Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 10 Number 6
Transcribed by LaVonne I. Bennett

     LaVonne has received permission from Grayden Slowins to edit and submit Sebewa Recollector items of genealogical interest, from the beginning year of 1965 through current editions.

June 1975, Volume 10, Number 6; submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. Slowins:


     The annual meeting of The Sebewa Center Association will be held at Sebewa Center Saturday, June 14, 1975.  The potluck dinner at noon, the annual meeting to elect a president and one trustee will be followed by a program of entertainment.  All members are urged to attend and friends and visitors are invited.

     Thus ends the first decade of The Sebewa Center Association as the successor to the Sebewa Center School Reunion whose origin is described on following pages.  The 3-year terms of John York as president and of Ilene Carr as trustee are completed as of the June 14 meeting.  The offices will be filled by election at the meeting.  Ruth Seybold and Lucille Meyers were named to the nominating committee to supply nominees for those offices.  Other nominations may be made from the floor at the meeting.  Prospective nominees should indicate willingness to serve if elected.

     Dues of $1 per person for the 1975-76 year are now due and may be paid to our treasurer, Henry Smith, R2, Lake Odessa, MI  48849.   


     Following the death of his wife by about a year, Leon Lockwood passed away in April in Florida.  Mr. and Mrs. Lockwood owned and lived in the John Blanchard house in Ionia for many years.  The house is slated to become a museum for Ionia County under the auspices of the Ionia County Historical Society. 


     Sufficient names were secured on a petition to the Sebewa Township Board to call for an election on a proposal to levy a two mill tax for three years to provide funds for graveling Sebewa Township roads.  Regular election hours will be held on July 10.  Bring your knitting, gals!


     Getting the story a little bit wrong is regrettable and the fact that it is often done in print outside these pages is no excuse for my improper assumption that the village of Cornell, the Danby part of Sebewa Corners, was named after F. N. Cornell, the Sebewa Corners merchant.  The Rev. E. E. Branch HISTORY OF IONIA COUNTY states that the village of Cornell was platted in 1867 by Pierce G. Cook as agent of Elizabeth Cornell, the Danby part of Sebewa Corners, was named after F. N. Cornell, the Sebewa Corners merchant.  The Rev. E. E. Branch HISTORY OF IONIA COUNTY states that the village of Cornell was platted in 1867 by Pierce G. Cook as agent of Elizabeth Cornell of New Jersey.

     The ledgers and record books of Pierce G. Cook show his accounts with Elizabeth Cornell, the sale of lots and collection of mortgages before the arrival of F. N. Cornell at the village.  The relationship of Elizabeth Cornell of New Jersey and Elizabeth Cornell, daughter of F. N. Cornell, if any, is not clear.  F. N.’s daughter, Elizabeth was born in 1886.

     Pierce G. Cook was a merchant at Sebewa Corners prior to 1860.  He was born in Saltstown, New York August 6, 1816.  He came to Sebewa in 1848 and engaged in farming until 1874 when he removed to Portland.  Edward Cook, who died as a Union prisoner of war at Andersonville, was his son as well as Charles Cook, Sebewa farmer and father of Karl, Charlie, Grover, Reuben, Mabel and Mrs. Tillison Daniels and Clifton Cook.

     He served as Justice of the Peace in both Sebewa and Portland.  His accounts indicate that as justice he was the collector for many small accounts for Portland merchants.  Also he was the officiating officer for many marriages.

     Claude Williams, great grandson of Pierce G. Cook, has provided us a look at the two Pierce G. Cook account books.  The earliest entry seems to be 1856.

     If you have trouble reading our tracings of the 1859 accounts on another page, these clues may help. 

H. Hallady Dr. (debtor)              SEASONAL NOTE—WORSE THAN DOGGEREL

     2 lbs sal  8 cents   16         Hey! Say!  Eight days in May

H.  Trim Dr                                

      By hat and ribbon 30          

R. Fleetham  lbs 513 butter  58

David Lumbert Dr

       For writing bond  50

Jonathan Brown

     1 bush potatoes   38

Moses Hogle Cr (Creditor)

     1 bush & ¾ potatoes 35

              By cash               25


June 10/11 John Friend

              ?                        150

     13 one days work     75



TEN VOLUMES OF THE SEBEWA                 


RECOLLECTOR are available for $10.00                                                      

That includes all the issues of the

RECOLLECTOR.  A few copies are l

And then back to the stencils to fill in

For some issues in short supply. 


