Items of Genealogical Interest
Volume 22 Number 1
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 Association,
August 1986, Volume 22, Number 1. Robert W. Gierman, Editor;
submitted with written permission of current Editor Grayden D. Slowins:
SURNAMES: AUNGST, McALISTER, STUCK, LEAK, BRIGGS, LUMBERT, PROBASCO, DERBY,
SWINEHART, McWELTHY, LOVELL, WELCH
ROSINA, Jan. 16, 1886 (unnamed source) –
Frank AUNGST (sic) of Indiana has been visiting friends here.
Thomas LEAK and son have returned from a visit in Indiana.
Newton TROXTON is visiting among friends in Osceola County.
Old Mr. McALISTER has rented Mr. DETERICK’S farm house and moved his family into
the same one day last week.
Thomas LADE will spend the remainder of the winter with friends in New York.
The young men of Sebewa Corners thought it would be nice to have a band, but we
think they are like the man we read about in the old book, they didn’t count the
Mrs. A. FENDER has an aunt visiting her from Ohio.
Ora LAPO has so much business he has to have an assistant.
Mr. FIELD has closed a very successful term of singing school.
--FUN, The Sentinel, Jan. 19, 1886 – ROSINA, Jan. 19, 1886.
ROSINA, Jan. 25 –
Mahlon STUCK, from Sunfield, made a flying visit Sunday.
Mrs. Evira TORPY has gone on an extended visit among friends in Clare County.
The Messrs. LEAK have a sister visiting them from Huron County.
The social held at Mr. HUNT’S was a financial success. A good time was enjoyed.
The report that Eddie GRAY was bettr and home was a false one, for he is still
lying in a very critical condition at Bowne Center.
William LEAK was returning from Indiana, where he has been visiting friends.
J. HAMMOND has opened a general boarding house for all the “fatherless” children
in the neighborhood.
W. INGALL was skidding logs and one rolled on to him injuring him quite
J. C. BRIGGS sold a four year old colt last week for $150.
--FUN, The Sentinel, Jan. 27, 1886.
ROSINA, Feb. 1:
O. B. HEATH, formerly of this place, now of Dakota, is visiting friends here.
Mrs. J. C. BRIGGS has returned home from a visit among friends in Ohio.
Mrs. Ella WINTERS, who has been visiting friends in this place, has returned to
her home in Barryville.
TEW’S Band of Orange made the Rosina Band an unexpected visit last week,
consequently the boys did not entertain them as well as they would have liked.
Thomas MARTIN’S little daughter Jessie is quite sick at this writing.
Mr. and Mrs. TRUXTON made friends in Sunfield a visit last week.
David and Hiram LUMBERT, who went from here about two years ago to Arkansas, are
both reported dead. Hiram was shot dead while purloining his neighbor’s
Several farmers in this vicinity have got the Bohemian oat racket worked on them
DUDE, The Sentinel, Feb. 2, 1886.
SEBEWA, Feb. 4.
A portion of Andrew WEIPERT’S milldam gave way Sunday night, leaving a breach
about twelve feet wide. This makes the second time this winter that Mr. W. has
been obligated to construct new banks.
Mr. John BARRY of Nashville and Mr. Oliver WELLMAn of Castleton made Alex MORGAN
a visit last week.
Ephraim PROBASCO of this township has security the right of the county for the
sale and manufacture of the Portland land roller.
E. C. DERBY has invented a land roller which is claimed to be far superior to
the Portland roller. He will apply for a patent soon.
R. N. Wilson spends his spare time in buying saw logs.
S. F. DEATSMAN has been very sick with congestion of the lungs. He is now better
and will be able to resume teaching in about a week, soliciting orders for the
Michigan Hedge Fence.
Married, on Jan 31st, by A. A. GARLOCK, Esq., Mr. Joshua GUNN Jr. to Miss Mary
Jane TRUXTON, alias “Highflyer” of the Portland Observer. Of course this happy
couple both reside in Sebewa.
Last Saturday night a company of amateurs from Danby and Grand Ledge played a
temperance drama in COLWELL’S Hall. The Hall was well filled and the play
received merited praise.
The G. A. R. Post will give a social party in the above named hall Friday night,
The M. E. Church has received the new bell, which weighs about four hundred and
fifty pounds. It can be heard only two miles and will probably be sent back. The
managers of the church are raising a subscription to build church sheds, as our
horses have been obliged to stand out until they have become proof against cold
weather. There is not the enthusiasm manifested in the subject that would have
been four years ago.
Will RAMSEY is preparing to build a house on his farm in the spring.
