THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR (IONIA COUNTY, MI) Bulletin of
the Sebewa Association,
AUGUST 1994, Volume 30, Number 1.
Submitted with permission of Editor Grayden D. Slowins:
SURNAMES: APSEY, SHELLENBARGER, FRYOVER, DOWNING, GIBBS, HAROLD, BENSCHOTER,
VanBENSCHOTEN, LUSCHER, ARNOLD, PARKER, SLOWINSKI, INGALLS, TERRILL, BROWN,
HALBERT, HOGLE, OKEMOS, KNOX, CATT, LEIK, BOWER, BRECH, CREIGHTON.
ADDIE VELMA APSEY, 87, wife of Frederick, mother of Margaret WILLETT, Beatrice
MOSHER, Vivian LEIK, Helen, Donald & David, & Frederick APSEY, Jr., daughter of
Josephine TRIMMER & Cyrus SHELLENBARGER. She took an active part in their
farming operation on Sec. 29, Tupper Lake Road, Sebewa Township, and hauled more
loads with her John Deere “A” than many men of her generation.
KATHLEEN A. FRYOVER, 72, widow of Samuel FRYOVER, mother of Karen HUFNAGEL,
Luanne CHAMPION, Anna Belle & Thomas FRYOVER, daughter of Elizabeth M. DOWNING &
Thomas GIBBS, son of Mary E. & Norman GIBBS, Sr., son of Robert GIBBS. Elizabeth
M. DOWNING was daughter of Lucia E. & Samuel M. DOWNING, son of Thomas DOWNING,
Sr., all pioneer settlers on Knoll Road, Sebewa Township.
JOSHUA HAROLD, 4, son of Nicole OESCH HAROLD, daughter of Kenneth & Karen OESCH,
daughter of Gerald & Janet GILBERT, daughter of Riley & Annis SANDBORN, daughter
of Bertella BRADLEY & John BENSCHOTER, son of Mary & Oliver BENSCHOTER, son of
Cornelius & Diana VanBENSCHOTEN. Riley was son of Alma LUSCHER & Lawrence (Lon)
SANDBORN, son of Columbus SANDBORN, son of Edward & Betsey SANDBORN. Alma
LUSCHER was daughter of Minnie ERDMAN & Jacob LUSCHER, Jr., son of Anna & Jacob
LUSCHER. Minnie ERDMAN was daughter of Hanna PETERS & Michael F. ERDMAN, son of
Sophie & Christian Frederick ERDMAN of Posen, East Prussia. Bertella BRADLEY was
daughter of John & Mary BRADLEY. Gerald GILBERT is son of Owen GILBERT, son of
Frank GILBERT. So many Sebewa ancestors for one little boy!
GEORGE SIMPSON ARNOLD, 76, husband of Myrtle BAUER ARNOLD, father of Marilyn
ARNOLD PARKER & Dexter ARNOLD, son of Leola SIMPSON & Martin ARNOLD, son of Mary
TAYLOR & Burt W. ARNOLD, son of Isabel KIMBALL & William D. ARNOLD, son of Olive
KIMBALL & Dexter ARNOLD, son of Hanna DEXTER & Job ARNOLD, son of Freelove & Job
ARNOLD, Sr. George was descended from the Dexter Colony that founded Ionia, was
related to the DEXTERS, ARNOLDS, KIMBALLS & YEOMANS, and lived on the ARNOLD
Centennial farm. He was the fourth generation of his family to serve as Easton
OBITUARY FROM IONIA SENTINEL JUNE 11, 1894:
THEOPHILUS SLOWINSKI – The funeral of Theophilus SLOWINSKI, who died Sunday, was
held from the Church of SS. Peter & Paul this morning at 10 o’clock, the large
audience room of the church being filled to its utmost capacity. The Rev. FIERLE
conducted the services and preached an eloquent sermon. The German Aid Society,
of which the deceased was a member, attended in a body to the number of more
than 40, and marched to the cemetery with the remains. There were nearly 50
teams in the procession also.
