Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 22 Number 1
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 Association,
August 1986, Volume 22, Number 1. Robert W. Gierman, Editor;
submitted with written permission of current Editor Grayden D. Slowins:


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 cost.
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 severely.
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 chickens.
Several farmers in this vicinity have got the Bohemian oat racket worked on them badly.
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, Feb. 5.
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 home.
Mrs. Elnora TORPY who has been visiting her daughter in Clare County has returned home.
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.

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 Sebewa.
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:


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 time.

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 think.

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.



Last update November 15, 2013