Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 32 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 Association,
FEBRUARY 1997, Volume 32, Number 4. (Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI.)
Submitted with written permission of Grayden D. SLOWINS, Editor:



MYRON W. (MIKE) GUY, 79, husband of Kathryn PUMFREY GUY, father of Kenneth, brother of Neva KANTNER, Reva NEUNENFELDT, Valeta BOSWORTH, Alma SMITH & Arlene SUNTKEN, son of Jacob & Gertrude SHAFFER GUY. Mike was a farmer and Mitchell-Bentley employee.

VALAIRE YORK ADDISON, 89, widow of Robert, mother of Robert Jr., Cynthia ADDISON & Laurie DeHAVEN, sister of Virginia BUTLER & Bruce YORK, daughter of Ernest G. & Pearl BEVER YORK.

ROBERT C. LILLIE, 89,husband of Pauline GIERMAN LILLIE, brother of Bettie HUMPHREY. He worked at Willow Run Bomber Plant, Johnson Furniture Co., Michigan Trust Co., and private law practice.


We continue our tour of Upper Peninsula courthouses with a visit to Dickinson County Courthouse, in Iron Mountain, built in 1896. The courthouse and adjoining jail are built of Upper Peninsula red sandstone, and the jail has a turret, castellations, and gunports. Both are trimmed inside with dark-stained hardwoods. No further history was available.

Next we visited Menominee County Courthouse in Menominee. The word Menominee is said to mean “Wild Rice” in the Indian language. And the area at the mouth of the Menominee River was settled by the Native American tribe called the Menominee. While the area was quite densely populated by the Menominee Indian tribe, who were content to fish and hunt, the white settlers who came in developed the water-power of the Menominee River and its tributaries, both on the Wisconsin and Michigan sides. The many sawmills in Marinette, WI, and Menominee, MI, became well-known for their lumber industry. The river was well-stocked with sturgeon and the fish-shipping industry also flourished.

What is now Menominee County was originally established as Bleeker County by an act of the State Legislature on March 15, 1861. Its western boundary was the Menominee River, which separates Wisconsin and Michigan before entering Green Bay. It extended to Delta County on the east and Dickenson and Marquette Counties on the north. When it came time to organize the county into a self-governing unit, the residents of the area objected to having the county called Bleeker. They raised money to send one of their leading citizens, an attorney named Eleazer S. INGALLS, to Lansing to see if the new county could be organized as Menominee. INGALLS was successful in that endeavor and the legislature passed an act in 1863 providing that “The County of Bleeker is hereby organized into the County of Menominee”.

The new organizing act, which changed the name of the county from Bleeker to Menominee, also provided that John QUIMBY Sr., Nicholas GEWEHR, and E. S. INGALLS be appointed to locate the county seat, and it was to be in Township 31 north, Range 27 West. Menominee was selected as the county seat and the Supervisors meeting in Quimby’s Tavern set aside a parcel of land called “Court House Square”. When Supervisors bought two acres of land on Ogden Avenue and sold the court house square back to its original owners.

The first circuit judge to serve this new county had come from Detroit and was Judge Daniel GOODWIN. By an act of the legislature in 1865, a new judicial district was created, composed of the counties of Menominee, Delta, Mackinac, Cheboygan, and Manitou. Judge GOODWIN was elected to a full six-year term to begin January 1, 1876. Until the completion of the new courthouses in 1875, he had held court in Quimby’s Tavern.

The Menoiminee County Courthouse is situated on two acres of land in the center of the City of Menominee. In 1975 it was designated as a Michigan Historical Site. At the Annual Township Elections on April 6, 1874, the citizens elected “To procure plans, specifications, and estimates for a new courthouse and jail in one building for the use of the County of Menominee, the cost of which shall not exceed $30,000”.

And according to the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Supervisors on April 14, 1874, “An advertisement for plans and specifications was inserted in the Menominee Herald and copies were forwarded to different architects”. The plans and specifications drawn by G. P. RANDALL, architect, of Chicago, were selected from among seven others received for consideration………

…….When completed in 1875, it was reported that “Now the county has a courthouse which would be no discredit to any county in the State”. In 1902, a new jail was attached to the south side and a projecting entry was added to the front…….

The Menominee County Board of Commissioners decided to retain the old courthouse, surrounded by 20th century additions, as evidence of the county’s individuality, when it made its decision to remodel in 1980. Care was given to maintain the historical significance of the original 1874 structure, including the cupola on the top of the building, which was restored to the original design.

The Delta County Courthouse and Jail in Escanaba, built in 1882, were not nearly so fortunate. They were replaced by a flat-roofed building with lots of window-walls and pink-glass panels that make it look like a dime-store. A picture is all that remains to tell of the proud Romanesque towered structure that once stood in its place.

Schoolcraft County did a little better in constructing its flat, brown-brick Courthouse in a tastefully modern design similar to the one we saw to the north of Newberry in Luce County. But it looks more like a modern High School than a seat of county government.


