Items of Genealogical Interest
Volume 23 Number 3
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,
December 1987, Volume 23, Number 3; Robert W. Gierman, Editor;
submitted with written permission of current Editor Grayden D. Slowins:
SURNAMES: GOODEMOOT, PEACOCK, GODDARD, ALLEN, COE, BUCKMAN, BARTLETT, MEYERS,
WOLF, REIMER, HAIGHT, CRAMER, STAMBAUGH, SEYBOLD, BAILEY, NOTT, MIDDAUGH,
BENSCHOTER, LOVELL, WELCH
WEST SEBEWA CHURCH
Above (photo of building and sheds) is a landmark of West Sebewa from 1865 to
about 1913 when the building was dismantled by Donald Goodemoot and materials
were used for farm buildings diagonally across the corner. For many years it was
served by the Presbyterian minister from Ionia with regular Sunday meetings. It
was located just South of the present West Sebewa store. Note the extensive
church sheds at the rear used to stable the horses that had brought the
membership to meetings. Such sheds were in place at the Baptist Church, two
miles south, and the Methodist Episcopal churches at Sebewa Center and Sebewa
Corners. News items of the period mention several different ministers who served
the church. In 1902 B. C. Peacock and others were instrumental in organizing a
Church of Christ and built their church a half mile north from the Presbyterian
Church. The old building sat open and idle and became a place for “the boys” to
Schneck’s HISTORY OF IONIA AND MONTCALM COUNTIES (1881) has this account of the
First Presbyterian Church of Sebewa: “The First Presbyterian Church of Sebewa
was organized in 1865 by Rev. Lewis Miller. The organizing members were D. W.
Goddard, Robert Allen and wife, Hannah Goddard, Mary Coe, E. B. Buckman and
wife, Benjamin Bartlett and wife. Directly after organizing, the Church built a
house of worship on section seven and dedicated it in February 1866. The
pastorate is vacant at present but preaching is supplied, nevertheless, pretty
frequently. The Sunday School has a growing membership and assemblies regularly
THE JOHN AND CATHREEN MEYERS FAMILY (My great, great grandparents) by Robert
THE STORY PRINTED IN THE WOODLAND SESQUICENTENNIAL BOOK.
John Meyers was born in Hanover Township, Southhampton County, Pennsylvania on
March 16, 1800. His father was Valentine Meyers and his mother was Cathreen Wolf
Meyers. His grandparents were Christian and Apolonia Wolf. His wife was Cathreen
Reimer, daughter of Jacob Reimer and Elizabeth Heller Reimer, all of
Northhampton County, Pennsylvania.
John Meyers children were Ziba Meyers, George N. Meyers, John Meyers Jr., Samuel
Meyers, Daniel Meyers, Eliza Meyers, Mary Ann Meyers, Permelis Meyers and
Valentine Meyers. The above information is from Meyers Family Record, published
by William Meyers in 1920. John Meyers’ Jr. and Daniel Meyers became United
From the record book of Ziba Meyers we learn that he and his wife, Elizabeth
Bretz Meyers, “landed in our house the 16th day of June, 1850” after having
stopped for a short period in Charlotte in the move from Ohio to Michigan.
The family located in the northeast quarter of Woodland Township. Soon there was
a Meyers log school. It was used for church services. Shortly thereafter the
Meyers Church was built in 1851 by Stephen Haight and Emanuel Cramer. It was
considered to be the first United Brethren Church in Michigan. The Meyers
Cemetery sprung up around it, though several bodies were later transferred to
the newer “Lakeside Cemetery”. Despite vandalism the cemetery remains, bordered
on the north and west sides by tall spruce trees.
The church and schoolhouse are long since gone but the tombstones of John and
Cathreen stand in memory of their burials there in the 1870s. Two years ago
John’s upright marker, in the style of the times, was broken over in three
pieces. Last year repair was made and it is again erect. Darrel Meyers of
Sunfield, a young lad who addresses John as Great, great, great, great
grandfather, helped in making the repair.
Some of the walnut timbers of the schoolhouse were reused in a building on
Tupper Lake Road in Sebewa, now owned by Ed Leak.