(Editor’s Note: Great-great-uncle Teofil was a merchant tailor in Ionia, an
officer in the Arbiter Bund (German Workers Aid Society), 47 years of age, and a
hail-fellow-well-met. There were indeed 50 teams behind the hearse on the road
to Mt. Olivet!)
DESCENDANTS OF JONATHAN INGALLS by Grayden Slowins
With information provided by Arlene INGALLS SCHRADER of DeWitt, MI.
Jonathan INGALLS was born May 4, 1762, at Exeter, Grafton County, New Hampshire,
son of Hannah LOCKE & Jonathan INGALLS, Sr. He served in the Revolutionary War
and was married March 8, 1785, to Abigail CLEVELAND, who was born in
Connecticut, May 18, 1766, and died in Massachusetts, January 10, 1833. Jonathan
came to Ionia County, Michigan, with his grown children and grandchildren, who
in 1838 became the first permanent settlers in Sebewa Township. These were the
families of Charles W. INGALLS, John F. TERRILL – husband of Polly INGALLS, and
John BROWN – husband of Sarah (Sally) INGALLS. Other members of Jonathan’s
family followed later, some never came. Jonathan died in Sebewa, October 2,
1843, and his monument is by the side of KEEFER Hwy. near the land which
belonged to his son-in-law, John TERRILL.
Two of John TERRILL’S sons-in-law, thereby grandsons-in-law of Jonathan, Anson
W. HALBERT & William HOGLE, were also in that first settlement. HALBERT ran the
first general store. The TERRILL land was that portion of N ½ NE ¼ Sec 25 Sebewa
which became the John FRIEND-Lawrence KNAPP-James STANK farm and that portion of
Sebewa town which John FRIEND platted from it. TERRILL & HALBERT also built the
first sawmill on Sebewa Creek on that farm.
Jonathan & Abigail INGALLS’ children, all born in Bristol, NH, were:
1. Elizabeth (Betsey) INGALLS born October 12, 1785; married Aaron NELSON
2. Hannah INGALLS born April 3, 1787, died January 3, 1877; married Ezekiel
3. Dorothy (Dolly) INGALLS
4. Martha (Patty) INGALLS
5. Sarah (Sally) INGALLS born July 17, 1793, died June 14, 1867; married John
6. Polly INGALLS born October 6, 1795, died November 21, 1882; married John F.
7. John C. INGALLS born March 21, 1797, died April 1, 1869; married Laura V.
8. Irene (Irena) INGALLS
9. Susan INGALLS born May 19, 1802, died April 6, 1864; married John FOWLER
10. Jonathan INGALLS born June 23, 1804; married Eliza HARRINGTON
11. Sherburn (Sandburn) INGALLS born June 2, 1807, died June 3, 1879; married
Mary Jane SCHOFF
12. Keziah INGALLS born 1810, died 1882; married Milton SAWYER
13. Charles Wesley INGALLS born April 21, 1812, died at Harbor Springs, February
9, 1889; married Catherine D. HAMM
Charles Wesley INGALLS, thirteenth child of Jonathan & Abigail, was the first
settler and forefather of the Sebewa & Danby lines of INGALLS. He located on S ½
SE ¼ Sec. 13 Sebewa, on the land surrounding the WEIPPERT Mill Pond. This land
was later owned for many years by his son Hall Jackson INGALLS. Charles W. then
purchased the SHIMNECON land from the Indians when they moved to Mt. Pleasant,
and Arlene SCHRADER has a copy of a deed signed by Myron J. KING, an Indian
Affairs Administrator, and Charles W. INGALLS on August 6, 1861, and witnessed
by Allen B. MORSE, Notary Public at Ionia. (Editor’s NOTE: After service in the
Civil War, A. B. MORSE eventually became Chief Justice of Michigan Supreme
This 1861 deed shows 109 acres. However the 1875 plat shows 35 acres for Charles
W. INGALLS, 42.62 acres for his son Charles Manley INGALLS, 34 acres for another
son George Augustus INGALLS, and 24 acres for another son Cleveland A. INGALLS.
