Albion Company, 1836
Mr. Crowell, with Tenney Peabody, Isachor Frost, and D. L. Bacon, organized the Albion Company, buying 300 acres of Tenney Peabody, the DeVoe forty, and other holdings, and the company held about three-fourths of the present city of Albion. Mr. Crowell was president and general manager. The company laid the plot for avillage, and the record bears the date of June 1836 when Mr. Crowell gave Mrs. Peabody, the first white woman in the place, the distinction of naming what was still “The Forks,” and which shenamed Albion, after Albion, NY, the place from which Mr. Crowell came.
The Albion Company through Mr. Crowell, in 1838, deeded several acres of land for a burial place which was expanded into what is now known as Riverside Cemetery. They also gave a lot upon which to build the first store, which was occupied by Philo Taylor, pioneer merchant, theM.E. Church later stood on this spot.
In 1837, the first grist mill was built, and then through the influence of Mr. Crowell, apost office was established in Albion in 1838. The nearest office was Waterburg located four miles wet on the Reuben Emery farm. the United Statedgovernment granted Mr. Crowell permission to remove the office to Albion, provided he would assume the expense of so doing, the first office stood on the site of Mounteer’s Bakery, and JesseCrowell was made the first postmaster, which office he held until 1849.
The Albion Company through Mr. Crowell, in 1838 gave the Wesleyan Seminary 60 acres for educational purposes, and two blocks and two half-blocks for a campus, and from thisact has grown Albion College. Had he not donated this land, the college probably would have been located elsewhere.Jesse Crowell was a member of the first board of directors of the Seminary, and contributed liberally to its many needs.
Through Mr. Crowell’s influence, the Albion Company also dedicated to the village what was first known asWashington Park, later changed to Crowell Park, in honor of the donor. The company also donated the sites for several churches as fast as thesocieties organized. A street has also been named after Mr. Crowell.
The Stone Mill built by Jesse Crowell was completed July 4, 1845, constructed of stone, brought from local quarries, and was a great undertaking for those days, this flouring mill was known throughout the country for over thirty years, ran night and day. It was located where the Commercial bank stands now, part of its walls were used for the bank building.
Not until the railroad came in 1845 was there much of any change in those primitive conditions, with its arrival, however, the pioneer had an inlet for his necessities and an outlet for his products.Previous to this time, the main street of the village was Erie Street.
Source: Miriam Krenerick. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932.