Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scout Troop #2 on Memorial Day in 1917 or 1918, taken on the west steps of the First Methodist church. Front row, left to right, Clarence Hagerman, Arvid Andrews, Hume Dice, Hilbert Hebling, Edward Nass, Howard Smith, Norman Reed, Norman Herrick, Lyle Marsh, Russell Cortright, and Gordon Herrick; second row, same order, James Carty, Wilbur Knack, Leon Ford, william POlson, Roy Oliver, donald Thurow, Harlow Stancroff, Warren Shields, Lawrence Buden, Finley and Robert Garfield; third row, left to right, Neil Harrod, Jack Bedient, Victor Nagle, Harry Pattison, Jr., Harry Pattison, Sr. (scoutmaster), Donald Smith, Clinton Austin, Rolland Stancroff, Clarence Wocholz, assistant scoutmaster; and Kenneth Bassett.
Source: Frank Passic. A Pictorial History of Albion, Michigan; From the Archives of the Albion Historical Society. Dallas, Texas: Curtis Media Corporation. 1991.
Albion Boy Scouts
By William C. Harton
Scouting in Albion can be said to date from March 14, 1916, when a group of boys met at the home of Rae Corliss on Austin Avenue, for the purpose of organizing a Boy scout Troop. The boys found a leader in Earl Neller, a college student. Upon leaving college, Mr. Neller’s place was taken by another college man, Ernest Hartman, who, in turn, was followed by another student, Harry Brewer.
During the summer of 1916 these boys camped at Eaton Rapids on the Grand River. It was at this place that Rev. D.E. Reed became interested in the Scout movement. His interest resulted in his becoming the scoutmaster of this troop, known as Troop One, serving in his capacity for three years.
After Mr. Reed, the following men served as scoutmasters for the one or two troops present in Albion at various times, William Visla, Harry Pattison, Charles Thornton and W.C. Harton.
On February 22, 1922, Harry Pattison asked the American Legion to sponsor the Scout movement in Albion by formation of a Scout Council. The local Legion post was among the first Legion posts in the county to undertake this work.
Under the leadership of the Legion Commanders, George Schumacher, Ralph Hartung and Herman Huber, scouting in Albion grew to the point where there were four troops. In 1923 the Albion scouts maintained their own camp at Swains Lake and in 1924 and 1925 a camp was maintained at Lee Lake.
The program of scouting soon became too great for the American Legion to handle and in 1926 Albion affiliated with the Jackson Council, Boy Scouts of America. This connection has been of great aid to the scout work in Albion.
Since this affiliation the following men have been presidents of the local Scout Council, Herman Huber, Reginald Smith, W.C. Harton, Ralph Bullen, and Don Gilbert is the present president.
Assisting Don Gilbert in the work of the Scout Council are Frank Koth and L.C. McDougal, vice presidents, D.L. Boyd, treasurer, Reginald Smith, chairman of the Court of Honor, and R.B. Mitchell, troop commissioner.
At present the Albion Scout Council is attempting to conduct the scouting program under the leadership of a part-time local executive, Gus McCoskey. There is every reason to believe that this arrangement will succeed.
Too much cannot be said for the splendid interest, cooperation and leadership which the members of the Jackson Scout Council have shown in the work at Albion. Without the leadership of a man like Ray Kinney, Jackson Scout Executive, the scout work in Albion would have suffered. At present there are four active scout troops in Albion under the sponsorship and supervision of the following institutions and individuals.
Troop 58: Sponsor, Boosters and Knockers; Troop Committee, R.C. Neal, L.C. McDougal, Paul Ewbank; Scout Master, Wilbur Knack
Troop 59: Sponsor, Rotary Club; Troop Committee, Fred Avery, George Schumacher, Arthur Ford; Scoutmaster and Assistant, Dickerson Nowlin and Henry Brown
Troop 60: Sponsor, American Legion; Troop Committee, D. Young, C. Boyd, R.B. Mitchell, H. Russell; Scout Master and Assistant, Lester Seekell and Horace Field
Troop 62: Sponsor, B.T. Washington Assoc.; Troop Committee, W. Beck, J. Jawkins, W.C. Wall, A. Solomon; Scout Master and Assistant, Ed Anderson and Oscar Wall
Source: Krenerick, Miriam. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932. 150
One of the most popular extracurricular activities at Starr Commonwealth was scouting. According to T. Ben Johnson, Scout Executive for the Battle Creek area, the Scout movement had been active atthe commonwealth “ever since Floyd Starr had been instrumental in organizing the first troop in the school in December 1928.” Indeed, Johnson went on to say, “I have often heardStarr state that if all the tools for working with boys were taken from him except one – the one he would retain would be scouting.”
Despite growing responsibilities on every side, in 1945 Johnson reported that Starr “continued to be very active in helping to organize troops in other parts of the Council and alsospoke to many assemblies on behalf of Scouting in the Battle Creek Council.” Five years later, in April 1950, Region Seven of the Boy Scouts of America bestowed upon him “the Silver Antelope Award for noteworthy services of exceptional character to boyhood.” For years it occupied a place of honor, first at his office and later in his campus home.
Today, Starr Troop 47 has become an archival memory. Back issues of the Starr Commonwealth Newscontain frequent pictures of proud boys bedecked with merit badges, youngsters in natty uniforms raising Old Glory out by the playground, and lanky kids lined up before acabin at summer camp, but the troop meets no more. Time has become a dear commodity at the school, and an average stay of only twelve to fifteen months is too brief for scouting.
Source: Keith Fennimore. Faith Made Visible: The History of Floyd Starr and His School. Albion, Michigan: Starr Commonwealth. 1988.