This adds up to 135.62 acres, and adding in the Samuel WAINRIGHT 39.10 acres
located in the midst of it, brings the total of Indian land to 174.72 acres,
which is very close to the 180 acres they once controlled. The 109 acres is,
however, the same amount to which Manasseh HICKEY acquired a clear title for the
Indians about 1846.
Charles W. INGALLS was serving in the State Legislature from Ionia County by
1853, and by 1873 he had platted INGALLS Addition to the village of Ionia when
it became a city. This addition was bounded by Front (now ADAMS), Depot (now
HUDSON), Railroad, and Second (now DEPOT) Streets. Once occupied by two hotels
and several private homes & businesses, this land is now covered by O’Mara’s
store and several parking lots. They retired to Harbor Springs, where Catherine
died in 1882 and Charles W. died in 1889, and they are buried there.
Charles Wesley INGALLS & Catherine D. HAMM’S children were:
1. Charles Manley INGALLS born July 22, 1835, in Boston, MA, died in Danby,
February 11, 1903; married Lucinda CLARK
2. Hall Jackson INGALLS born March 11, 1837, in Boston, MA, died in Sebewa
January 25, 1927; married Helen BEDEN
3. George Augustus INGALLS born March 19, 1839 in Sebewa, died May 1, 1868;
married Addie FORMAN
4. Cleveland Alphonso INGALLS born August 22, 1841, died June 2, 1900; married
Mary Jane COLBURN
5. Edward Augusta INGALLS born December 16, 1842; married Sarah DIXON
6. Frances Augusta INGALLS born September 30, 1845, died 1927; married Dwight
7. Sylvester William INGALLS born October 9, 1848; married Sarah.
Charles Manley INGALLS farmed the SHIMNECON land in Danby all his life, died
there in 1903, as did his wife Lucinda in 1922, and they are buried in Danby
Cemetery. He was called Boug’edi by Indians.
Charles Manley INGALLS & Lucinda CLARK’S children were:
1. Charles Watters INGALLS born 1857, died April 28, 1914; married Phila SOWLES
2. Katherine INGALLS born July 9, 1864, died September 2, 1907
Charles Watters INGALLS farmed at Charlotte and in SHIMNECON and died there in
1914 and was buried at Danby Cemetery, as was his wife Phila, who died in
Portland June 7, 1954, at age 93.
Their children were:
1. Arthur (Stub) INGALLS born 1882, died November 9, 1902
2. Nellie E. INGALLS born 1886, died September 17, 1906
3. Clarence M. Ingalls born 1888, died March 19, 1936; married Florence FANCHER
4. Lucinda (Lula, Babe) INGALLS born 1891; married Harry KELLEY, buried in
5. Marian INGALLS born May 3, 1897, died November 26, 1981, married Guy W.
STIFFLER, buried in Danby
Clarence M. INGALLS was also a farmer, near Wacousta in Clinton County and died
in 1936 as the result of a corn-picker accident. He is buried in Danby, as is
his wife, Florence, who died in 1967. Clarence M. INGALLS & Florence FANCHER’S
1. Charles Hall INGALLS
2. Louis C. INGALLS born 1924, died August 9, 1986.
John C. INGALLS, seventh child of Jonathan & Abigail, married Laura V. Allen and
their children were:
1. Lindel INGALLS
2. Mary Jane INGALLS
3. Timothy INGALLS
4. John D. INGALLS
We are indebted to Arlene INGALLS SCHRADER for being our connection to the
descendents of Jonathan INGALLS, only a small portion of which are listed here.
NEWS ITEM – PORTLAND REVIEW – MEMORIAL DAY – 1921 – Monuments of Old Indian
Chief and Revolutionary Veteran Unveiled Near Portland.
