Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 26 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.


THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR Bulletin of the Sebewa Center Association,
JUNE 1991, Volume 26, Number 6. Submitted with written permission of Editor, Grayden D. Slowins:


SURNAMES: REED, TOWNSEND, ELDRIDGE, FAULKNER, NOTT, SLOWINSKI, McLEOD, SCHNABEL, GOODEMOOT, WOLCOTT, SPENCER, LIPPENCOTT, McCORMACK, HALLADAY, SNYDER, HITCHCOCK, ZANTO, CONKRITE, DERBY, CLANTY, HOLLENBACH, DASE, SANDBORN


PHOTO ON FRONT OF THIS ISSUE: SEBEWA “HIGH” SCHOOL, 1912-1913
Back Row, L to R: Harold Cornell, Russell Halladay, Kenneth Sayer, Margaret Vandepool, Layton Cornell, Helen Southwell, Olive Reeder, Goda Southwell, Gladha Sayer, Zora Ward, Dorothy Kenyon, Fred Huizenga, Kenneth Dorin, Teacher Elizabeth J. Cornell.
Third Row: Ted Brown, Tom Huizenga, Jerry Stairs, Anis Benschoter, Vera Wolfert, Bernice Reed, Gladys Stairs, Nellie Reeder, Lawrence Friend.
2nd Row (Kneeling): Opal High, Alice Webster, Bertha Reed, Ruth Brown, Beatrice Friend, Dora Vandepool, Lucile Howland, Mildred Evans, Lucille Friend, Ida Baker, Elizabeth Dorin, Vern Reed.
Front Row (Sitting: Lloyd Reed, Leslie Wolfert, Cornelius Huizenga, Zene Ward, Wesley Dorin, Donald Ward, Herbert Evans, Ted Webster.


LLOYD REED is now 89 years of age. My interview with him at his Florida home follows:
MY INTERVIEW WITH LLOYD REED:

I was born 89 years ago in Sebewa on the little farm just south of the farm on the corner of M 66 and Henderson Road, then belonging to my grandfather, Thomas Hosea Reed. People called him Hosea. He had a number of sons: Earl, my father, Walter, Ernest, James and a daughter.

Essie Figg was my first school teacher at the Johnson School. I was there two years before my Dad, Earl, bought a place from Anse Green about a mile east of Sebewa Corners. I then transferred to the “High” school of that place and I am pictured as the first in the front row of that photo of the 1912-1913 school pupils. We lived in a log house for a year before my Dad built a new house, which still stands.

We lived there until I had graduated from the grade and went to high school at Lake Odessa. I wanted to be able to go on to College after High School. My grandfather had moved to Lake Odessa and I could stay with him during the week and return home for the week ends. Dad took my grandparents pork, potatoes, beans and other garden stuff for my keep. On a Sunday night I would take the train at Sunfield after walking the five miles to the depot for Lake Odessa and on Friday night I would take the train for Sunfield with the walk back to our farm.

My mother was Blanche Townsend. She lived a half mile east of Sebewa Center and a half mile north on the west side of the Road. She was quite a character. I was surprised when I got a Recollector and in it I saw that my mother had sung a song on the school graduation program. When I check back I find she was 13 years old then. I find so many names of those I read in the Recollector are the names I had heard my mother talk about. I know that she had worked for “Grandma” Olry. Once in awhile, we’d go by there and she would say “There is where I spent some of my days when I was young, working for Grandma Olry”. It was Chuck Little who lived in the tenant house then.

Henry Townsend was my grandfather. He bought and sold livestock. We used to go to Portland summer times to be with our grandparents. I remember one night we had a thunderstorm and I awakened and Grandma Townsend and my Uncle Stewart were in the window, looking toward town. I jumped up and the sky was all lighted. Stewart, who was four years older than I was, and I was about ten or eleven years old, went out in our bare feet. We could see it was the Methodist Church burning. It burned down. She died in February of 1990. I had two sisters. One was Malcolm Tasker’s wife, now living in Lake Odessa. They had a drug store there for years.

My sister Bernice, married Ervie Howard, the coach, had a very interesting thing happen. At the end of the football season an announcer on TV was talking about some football team out on the west side of Detroit that had not been beaten all season. A very few teams could boast a record like that. Just for fun, she called him on the phone and their record in 1919. He asked her a lot of questions and seemed to be writing it down. The next night he came on with his sports program and apologized all over the place. (To be continued next issue.)