     On schedule on May 10 several people were present at the East Sebewa Cemetery to make a foundation and erect a marker to the memory of Weck.  Two jug capsules were included in the foundation.  All present made an estimate as to when the contents of the jugs might be seen by human eyes again Should some of the later dates be nearly correct, some of the oddaments included in the jugs may prove to be a mystery to the viewers. 


Buried in the northeast part of the East Sebewa Cemetery without a marker is Phoebe Shay and some of her family.  Phoebe was the mother of Ephraim Shay, Township Clerk in 1867, sawmill operator, lumberman and patentee of the Shay locomotive.  That patent made him a millionaire.  Yet he forgot to put a marker on his mother’s grave.  About two years ago two of his granddaughters were still living.  Perhaps we should start there. 

A Tracing of part of page 99 of Pierce G. Cook’s Account Book Dated 1859 When He Was a Merchant at Sebewa Corners:

               (mostly unreadable)……..Johnathan Brown Cr….1 bush potatoes

……….Moses Hagle C……potatoes……John Friend………150………….13 by one days work 4………..Showerman……2 boxes full 2/  50 

OFFICE OF OVERSEER OF HIGHWAYS or PATHMASTER—Sebewa Township, Ionia County Continue. 

Edward Sandborn  1846, Walter Harmon  46, Moses Hogle  46, Eleazer Brown  46, Benjamin Weld  46, Paul Steele  46, Jacob Showerman  47, Oren Merchant  48, John Maxim  48, William Packard  49,  Thomas Waddell 49, William Reeder  49, Joseph Munn  50, John Waddell  50, Jacob Green  50, John Evans  50, Jacob Vinton  50, Peter Mapes  51, Samuel White  51, Charles Derby  51, William Estep  53, Cyril Carpenter  53, Pierce G. Cook  53, Jacob High  53, Apollos Halladay  54, Stephen Rider  54, Francis Brown  54,  Hiram Trim  54, Perry Trim  54, John Gallagher  55, Daniel W. Goddard  55, Edwin G. Steele  55, Erastus D. Alderman  55, Daniel W. Rose  55, John W. Carpenter  55, Charles W. Harper  55, David Griffin  56, Jacob Plants  56,  William Benschooter  56,  Washburn Wight  56, Solomon Hess  56, John C. Rider  56, Clark Rice  56, John Able  59, Daniel Halladay  59,  Lucius Showerman 59, Rufus Goddard  59, Oren Stebbins  59, H. W. Rogers 59, G. W. Crane  1859, Isaac Bretz  59, Stephen Sprague  59, John Stone  60, John A. Nichol  60, Ferdinand Sweitzer  60, John Johnson  60, Ferdinand Sweitzer  60, John Johnson  60, Stephen Lindley  60, Noah Tryon  60, M. D. L. Crapo  60, Lucian Heaton  60, Christian Sindlinger  60, Theron Stimson  61,  John Estep  61, Nathan Steward  61,  Addison Rice  61,  E. F. Smith Jr.  61, Robert Gibbs  61, Stephen Rider  61, Ephriam Probasco  62, Lafayette Stimson  62, George Snyder  62, George Benschooter  62, W. R. Mills  62, Horace Lyford  62, William H. Coe  62, E. Chase  62, James Gray  62, John Friend  63, Thomas Steele  63, John Waring  63, Warner Young  63, A. M. Ralston  63, Peter Greiner  63, Robert Allen  63, Watson Merchant  64, Abel C. Halladay  64, Washburn Wight  64, Thomas Dickson  64, Major Brown  64, Jacob Lapo  64, Andrew B. ?ravis  64, Harley H. Butler  65, Ira W. Warden  65, John Jackson  65, Michael Powell  65, Samuel Green  65, Jonas C. Clark  65, David Gillow  65, John C. Olry  1865