Editor’s note: This article from the Grand Rapids Press is about the Sexton of BURDELL Township Cemetery near Cadillac. But it speaks for all of us who perform that final act of respect for all who have lived on this earth.

Grave digger Clarence SAMUELSON says: ………began digging graves and pruning the trees more than 20 years ago by helping his cousin, Hartley HOLMQUIST, who was the sexton……..He bent down and rubbed the moss off a headstone: HOLMQUIST, Hartley A. 1906-1981. “Golly”, SAMUELSON said, standing erect, “It don’t seem that long since he died. Yeah, he was my cousin and he was eight days younger than I was….

Traditionally, the deceased is buried facing east toward the rising sun…..a married couple are buried with the husband on the right, wife on the left, same as when you’re married”.

To him, burying someone is like a gift. “It’s the last thing you can do for ‘em…..a lot of these people, I knowed ‘em and now they’re laying out here. Yeah, it gets pretty lonesome without ‘em when youlived with ‘em that long. They all come out here eventually. It don’t make no difference if they’re a pauper or a millionaire. They’re all the same when I get through with ‘em.” He picks up his rake, shovel, and coat and heads for his pickup truck. END


There are two cemeteries and a single burial site in Sebewa Township at the present time. A third cemetery, called the CARPENTER or REEDER Cemetery, was a private cemetery located in the northeast corner NE ¼ Sec. 32 at the intersection of KIMMEL & TUPPER Lake Roads. It was about one-fourth acre in size. In 1905 this cemetery was taken up and the CARPENTERS were moved to the West Sebewa Cemetery and the REEDERS were moved to East Sebewa Cemetery.

The West Cemetery was started on August 1, 1872, when Thomas LEIK sold Sebewa Township a one-acre plot, 12 ½ rods deep x 13 rods long, just to the west of the lot 15 rods long, at northeast corner NE ¼ Sec. 30, MUSGROVE Hwy. & GODDARD Rd, which he had sold to the Baptist Church two years earlier. The Baptist Church assumed the care of the cemetery in the early days, but from day one the cemetery belonged to the Township. On May 10, 1919, the Township purchased an additional 40 feet (2 rods & 7 feet) on the west end from Frank & Carrie KIMBLE, successors to the Thomas LEIK estate. In 1929, a State law was passed stating that any cemetery which no longer had the funds for proper care must be taken over by the local unit of government. Due to the Depression, the Baptist Church turned the care back to Sebewa Township. On September 22, 1952, Maurice & Vera GIERMAN sold a lot 12 ½ rods deep x 7 rods long to the Township. On August 25, 1986, GIERMANS sold a lot 12 ½ rods deep x 13 rods long to the Township. This makes 12 ½ rods x 35 rods 7 feet or two & three-fourths across.

The cemetery known originally as Sebewa Cemetery and now as East Sebewa Cemetery, was started with 1.234 acre at the center of the north side of NE ¼ Sec. 24 on Bippley Road near KEEFER Hwy., purchased from Jacob HIGH on May 14, 1858. Polly BAKER was the first recorded burial there, on August 29, 1861, however it is believed some of the unmarked and unrecorded graves may have been there as early as 1845. Our earliest marked grave in the Township is that of Jonathan INGALLS, Soldier of The Revolution, born 1762, died 1843, buried along the roadside on KEEFER Hwy., one-fourth mile south of MUSGROVE Hwy. in Sec. 25.

On October 8, 1904, 2 acres were purchased from Jacob COLLINGHAM’S log yard and added to the west end of the East Cemetery, bringing the property line to the center of Sebewa Creek. On January 6, 1972, a driveway along the top of the creek bank at the west end of the cemetery was traded to Clyde & Opal THUMA for a driveway along the south and east sides, plus one acre additional on the east end. This brought the total to 4.159 acres.

Some sextons at one or both cemeteries over the years were:
Harvey GUNN – east
William PETRIE – east
Edwin LEAK – west
Lynn & Alice BAILIFF
Carl & Tena RISCHOW
Orrin & Lavancha AUSTIN
Clyde & Bertha AVERY
Grayden & Ann SLOWINS

CORRECTION: Our last issue – Volume 32 – Number 3, should have read December 1996. We publish six times a year, and there is no NOVEMBER issue.


Benjamin C. PEACOCK & Catherine DOWNING’S children were:
Thomas L. PEACOCK, MD; Harlan J., Jesse, Cora (WARING), Dora (JOHNSON), Della (REGHIE), Ella (WILSON).

Harlan J. PEACOCK & Alice HITCHCOCK’S children were:
Robert, Homer J., Howard (Ted), Wayne, Elwood (died age 6), Harlan Jr. (died young), Catherine (SMITH), Bertha (CROEL), Ruth (PETERSON), Ivah (GUERNSEY).

Samuel Leander PEACOCK & Eunice LINDLEY’S children were:
Luella (COOK), Thomas Leander, Elwood (Jim), Leona (VanGOE), Albert, LeRoy, Walter. Samuel L. PEACOCK’S death was given wrong in some copies of the last issue. It should be October 15, 1918.



Last update November 15, 2013