D.A.R. Chapter Honors Memory of Makers of American History.
OKEMOS was Chief of Old Potawatomi Tribe.
Jonathan INGALLS, Uncle of President CLEVELAND,
Buried in Sebewa with ceremonies impressive and highly interesting, the Stevens
Thomson Mason Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution unveiled two
monuments Sunday afternoon to two makers of history who are buried near
Portland. One boulder was placed at the grave of OKEMOS, former chief of the
Potawatomi tribe and nephew of PONTIAC. The other marks the grave of Jonathan
INGALLS, Revolutionary War Soldier and patriot.
The grave of OKEMOS is located in the old Indian reservation, MESHIMMENCONING,
on the river road east of Grand River and south of Portland. His body was placed
there in 1858. The body of Jonathan INGALLS lies in a field a short distance
south of Sebewa Corners. The stone is placed close to the roadside, where it may
easily be read by those who pass. The two stones were prepared from native Ionia
County rock by John SHELL of Ionia and were designed with taste as well as with
a thought to permanency.
“WHITE CHIEF” Tells of OKEMOS. The ceremony at the grave of OKEMOS was made more
impressive by the presence of friends who knew the old chieftain or whose
fathers were associates of OKEMOS. Among those persons was Hall J. INGALLS of
Sebewa, called by the red men “White Chief”. INGALLS befriended OKEMOS and from
that time until the death of the chief, the two were close friends. Hall J.
INGALLS superintended the burial of OKEMOS.
Mrs. Levi MARSHALL, regent of the chapter, led the ceremonies. Following the
reading of the ritual, the purpose of the placing of the stone and some of the
projects of the chapter were told by Miss Kate L. BENEDICT, former regent. She
stated that the work done by the chapter is conducted largely to preserve for
posterity the interesting historical facts and legends concerning Michigan.
Dr. F. N. TURNER of Lansing read a highly interesting paper concerning the later
days of OKEMOS and of how in his declining years he often visited his old
planting grounds on the banks of the Cedar River in Ingham County, near where
the town of OKEMOS now stands, and of his friendships among the white settlers
of that county. Dr. TURNER’S information was gleaned mostly from stories told by
the doctor’s father.
Mrs. MARSHALL formally presented the red granite monument to the public, as Geer
SMITH and Marian MORSE drew the cords which raised the American flag from the
cut face of the rock. Mr. INGALLS told many interesting things about OKEMOS,
which must be recounted in later stories. He told of the appearance of the old
chieftan. When OKEMOS died his guns, clothing, cooking utensils, and food were
buried with him and fires of sassafras wood appeased the evil spirits whole
OKEMOS’ spirit journeyed that long trail to the happy hunting ground.
OBITUARY – PORTLAND REVIEW – January 25, 1927 – HIS BOYHOOD DAYS SPENT WITH
INDIANS – Hall J. INGALLS’ Long Life Ends Friday, After Illness Lasting Only a
Few Weeks. Born in Boston, Came to This Section at Age Three Months.
Hall J. INGALLS, stricken with paralysis while in his barn at the farm in Sebewa
Township a few weeks ago, died Friday evening. He would have been 90 years old
had he lived until March 11. Funeral services were held at the home Monday
afternoon, a neighbor, Wm. ROSEVERE, taking the place of a minister and making a
few personal remarks. Burial was in Portland Cemetery.
Mr. INGALLS was born in Boston, Mass., March 11, 1837, coming to Novi, Mich.,
with his parents at the age of 3 months. They moved to Sebewa in 1838. There
were only three white neighbors, but many Indians. In 1844 the family moved to
Portland, remaining seven years. In 1851 the elder INGALLS (Charles W.) bought
the place where Hall J. lived at the time of his death, building a sawmill and
dam (Editor’s Note: This would have to be on the site of WEIPPERT’S Mill,
surrounded by the Hall J. INGALLS farm). The country was thickly wooded and
father and sons helped to clear it. In 1857 the family moved to Ionia and next
year Hall J. helped to survey a state road from Ionia to Mackinac.
