JONATHAN F. ALBRO
Portrait And Biographical Record Of Northern Michigan
Containing Portraits And Biographical Sketches Of Prominent
And Representative Citizens
Record Publishing Co., 1895
|Jonathan F. Albro. During the late war, Michigan was not less loyal to
the Union than were her sister states of the North. She contributed her bravest
and best, those just entering upon manhood, those in the prime of life, and
those grown old, whose valor aided in the preservation of the Union. One
of this number was the subject of the following sketch, a prominent business
man and highly respected citizen of Manistee.
Referring briefly to the parentage of Mr. Albro, we find that he is the son of William and Anna (Fisk) Albro, natives of New York, who came to West Michigan in 1840. For eight years they sojourned in Lenawee County, thence removed to jackson County, from there to Calhoun County, in 1856 settled in Ionia County, and later returned to Clinton. In the village of Matherton, which lies on the boundary line between Ionia and Clinton, his father died in 1873, and the mother in 1879. The ancestry of the family, on the father's side, is English, and on the mother's, Dutch.
In the parental family there were eight children, of whom four are now living. Jonathan F. was born in Ontario County, N.Y., July 26, 1831, and was a child of eight years when brought by his parents to Michigan. His youthful years were passed upon the home farm, and in early manhood he learned the trade of a carpenter, but for many years has not been able to work at this occupation. In Ionia County, in 1863, he was united in Marriage to Miss Zillah Rogers, a native of Wisconsin. Three children came to bless their union, one of whom, Guy, died at the age of eight months. Nellie May, the elder daughter, is the wife of John A. Rogers, a resident of Manistee and employed in our subject's store. Myrtle Blanche, the youngest daughter, married Frank W. Smith, foreman in the office of the Daily News of Manistee.
As above stated, Mr. Albro is one of the men who in our country's hour of peril responded bravely to her call for aid. He enlisted february 18, 1862, as a member of Company I, First United States Sharpshooters, under Colonel Berdan. This was a picked regiment, each member being required to pass a test in marksmanship before being accepted. The regiment was organized and equipped with a view using the men more especially skirmishers and flankers, and in picking off cannoneers, thus silencing batteries which otherwise would commit depredations on the troops.
The siege of Yorktown was the first experience of our subject at the front. This was during the early days of the war, when neither the soldiers at the front, nor the friends at home, were as used to the carnage of battle as they became later in the conflict. Mr. Albro had many narrow escapes being often singled out and shot at by enemies equally as well armed as him self. The regiment was first armed with Colt's revolving rifle, a shooter, but this weapon, although accurate and effective, was unfortunately dangerous at both ends as several cylinders were liable to discharge at once thus maiming the user. Later these were replaces with Sharp's breech-loading rifle, which was entirely new at that time. After nine months in the sharp-shooter service, Mr. Albro was disabled and discharged. As a partial compensation for injuries received in the service he is in receipt of a pension from the Government.
In 1888 Mr. Albro opened a store on Fifth Avenue, and here he carries a full assortment of staples and fancy groceries, provisions, canned goods, etc. Socially he holds membership in James F. McGinley Post No. 201, G.A.R., in Manistee. Though not zealous in his partisanship, he nevertheless is always ready to support republican principles, believing that protection of home industries is needed for the best interests of our people. With his family he holds membership in the methodist Episcopal Church. As a business man he is reliable, and has gained the confidence of his customers; as a citizen he is loyal, and proved his patriotism as a time when it was most greatly needed; and as a Christian it has been his aim so to live as to prove the sincerity of his religious belief.