Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 1 Number 4
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.

THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR, Bulletin of THE SEBEWA CENTER ASSOCIATION; March 1966.  Volume 1, Number 4.  Submitted with written permission of editor, Grayden D. Slowins:


   In winter there are many chores of house and home keeping that we do not even consider until more favorable weather has arrived.  Soon, some better weather will be here.  Charged as we are by our constitution to “maintain the Sebewa Center Schoolhouse and grounds to insure its preservation” it seems right that we inventory the things that need doing to keep our assets in a healthy state of preservation.

   The roof needs painting and new shingles are needed on the belfry.  The frame holding the bell needs strengthening by at least one two by four.  A chain and rope then would make the bell operational.  The tall brick chimney should come down.  The roof on the furnace and toilet rooms will need shingles in the next year or two.  The cement floor in front of the building needs replacing.  Water freezing in the cracks has caused some giving of the foundation in the southwest corner.  About 20 floor tile need replacing.  Some plumbing connections should be made so that the water could be more easily drained and turned on in winter.  Eventually the interior should be redecorated.  The woodshed needs a few pieces of siding and some cornices and paint.  The brick toilet needs straightening and a new roof.  The old grandfather elm should be cut and, of course, the grass will need mowing some six or eight times.

   Once these needs are met the annual upkeep should be of smaller proportions.  Plainly we could exhaust our treasury quickly on a few of these projects.  It becomes evident we shall have to confine our spending mostly to materials and get the work done by volunteer labor.  We hope this statement will bring offers of help to meet the needs of our project.


   Contract entered into this 19th day of May, 1856 between School District No. 4 of the township of Sebewa in the county of Ionia and State of Michigan and Luryette Brown, a qualified teacher in said township, and the said Luryette Brown contracts and agrees with the said School District that she will teach the primary school in said District for the term of thirteen weeks commencing on the 20th day of May, 1856 for the sum of one dollar and twenty-five cents per week, which shall be in full for her services.

   In consideration of the promises the said School District agrees with the said Luryette Brown ($1.25) one dollar and twenty-five cents per week as follows:  the amount of money belonging to School District No. 4 in the Township Treasurer’s hands raised by School District No. 4 and raised for school purposes and the balance to be paid out of money raised by  School District No. 4 for school purposes.

   It is understood between the said Luryette Brown and the said District that a week shall consist of six days exclusive of Sunday, but that the said Luryette Brown shall not be required to teach said school on each alternate Saturday nor on the fourth of July.            Ephraim Probasco, Director

Approved:  John Waddell, Moderator                                  Luryette A. Brown, Teacher.


   My Ever Dear Mena;

   I have just come in from Drill, and will now try to write to you.  I received a first rate letter from you a day or two since, and have received three since I came to Washington.  I am enjoying good health and most of our boys are well.  Orlando has been about sick for a day or two past with a bad cold but I think if he is careful he will soon get well again.  They have got the Small Pox at the hospital.   We have all been vaccinated but mine did not work at all.  I was also vaccinated once before while at Battle Creek and it did not work then.  I do not know whether it would work or not, if I should be exposed to the Small Pox, but I shall be careful not to try it.  There are about 50 or 60 of our Reg’t in the hospital and 6 or 8 have died.  They are mostly sick with Lung Fever and some with Measles and other diseases.

   We have got our pay up to Nov. 1st; are promised the reminder within 10 or 12 days but I do not much expect it.  I sent a check home last night of $20.00 to Ma.  If it is lost I can get another.

   Yesterday we all went over to Capitol Hill to Brigade Review.  The 5th and 7th are brigaded with us and Col. Coplin of the 5th is our Brigadier General.  I wish you could have seen us yesterday while on review.   It was quite a sight and today we had regular skirmish drill with the whole Reg’t.  It was quite exciting to see them.  They all dismounted and formed in line and about 4 feet apart and advance or retreat as command was given; but one man is left with every 4 horses.  It is fun where there is no Blood Spilled; but this will not always last.  They talk of having an armistice of 6 months’ that is to cease hostilities for that length of time.  If they do I think there will be no more fighting at all.  It is late and I will stope for tonight.

   It is morning now and I will go on with my letter.  It has rained and blowed all night and still keeps up but we have nice little houses to keep us from it.  And I feel thankful that we are so much better off than thousands of others who have nothing but the little shelter tents without any sides to them.  But as the boys say when anything disagreeable comes along, it is all military and we must stand it.  Our tents are fixed a great deal better than they were when we first came here.  We took 2 small ones and put them together.  A tent is calculated to hold 4 men but there are 6 belonging to our 2 tents.  If we stay here, we shall have a good time.  We will probably stay here until March and perhaps longer.  I hope we shall, unless we are discharged and sent home.  I would like that pretty well though I do not much expect it.

   It still keeps up raining and the prospect of stopping today looks rather dubious.  It takes but little rain to make it muddy but the mud is not very deep.  Those who like it may live here for all me.  I will go back to Old Michigan for all staying here in the mud.  I have not seen a bit of good SAND since I came here.

