Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 29 Number 4
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,
FEBRUARY 1994, Volume 29, Number 4
Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. Slowins:



MERIDITH SANDBORN, 82, widow of Allen Sr, mother of Allen Jr, Patricia, Bruce, Robert & James, sister of Vivian COE, Marian CROEL & Richard MILES, daughter of Myrtle BANDFIELD & Charles MILES. They farmed numerous places, including the LINDSLEY-RISCHOW farm, Charles BROOKS farm, west half William CARBAUGH farm, Charles CORTNEY-Larry BOWER farm, a farm east of Clarksville, and a farm with brick house on M-43 near Mulliken. Then he went to work at Ionia prisons and she served as Easton Township Clerk for about 30 years. Buried in Easton Cemetery.

MAURICE H. VROMAN, 90, widower of Zelma VERLINDE, husband of Jean KIRKHAM, father of Leo, Albert, Rosamond BALL, George, son of Metchie & Henry VROMAN. See Volume 29, No. 1, August 1993, for more on VROMAN family. Buried in Portland Cemetery.

GARY LEE ERDMAN, 42, former husband of Jackie Cassel ERDMAN MULHOLLAND, father of Kylie & Amy ERDMAN, brother of Jody CASSEL, Molly CASSEL, Diane ANTHONY, Gordon PETRIE, John PETRIE, Bill ERDMAN & Richard ERDMAN, son of Ruth MILLER & Fred Hugh ERDMAN. Buried in East Sebewa Cemetery.


The ERDMAN story begins with Sophie & Christian FREDERICK ERDMAN in Posen, East Prussia. Their two sons were C. William ERDMAN & Michael F. ERDMAN. C. William ERDMAN (EARTHMAN) was born in Posen in 1849, married Lottie KOON, and they came to E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 19 Danby on Musgrove Hwy. at northwest corner of ERDMAN Road sometime after 1875. Ruth still owns that land today.
1. Frederick W.
2. John
3. William Jr.
4. Mary
5. Clara

1. Agnes
2. Lottie
3. Grace
Agnes was a teacher at Sebewa High School. She & Lottie never married. Grace married Farrel DEATSMAN. Fred W. & Mary lived at W1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 30 Danby, on the south side of Mussgrove Hwy., which became the Russell HALLADAY farm and is now part of Weldon BROWN farm. Grace and Farrel followed them on this farm.

MICHAEL F. ERDMAN (EARTHMAN) came to Sebewa about 1870 and settled on what was later known as the William PETRIE farm at E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 26. He tilled the soil for his first crop of wheat with a shovel and would have gone barefoot to cut it with a cradle scythe if neighbors hadn’t warned him of rattlesnakes. He built the house that still stands on the Petrie farm, and barn that was taken down just a couple years ago. His wife was Hanna Peters.
1. Charles ERDMAN – married Viola Mary BLOOD.
2. Sharlotta (Lottie) ERDMAN – married Peter KNAPP.
3. Minnie ERDMAN – married Jacob LUSCHER Jr.
4. Augusta ERDMAN – married her cousin John ERDMAN.
5. John Frederick ERDMAN – married Ada BROWN.
6. Mary ERDMAN – married Melvin PALMER.
7. Rose ERDMAN – married Fred BROWN.
8. Frank Peter ERDMAN – married Florence BORTON, Elizabeth COE & Gertrude DORAN.
9. Lena Mae ERDMAN – married Hayden MARTINDALE.
10. George ERDMAN – married Millie.

1. Alma LUSCHER – married Lawrence (Lon) SANDBORN.
2. Nora LUSCHER – married Harry TUSSING.
3. Emma LUSCHER – married Norman GIBBS Jr.
4. Edna LUSCHER – married Bert McNeil, J. Peter LICH, Rob WENGER.
5. Ada LUSCHER – married Johnson & went to Utah with Mormons.
6. Homer LUSCHER – died age 21 unmarried.
7. Walter LUSCHER – died as infant.
8. John LUSCHER – died age 28 unmarried.

