Albion

Albion

[al-bee-uhn]
Albion, ancient and literary name of Britain. It is usually restricted to England and is perhaps derived from the Latin albus meaning "white," referring to the chalk cliffs of S England.
Albion, industrial city (1990 pop. 10,066), Calhoun co., S Mich., at the forks of the Kalamazoo River; inc. 1855. In an agricultural area, it produces corn, wheat, soybeans, onions, apples, hogs, cattle, and poultry. Among its manufactures are construction materials and industrial products. Albion College was established in 1835; the city developed around it.
Albion is a city in Calhoun County in the south central region of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 9,144 at the 2000 census and is part of the Battle Creek Metropolitan Statistical Area. From the time that the earliest English-speaking settlers arrived, the area has also been known as The Forks, because it is situated at the confluence of the north and south branches of the Kalamazoo River. The Festival of the Forks has been celebrated annually since 1967, celebrating Albion's ethnic heritage.

The presence of several major manufacturers through its history has given Albion the reputation of a factory town. Albion College is a private liberal arts college with a student population of about 1,950. Albion is Sister city to Noisy-le-Roi, France.

Albion is the birthplace of food writer M. F. K. Fisher.

History

The first white settler, Tenney Peabody, arrived in 1833. As local legend goes, Peabody's wife decided to name the city after Albion, Oswego County, New York where another prominent pioneer, Jesse Crowell, came from. The city was almost named Peabodyville, but Albion was the preferred choice.

Crowell arrived in 1835 and established the Albion Company to lay out the plan for the village and to sell property to other pioneers as they arrived. He became the first postmaster in 1838. Albion incorporated as a village in 1855 and as a city in 1885.

In 1835, Methodist Episcopal settlers established Albion College, which was known by a few other names before 1861 when the college was fully authorized to confer four-year degrees on both men and women. The first classes were held in Albion in 1843.

The forks of the Kalamazoo River provided power for mills and Albion quickly became a mill town as well as an agricultural market. A railroad line arrived in 1852, fostering the development of other industries.

Albion was named an All-America City in 1973 by the National Civic League. It celebrated winning the award on May 15, 1974 when the Governor of Michigan, William Milliken, and many dignitaries came to town. However, in 1975 the closure of a major factory cut the celebration short and new challenges were created overnight.

Since that time citizens have mobilized, with support from the Albion Community Foundation founded in 1968, and the Albion Volunteer Service Organization founded in the 1980s with support from Albion College to address the challenge of diminishing economic opportunity.

Key to the City Honor Bestowed:

  • 1964: Aunt Jemima visits Albion on January 25, 1964.
  • 1960s: Ann Landers was presented with a key upon her visit to Starr Commonwealth for Boys.

Law and government

Albion has a Council-Manager form of government. City residents elect a Mayor and City Council members from six districts. The council in turn selects a City Manager to handle day-to-day affairs of the city. The mayor presides over and is a voting member of the council. Council members are elected to four-year terms, staggered every two years. A mayor is elected every two years.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.5 square miles (11.7 km²), of which, 4.5 square miles (11.6 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.89%) is water. Albion is positioned 42.24 degrees north of the equator and 84.75 degrees west of the prime meridian.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 9,144 people, 3,252 households, and 2,061 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,050.2 per square mile (791.6/km²). There were 3,591 housing units at an average density of 805.1/sq mi (310.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.05% White, 33.22% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 1.61% from other races, and 3.07% from two or more races. 4.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,252 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.0% were married couples living together, 21.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.6% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 19.7% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 18.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 83.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,245, and the median income for a family was $37,399. Males had a median income of $35,956 versus $22,975 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,165. About 15.0% of families and 20.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.6% of those under age 18 and 13.9% of those age 65 or over.

Rail Transportation

Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, provides daily service to Albion, operating its Wolverine both directions between Chicago, Illinois and Pontiac, Michigan via Detroit.

See also

Notable Residents

  • Jack Vaughn, Assistant Secretary of State, Ambassador to Panama and Colombia, and Director of the Peace Corps from 1966 to 1969 grew up in Albion.
  • Bill Laswell, Jazz bassist, record producer and record label owner grew up in Albion graduating from Albion High School.

References

External links

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