. The amount of water
pumped varies according to the season ; the amounts for the first half of
the year 1912 being as follows: January, IT.ri.'iO.ddd callous; February,
17,340,000 gallons; March, 16,290,000 gallons; April. l:;,S,")0,000 gallons;
May, 13,120,000 gallons; June, 18,300.000 gallDus; July, 18,830,000 gal-
lons; August 19,930,000 gallons. The greatest number of gallons pumped
in any one day was 1,020,000 on July 5, 1912.

The fir.st bridges were of timber construction, but in 1900 a handsome
double-arch bridge was built over the Kalamazoo river on Superior street
in tiie block just north of Cass street, and in 1896 a triple-arch stone-
faced concrete bridge was built on Cass street just east of Superior. At
the time of the flood in the spring of 1907 most of the bridges in the city
were swept away, and the double-arch brick and concrete Superior street
bridge was destroyed. The old wooden bridges were replaced by rein-
forced concrete structures with the exception of Superior street bridge
just referred to which is built on heavy concrete abutments with massive
iron beams spanning the river. Owing to the great expense in building
and keeping up bridges, the city has been unable to make the street
improvements that otherwise would have been made.

Albion's first pavement was laid in 1903, from the south line of Ash
street along Superior street to the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern
Railway, at a cost of !fi25,500. This pavement was made of asphalt l)locks
which did not prove very durable, and when the next paving was done
in 1910, a Tarvia macadam was tried on Superior street from Ash street
to Irwin avenue. On either side of the macadam is a combination curb
and gutter of concrete, and the street is provided with ample system of
underground drainage. This was at a cost of $1.11 per squan' yard. In
1911 a solid concrete pavement was laid on Cass street betwei'u SupiMJoi-
and Eaton street, and the same year ^licliiirau a\-cniU' was pa\'(Ml IVoiu
Superior street to Mingo street in llii' same iiiaiiiici- as was soutli Siipcr-
ior street, except that tin- work was ilmu' liy cdutrart and liinestouc was
substituted for the lianln- niatnia] used nn South Superior street.

The city iiad ;ipprnximatcl\ nineteen miles of sewer, all of which have
been built liy special assessment, the city jiaying from one-third tO' one-
sixth of the cost, and the property benefited paying the balance. No
sewer Iwnds have ever been issued by the city. The first sewers M-ere
constructed as a combination of sanitary sewers and surface drain, but
the sewers now being built are sanitary sewers strictly. The surface
water being taken care of by a separate system. The sewage is all
emptied into the Kalamazoo river at various points.

City Officuls (1885-1912)

Mayors: 1885, Charles F. Austin; 1886, Robert J. Frost; 1887,
L. J. Wolcott; 1888, E. F. Mills; 1889, Robert J. Frost; 1890, Eugene


r. Robertson; 18!)1, Isaac; N. Sibley; l.Slfi, lleury 1). Tlioiiiason ; 18!):J,
Henry I). Thoniason ; 18!)4, William H. Kniekerbocker ; 1895, William
H. Kniekerboeker ; ]89(j, Samuel Diekie ; 1S!)7. A. L. .^IcCutelieou ; 18i)8,
Almon G. Bruee; 18!)!), Edward K. Loud; lilOO, Cbarles W. Dalryiiiple ;
1901, James Shanlev; 1!)(»L', .James Sbauley ; litO^, Frank K. Palmer;
]9()4. C. Owpu Hrownell; l!)0o. (". Owen F.rownell ; 19()(i, U. -M. .MeAu-
litfe; 1907, D. M. .^leAuliffe; 19(IS. 1). .M. .MrAulitfe; 1!)0!). Adrian F.
Cooper; 1910, Adrian F. Cooper; llHl, William W. Austin; 1912,
George U. MeCarty.