A RECENT ROSTER OF IONIA COUNTY WOMEN & MEN WHO SERVED IN IRAQ & KUWAIT during Operation Desert Shield/Storm includes L. Cpl. James Eldridge. He is son of Terri Faulkner & Ed Eldridge, son of Geraldine Nott & LaVern Eldridge, son of Pearl McLeod & Eddie Eldridge, son of Jay Eldridge & Sophie Slowinski, daughter of Louis Slowinski, son of Daniel Slowinski Sr. & Anna Schnabel. Being also son of Terri Faulkner, Jamie is grandson of Peg Faulkner, daughter of Donald Goodemoot, son of Russell Goodemoot, son of Mary Goodemoot (West Cemetery), and as such is a great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Oliver Wolcott Sr., Governor of Connecticut and signer of the Declaration of Independence.


NORMA LIPPENCOTT SPENCER:
Yesterday Ann & I buried Norma Spencer, age 78, in the East Cemetery. She was daughter of John R. Lippencott, son of Allen B. Lippencott, another of our Civil War veterans. Norma’s mother was Blanch Effie Halladay, daughter of Ethelynd (Lynn) McCormack & Edgar Halladay, and on back to David, Apollos, or Elihu Halladay. Norma’s husband is James T. Spencer. Her son James Jr. and her two daughters also survive. Norma Spencer & Martha VanBuren were “Real Granddaughters of Civil War Veterans”.


HITCHCOCK FAMILY:
We have a new neighbor on an historic farm. Back in 1988 we wrote a series of interviews with Floyd Evans. We talked about the Ray Hitchcock family, who occupy the E. C. (Clanty) Derby farm. Floyd & I visited their beautiful homesite on the Grand River and the site of the old Sebewa Brick Yards. Floyd mentioned that the Hitchcocks have a daughter who was an attorney in Florida. Well, she is back in Sebewa (Danby actually)! We met her when she prosecuted the vandals who desecrated our East Cemetery. She has recently been promoted to Chief Assistant Proscecuting Attorney for Ionia County. She expected her husband and their horses to arrive soon from Florida, and her dad has built a nice horse-barn for them. So if you see her riding her bike or her horse around Sec. 24 Sebewa, please welcome her and thank her for getting us restitution for the cemetery damage. Her married name is still Gail Hitchcock.


ZANTO HOME ONCE OWNED BY WILLIAM SNYDER:
Did you know that the large colonial-saltbox house on South State Road, downwind from Herbruck’s henhouse and long associated with the Mary Zanto family, was once a hotel? Owned by William Snyder, the upstairs had a central hall and cubicle rooms about 8’ x 9’. Each had space enough for a bed, chair, and washstand. It was a stage-coach stop for settlers and others coming north on the Bellvue-Ionia Road from Ohio. Later there was a gas station closer to the Portland Road corner that served many of the same needs; food & water & rest for team, driver, and passengers. Schenck says this was the first hotel to operate in Orange Township and also the last, although Israel Wolverton and Ira LeValley each operated at their homesteads for a time also. It was called, appropriately, the Orange Hotel.

The stage coach may not always have been just what you picture from Grade B Western Movies. Often it was nothing more than a covered, or even open, wagon with extra seats. My mother was the last person (actually the only person) I ever knew who had ridden a stage. She went to visit Uncle Elwood Brake in 1921, when he was School Superintendent at Hubbardston and Cousin Barbara was a baby.

She took the train from Elmdale to Lowell and changed lines to Pewamo. She spent the night at a flea-bag hotel above the Bank and took the “Morning Stage” to Hubbardston. The “Stage” was an extended open touring car with side curtains. It almost got stuck in the mud on Hubbardston Road, which we are just now making Class A, All Season, for the sawmill truckers.


INTERVIEW CONTINUES WITH FERN CONKRITE by Grayden Slowins:
[See corrections at the bottom of this page]


G: First thing I want to ask you about today is this Dec. 31, 1990 issue of the PORTLAND REVIEW, 75 Years Ago column, where the old Universalist Church was converted to a two-family apartment. The organ went to the Eagle Universalist Church and the black walnut pulpit went to the Lansing society. Do you remember that church and which building it is now, if any?