In 1860 a party of Indian leaders came to Ionia and wanted to sell the tract
known as SHIMNECON, located in Danby Township. Hall’s father bought it for
$2000, the son turning in a pony, valued at $50, as first payment. They moved to
the tract in 1861. In 1865 Hall J. bought from his father the farm in Sebewa
where he last resided, a little north of Sebewa Corners. From the time he came
to this section until his death, he had spent but one year outside this county.
That was in 1872, when he made his headquarters in Grand Ledge, while selling
Mrs. INGALLS was formerly Helen BEDEN. Though 83 years old now, she enjoys good
health and has borne up under the strain of helping care for her husband during
his illness remarkably well. Part of the time she has insisted on being alone
with him nights, but two neighbors, Edward SPENCER and Carl LINDSLEY, were
keeping vigil with her Friday night, when, shortly before midnight, the old
pioneer breathed his last.
NEWS ITEM – PORTLAND REVIEW – DATE ILLEGIBLE – Indians Only Danby Residents
When White Settlers Arrived. John Compton Helped Christianize the Colony. His
Daughter First White Child Born There.
The Indians were prominent because they were the first inhabitants and
possessors of our land. Also their Indian village on Sec. 22, Danby, the village
of MESHIMMENCONING was probably the first settler, coming in 1835 and locating
on Sec. 5. In 1836 Asher KILBURN located in the bend of Grand River on Sec. 8
and worked land owned by a Mr. Jones of Detroit. The same year John & William
CONKRITE made first settlement on the south side of the Grand. They purchased
considerable land along the river, put up a cabin on Sec. 21 in the summer of
1836, and in the fall returned eastward. In the spring of 1837 William came back
to Danby with his family for permanent settlement, while John, his brother, went
to Texas, where he was killed.
The first frame barn in the township was built by John COMPTON in 1839. His
father-in-law, Daniel HULL, came with him and brought a bushel of apple seed and
planted and produced the first orchard in the township. The first teacher was
Hester DAVID, daughter of Alpha DAVID. The first white child born in Danby was
Jane E. COMPTON, daughter of John COMPTON. The date was April 30, 1838. She
became Mrs. Jane Peabody and lived at Mulliken, one mile from her birthplace.
The second birth was that of Charles G. BROOKS, August 28, 1838.
It is said by some that the first death was that of the wife of Abijah SCHOFF in
1838. She was buried on the farm of her husband on Sec. 1. It is very probable,
however, that the first to die was Martha, daughter of Wm. CONKRITE, who was
four years old and was burned to death in a flaming brush heap bout 1837.
John COMPTON was the first postmaster, retaining the position 20 years. His
successors were John CAHOON, Redding SARGENT, J. R. DAVID, John HOVEY, Samuel F.
DAVID. The first Town Meeting was held at John COMPTON’S house on April 7, 1845.
Abijah F. SCOFF, Willard L. BROOKS, Wm. CONKRITE & Lorenzo SEARS were chosen
inspectors, and John COMPTON clerk. Charles BROOKS was elected treasurer.
Justicies were Mathew DAVENPORT, Wm. CONKRITE, Henry JONES & Lorenzo SEARS.
Highway commissioners were Oscar P. SCOFF & Elkanah DRAKE. Constables were
Elkanah DRAKE & Alpha DAVID. Assessor was Willard L. BROOKS.
ODDFELLOW HALL UPDATE: Alzeo (Mike) SMITH, son of Ben & Mable, writes to ask
when the Oddfellows Hall at Sebewa Corners was built. We knew it was not there
in 1881, and Fern CONKRITE calculates the date to be 1889, based on an obituary
of a charter member.
SESQUI-CENTENNIAL FARMER – ALMOST: Beth A. INGRAHAM, co-owner with her
husband, Timothy L., of the KNOX Farm on KNOX Road, just east of Sec. 1 Sebewa.