John apparently had a passion for land. He saw to it that each of his seven
children had 160 acres in that corner of Woodland Township. Ziba was the only
one to hold onto the title very long. His son, Jesse B. Meyers, kept that land
all during his lifetime. It is now the Haskins farm in Section 2 in Woodland
Jesse also kept Ziba’s account book. From that book we learn a day’s wages in
logging in 1852 was 50 cents as was the same for threshing, cleaning wheat,
branding and husking corn. A cow cost $17.00. Butter was three pounds for 37 ½
cents. A day’s rail cutting was also 50 cents. Mention is made of mowing
thistles, killing hogs, sawing logs, work on a well, drawing corn to Hastings,
work on the road, cradling grain, digging taters, shearing sheep, drawing dung,
scoring timber and making a pair of shoes for 62 cents.
In an article in a 1923 Lake Odessa Wave, early ministers in the Meyers United
Brethren Church were: Rev. Schafer, Rev. Bridenstine, Rev. Hamp, Rev. Isaac
Mourer, Rev. F. Ferguson, Rev. M. Murthlin and Rev. Garbin.
In the more than 130 years since John Meyers came to Woodland Township, his
family has bred, spread and mixed until they can be found in families across the
country. It would take an avid genealogist for John to locate all his family
“MRS. STAMBAUGH’S CHURCH”
May 9, 1899. Proceedings of a meeting called at Mr. J. T. Brown’s residence in
Sebewa Twp. For the purpose of organizing an EY Class by Rev. F. E. Walters.
Balloted for Class Leader and S. C. Croft chosen. Balloted for Exhorter and D.
M. Stambaugh chosen.
Moved to ballot for Trustees, carried. Balloted for Trustees and two ballots
taken. J. R. Brown was elected for one year.
Balloted for Trustee for 2 years and 3 ballots were taken. D. M. Stambaugh
Steps were taken to organize to solicit and elect a building committee to build
a chapel in the near future.
Building Committee chosen. S. C. Craft, Amos Hall and D. M. Stambaugh.
It was further declared that the name of the Church should be The First Zion
Church of Sebewa.
Sept. 13, 1900. Proceedings of a meeting called to elect 2 trustees. Ballots
were cast and J. P. Brown was elected for one year. At the second balloting Amos
Hall was elected for 2 years.
Sebewa, May 8, 1902. Meeting called to elect trustees with results as follows:
Amos Hall was elected for 3 years. D. M. Stambaugh was elected for 2 years.
David Baughman was elected for 1 year. The Trustee board was organized as
follows: D. Baughman, President; D. M. Stambaugh, Treasurer, and Amos Hall,
Secretary and representative to the ___ Camp.
- J. F. Kirn, Pastor
Sebewa, May 8, 1902. Meeting called for the purpose of electing a class leader,
Exhorter and S. S. Officer. D. M. Stambaugh declared elected Class Leader. Amos
Hall declared elected Exhorter. Mrs. Kate Hall elected S. S. Supperintendent,
Amos Hall, Vice Superintendent, Laura Lumbert, Secretary, Wm. Lumbert, Treas.,
and Otie Baugham Librarian.
Report of Building Committee, Cost of Church:
Mrs. J. T. Brown cash $28 lumber $25, $53, D. M. Stambaugh, work, $53, Mrs.
Susan Stambaugh, Board #25, J. T. Brown, work $50, cash $53, $103.
Amos Hall, work $139.30, cash $5, $144. Mrs. A. Hall, board, $25. S. C. Croff,
work $18, cash $25, $43. David Baughman, work, $15. Amount of others’ work $11.
Cash collections by Rev. Walters $72. Amount of pews $102.50. Amount of Furnace
$80. Supplies by G. W. Hay paid Mar. 30 1900, $163.75. Hardware by Childs
Debt on Church $102.50. Pews $80.00. Furnace $163.73. G. W. Hay -. J. Childs
Account with Treas. December 10, 1899
Amount on hand to date including cash collections $30.51, Dec. 10 gave order for
Fry of $5.00, Dec 13 by Lish Brailey cash $2.00. Dec. 13 by J. Brown cash
$15.00. Dec. 15 by F. E. Walters cash $25.00. Dec 17 to J. Eckert $2.00. Dec 19
to J. A. Hay $37.00. Dec 19 to incidentals $.37. Dec 19 to incidentals $.25. Mar
3, 1900 by J. ?. Brown and wife $50.00. Mar 3 by S. C. Croff $.73. April 19,
Geo. Snider $1.00. April 19 Mrs. F. E. Walter $1.00.