F: I think it was torn down and replaced by the bungalow built by Dr. Bradfield, then lived in by Bob Lear, and now Joe Rich. It’s on the opposite end of the block from the Congregational Church, corner of Warren and James Sts.

G: Now, when you lived out in Sebewa, you went to the Methodist Church and were organist there; how did you happen to get switched over to the Nazarene?

F: Well, after I came down here, I went to the Methodist Church, Gertie and I did, for awhile, and I don’t know, we just drifted away. There was something about some of the preachers or something. Then we got acquainted with Mrs. Neller and one day she said to me “Fern, I don’t like to see you waste all your talent and we need a pianist awful bad. Mrs. Fenner has been praying for someone to take her place. Wouldn’t you like to come and do it?”
“And I said “Well, guess I could”. And so I just started going to the Nazarene Church, and I played there for years. And I played up here on Cutler Road, after they built the new church.

G: Do you remember what kind of church that was, down in the valley, before it was Nazarene?

F: Well, it was built by the Presbyterians. The Congos (Congregationalists), they had a little disturbance, and there was a bunch of them broke off; and they built that church down there and they called themselves Presbyterians. Well, then, they got back together with the Congos again, and they sold that building to the Pilgrim Holiness people that have the Bible College in Owosso. When the United Brethren got hold of it, and then the Nazarenes.

G: What do you know about E. C. (Clanty) Derby and his wife Millie?

F: They had two girls, Rose, who married Dr. Ed Snyder, son of Civil War veteran Dr. George Snyder, and they lived in Sunfield and then Lake Odessa; and Nellie, who married John Morrissey, a blacksmith in Sunfield. They were his daughters by his first wife. The second wife was married to him when he died. She sold the farm to Dr. George Morse and moved up town and lived in that house back in the northeast corner of Cornell. Then she moved from there; she took care of Lon Evans and she got that house. Lon Evans and his wife Emma, daughter of John Friend, had farmed up west of you where Bruce Walkington lived with his first wife Vivian. I never knew Lon to do anything after he moved to town. Lived on his Civil War pension. Didn’t take much to live, those days. After his first house burned, he moved into that corner house at SW corner Washington & Jackson Streets in Cornell – lot 45. That was a Hollenbach house. Millie Derby took care of him in his last years and she got that house.

G: What about George Hollenbach and his wife, a daughter of Jacob Collingham? Who were their children?

F: Mahala married George High and had a daughter, Nellie, who married Dr. Frederick Morse and they later moved to Lake Odessa. Their son was Dr. George Morse. Sarah (Sadie) married Charles Cooper and had no children. Wallace never married. The other son (George Jr.?) was the father of all these Hollenbachs around now.
The other Collingham girl, Elizabeth, married Oliver Smith. Their children were: Eva, who married a man named Cook and lived in Montana; Jane, who married a Towner and had Leighton Smith, Bert Towner, Evert Towner, and a daughter; and Ben, who married Mable Baird Hale and had Alzeo (Mike), Oliver Jr., Irvin, and several girl babies who died.
Mable had been married before, and one of her girls, Beatrice, married Wallace Hollenbach, Jr. (son of George Jr.?) and had Georgiana, Robert, Carrie Lee, Richard, Daryl, Roberta, Carol, and Jamie. Mable’s other daughter, Bernice, married LeRoy Darling and had Irene Carr, Wellman Darling, LeRoy, Jr., and Kathlene.
Oliver Smith’s first wife was Phoebe A. Gunn, daughter of Samuel and Caroline Gunn. By that marriage there was a daughter Carrie, who was married to Henry Whorley late in life after her first husband, Fred McNeil, died by suicide. (Whorleys lived where Linda Banker is remodeling now.)
Fred McNeil died with the same rope that killed Ellis Dorin, the constable who investigated. Supposedly a third man used it also. McNeil’s problem was a paternity accusation.
(Fern will continue in next issue.)


Peggy Dase, granddaughter of Meredith Sandborn, writes that Meredith has been at Ionia Manor for almost 3 years and would appreciate hearing from old friends. The address is 814 E. Lincoln Avenue, Ionia, 48846.