Beth is daughter of Kendall KNOX, son of Thelma MOYER & Frederick KNOX, son of
Frederick KNOX, Sr., son of Harvey KNOX, son of John KNOX, who settled on that
farm in 1836. Recently a visiting Agricultural Agent introduced Beth as a
farmer’s wife. “No” said Beth, “I’m one of the farmers!” A timely comment for a
1990s farmer who is a sixth generation tiller of that soil. She is also
descended from the SHEURERS of Orange and the MOYERS of Sebewa & Eagle.
FROM THE MAILBAG: LeRoy CATT has received interesting mail from a Houston
lady. About 15 years ago the Lake Odessa Area Historical Society received a
letter of inquiry about the CATT family from a Patricia SACHELI. Her letter was
simply handed to LeRoy to answer. The New York lady did ten years worth of
genealogy research and then died. Fortunately her widower kept her papers, even
tho they held no interest to him. Then a Rochester, NY, gentleman began
searching for his CATT ancestry and learned of Mrs. SACHELI. By then, she had
died, but her husband loaned him her material. Now Lillian KATES of Houston, TX,
has been searching and by mail learned of the Rochester man, who in turn shared
his findings plus those from Mrs. SACHELI and from Mr. CATT. The KATES lady
shares the story that her grandmother said she would never marry a CAT, so her
prospective husband changed his name to CATE and later to KATES. Another branch
of the family tells that one of the New York CATTS paid a priest in Churchville,
NY, $10 to change the surname on a vital church record. The Texas lady is
descended from David CATT, who was the oldest brother of LeRoy’s grandfather,
George CATT, who was born in England and farmed on Ralph Road in Odessa
Township. George was the father of our own Vertie McDONALD, who lived to be 108
yers, 10 months & 26 days. Robert, another brother of David & George, was in the
Civil War and is buried in Lakeside Cemetery.
Charles LEIK calls our attention to an exhibit by the National Building
Museum in the Old Pension Building in Washington, DC. The exhibit features a
timber-frame barn from Eaton Rapids, Michigan. It was taken down board-by-board
and timber-by-timber and transported to Washington. Charles participated in the
barn-raising last March, and the exhibit ends at 4:00 PM, Sunday, September 11,
1994. It just so happens we will arrive in Washington for the National
Association of Towns & Townships convention on Saturday night, September 10, and
hope to catch that exhibit.
Jeff BOWER was a top competitor in the Antique Tractor Pull at the Lake
Odessa Fair. He drove a nicely restored 1937 Allis-Chalmers WC tractor. Jeff is
grandson of Louis BOWER and great-grandson of George BOWER, who once operated a
tractor just like that, maybe the same one.
WHEN THE FELLOWS IN THE BLACK HATS WERE THE GOOD GUYS –
Great-great-grandfather John BRECH was drafted (they called it conscription
then) in the War of 1812. These Mennonite boys were to bring their teams to war.
As Teamsters naturally they hauled supplies. But their main function in battle
was to gather the wounded and dead. These German boys served on both sides of
the conflict and gathered the casualties without regard for color of uniform.
They would draw up the battle lines and then drop back while the firing was
going on. But when they went onto the battlefield to gather the wounded, no-one
would put a rifle ball thru one of those black hats. Not one was seriously
wounded or killed, and after the war they were paid $5.00 for every day they &
their horses served.
There is a monument in Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, Australia, to those
who served in the Boer War in 1898. Included are a Farrier Sergeant and several
Elmer CREIGHTON was one of the last blacksmiths in the Army Air Force in World
War II. He patched holes in bombers when they returned from flights over Berlin.
We imbedded an anvil & Hammer in the base of his cemetery marker. In his eulogy
Edgar Fleetham said Elmer had set his forge and trip-hammer on the corner of
First & Main in Heaven and was waiting to hammer our bean knives.