1903. David Baughman elected trustee for three years, Frank Guy for class
leader, Mrs. Kate Hall as Superintendent, William Lumbert elected for treasurer,
Katie Hall for Secretary and Otis Baugham as librarian.
1904. Meeting called to order by brother Kern. Ira Cross was elected trustee for
three years, Amos Hall elected as class leader, David Baughman as Exhorter.
Sunday School: W. M. Hall was elected as superintendent, Laura Lumbert as
assistant, Kate Hall as Librarian, Laura Lumbert as Secretary, Kate Hall elected
as Chorister and Ines Horn elected as Treasurer.
December 29, 1904. Officers for the year 1905. Meeting called to order by
brother Kern. Officers elected as follows: Trustee elected for three years Amos
Hall, Class Leader Amos Hall, Exhorter, Wm. Hall, S. S. Superintendent Ralph
Hall, Assistant S. S. Superintendent Kate Hall, Treasurer Ira Koos and Librarian
The foregoing is from the records of the church that was built at the northwest
corner of Tupper Lake and Sunfield Roads and was referred to in the local items
of The Portland Observer as Mrs. Stambaugh’s Church. I as a youngster frequently
rode to Sunfield on a lumber wagon, yet I have no recollection of a church on
that corner. So, it seems to me it must have disappeared prior to 1916 or 1917.
Nobody had ever made mention of this church to me before I read a small item in
the reference in The Portland Observer. Recently John R. Waite, who had written
the Lake Odessa “A Centennial History” sent me the records as printed above.
Perhaps he made a “find” at a yard sale. John is living in Florida and is busy
with “several projects”.
DEATHS FOR THE PERIOD. Kenneth Seybold, Go(rm?)a Bailey and Estia Nott
Middaugh of Lake Odessa.
November 15, 1987 was the day Don and Winnie celebrated their 70th wedding
anniversary. Congratulations to the Benschoters.
REMINISCENCES CONTINUED by Myrtie Candance Lovell Welch
One time Arby was coming from the back of the farm with a wagon load of fresh,
loose hay. Pearl was riding with him.
A flat rack with end gates at each end of the wagon, Arby pitched the loose hay
on between the end gates, probably the load was at least eight or ten feet high,
then with the height of the wagon, it was up in the air at least fifteen feet.
Arby and Pearl climbed up the front end gate, then settled themselves down on
the hay and started down the lane to the barn. Going down the stony steep grade
to the pond, a wagon wheel struck a large stone. This, of course started the
load to rock, and the whole thing tipped over on its side. Arby grabbed Pearl,
had his left arm around her, the lines to the horses grasped tightly in his
Keeping the horses under control, he and Pearl just went down with the hay all
around them, right at the edge of the water in the pond. Arby said Pearl jumped
up saying “It scared me worse than it hurt me”. Luckily neither one was hurt.
In Sept. 1885, I started my school-days at the Bismark School, ¾ mile north to
Delwood Corners then one mile east. Don’t recall the name of my first teacher,
can only name three: Mr. Whelply, Mr. Bedford, and my last one through eighth
grade, Miss Alice Prescott, a very dedicated teacher and a favorite with all.
The years with her were the happiest school years of my life.
I think Miss Prescott regarded her pupils as her children….acting more like a
mother than a teacher. She taught us more than ‘Readin’, ‘Riting’ and ‘Rithmetic’.
She taught us to live right, to enjoy school, to honor our parents, to play
fair, never to cheat, to enjoy each other, to be kind and courteous at all
times. If a person disobeyed, it was so hard for her to scold him; but she said
what had to be said, tears running from her eyes at the same time. Sounds like a
softie, doesn’t it? She wasn’t. Miss Prescott had perfect control of her
class-room at all times. She rules with love and kindness.
Our school-building was just one large room, three windows on each side, no
windows in back or front. Facing the east, there was a door at each side of the
front, boys coming in at the south door, girls entering at the north………just
inside each door along the wall a shelf was placed for dinner-pails, with hooks
underneath on the floor for boots and rubbers. South side for boys, north side
In between the doors on the front wall was a huge blackboard, a motto above it
saying “Kindness Makes Friends’. Letters in this were about a foot high, took up
most of the space between the doors. Below this, directly in front of the
backboard (blackboard?), a 6 inch high platform was built for the teacher’s desk
and a place for classes to be held.