SCRIBE, The Sentinel, Feb. 6, 1886.
ROSINA, Feb. 8.
Mr. Will HOWARD of Portland made Mr. TRUXTON’S folks a visit last week.
Mr. and Mrs. H. H. McWELTHY of Ainger made their parents a visit last week. Mrs.
McWELTHY will spend a few weeks with her parents.
Mr. Thomas LADE who has been visiting friends in Rochester, N.Y., has returned
Mrs. Elnora TORPY who has been visiting her daughter in Clare County has
Mr. Swinehart’s people have friends visiting them from Ohio.
Jennie MARTIN is still on the sick list.
The United Brethren held a social at Mr. J. GILSON’S. The Rosina Band were in
attendance and a good time reported.
The Baptist Church of this place contemplate holding a series of meetings.
J. S. Henry has the material on the ground for a barn.
The Sentinel, Feb. 11, 1886.
WEST SEBEWA, Feb. 15.
A drama entitled “The Last Leaf” was played at the Johnson Schoolhouse on
Saturday evening, was played mostly by home talent and was pronounced a success.
MISS BLANCHE ARNOLD and A. BUSH, acting as Mr. and Mrs. Ashton, did remarkably
well, as did also Miss L. Coe as “Lillie”. E. DOWNING as Caleb Hanson, and J.
JOHNSON as Caleb’s son Harry did well, but Miss PATTY (Miss Grace Bush), TOMM
CHUBBS (Dale Smith), DICK BUSTLE (Chester Sandborn) capped the climax. Then
followed a farce, “Do Not Judge By Appearances” which was very well rendered.
The house was very crowded, every inch of standing room being occupied, but the
very best of order prevailed.
Mrs. Wm. BREWER of Ionia and Miss WILCOX spent Saturday and Sunday with Mrs.
Brewer’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. WM. BUSH.
Miss Fannie SWART(H)OUT, living in the northern part of this state, is visiting
her parents, Mr. and Mrs. David SOULES.
The best lady waltzer will receive a silver cake dish at the party to be given
at CALLWELL’S (sic) Hall in Sebewa, Friday evening, by the G. A. R. post.
A protracted effort is being held at this place by ELDERS BADDER and BUSH.
Sebewa has two literary clubs, one at West Sebewa and one at the Johnson school
house, which will not take a back seat for any other club of their size.
“Chronicler” had better get to the front or some one will get ahead of him with
news from this burg.
Matthew KNOWLES and C. McNEAL at broom factory No. 2 have quit making brooms,
the broom corn being so expensive.
THE SENTINEL, Feb. 17, 1886.
ROSINA, Feb 22.
E. C. TRUXTON and A. PENCE started Friday for the north to look up some land.
Married, Sunday, Feb. 14, Charles W. HILL of Sunfield to Miss Lillie D. LEAK of
Charles KELLEY and wife of Charlevoix are visiting friends in this vicinity.
The Rosina Band will have closed doors after this.
W. D. TRUXTON returned from the pine woods Monday.
We think a little prohibition would do good around Rosina.
Protracted meetings are in progress at the Baptist Church.
Edward REESE, of the firm of Reese & Detterick of this place, will build a house
in the spring.
We understand that A. O. LAPO, our enterprising merchant, will build a store and
house in the spring, both in one.
DUDE, The Sentinel, Feb. 24, 1886
MYRTIE’S MEMORIES , continued:
By MYRTIE (LOVELL) WELCH in 1984.
MILK: Certainly has been a lot of progress in the handling of milk over the
years of my life. In Ohio, the women always did the milking of the cows, in
Michigan the men did the job. Neighbors thought my mother was crazy not to
change her ways. To her it was a perfectly natural thing to do and was just one
more of her daily chores. Pa could milk and did if my mother was sick but they
were from Ohio and that was woman’s work, so she kept at it and he let her.
My first recollections are of seeing Ma go down the hill to the barn, with a
shiny tin, twelve quart pail in each hand. Pails had to be bright and shiny. Ma
was very particular that the milk we used was clean. In a short time back up the
hill she came with her pails full of milk.
As I look back, seems like going up and down that hill was the hardest part of
the job. Then, long after I was married, a cyclone came through and demolished
our big bank barn. It was long after Ma left the farm forever, but she built a
new barn for her tenants. It wasn’t built below the hill but up on top of it,
back behind the house. No more struggling up and down that hill!