Citv clerks: 1885, Chas. H. Foster; 1886, Chas. II. Foster; 1887,
William W. Austin ; 1888, William W. Austin ; 1889, William W. Austin ;

1890, F. D. Roudenbush; 1891, F. D. Roudenbush -. 1892, C. H. Kniek-
erlxicker; lS9:i Paliiiei' M. Bearing; William II. Manning, (fill va-
eancy) ; 1894, Frank Lal)erteaux; 1895. Frank Laberteaux ; 1896, Ed-
ward R. Loud; 1897. Edward R. Loud; 1898, Charles H. Burnett;
1899. Charles H. Burnett; 1900, Frank W. Culver; 1901, Frank W.
Culver; 1902, Frank W. Culver; 1903. Adrian F. Cooper; 1904. Adrian
F. Cooper; 1905, L. W. Cole; 1906, 11. E. Robertson; 1907. W. K. .\oyes;
1908, W. R. Noyes; 1909, W. R. Noyes; 1910. \V. R. Xoycs ; 1!)11. \V. R.
Noyes; 1912, W. R. Noyes.

Citv attornevs: 1885, N. B. Gardner; 1886, N. B. Gardner; 1887,
Rienzi'Loud; 1888, M. D. Weeks; 1889, Rienzi Loud; 1890. Rien/.i Loud;

1891, M. I). Weeks; 1892, Rienzi Loud; 1893. Rieiizi Loud; 1894. M. I).
Weeks; 1895, M. D. Weeks; 1896, M. D. Weeks; 18!)7, A. M. Culver;
1898, E. R. Loud; 1899, Adelbert Culver; 1900, L. E. Stewart; 1901,
H. R. H. Williams, M. U. Weeks; 1902. M. D. AVeeks; 1903, M. I).
Weeks; 1!)04, E. R. Loud; 1905, A. F. Cooper; 1906. A. F. Cooper;

1907, A. F. Cooper; 1908, A. F. Cooper; 1909, M. D. Weeks; 1910,
M. D. Weeks; 1911. .M. D. Weeks; 1912, A. F. Cooper.

City treasurers; 1885, Wellington B. Crane; 1886, John Fanning;
1887, John Fanning; 1888, John Fanning; 1889, John Fanning; 18!K),
John Fanning; 1891. George W. Schneider; 1892. George W. Schneider;
1893, Jav D. ilapes; 1894. Charles II. Knickerbocker; 1895, Charles
H. Knickerbocker; 1896, Frank L. Irwin; 1897, Robert Y. Finch; 1898,
Robert Y. Finch; 1899, Solomon M. Rafterv ; 1!)00. Solomon M. Raftei-y ;

1901. Henrv D. Smith; 1902, D. .M. .AIcAulitt'e ; 1903, U. 'SI. McAuliffe ;
1!)01. Afton A. Dibble; 1905, Afton A. Dibble; 1906, E. C. Carrington:
1!H)7. E. C. Carrington; 1908, E. C. Devoe; 1909. E. C. Devoe; 1910,
W. J. .Morse; 1911, W. J. Morse; 1912, Charles E. Ashdown.

Marshals: 1885. John Phipps; 1886. Nicholas Plough; ISSi. Jdlm
I'hipps; 1888, Frank N. Austin; 188!). Ilenrv F. Gutciies; ].si)n. liniiv
F. Gutches; 1891. Frank A. Graham; 1892. William S. I'ri.c; 18!)3,
William S. Price; 1^94. Edward ('. Shaffer; 1895. George Caleb; 1896,
Frank A. Graham: 18!)7. George R. Carver; 1898. Fred W. Clark; 1899,
Fred W. Clark; 1900, Fred W. Schumacher; 1901. N. Dcau Ilarnmn;

1902. X. Dean Ilarroun; 1!)03, Erva J. Mallorv; 1904. Kiv,-i J. .Mallory;
1905, Erva J. Mallorv ; 1906, Fred W. Clark; 1907. Fiv.l W. Clark;

1908, Fic.l W. Clark: 1909. Oscar II. Cooper: 19111. Os,-;ir 11. Cooper;

1911. Hnicsl Wim-hclj; IDI'J. Elllcst Willrllrll.


Albion Public Schools
Bij W. J. McKone

The history of the public schools of Albion does not differ in any
material aspect from that of any other town in southern Michigan whose
beginnings dates back to the middle of the last century. Hand in hand
the little red school house and the little white church have kept pace
with the westward march of civilization. The early settlers of Albion
brought with them from western New York a knowledge of and a fa-
miliarity with good schools.