About in the center of the room was a large stove. In the winter, this kept
everyone seated near-by, half roasted, while students at the back of the room
sometimes had to wear their coats to keep warm. Don’t remember about the
teachers whether they kept warm or not. They were up moving around but you
weren’t. You had to ask permission to leave your desk.
Then over on the north side by the coat rack was the community water pail. A tin
dipper hanging on the wall above it. Everyone drank from the same dipper. “Ugh!”
I can hear someone say, and “Ugh” it was; but really, I don’t believe we had
anymore colds in those days of drinking from the same dipper, than the children
do now drinking from a faucet. Much pleasanter now though and certainly more
Starting about even with the stove, were stationery double desks, room for two
students and built joining each other, bolted solidly to the floor, then placed
in rows to reach the back of the room. A narrow aisle, about as wide enough for
a person to walk through, between each row and a wider aisle in the center to
separate the two groups of seats.
These desks were built so closely together, one could almost feel the breath of
the people behind you. Just close enough for the mischievous boys sitting back
of you to drop a nice, wet chewed-up paper wad down inside the back neck of your
dress. Just close enough for you to send a message to someone four or five seats
behind you. Writing your question or whatever on a small scrap of paper, folding
the paper, leaving it just large enough to mark the person’s initials on,
tucking the note in the palm of your hand, you’d then drop your hand casually
outside your desk. That was the signal. Down would come the arm of the next in
line, taking the note from your palm, checking the initials, it would be sent
along in this manner to the person for whom it was intended. If a reply was
requested, the answer came back to you in this same manner. Sneaky? Yes, but
helped to break the monotony of just sitting there studying all the while. You
weren’t allowed to whisper to your seatmate. I usually managed to sneak quite a
few in during the course of the day when the teacher wasn’t looking.
Betty was just here and she asked me what I was writing about. I answered
“School Desks”. She said “Don’t forget the ink-wells!” Betty spent the first
eight years of her school life in a one room school. The Hunter School, located
just north of Delwood Corners, near Betty’s girlhood home.
Now I’ll try and explain the ink well. At the right hand top, close to the ledge
on the front of your desk, a circular hole, about 1 ½ inches in diameter was
drilled. A little glass container, about an inch in depth, was next placed in
this hole. A tiny flange at the top made it secure.
This glass cup was filled with ink, in which you dipped your pen-point, filling
it with a drop or two of ink, you began writing your lessons. Usually after six
or eight words, maybe, it was necessary to dip your pen in the ink again.
Rather a slow process, but the ink-well was better than having a bottle of ink
standing open on your desk to be upset and spilled.
Pioneers had quill pens, the large strong feathers from the wing of a bird. Next
came the metal points that we used, then the fountain pen, which stored the ink
inside the pen. Made it possible to use quite awhile, then you’d have to replace
the ink. First fountain pen I ever had, was a graduation gift to me in 1907.
Also I received a gold pen with a pearl handle. Charley Collier gave that to me.
He was Grace’s boyfriend at that time.
From the fountain pen to the Ball-points we all enjoy using today is just
another proof of the progress even a lowly pen has made. Someone came up with
the ball-point after using a Fountain pen.
About thirty feet west of the back of our school building sat two little
necessary houses. One was directly in line with the north side, the other
straight down from the south, gave you a real excuse to leave the
school-building for a few minutes. What a pleasure it was to leave that old desk
and straighten out your cramped legs for a few minutes.
Raising your hand for attention from the teacher, you gave the signal, only the
first and second finger upright, permission to leave the room would be granted
by a simple nod of the head. Sometimes it would be “No” if recess or the noon
hour were coming soon.
If I received the nod, I would sedately walk to the door, but once outside I
hopped, skipped and jumped, making good use of my freedom. Sometimes I wouldn’t
even enter the little house. No windows in the back of the school-house, no one
could see me, I could run around just for exercise and then again, just stand
gazing at the clouds in the sky or watching and listening to the birds in the
trees. Such a wonderful world to me always. Reluctantly, I leave this behind,
enter the school-house door and tip-toe noiselessly back to my seat.
November 15, 2013