John Rebedew 65, Eli B. Buckman  65, William Newton  66, Correl Taylor  66, Michael Lunger  66, William VanDoosen  66, John Carpenter  66, David Leak  66, William Goodrich  66, Samuel Downing  66, S. M. Severance  66, G. W. Pierce  66, Andrus Daniels  66, John Petrie  66, Charles A. Stone  67, Theodore Gunn  67,  Willis J. Torpy  67, James Ward  67, Jonah H. Carpenter  67,  William Jeffries  67, John Frayer  67, John F. Van Wyck  67,  Christian Yager  67, Josiah Williams  68, Thomas Allen  68, John Briggs  68, Isaac Baldwin  68, Henry Sexton  68, Stephen Rice  68, Peter H. Adamy  68, Alexander Hickerson   68,  Hiram Lorch  69, Joshua Gunn  68, C. O. Stone  69, Sam Bigham  69, A. H. Howland  69,  Thomas Leak  69, G. C. Ayers  69, George C. Gillette  69,  T. C. Daniels  69, Sam Oerhaltzer  69, E. B. Stone  70, Henry Mapes  70, John Snyder  70, L. E. Brown  70, B. M. Griffin  70, B. M. Griffin  70, Lewis A. Olry  71, George Youngs  71, Lyman C. Brown  1871, John W. Collier  71, John C. Reynolds  71, George Friend  71, Francis Coy  71, Gardner Wight  71, Henry Rice  71, William Gott  71, James H. Creighton  72, Henry Soule  72, A. J. Olmstead  73, Benjamin Probasco  73, E. Y. Lowe  73, A. A. Garlock   73, Charles Howser  73, George H. Baldwin  73, Robert Allen  73, Oren W. Daniels  73, D. C. Parmenter  73, Simeon Oatley  73, Orlando V. Showerman  73, Nathan Hastings  73, John Arnold  73, Samuel D. Gunn  73, M. W. Knoll  73, William Ingall  74, Joseph Williams  74, James McCollister  74, Dennis Ferril  74, James Ward  74, D. B. Soules  74,  E. Y. Allynn  74, Conrad Miller 74, Josiah Smith  74, Nathan C. Carter  74, Peter Troub  76, J. F. Chambers  76, Norman Gibbs  76, Albart Meyers  76,  Henry Culver  76, Henry Rodegeb  76, L. A. Glazier  76,  Henry Rodegeb  76, L. A. Glazier  76, Henry Dilley  76, Adam Fender  76,  William Goff  76, Emanuel Tran  76, L. C. Smith  76,  Eli Brandle  76, William Shipman  76, James Brown  77, Adam Truxton 77, Milton Perce  1877, Robert Kelley  77, Joseph Braden  77, Joshua S. Henry  77, Wilber Merchant  77, Elam Harvey  77, J. K. Knoll  77, A. L. Ferguson  78, Henry Cramer  78, E. A. Truxton  78, Hall J. Ingalls  78, Otis Heath  78, D. D. Davis  78, Reuben Lapo  78, Benjamin C. Peacock  78, Samuel Braden  78,  Ranslaer Peling  78, Peter Polmanter  78, John Cross  78,  Adam Stout  78, John Brandall  78, S. A. Sargeant  78, Jeremiah Troub  79, Oren Stebbins  79, Henry Aungst  79,  William H. Reed  79. William M. Knott  79, Elijah Leak  79, C. S. Lawrence  79, J. H. McClelland  79, Christopher Kenyon  79, Henry Fishell  79, George O. Carbaugh  81, Frank Rixler  81, George Shipman  81,  Charles Y. Raymond  81, William Luscher  81, Clark Preston  81, Oliver Benschooter  81, Salem Ostrander  81, Jacob W. Evans  81, Orlando Waller  81, John Goodemoot  81, Ira Fuller  81,  Joseph Gregg  81, Jacob King  81, Stephen Otto  81,  George High  81, Giles Thorp  81,  Chester Oatley  82, Harlem Williams  82, William Fell  82, Charles Aves  82, Andrew Kestler  1882, Jay D. Permeter  82, Daniel Samain  82, Marion Sherck  82, William Heintzleman  82 Gravender Oatley  83, Miles Parks  83, Marshall Peabody  83, Charles Williams  83, Alonzo N. Evans  83, James W. Young  84, S. W. King  84, Allen B. Lippincott  84,  Frank Hosey  84,  W. J. Ramsey  84, Maryland R. Brown  84, John Freehouse  84, Hosea Bates  84, C. S. Matthews  84, Byron  Gibbs  84, Jacob Luscher  84,  Philander McClure  84,  George G. Fletcher  84, E. D. Bishop  84,  David Troyer  84, Nathaniel Buell  84. 

