Commemorative Plaques & Flagholders
FLAGHOLDERS THEME OF OCTOBER 5 TOUR AT RIVERSIDE CEMETERY
The L.O.T.M.M. The M.W.A. The A.O.U.W. The I.O.O.F. The R.N.A. The G.A.R. The K.O.P. The F.O.E. The L.O.O.M. These are just some of the intials that stand for various fraternal and military clubs and organizations which existed in Albion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These and others will be included in the annual guided tour of Riverside Cemetery on Sunday, October 5 at 1:30 p.m.
This year’s tour is entitled “The Flagholder Tour of Riverside Cemetery.” 2003 marks the 10th year Albion Historian Frank Passic has conducted his annual tours, which are sponsored by the Community Enrichment Program of the Albion Public Schools. The tour annually attracts 75 to 100 persons of all ages. Passic is the author of several books about Albion history, and writes a weekly history column which is republished on the www.albionmich.com web site.
“Albion once had over a dozen fraternal organizations which catered to the social and insurance needs of its members,” states Passic. “They met on second floors on Superior St. above the stores.” Meetings were held once or twice a month. Groups participated in a variety of activities in town which ranged from drill teams and parades, to providing community dinners.
When a member died, a club flagholder was often placed at their gravesite. “Although many of the local clubs were folded by World War II, their flag markers still remain today. There are still quite a variety of flagholders remaining in Riverside Cemetery,” states Passic. Several of the flagholders have beautiful and intricate designs, and were often made of brass or cast-iron.
Riverside Cemetery is located along the east side of M-99 near the south city limits. The tour will begin promptly at 1:30 p.m. at the second (middle) cemetery entrance just south of the Monroe Mausoleum. The event is open to all ages, and admission is free. Tour programs will be available for a nominal fee. There are thirty-three (33) stops on this year’s program, which is expected to last about two hours.
The following organizations placed flagholders on the graves
of their members which will be specifically featured on the tour: Knights
of the Maccabbees; Ladies of the Maccabbees; Methodist Episcopal Church;
the Grand Army of the Republic; Fraternal Order of the Eagles and Ladies
Auxiliary; Order of the Eastern Star; American Legion; Independent Order
of Odd Fellows; the Rebekahs; Ancient Order of United Workmen; Knights
of Pythias; Pythian Sisters; Royal Neighbors of America; Women of the Moose;
Modern Woodmen of America; Daughters of the American Revolution; Free &
Accepted Masons; and Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary.
Passic has spent several months of research in order explain the designs and symbolism found on each marker. Several of the organizations evolved into insurance companies. “Although most local clubs are now defunct, their national organizations still exist and have web sites which were very helpful in the preparation of this year’s tour program,” he said. Passic has included in the tour program the website addresses of the national organizations and other helpful information. Tour programs will also be available beginning the day after the tour at the Albion Chamber of Commerce, 417 S. Superior St. (517) 629-5533.
Passic will also be including the military veteran flagholders and explaining the local policies at Riverside Cemetery concerning the placement of flags in the holders. Flagholders of these major wars will be represented: Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II.
Although the emphasis of this year’s tour will be the flagholders, Passic will still include biographies and information about the people buried at each stop. He encourages relatives and friends of the deceased to participate by saying a few kind words about them when the tour reaches their grave of the deceased. He also encourages representatives of the flagholder organizations to speak. The event will be video-taped by cable channel Hometown TV, which will make tapes available after the event. For more information about video copies, call (517) 629-9683.
The following persons will be remembered on this year’s tour. Most of them have some type of flagholder at their grave: The Porr family: Leopold, Mary, Louis, and Etta, a prominent German family who were members of the Maccabbees; Methodist minister Rev. Latham Garlick (1838-1898); Adam Krenerick (1816-1907); Albion jeweler Byron D. Robinson (1869-1955); Civil War Major Phineas Graves (1825-1904) who was in command of his scouts that started the 1862 Civil War Battle of Shiloh; Albion Township treasurer Fred W. Kinney (1860-1944) who innocently deposited the township monies into the Albion National Bank which failed the next day; the Hon. George Robertson (1826-1889), a member of the Michigan House of Representatives; the lot of the Grand Army of the Republic, where many Civil War soldiers are buried; Nathan Wood (1760-1846), one of only two Revolutionary War soldiers buried in Riverside; James McCall (1842-1934), who has a large Civil War flagholder at his grave; Frank Kenyon Sanders (1874-1947) and his wife Anna (Porr) (1883-1959) who were also Maccabbe members, as well as the Eagles; Fannie (Brownell) McKinney (1866-1939) a nurse who was member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and her son Charles McKinney (1890-1940) who was a veteran of World War I and an American Legion commander; Chauncey Goodrich (1827-1891), operater of Bath Mills for 40 years, and his wife Louise Ainsworth (1833-1913) who was a member of the Rebekahs; their son-in-law Henry J. Overy (1858-1917) who was a member of the IOOF; Jabez Wallace (1843-1894), a molder at the Gale Manufacturing Company who belonged to the Ancient Order of United Workmen; Dr. Amith H. Brisol (1827-1892), a 19th century Albion physician; Morris B. Rhines (18781-1922) a local house mover who belonged to the Eagles; Albion’s first mayor, Charles W. Austin (1836-1899); Saloonist Gustave Behling (1874-1905) who belonged to the Knights of Pythias; Albion postal clerk Willard Bert Gardner (1878-1945) who served in the Spanish-American War; Reinhold (1866-1932) Schumacher who was vice-president of Homestead Loan & Savings Association and his wife Anna (1869-1932) who were very active in the Knights of Pythias and Pythian Sisters; Julius Nass (1872-1952) who worked for the Albion Malleable Iron Company a total of 54 years from 1890 to 1944, and his wife Emma (Kopp) (1882-1938) who belonged to the local Royal Neighbors of America; Ethel (Clawson) Sanders (1891-1910) who belonged to the Women of the Moose; William H. Sanders (1863-1910), an area farmer who was active in the Modern Woodmen of America; Georgia (Goodenow) Freeman (1883-1961) who was active in the Daughters of the American Revolution; carpenter Frank (1868-1946) and Hattie (1875-1950) Beaman who were active in the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs; 1920s-era Albion surgeon Dr. Philip Serio (1885-1959) who was active in the Masons; Montford B. Murray (1862-1941), the secretary-treasurer and recruiter for the Albion Malleable Iron Company who brought hundreds of European immigrants to town and black workers from the South; the Carr family lot including Civil War veteran Garrett (1844-1906), and daughters Jennie (1873-1948) who worked as a housekeeper for Mrs. Frank “Dudley” Vernor, and Lulu (1879-1958); Lorraine Pierce (1929-1996), a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion and her husband Charles (1916-1981) who served in World War II; Thankful Willis (1802-1882), a pioneer with an unusual name; and Claude Dean (1893-1965), a brick mason who served in World War I.
