The Purple Gang was a group of notorious Detroit gangsters during the 1920s and 1930s. Brothers Louis, Sam and Harry Fleisher were involved with the group. The latter two were convicted of conspiracy to murder Senator Warren G. Hooper in 1945. The Fleishers came to Albion in the 1930s and operated a junk yard in the Market Place between present-day Thompsons Brakes and the new Leisure Hour Club as a “front” for their criminal activity. The business was called the Riverside Iron and Metal Company.
Albion was a perfect site between Detroit and Chicago for gangster meetings, which were held in places like the balcony of the Bohm Theatre, the Parker Inn where gangsters lodged, and at the Streetcar Tavern west of town where mobster Abe “Buffalo Harry” Rosenberg and his brother Louis owned the apartment house attached to the tavern. Purple Gang members would also purchase home-made liquor manufactured on the “west end” of town.