Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 32 Number 5
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,
APRIL 1997, Volume 32, Number 5. Submitted with written permission of Grayden D. SLOWINS, Editor:



BRAD LeROY KENYON, 23, son of Connie & Lawrence KENYON, son of Hilda & Henry KENYON, son of Nathan, son of Henry.

BRUCE E. YOUNG, 87, widower of Lucille McCLELLAND YOUNG, father of David W. YOUNG of Traverse City, Kathryn MOSIER of Fulton, NY & Carol LANDERS of Cadillac, son of Matilda Christie & Claude D. YOUNG. Born in Leslie, MI, Bruce graduated from Albion College and married Lucille McCLELLAND of Portland. They ran the McCLELLAND General Store until the death of her father, Will C. McCLELLAND. Will had run the store with his father, John A. McCLELLAND. John had a brother who was a silent partner, either Sam or another brother. Sam’s fine Queen Anne Style home stood where the 7-11 store is now at the corner of Brush & Kent Streets. John’s big house remains across Brush Street. When they came to settle Will’s estate, they found that John’s estate had never been settled and they could not get clear title to the business. So they had to sell out the store at auction to settle with the great-uncle’s heirs, who were importers out East. YOUNGS moved back to Albion and Bruce became vice president of the Bank of Albion. These McCLELLANDS are believed to have connections to the J. H. McCLELLAND (1832-1902) & Chase McCLELLAND families buried in East Sebewa Cemetery, but no-one remembers now.

FERN CONKRITE celebrated her 102nd birthday on March 3, 1997. If you missed it, give her a call or a card



We continue our tour of county courthouses in Michigan by leaving our pleasant campsite at P. H. HOEFT State Park and riding into Rogers City, county seat of PRESQUE ISLE County. This courthouse was built about 1896, but has been extensively modernized with two newer wings on the front. The first floor is red brick, the second floor is white clapboard, and the third floor is set into a black mansard roof.

CHEBOYGAN County was organized in 1853 and a wood-frame, two-story, white clapboard courthouse was built in 1869, at a cost of $3000. It is still standing in good repair, although circuit court was last held there in 1899, and it has been used as a fire station, church, and now a community center. There is a beautifully restored opera house nearby which is used as city hall, police station, fire station, and opera house. A new, modern county building was built on the edge of town n 1969. Another courthouse served between 1899 & 1969, and was torn down by Proctor & Gamble to make a parking lot for their factory, now closed.

Petoskey is the county seat of EMMET County and the county building is a modern, very functional, not unattractive, one-story brown brick building similar to many others.

CHARLEVOIX County has a similar building at Charlevoix, except that the style of windows makes it look even more like a modern elementary school, if it were not for the square white granite pillars in front.

The attractive, red-brick, Victorian style, ANTRIM County courthouse at Bellaire is still in good use, although a modern 1978 county building is nearby. First named Meguzee, when set off in 1840, the county was renamed Antrim in 1843. The first pioneers of Antrim County settled along Grand Traverse Bay near Elk Rapids in 1846. Later settlers moved inland, and urged that the county seat be transferred from the bay shore closer to the geographical center of the county. After a close election in 1879, Keno, later renamed Bellaire, became the new county seat. Thus began a bitter controversy which was appealed to the State Supreme Court and lasted for twenty-five years. Although the courthouse square was purchased in 1879, the courthouse was not constructed until 1904-05 after another vote, and cost $30,000.

OTSEGO County, first named Okkuddo County when it was set off in 1840, was renamed Otsego in 1843, after a New York county and lake of that name. It is said to mean “clear water”. Settlement did not begin until the late 1860s, when lumbering was started. Otsego Lake, the first village, was founded in 1872 and became county seat in 1875 when the county was organized. Gaylord was settled in 1874 and named county seat in 1877. Farming and the tourist industry are now the chief businesses. The present courthouse is said to contain some elements of the original building, but is so transformed to the Swiss Chalet style of resort architecture common in Gaylord, that the original is unrecognizable.

MONTMORENCY County was established in 1881, and the modern brown brick, flat-roofed county building at Atlanta is neatly landscaped and maintained.

ALPENA County building in Harrisville is low, flat-roofed and one-story where it opens on the parking-lot level. A lower level opens onto a lawn with big old maple trees, where a former courthouse obviously stood. This new model was built in 1935. Harrisville has a nice State Park for our overnight stay.

OSCODA County courthouse in Mio is a two-story white clapboard building similar to the one in KEWEENAW and the old one at Cheboygan. The rooms are tiny, but everything is there, neat & tidy. The courtroom walls and ceiling are covered with white ornamental metal sheeting. The county was organized in 1881 and the courthouse was built in 1888-89 for $3754, including a woodshed and two outhouses. The outhouses have been replaced by a single unisex toilet off the front lobby. Oscoda County is a sparsely settled region, much of it located in the Huron National Forest. The courthouse, in continuous use since its opening, still accommodates most of the important county offices. One of the oldest buildings in the county, it is also the oldest wooden courthouse remaining in use in the Lower Peninsula.