1. Clarence
2. Charles
3. Wilfred
They also went west to Utah with the Mormons.

ROSE & FRED BROWN lived at W1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 19 Danby, where Howard SANDBORN lives today.
1. Harry
2. Bert
3. Ted
4. Inez
5. Walter
6. Ruth

GEORGE & MILLIE ERDMAN lived on south side of Musgrove at W1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 29 Danby, now part of Weldon BROWN farm also, buildings gone now. Later they lived on Ionia Road in Portland Township, just west of Maurice VROMAN.
1. Mae LaBARGE

1. Jean – married Lawrence PEABODY.

FRANK PETER ERDMAN & FLORENCE lived on north east corner of ERDMAN Road & Musgrove Hwy. at S3/4 W1/2 W1/2 Sec. 20 Danby.
1. Flora ERDMAN – married James DILLEY & still living past 90.
2. Fred ERDMAN – died young.
3. Floyd Erdman – married Lillian GETTINGS, Ethel LOVE & Cecil GOODEMOOT.

1. Donald

1. Charlene
2. Mildred
3. Donna
4. Florence
5. Frederick Hugh
They lived on the C. William ERDMAN farm on west side of road. Frederick HUGH followed on same farm

1. Gary.

NEW ZEALAND conclusion by Grayden Slowins:

Fly-fishermen are trying for trout on a stream entering Lake Taupo. Brown & rainbow trout were imported from California in 1884. Radial pine & Australian Blue Gum trees, which were used to manufacture photo-copy paper. Lots of brand-new lambs, not licked off yet, on flats by the lake. In the distance it is snowing in the Kaimanawa mountains and a sign says “Desert Road Closed”. We will take the windy road instead. We see some very pregnant Romneys. Freshly worked ground for potatoes and freshly dug carrots. English Leicester sheep with long stringy wool over their eyes like a Lincoln, not clean face & Roman nose like a Border Leicester. Ohakune has a carrot statue to its main product here on the mountain plateau. We drive thru sleet at 3600 ft above sea level, and see a 2500 acre sheep farm in Rengitiki Province.

To Nelson for the night. Nelson is named for Lord Nelson, a navigator; Lord Rutherford, splitter of the atom & inventor of fluorescent light was born here. Sawmills here for shipping squared logs to Japan. Also meat processing plant. We see Kiwi-fruit, developed by hybridizing Chinese Gooseberry. Fruit is high in vitamin C, skins are fed to cattle & sheep in winter. An Allis-Chalmers WD tractor. First trench silo we have seen, no upright silos.

Wednesday, September 8, sheep on the flats, sheep on the hills, sheep everywhere, a shepherd’s dream tour! Daffodils grow wild in the sheep pastures. Hope river valley contains Little Hope, Big Hope, Some Hope & No Hope Rivers……Too wet for sheep along the west coast of South Island, so dairy & deer & water buffalo……

We do see lots of Jersey & Ayrshire dairy cattle, and outdoor milking parlor on the flats by Tasman Sea……The area is subtropical forest due to the rains, yet not humid. It rains a little every day, so they can’t make hay, but some silage in plastic bags for cattle, never for sheep.

We head inland up the Haast River Valley to the plateau……Here they have imported Merino sheep from Australia to live on the dry hill pastures. This time of the year they are down in the valley along Lake Wanaka to have their lambs. We travel for miles & miles along beautiful Lake Wanaka. Apricot blossoms, peach, pear, nectarine orchards & grape vineyards. Little lambs blossoming everywhere. Some ewes are getting hay. At Roaring Meg Power Station we cross the 45th Parallel South, equivalent to Gaylord, MI, in northern latitudes……

At dusk we ride on cruise ship Earnslaw across the lake past mountain range called The Remarkables, to Walter Peak Sheep Station. Walter Peak is a mountain, not a man. The sheep station, formerly owned by the McKenzie family, has 64,000 acres and 28,000 sheep. Marinos are raised on the mountains for their fine wool. Corriedales are raised on the flatlands for nice lambs. After dinner at the sheep station, we enjoy a nighttime cruise back to Queenstown and a walk on the docks back to our luxurious hotel.