Guess I better get back to my mother and her pails of milk. Summertime, she
would go down the outside hatchway into the cellar. This cellar was kept clean
as any room in the house, probably cleaner. A table was at one side with gallon
earthen jars to strain the milk into. My mother used a cloth as a strainer.
Holding it tightly around one side of the pail’s brim, she would then tip the
pail up and fill each crock. We had a regular strainer but Ma liked her way
best. Thought it was more sanitary.
The milk was then left for the cream to raise. Cream was taken off with a
skimmer, placed in a jar and left a few days. Next it was churned into butter.
The skimmed milk was usually made into cottage cheese. That was the most
delicious food. I’ll bet if one had some today and showed the cottage cheese one
buys now to the original kind, it wouldn’t even be recognized as a poor
relation. No comparison whatever.
A number of years after my father died, creameries came into use. There was one
just west of the corner here on School Road. Built on the north side of street
just before the road turns south to the school house. This creamery was still in
operation when Ray and I were married in 1911. Our first home was the little
white house on the corner of First Street and School Road. The creamery was next
and only building to the west of us.
People were required to buy two ten-gallon milk cans for the milk to be
transported. Then a stand had to be provided to put them on, built out at the
edge of the road. This stand must be the same height as the flat-bed on the
carrier’s wagon. The carrier, or milk man as we called him, handled his wagon
with a team of horses, stopping at each farm house for the milk. All the cans
were labeled with the owner’s name. Picking up the filled can, he would then
leave an empty for us to fill……
What a lot of labor that saved Ma and us girls. Just milk the cows, bring the
milk to the empty can sitting on the milk stand. Set the strainer on top of the
can, pick the pail up and pour it in. No rinsing of strainer cloth, no cream to
skim off, no crocks to be washed. Just wash and scald the milk pails and that
chore was all taken care of. Also, no churning – bought our butter from the
creamery……next on the market came cream separators. We never had one because
that labor-saving device came after Ma left the farm.
John and Eulalie had one. It was quite a complicated machine. Cranked the thing
by hand, cream came out one spout and skimmed milk out another. You wouldn’t
believe all the parts that went into the making of the thing, until you
dismantled it. You had to wash each piece, then put it back together for next
Next came a giant step in progress. No more taking your pails into the barn and
milking the old way. Really it was very unsanitary. Farmers were told if they
didn’t fix a special room for milking, no creamery would buy their milk.
The requirements would be so expensive, that unless you had a large herd of
dairy cows, it was out of the question. Now, the modern way is wonderful, I
FIRSTS: In the early days of my life (I had to be less than ten), Pearl and I
accompanied my father and mother to Lansing. Now, when you drove a horse thirty
miles anywhere, you didn’t spend a few hours, then turn around and drive your
horse another thirty; you stayed overnight.
We visited at the home of my Aunt Helen and Uncle Ed Wood. Aunt Helen’s first
husband was my mother’s half-brother, William Ramsey, who died I the early years
of their marriage. Later, Aunt Helen married this Mr. Wood. We hadn’t been there
very long before I had a problem. After all, I had ridden thirty miles non-stop.
I whispered my trouble in my mother’s ear and she in turn told Aunt Helen, who
told Hattie to show me where to go. So, I followed Hattie and she started up the
open stairway. I thought, where is she going? I want to go outdoors and I needed
to go right now.
At the head of the stairs, Hattie opened a door into a little room, the likes of
which I had never seen before. There was this big long, funny looking thing
along one side, a big bowl like thing in the corner and in another corner was an
object. I certainly didn’t know anything about that.
Hattie raised the cover and invited me to sit on the thing. While sitting there,
I wondered where things were going. Maybe some place else in the house. This
covered pail didn’t have anything except a little water in it when I sat down. I
asked Hattie where it emptied and she said in Grand River. GRAND RIVER, I
thought; I jumped off that stool like I’d been shot. Then she pulled a chain
that was hanging down and the water came thundering down into the toilet. I
jumped again, afraid I’d land in the river myself. Then when she walked to that
other bowl, touched something and water began coming into that and said “You may
wash your hands here”. Think of that, water in the bowl and no pump in sight.
Now where did that come from? I was too scared to ask any more questions.
Next morning, Hattie took me for a walk. The river was nearby and we walked
across the bridge. I wondered how in the world that thing last night emptied
into Grand River this far from Aunt Helen’s house. Anyway, that was my first
introduction to a bathroom.
Next first experience I remember right now was the telephone. About the time Pa
died in 1901, there were a few telephones being installed out in the country.
