L.J. Wolcott, 1849
Third Mayor, 1887
Died October 21, 1931
City of Albion Mayor +
L.J. Wolcott was born in Onondaga, Jackson County, May 14, 1849, son of Henry B. and Loretta H. Wolcott. In 1851 the Wolcott family moved to Sheridan township, building a home just north of the Tamarack School, where Mr. Wolcott lived for 28 years before coming to Albion, and where he since resided. For 16 years he was engaged in the manufacture of windmills and gasoline engines here, then later became an insurance writer.
Mr. Wolcott, one of Albion’s best known citizens, served as mayor in 1887, as city councilman of Albion in 1888 and 1889, was a statelegislator from this district from 1911 to 1917. While at Lansing he secured the elimination of two railroad crossings on what is now U.S. 12 west of Albion, also exemption of building and loan associations in the state from a mortgage tax.
Mr. Wolcott’s political career also included holding the office of Sheridan township drain commissioner at the age of 20 years. While a member of the city council, Mr. Wolcott engaged in a fight against private franchises for city services, resulting in giving the city its present water system. He was a staunch Democrat.
In addition to being one of the founders of the Homestead Building and LoanAssociation, Mr. Wolcott was also one of the organizers of the Commercial and Saving Bank, being a director of that institution for 15 years. He served as president of the Michigan State Building and Loan League two ears, and was a great advocate of home ownership.
Mr. Wolcott resigned the presidency of the board of directors of the Building and Loan Association, September 14, 1931, on account of ill health, after holding the office for 42 years, since the organization of the association, July 29, 1889. He had been elected to begin his 43rd year as president on July 13, 1931.
Mr. Wolcott was educated in the Albion public schools and attended Albion College for a short time. Horace B. Farley, first president of the Three-Quarters-Century Club, Charles Billinghurst, and Mr. Wolcott roomed together in college, and, though residents of this vicinity all of their lives, never met again, all at the same time,until the organization of this club, June 20, 1929.
Mr. Wolcott was united in marriage with Miss Flora M. Comstock at Kalamazoo, September 19, 1873. Mrs.Wolcott died in 1923, and on October 21, 1931, Mr. Wolcott passed to his eternal home, at the age of 82 years, having been in failing health for several months. He had five children,Mrs. Charles G. Bigelow, Mrs. P.E. Baker, Mrs. EarlCaines, and Cleveland J. Wolcott, all of Albion, and Mrs. Fred Aiken of Benton Harbor. In addition, two brothers, Elvin M. Wolcott and Cernon S. Wolcott, both of Albion; a sister, Mrs. Belle Rowley ofKalamazoo.
Mr. Wolcott was a member of the Baptist Church and an honored member of the Odd Fellows. At the time of his death, Mr. Wolcott was president of the Three-Quarters-Century Club, having held this office since May 1930, and took the keenest interest in club affairs.
L.J. Wolcott founded the Wolcott Union Wind Mill Company in 1876. He was also active in civic affairs. He was president of the Homestead Building and Loan Assocition for forty-three years.
Source: Miriam Krenerick. Albion’s Milestones and Memories. Albion, MI: Art Craft Press. 1932.