Although the office of Overseer of Highways was not abolished until a much later date, township records are incomplete as to the appointees after 1884. 


    Tuesday, March 22, 1870.  HOW MUCH IS HE MARRIED?  In the Township of Danby of this county resides a family which we shall call Jones consisting of a father about age 70, his wife and two sons, the younger of which is about 18 years old.  In the neighborhood there is also a family named Smith.  Between the families for some cause or other there has not for several years existed very friendly feelings, especially among the older members.

     The younger Jones, however seems to have been on friendly terms with Smith, which fact has been a constant source of annoyment to the Jones.  One evening some two weeks ago Smith came to the house of Jones and requested the young man to go with him to spend the evening with a neighbor.  To an inquiry of the elder Jones as to where they were going, Smith replied that they were going to a prayer meeting which was, of course, satisfactory to the father.

     On arriving at the place designated, Young Jones found quite a large party assembled almost entirely of the male persuasion.  As the seats appeared to be all occupied with one exception, he was conducted to that one, which was next to one occupied by a blooming maiden of perhaps twenty years.  Scarcely had Jones taken his seat when the young lady, taking him by the hand, stood up and a neighbor, present, stepping in front of them gave expression to something of a formula and ended in pronouncing Jones and the maiden, husband and wife.

     Confused by the occurrence, and astounded by the congratulations of the company who were evidently determined to consider the transaction in a serious light, young Jones waited not on the order of his going but watched his opportunity, took to his heels and incontinently fled nor paused until safe beneath the parental roof.

     The bride claims protection in a home.  Escorted by some of her friends, she assayed to enter the home of the Jones’, in which effort she was not successful as that mansion had assumed the conditions of a besieged fortress.  At her approach, the lights were extinguished, doors locked and except for the cricket at the hearth, silence reigned supreme.

     The young man, Jones, we are informed, keeps a young man with him night and day as a perpetual witness that he does not accept the situation matrimonial.  The ceremony, if it can be called, was neither blest with Book Bell or Candle or any of those religious rites peculiar to the clergy nor was it attended by the legal formality of a constable sale as solemnized by a Justice of the Peace where the officiating party was but a neighbor in private life, only this and nothing more.

     The case, however, has its difficulties.  The law declares that though the officiating party was but a neighbor in private life, only this and nothing more.

     The young man, Jones, we are informed, keeps a young man with him night and day as a perpetual witness that he does not accept the situation matrimonial.  The ceremony, if it can be called, was neither blest with Book Bell or Candle or any of those religious rites peculiar to the clergy nor was it attended by the legal formality of a constable sale as solemnized by a Justice of the Peace where the officiating party was but a neighbor in private life, only this and nothing more.

     The case, however, has its difficulties.  The law declares that though the officiation officer be not qualified and yet if the parties act in good faith, the marriage is valid and besides this the happy groom cannot for his life, say, whether he gave his consent or not.  The bride insists that she acted in good faith and supposed her happy man did also and she is not now willing to give up the present for any future good, however promising.

     Whether she is in favor of female sufferage is not yet known.  Taken all together, it is a curious case and we again make the inquiry, “How much are they married?” 


HERE LIES THE BODY OF JONATHAN INGALLS---REVOLUTIONARY WAR SOLDIER  (from the scrapbook of Ella H. Gunn is found this clipping giving more information about Sebewa’s Revolutionary War soldier.)

The body of Jonathan Ingalls lies in a field a short distance south of Sebewa Corners.  The stone marking the burial is placed close to the roadside where it may easily be read by those who pass.

The stone was prepared from native Ionia county rock by John Shell of Ionia and was designed with taste as well as with a thought to permanency.

Mrs. Levi Marshall, regent of the chapter (Stevens Thompson Mason Daughters of the American Revolution) led the ceremonies.  Following the reading of the ritual the purpose of the placing of the stone and some of the projects of the Chapter were told by Miss Kate L. Benedict, former regent.  She stated that the work done by the Chapter is conducted largely to preserve for posterity the interesting and historical facts and legends concerning Michigan and to make it as interesting a place through which to travel as many historic places in the east are today.

Mrs. Marshall formally presented the red granite monument to the public as Geer Smith and Marian Morse drew the cords which raised the American flag from the cut surface of the rock.