As was the custom in the early Jlichigan comiininities the first
schools were private or "select" schools. These were held in the

Old Red Schoolhouse, Albion

of the teachers or the pupils. The numlier attending was very small
and no revenue was received at all from the state.

The first public school ])uilding was erected a little later than 1850
near the present site of the German Lutheran church on South Superior
street and was known for years as "The Little Red Sdiool House."
Although long since altandoiied the building still stood witli its (piaint
little window panes and faded red sides until the spiing of 1912 when
it was obliged to yield to the needs of the growing city. While crude in
architecture and of meager equipment it served a useful purpose until
the needs of the community demanded larger and better acconunoda-
tions. A Mr. Dowery assisted by his wife were the first teachers.

The old Presbyterian church on the corner of Clinton and Erie

HISTORY OF OALiiorx corxTv 4:i;]

streets was utilizfd for the growing school until it was liui'ncd when tlir
Salem Lutheran on Pine .stivet was presseil into service. Tlic old pail
of the building facing on Washington park was where some of Albion's
older residents "got their start." Still more room was needed and the
school was removed to tlie engine house on Superior street just north
of the stone mill. ITon. J. A. Parkinson, judge of the Jackson circuit
court and -Mrs. i'hcbc Anthony were the first faculty in the engine

The first step leading to the present organization was the consolitla-
tiou of three rural school districts into a "Union" school district. Tlie
districts uniting were Albion number one, Albion and Sheridan
number one, fractional, Sheridan and Albion number three, fractional.
This was eonsunmiated Septemlier 17, 1867. iMrs Phineas T. Graves
being the leading spirit in a warm fight for the new movement. The
three primary buildings, the north, south and east were erected in
1869, at a cost of about #12,000.00. There were at first one teacher in
the east, two in the "Little Red School House" two at the north and
one in the Presbyterian church. Women teachers received !i!28 per
month, a man at the east school $50, and the "high" $60. The present
central building with grounds occupies lots two to eleven on Michigan
avenue. The lot cost $2,500.00. The original building was erected in
1870 by G. W. Maher at a total cost of 16,826.00. A dedicatory
committee consisting of Messrs. Rev. R. ^I. Fitch, Phineas Graves and
W. D. Fox for the board and Messrs. Stoddard, Haven and Bidwell for
the citizens was appointed. Professor Doty of Ann Arbor delivered
the dedieatoi\v address.

Mr. J. B. MeClellau was elected the first superintendent in 1870 and
served until the end of the school year in 1877. The last of the "Ward"
buildings, the west, was located in November, 1871. At this time the
school attendance was -464 and the school census 58-1.

The second superintendent, Mr. E. C. Thompson, was elected June
5, 1877, and served ten years. The schools were graded under superin-
tendent ilcClellan but the first graduating class was in 1878 consisting
of seven members, Marion Crosby, Kirtland Davis, Mary R. Fanning,
George Graves, Emma T. Lewis, Lulu Torrey, Maggie Woolsey.

The school has up to date graduated 333 boys and 587 girls or a
total of 920.

November 5. 1879, the central building suffered a loss li.v fire of
$1,200 and again January 12, 1887, a very slight loss. March 12, 1885, a
contract was let to Geo. W. ]Maher for $9,900 for wings on the east and
west of the central. In 1892 the capacity of the wings was doubled by
additions on the north ends. A central steam heating plant w-as erected
in 1893 at a cost of $5,000.

Superintendent E. C. Thompson resigned August 8, 1887, and Mr.
Warren C. Hull was elected superintendent. ^Mr. Hull remained eleven
years being succeeded by W. J. ^McKone who is still superintendent,
having served fifteen years.