                                                                                          Heman S. Brown


   Two new lights piercing the night time darkness with their characteristic glow are those of John York and Gordon Piercefield.

   Import nothing from abroad that our own soil can and ought to produce.  Never give our business patronage to strangers and foreigners, when our own neighbors can and would gladly serve us just as well and better, even.  Build up the cities and towns in our neighborhood, instead of those towns which know nothing of us, and care as little as they know, only to get our patronage.  Select talent and moral worth among our own citizens, upon whom to confer our suffrages and our honors, instead of strangers and foreigners; when we have scores in our midst who are their equals or superiors.  Commit our business interests to legal advisers, our physical infirmities to tried and skilled practioners; our moral and spiritual instruction to able men of well worth, rather than strangers with boasted fame and sounding titles.  Let not labor war against capital, nor capital defraud labor; building up others, we build ourselves; conferring honor upon others, we share it equally with them.

   Virginia never conferred such honor upon herself as when she honored her Washington, and gave to her country her Jefferson, her Patrick Henry, her Madison and her Monroe; Massachusetts, with her inferior rocky sod, would never have stepped into the front rank of the nation but for her Adams, Hancock, Sumner, Webster, and Wilson; never such unbounded wealth but for her commerce and manufactories.

   Strike out of her galaxy, the name of Henry Clay, from Kentucky, and her star of empire sinks low in the horizon.

   Michigan may crown herself with lasting honor, as she does honor to her men of talent, integrity and enterprise.  She may come to the front rank among the wealthy if she but develops her vast and varied resources, Ionia is not a whit behind the very cheifest of the counties of the state.


   This obscure corner of the Township of Danby, although usually serene and free from excitement, has occasionally a ripple.  One night during the recent hot weather, the air being oppressively muggy and mosquitoes very thick and hungry, a lady not many miles from Danby arose about eleven o’clock in the evening.  Her husband asked her what was the matter.  She said it was so warm and the mosquitoes so thick she could not sleep.  He asked her where she was going and she said she was going into the kitchen.  She lit the lamp but instead of going to the kitchen she went to the barn as we suppose, for the purpose of getting where it was cooler and to get away from the mosquitoes so she could get some sleep.

   Whether she had been asleep or not we do not know but she had not been long at the barn before she called to her husband, who was in the house.  He ran out to the barn and asked her what was the matter.  She answered in the words of the immortal Chandler, “I’ve got a baby”.  Moral for the ladies—never sleep in the barn.                 From the July 21, 1874 Portland Observer

   The above we present as the opposite of the “well planned birth” mentioned in the September issue.   A typing error spoiled the name of Sebewa’s first white baby.  He was named after President Martin Van Buren.


   Sebewa has long been a township of farmers and only occasionally has provided the economic base for non-farm incomes.  When high line electricity became available in the 1930s it seemed that every farm building had become a potential factory.  In the almost 30 years for the possibility to develop, only Lyle Ingall, living on Goddard Road just south of Tupper Lake Road, has such a full time business.

   In 1954, Lyle built a cement block building to house some machinery that would give him part time work when he could arrange a subcontract requiring a screw machine operation.  He had previously worked at Lundberg Screw Products Company at Lansing and at Michigan Magnetics in Vermontville.  By December of 1957 he had given up outside employment and started full time in his Ingall Machine Products.

   Now he uses 30 horse power to process as much as 200,000 pounds of steel a year making small parts (all less than one pound) for the auto industry.  If you drive Corvair, Pontiac, Ford, G. M. C. transportation, the chances are good that some of his products are with you.  At peak times he has as many as three part time helpers including sons Dan and David.

   Besides subcontracts for Lake Odessa Machine Products Co., The Brown Corporation, The Bliss Company, and Hastings Manufacturing Company, Lyle produces a line of boating accessories sold under the trade name of La-Ko Marine Accessories.  Included is an oar holder, a patented item, for holding oars securely in a boat while it is being transported.  He developed this gadget after breaking his windshield from carrying oars inside his car.

   A screw machine is an automatic lathe that does turning, tapering, grooving, knurling, chamfering and cut off from stock of steel rods.  Drill presses and some other machines are used to finish the products.

   Dan Ingall lives nearby and farms 625 acres of crops (corn and beans this year) in Sebewa and Sunfield Townships.  David is Assistant to the Registrar or Senior Analyst in Curriculum Research at Michigan State University.  Mrs. Lyle Ingall teaches at the Coon School in Berlin Township.


   Sebewa is 99 and 44/100% electrified.  When the local IBM gives the official tally, we shall probably see that the lone holdout is also the holder of some township-wide records in other categories.


   Perhaps you have a friend or friends who would appreciate a gift membership in The Sebewa Center Association.

FROM:  THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR, Robert W. Gierman, Editor, R 1, Portland, Michigan  48875

Last update February 18, 2013