Two in our immediate neighbors’. On our way home from school one p.m., the two
girls whose people had telephones were trying to explain it to me. I had told
them I never had even seen one, let alone talking on them. I would soon be
passing both their houses, so one girl said “I’ll go into my house and wait for
you to call me from Mabel’s, and you can try it”. So Mabel and I walked on from
Ada’s house, and stopped in at Bebel’s home. Here was this scary looking box
that talked to you, hanging on a wall. Mabel told me what Ada’s ring was and
said you just turn this little crank so many times, then put this receiver to
your ear and listen. When she says “Hello” you say “Hello” back to her.
I reached for the crank and then, losing my nerve, told Mabel I was scared I
wouldn’t do it right and asked her to crank it for me. She did, then put the
receiver to my ear. Ada answered but I was so frightened that I dropped the
receiver. Mabel handed it back to me, but I was so shaky. I can’t remember
whether I said anything or not, but now I knew it really was true. It worked.
I miss the old-fashioned type that required an operator. Have been helped so
many times by them; too, you could have a nice little chat with an operator
while you waited for your party to answer. Myrtie, Ray’s sister, worked here a
good many years and was very efficient. She also had worked in Lake Odessa and
Grand Rapids before coming here.
When Johnnie died, we wouldn’t have known about it in time to get out there
before it happened if the operator hadn’t called us. She knew from the calls
coming into the office what was happening and so called Ray immediately. We were
so grateful to her. Another time when Lois lived on Grandma Bishop’s place, she
was alone with Danny in his high chair. Lois fainted away and when she came to
her senses, crawled (couldn’t stand up) to the telephone, rang the operator and
just said “Please call my mother, I’m sick” and hung up the receiver. The
operator recognized Lois’s voice and called me at the store, telling me I’d
better get out to Lois’s house, she was sick. Now, could these new-fangled
outfits do that? Then, again, when Ray died, don’t know who the girl was any
more, but she certainly was on the job. Calling people, telling them I needed
help. Never will I forget that. New phones are another sign of progress, but I
don’t like this one. The old way of the operators was so comforting to know.
Just call the operator and you had sympathetic help at once. In small towns like
ours, it was a good thing.
Might just as well include this story right here for it also involves Ethel, her
mother and father, Mary and John Walsh. Before the road between the hills was
graded up and filed in as it is now. Going south directly in front of our house
was a very steep hill. The road leveled off maybe 25 or 35 feet, then another
sharp hill. On this level spot was a small bridge, just about the same width of
the road and probably not more than 4 or 5 feet wide. Don’t remember whether or
not there was water running under there, but in the spring of the year the water
came from somewhere. At times the bridge was covered but never very high. It was
Saturday and neighbors south of us were driving to Vermontville to do their
weekly shopping. The water was a little deep but nothing to be frightened about
when all these people went to town soon after noon.
In the middle of the afternoon the water began rising. We could see it climbing
higher and higher up each hill. Ma was worried about the people coming from
town, so we sat on our steps to watch for them. Finally, they had all passed
through except the Walshes. Ma said “I have to go start the milking, but I’m
worried over Mr. and Mrs. Walsh. You girls sit here and wait for them. If they
get into any trouble, you Myrtie, run for Arby and Ernie Benedict but tell Arby
first. He is quicker than Ernie”. Arby, at that time, lived on the first farm
north of us. Mr. Walsh came. He had two horses hitched to a single buggy with a
top. Everything was fine when suddenly the buggy wheel ran off the side of the
narrow board bridge, tipping the buggy over on its side, breaking the tongue
loose, horses kept on dragging Mr. Walsh, holding fast to the reins, Mrs. Walsh
holding fast to his coat tail, screaming “Ethel’s in the buggy” over and over.
By this time I had headed for Arby’s, calling to get Ma to the house. Arby was
at the supper table but he jumped up and was on his way. I hurried across to
Ernie’s and told him, then started back home.
Arby was wearing rubber boots. I hadn’t gone very far before I saw one of them
on the ground; a little farther on was the other boot. I carried the boots home.
When I arrived Arby was just swimming out with Ethel in his arms. The buggy was
entirely submerged with only one corner of the top in sight. Ethel’s head was up
in that corner but her head was above water.
Arby had quite a time getting her out, he thought she was dead. Looking back
now, she probably had fainted away or mayb struck her head as the buggy tipped
over. Whatever it was, air in that part of the top above the water, and Arby,
saved her life.
Next I remember the doctor being there. Pearl remembers them putting Ethel in
bed in our spare bedroom and she and Mrs. Walsh were there for a week before
Ethel was able to go home. Shock, I suppose, might have caused that.
November 15, 2013