The 1991-1992 meeting dates for SEBEWA TOWNSHIP BOARD are:
April 30, May 28, June 25, July 23, August 27, September 24, at Town Hall.
October 29 – Jim Stank home, November 26 – Brian Pinkston home, December 17 – LaVern Carr home, January 28 – Phil Shetterly home, February 25 – Jim Stank home, March 17 – Grayden Slowins home.
All regular meetings at 8:00 PM on Tuesdays.
Annual meeting – Saturday, March 28, 1992: 1:00 PM at Town Hall.


Hollenback/Hollenbach Family corrections/additions submitted by LouAnn  Cameron of Washington, NC, a family researcher.

 

INTERVIEW CONTINUES WITH FERN CONKRITE by Grayden Slowins:
G: What about George Hollenbach and his wife, a daughter of Jacob Collingham? Who were their children?
George Hollenbach's wife was not a d/o Jacob Collingham, whoever he may have been. I haven't been able to find any information about him. George Hollenback had 3 wives. 1. Elizabeth Green who died in Hancock Co., OH in 1856. 2. Fanny Jeffers Whaley Isham who died before 1865 and 3. Ruth Jane David Smith, the d/o Roswell David.

After George Hollenback died in 1892, Ruth Jane married Irvin Baird on 29 Apr 1895 in Kent Co., MI.
George raised many children who were not his own, but who were the children of Fanny and Ruth Jane when he married them.

F: Mahala married George High and had a daughter, Nellie, who married Dr. Frederick Morse and they later moved to Lake Odessa. Their son was Dr. George Morse. Sarah (Sadie) married Charles Cooper and had no children. Wallace never married. The other son (George Jr.?) was the father of all these Hollenbachs around now.

Mahala was not George's daughter. She was the daughter of wife 2, and her name was Mahala Whaley. Mahala married George High and had a dau Nellie who married Frederick Morse.

Sarah (Sade) was the d/o George & Fanny Jeffers Whaley Isham and her name was Sarah Isham. She did marry Charles Cooper and had no children that I can find.

Wallace Rush Hollenback was the s/o George & Ruth Jane David. He did not marry and had no children, as stated.
George Sylvester, also the s/o George & Ruth Jane He is supposed to have had 3 wives, but I have less confidence in my records for him than for the others. He spent some time in the military and was honorably discharged in 1895. I don't find him again until 1920….and that's a long time! He was living in Jackson, Jackson Co., MI and had a son Wallace age 21 living with him. That son came back to Ionia at some point in time and died there in 1977. He was b 1896. Others list his mother as Margaret Alice Jones, but I have no verification of that.

I have two other wives:
G. S. Hollenback m Sadie L. Champlin b Garrettsville Twp., married in Portage Co., OH on 9 Jan 1888 - Vol 9 pg 405
His military service was after this marriage.

I have a 3rd wife listed only as Golda. I don't know the dates or order of any of the wives but Sadie, whose maiden name may have been spelled Champaigne.

I have 3 other children about whom I know almost nothing. Edith Henrietta who is supposed to have married Dell Palmer; John Robert and Elsa May.

The other Collingham girl, Elizabeth, married Oliver Smith. Their children were: Eva, who married a man named Cook and lived in Montana; Jane, who married a Towner and had Leighton Smith, Bert Towner, Evert Towner, and a daughter; and Ben, who married Mable Baird Hale and had Alzeo (Mike), Oliver Jr., Irvin, and several girl babies who died.

Mable had been married before, and one of her girls, Beatrice, married Wallace Hollenbach, Jr. (son of George Jr.?) and had Georgiana, Robert, Carrie Lee, Richard, Daryl, Roberta, Carol, and Jamie. Mable’s other daughter, Bernice, married LeRoy Darling and had Irene Carr, Wellman Darling, LeRoy, Jr., and Kathlene.

She must be talking about Beatrice Evelyn Hale who married Winstead Wallace Hollenback about 1930.
Oliver Smith’s first wife was Phoebe A. Gunn, daughter of Samuel and Caroline Gunn. By that marriage there was a daughter Carrie, who was married to Henry Whorley late in life after her first husband, Fred McNeil, died by suicide. (Whorleys lived where Linda Banker is remodeling now.)

Fred McNeil died with the same rope that killed Ellis Dorin, the constable who investigated. Supposedly a third man used it also. McNeil’s problem was a paternity accusation.

 

Last update May 27, 2014