In 1906 the central building used as the high school had become en-
tirely inadequate and was torn down to give place to a $30,000 high
school building which promises to be ample for some time to come. The



latest additions to the material facilities in the way of Iniildings was
the erection of the Charles P. Austin school on the site of the "North
Ward" torn down. The new school is a strictly modern building and the
best appointed in the city. It contains eight rooms.

Much of the success of the schools is due to the careful planning and
the wisdom of the men who have been honored in serving as members
of the board of education. This is a comparatively short list, many of
the men having served for a long term of years, but is a distinguished
one. The list is as follows: Augustus Gale, Phineas Graves, Samuel
V. Irwin, Charles W. Dalrymple, Rev. A. :\I. Fitch, Wellington Bid-
well, James W. Sheldon, W. D. Fox, John Fanning, Theron Soule, L.
Silliman, Dr. John P. Stoddard, E. W. HoUingsworth, H. :\I. Bearing,
E. P. Robertson, Charles F. Austin, William Howard. E. F. Mills,
•John G. Brown, Delos Fall, Elizabeth F. Palmer, Earle Knight, Samuel
M. Reed, George W. Schneider, William T. Jaquess, E. R. Loud, G. S.

High School, Albion

Kimball, George T. Bullen, Homer C. Blair, Henry Wochholz, Walter
M. Watson, D. A. Garfield, George P. Griffin, George C. Hafford, Dr.
B. J. Howlett, Walter S. Kennedy.

There are now employed in the system thirty-seven teachers, including
special teachers of drawing, music, manual training and domestic science
and art.

Corps op 1912-1913

W. J. McKone, superintendent ; L. A. McDiarmid, principal of high
school; F. M. Langworthy, science; M. Belle Pratt, Latin; Fanny May
Green, history; Alice P. Steere, German; Blanche E. Martin, English;
Leona Bean, assistant ; Edith G. Bolster, assistant ; Rena T. Root, assist-
ant; commercial.

Central— M. Myrtle Moulton, eighth and seventh grades; Flora A.
King, seventh grade ; Mabelle C. Seelye, seventh grade ; Julia G. Murden,
sixth grade ; Mary R. Rood, sixth grade ; Ellen Pilcher, fifth grade ; Cora

iiisToin' OF cALiiorx corxTY 4;jr)

R. Maaou, lifth grade; Grace E. Hubert, fourth grade; Mabel Burns,
fourth grade; Grace H. Wells, third and second grades; Mab. E. Elms,
first grade.

Charles F. Austin School — Dora M. Ottgen, sixth aiul fifth grades;
Bessie B. Waite, fourth grade ; Emily ('. Meinke, third and second grades;
Nora M. Gutehess. first grade; Marie G. Douglas, kindergarten.

South School — Hattie E. Hungerford, third and second grades; Ada
Beard, first grade.

East School — Grace E. Griffin, third and second grades;

West School — Elsa W. Schcid, Ihird and second grades; Meryl B.
Sewell, first grade.

Special Teachers — Sybil G. Roliinson. drawing; Jennie A. Worthing-
ton, music ; Effie E. Thra.sher, domestic science and art ; Charles D. Ray-
nor, manual training.

The Press of .\lbion

By William B. Ciklart

In Decemlier, 184!). James Hugli Perry opened a printing office in
Albion, which was the first effort in that direction for the village. The
plant which was but a small affair, was located on the west side of
Superior street, between West Porter and Center streets. He issued a
weekly newspaper from that place, which he called The Albion Press.
According to recollection of old residents, the paper met with poor sup-
port and lasted but a short time. The writer has been unable to obtain a
copy of this first newspaper effort and no one appears to remember if it
had any political party affiliation. Its editor was an Englishman and the

Online LibraryWashington GardnerHistory of Calhoun county, Michigan : a narrative account of its historical progress, its people, and its principle interests (Volume 1) → online text (page 52 of 74)