At the grave of Jonathan Ingalls the ceremony was brief, but impressive.  Mrs. D. L. Spaulding, a granddaughter of the Revolutionary War veteran, read a brief account of his life before the assembled crowd.  According to the facts given by her, Ingalls was born in Exeter, N. H. May 4, 1762.

Entering the Revolutionary War at the same time that his father did, when the youth was but 13 years of age, he served throughout the entire war, which won for the colonies their freedom from the British government.  He was with the forces commanded by Gen. Benedict Arnold when, angered by what he thought insufficient recognition for his valuable services at Saratoga and by a rebuke from George Washington later, he planned to surrender his forces to the British.

Mr. Ingalls served through the entire war.  He came to live in Sebewa Township about 1837.  He was previously married in 1785 to Abigail Cleveland, an aunt of former President Grover Cleveland, of the United States.  Mr. Ingalls died October 2, 1843.

Rev. W. K. Spencer gave the principal address at the unveiling ceremony.  He pleaded for the type of loyalty to the nation which actuated Jonathan Ingalls to withstand the privations of the Revolutionary War.  He urged that people of today be more mindful of what our forefathers did to make the nation great and to strive to set an equally fine example to our descendants.


The homecoming at Sebewa Center, held the last day of school, June 2, (1923), was attended by upward of 150 persons, which included teachers, pupils and residents.  More would have been present had it been possible to find all the old school records, so as to send invitations to all.  A potluck dinner was served, cafeteria style and was one of the big features of the day.

After dinner, picked teams played baseball, which was especially enjoyed by the young.

The program was in charge of Elmer Gierman, and consisted of songs, speeches and reminiscences.

Charles Ralston gave a very interesting talk on the history of the school district and included in same the minutes of a school meeting held in September, 1864---the earliest record to be found.

At this meeting it was voted to have four months school in winter and three in summer.  It was also voted to hire a lady teacher.  Lovina Meyers was hired for the winter at $16.50 per month.  Margaret Young was hired for the summer at $10.00.  It was voted to assess $1.00 for each pupil and $15.00 for incindentals, which is certainly some contrast when compared with school expenses of today.

Names and ages of pupils attending the school that year were read, but one of whom, Jacob Luscher, of Ionia, being present.  At that time the schoolhouse was a mile east of where the present one stands.

In 1883 ground was bought of Ed Kenyon and the present schoolhouse erected.  Orrin Goodrich was the first teacher.

Mrs. Robert Gierman expressed appreciation of what the school has meant to the community; also of its value to her and her family.  Mrs. Lydia Meyers, Mrs. Gierman’s mother, was teacher of the Center school at one time---while the present Mrs. Gierman and her future husband were scholars there.  (This, no doubt is an error in reporting as Mrs. Meyers taught the school before she was married.)  In time Mrs. Gierman herself became the teacher, occupying this position for three years.  Now the Gierman children are pupils and perhaps some of them may also teach the school in future years.

Men who had been punished by whipping while attending school, were asked to rise.  Evidently all were very good, for only one man, Peter Britten, who must have been a real boy, arose.  Asked to relate his experience, he gave a thrilling account of one whipping, which brought forth storms of applause.

Remarks were made by Mrs. Lydia Meyers and Hugh Wellfare, former teachers.

It was voted to have the homecoming an annual affair.  Robert Gierman was chosen president and Elmer Gierman secretary-treasurer.

Among those from away who attended the homecoming were:

Dr. Martha Hixson of Grand Ledge.

Peter Britten of Riverdale.

Mr. and Mrs. Perry Heaven and little son, Detroit.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry Townsend, Mr. and Mrs. Ross Townsend, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Gibbs and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. P. E. Barclay, Mrs. Matilda Wood, Marvin Kenyon, Portland.

Mr. and Mrs. Earl Pettingill and children Norma and Dale, Perry.

Mr. and Mrs. Mel Blossom and granddaughters, Alice and Thelma Oatley; Mrs. And Mrs. Harry Tussing, Lake Odessa.

Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Luscher and Glenn Smith, Ionia.

Joe Arnold, Edmore.

(From Ella Gunn’s scrapbook)



Robert W. Gierman, Editor

R 1

Portland, Michigan  48875




Last update September 08, 2014