Items of Genealogical Interest
Volume 26 Number 6
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
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
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
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”.
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
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
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
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
(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.
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
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.
May 27, 2014