Sunday, September 12, out of town past small town called Frankton on a peninsula, where a few lambs are just born this morning. This is Southland Province and the English Down breeds such as Dorset & Suffolk are common here. Shepherds are out with their pickups checking on lambing. Elk farms. Kingston is settled by Irish miners……Athol is a town settled by Scottish shepherds, like Athol McNeil of Sebewa, I suspect.

These sheep have many more twins than the breeds raised in other parts of the country and shepherds check them carefully. They can be walked up to when freshly lambed. Problem cases can be located & taken to a shed. It appears to be the first day of lambing season. Good grass pasture & turnips. Very flat & fertile land. More hay & tool sheds here. Some lambs all black, some with black feet & head. Intensive care here, not on-their-own like range sheep. Mossburn is another town settled by Scottish shepherds. Then we see some Tussock grass which grows as a weed and must be closely grazed & clipped, because plowing or burning will not destroy it. In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt gave deer to New Zealand and today there are 2700 deer farms for meat & hides……

New Zealand has correspondence courses in agriculture thru the Ag College at Hamilton in North Island. Students have a ten-year apprenticeship with annual three-week study on campus. After passing the exams and acquiring $80,000, 200 sheep or 100 cattle & necessary machinery, their name goes in a lottery to purchase 1000 acres sheep land or 200 acres dairy at reduced prices. The large government-owned sheep stations are being split up to do this……

We pass Blackmouth forest……cross Waiau River to Tautapere. Sheep are pasturing turnips. A shepherd is helping twin lambs in process of birthing. The pasture fields are smaller here on the flatlands, 20-40 acres in size, with larger fields on the hills behind for summer pasture. Large ducks are Paradise Ducks, and the white-headed one is the male. At Tautapere the town lots of one or two acres have a few sheep pasturing among the daffodils. Town had largest sausage factory in New Zealand. Also a sawmill with lumber banded on shipping skids.

We pass by Foveaux Strait……….Invercargill is the sixth-largest city in New Zealand and southernmost in United Kingdom……Bluff Harbor is famous for Bluff oysters……Mataura has a paper recycling mill……Mosgiel has a woolen mill and a Ferguson tractor dealership……Pacific Ocean……Dunedin……Palmerston……Waitaki dam & power station……Cook Strait………we see sheep mowing in the cemetery and a gren Deutz-Allis farm tractor……Merino sheep again create a traffic jam……Tekapo River Valley……The flat sheep pastures suddenly change to “a little bit rolling!” Then flat again as we enter Geraldine, formerly called Fitzgerald. They raised flax for linen here until end of WWII, now garden crops, grain & sheep. We bought a Swiss Army Knife made by our cousins, the Wengers, of Delemont, Switzerland, Confederation of Helvetica. We also purchased one in Wengen, Switzerland in 1989.

We are crossing the Canterbury Plains, famous for Canterbury Lambs. The land is flat & irrigated and the lambs have spotted faces, indicating they are crossbred with meat sires. Farmers are preparing to plant the rich soil to spring wheat, barley & oats…….

New Zealand’s two islands have about the same land area as Michigan’s two peninsulas, a total length over 1000 miles (Michigan’s is 600), 3 million population (Michigan’s is 9 million), and 60 million sheep!

We leave Christchurch on Quantas Flight 46 at 6:00 PM, Wednesday, September 15, arriving back in Sydney at 7:15 PM……
We depart from Los Angeles on Northwest Flight 338, a DC-10……arrive in Detroit,,,,,Actual flying time on return trip is 17 hours 45 minutes compared to 20 hours 55 minutes going over. Only a handful of people on this milk run and we can follow our path all the way, mostly along I-96. We spot U of M stadium & Ann Arbor, Lansing, Eagle, Bruce WALKINGTON’S big dairy barn & blue silos, and then quickly looking back we see our Sebewa Sheep Farm!



Last update November 15, 2013