THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR Bulletin of the Sebewa Association,
APRIL 1992, Volume 27, Number 5.
Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. Slowins:
SURNAMES: LAY, HUFNAGEL, SPITZLEY, SCHMITT, KLOECKNER, THEIS, PHILP, HISSONG,
YORK, REED, TOWNSEND, HARWOOD, HOWARD, REDSTROM, TASKER, GODBEHERE, BRAKE,
COSENS, MILLER, GOODCHILD, PAGE, DANIELS, THOMAS, SOBER, CATT, McDONALD, FRASER,
WATSON, MERCHANT, SANDBORN, BERA, MAPES, WEIPPERT, McCARTNEY, LOVELL, WEBBER,
OWSLEY, BROWN, WILKINS, WELCH, MASON, COLLINGWOOD, STONE, BOWEN, ABBEY, HUDSON,
LEE, SPRINGER, CLAY, FORD, VanderHEYDEN, WOOD
MARY K. LAY, 89, daughter of Katherine Hufnagel & Joseph Spitzley, son of Mary
Catherine Schmitt & Anton Spitzley, son of Anna Maria Kloeckner & Johann Jakob
Spitzley. She was a widow of William Schmitt and a 1st cousin to Leo Spitzley
Sr. Both these women are mentioned because of their connection to our story in
CLARENCE H. PHILP, 76, son of Walter & Florence Philp, father of Ricard & Linda,
husband of Doris C. Hissong Philp (not Philip!). Doris’ parents, Eli & Dora York
Hissong, brought their family to Sebewa by covered wagon about 1920, and farmed
on the Stephen York homestead, Sec. 10, near her brothers, Harry & Ernest York.
Many of the Hissong family, as well as the York family, are buried in the West
Sebewa Cemetery, and some in the East Cemetery.
LLOYD F. REED, 89, son of Blanche Townsend & Earl Reed, son of Clara Harwood &
Thomas Hosea Reed. Also grandson of Henry Townsend, he was husband of Wilma,
father of Eleanor, brother of Bernice Howard & Iris Tasker. Lloyd told his life
story in our June & August 1991 issues.
REGINA GODBEHERE, 61, born in Lake Odessa, daughter of Roland Redstrom &
Gwendolyn Tasker, daughter of Frank Tasker & Martha Jane (Jennie) Brake,
daughter of Abraham Brake & Caroline Cosens, daughter of Ann Miller & Charles
Cosens, son of Ann Goodchild & Charles Cosens Sr. Frank Tasker, son of John
Tasker, was foreman of Frank Page’s milk condensery in Lake Odessa, and the
family long lived in the house on Second Avenue later owned by Euceba Daniels &
Bernard Thomas. Regina operated a nursing home in Lansing. Her mother,
Gwendolyn, was once housekeeper for Howard Sober in what is now the Governor’s
VERTIE CATT McDONALD is alive and well at 108. Last year her photo was shown
on the Today Show, but now the host says she will have to wait until 110,
because as many as 200 people a day are going beyond age 100. Vertie and Frank
McDonald farmed on the A. C. Green – Reverend Hoffman – Kyle Stambaugh farm on
Musgrove Hwy. Sec. 23 Sebewa, before owning their place on State Road Sec. 19.
ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO:
Sebewa Township Supervisor Watson Merchant purchased the Emma Fraser farm in SW
¼ Sec. 31 Portland and moved across the corner from his old home in NE ¼ Sec. 1
Sebewa. He also owned land in SE ¼ Sec. 36 Orange. The Portland Review said
“Although Mr. Merchant eats and sleeps in Portland, the smoke from his chimney
will drift over Sebewa with the wind in the northeast, into Danby if from the
north, into Orange if from the east, and into Portland village if from the west.
He is the only man who can stand in his yard and throw a stone into any of the
other four townships mentioned (three-fourths of it his own land). A fly that
bites Wat’s horses one minute is likely to chase Sandborn’s cows the next”.
MAPES FURNITURE in Sunfield is celebrating 100 years. J. H. Bera started the
furniture & undertaking business. He was also the postmaster and first Sunfield
Village President. His son-in-law, Harry Mapes, came to town from Sebewa in 1907
and joined him in the business. Eventually they came to occupy the space of six
stores wide and a block deep. The west portion on the corner was Sunfield State
Savings Bank before the Bank Holiday and Griffin Weippert was the last Cashier.
Mapes ancestors are buried in East Sebewa Cemetery and J. H. Bera has relatives
in the West Cemetery.
ANOTHER FORMER BANK BUILDING has recently been remodeled as a hair salon. The
Lake Odessa State Savings Bank could be recognized by the burglar alarm located
near the roof-line of the brick building on the east side of the 1000 block on
Fourth Avenue, even tho it closed as a bank 60 years ago. William H. McCartney
was the last Cashier and later operated a real estate and insurance business
there with his son, C. Hale McCartney. The bank merged with the Farmers’ &
Merchants Bank after the Bank Holiday, to form the Union Bank. The embossed
metal ceiling and wainscoting have been uncovered, and the ornate entrance to
the vault restored.