Hi, Joyce. This is Frank Passic, Albion Historian. Well, my annual guided
cemetery tour will be on Sunday, October 5 at 1:30 p.m. at Riverside
Cemetery here in Albion, Michigan. The cemetery is located along M-99 at the south city limits, which is easy to get to. Just go south through downtown Albion (Superior St.), past the river, and the cemetery will be on your left. Take the second (center) entrance, where the tour will begin. The event is sponsored by the Community Enrichment program of the Albion Public Schools, and is free. Tour programs will be optional at $2.00 each. The event will be video-taped by our local cable channel as it has been for the past 10 years, and aired in 3 cities: Albion, Marshall, and Parma. We
usually have around 75-100 persons that attend my tour. My theme this year is entitled, "The Flagholder Tour of Riverside Cemetery." I will be
featuring the flagholders of numerous organizations, many of which folded locally years ago, and some that are still in existence. These include the
Knights of the Modern Maccabbees, the Knights of Pythias, the Pythian Sisters, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, the Modern Woodmen, the Royal Neighbors of America, Masonic, the Methodist Episcopal Church, the Odd Fellows, the Rebekahs, the Eagles, the Daughters of the American Revolution, various veterans markers, and other groups that placed flag holders in the section of the cemetery we will be touring. I am attaching for you a flagholder of the Methodist Episcopal Church (now the United Methodist Church) which was very prominent here. Many Methodist ministers retired in Albion (home of Albion College, their church school). The flagholder has a crown of righteousness and a cross in the center and states, "Veteran of
the Cross, Methodist Episcopal Church."
I have been furiously working on the tour program and getting it ready. Needless to say, I want to thank you for the help you have provided me in my
research. I will be mentioning your website in the program. I'll send you a copy when it is finished sometime in September. What is your mailing
Your and your readers are welcome to come to this event, which is free to the public. Extra tour programs will be availalble AFTER THE EVENT for $2.00 plus $2.00 p & h to: Frank Passic, 900 S. Eaton St., Albion, MI 49224. Best wishes, Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Greetings from Albion, Michigan! I thought you would like to know that I am very busy researching and putting together my annual guided tour of Riverside Cemetery for Sunday, October 5 at 1:30 p.m. My theme for the tour will be "The Flag Marker Tour of Riverside Cemetery." I will be featuring the (remaining) various cemetery flag markers found in the center section of our cemetery. Your site has been a great help. I will be taking pictures shortly and will be sending them to you of some markers you don't have on your site. For example, I found a F.O.E. (Eagles) marker with a woman pictured on it and the initials FOE, Plus L.A. (Ladies Auxiliary??), and the local Aerie number 1265. 2 versions. 1 with the number all together on the left; the other version with the 12 on the left, and the 65 on the right portion of the marker. Also the Knights of the Modern Maccabees which would have to be after 1904 but before the merger in 1914. Plus I had to research the Ancient order of United Workmen (AOUW) and their flag marker emblem (They are now the Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance Company), etc.
Anyway, I'll be producing a tour booklet as usual for the event with map-by-number which will have biographies of the deceased plus short histories of the organizations and the symbolism on the markers. I will also have the website addresses of the various organizations today/or their successors, and of course will have your site listed.
The tour is free and is open to all ages. It takes about 2 hours. The tour will be sponsored by the Community Enrichment Department of the Albion Public Schools, which has sponsored my tour for the past 10 years. Riverside Cemetery is located along M-99 and the Kalamazoo River near the south city limits of Albion. Coming from I-94, from the west take Exit 121 (28 Mile Road) or from the east exit 124 (M-99) and follow the business route into town. When you reach downtown and the lovely brick street, turn SOUTH and drive right through the center of S. Superior (main) St., past the residential section until you reach the river and the cemetery which will be on the left. The tour will begin at the SECOND cemetery driveway entrance about halfway along. We usually have around 75-100 persons at my tour, and it is video-taped and aired on our local cable channel. Feel free to announce this on your site, as everyone is welcome. I've been inviting these old lodge organizations to send representatives to the tour to say a few kind words, and have gotten back some nice responses. Best wishes, Frank Passic, Albion, Michigan historian. firstname.lastname@example.org