None of the four villages in Oscoda County, including Mio, are incorporated nor have enough population to have it listed on the map index. One fire hydrant in front of the courthouse is the county’s only public utility (Consumers does provide electricity). A public water system was started in 1890 and discontinued in 1910, using hydraulic rams to pump from Wolf Creek into a reservoir and distribute thru wooden mains. A Kirtland’s Warbler display is in the main square.

The CRAWFORD County building in Grayling sits on a proper hill and has a flat roof with raised center section for the courtroom, and a nice brown trim above the tan bricks.

KALKASKA County buildings in Kalkaska have the statutory administrative officers on the left off a covered walkway, and the courts on the right, with the sheriff’s department/jail behind. This facilitates the movement of prisoners to and from court, without going outdoors. The administrative building, like its sister twenty-five miles north at Bellaire in Antrim County, has a unique floor-plan with the offices in the center and pull-down roller doors over the counters facing the hallways around the outside. Bellaire’s are gratings, these are solid like garage doors. This gives them a concession-stand effect. These buildings, once again, are brown brick with dark brown facia on flat roofs.

GRAND TRAVERSE County was officially organized in 1851. Its first courthouse and jail were built in 1854 for $600 on land donated by the lumbering firm Hannah, Lay & Co. The courthouse, a wooden structure, burned in 1862. The county then used rented quarters until 1900. In 1898 the Supervisors approved plans for the majestic Victorian red brick and red sandstone structure, similar to the one at Bellaire, to be placed on the hilltop site if the original courthouse. Completed in 1900, it cost $35,665. A $1.7 million renovation project was completed in 1975. If a person stands directly in front of the Civil War statue and canon, they can admire the courthouse without seeing the pale annex behind.

Slipping north to the LEELANAU County building at the resort town of Leland, we find another elementary school with a couple of pillars, built in 1966. Out behind is the most intriguing old, red-brick two-cell jail, which has been featured in news stories about a famous prisoner held there.

Beulah, in BENZIE County, has the longest, lowest, flattest, county building we have ever seen yet. It doesn’t really look like a courts building, but then it doesn’t look like much of anything else except a Japanese Widget factory.

Manistee, located near the Lake Michigan shore in the very southwest corner of MANISTEE County, has the county building. Altho flat like the other modern ones, it is three stories high, with square white pillars in front of the brown bricks, which gives some dignity. Manistee also has an enormous Victorian style Congregational Church, a restored opera house, called Ramsdell Theatre, and numerous lumber baron homes, which invite a return visit for their Homes Tour in May.

WEXFORD County courthouse in Cadillac was built in 1911. It is not Victorian, but is three stories high, brick and stone, with pillars, and is quite impressive on the highest hill in town. Perhaps Greek Revival best describes the style.

MISSAUKEE County building in Lake City resembles the typical small-town AT & T telephone building. There are no windows on the front, a few narrow windows on the sides, two floors, flat roof, and the whole thing is not over sixty feet square. Missaukee is another sparsely settled county, not much over 10,000, and depends on Wexford County for some government services. The main business seems to be resort property around Lake Missaukee, and for a town of less than 1000 people, they have a great municipal campground. We enjoyed walking on the beach & boardwalk before dark and strolling among the RVs and campfires after dark.

ROSCOMMON County building, located in Roscommon, has a high-quality stone front on a building which otherwise resembles all the other modern flat ones.

OGENAW County building in West Branch is light brown brick, flat roof, similar to the others, but two-story.

IOSCO County building, located on Lake Huron beach-front in Tawas City, is modern gray sandstone and quite attractive.


In March 1838, Fred A. CHAPMAN (Sr.), Road Commission Chairman, R. G. PALMER, Commissioner; Chester M. DIVINE, Commissioner; Allan M. WILLIAMS, Superintendent; & Wm. C. HOLTZ, Clerk, wrote the following letter to Harry A. MEYERS, Sebewa Township Clerk:

Dear Sir: Each succeeding year brings new and heavier demands upon your Road Commission for service on roads which recently were taken over from the Townships. We are extremely conscious of the fact that all these demands have not been met, and it is to us plainly evident that they can’t be met with the limited funds at our disposal……there is no road tax in Ionia County…..This predicament leaves your Road Commission with only one option: To curtail the service in accordance with the revenue……The breakup period, when the frost is leaving, would require all of the yearly appropriation………I trust that I have made clear the handicap we are under…..Fred A. Chapman, Chairman, Ionia County Road Commission.

In April 1950, John LICH Sr. loaded a group of his neighbors on a farm wagon behind his John Deere and brought them to the Sebewa Township Annual Meeting, because the roads were impassible with mud & slush. He made a motion to hire gravel hauled & spread on all roads in the Township at the rate of 100 cu. Yards per mile, $1 per yard, for a period of four years. This amounted to about $5,500 per year. Howard Cross supported this motion and it passed with all yea vote.

A motion was then made by Ernest J. FRANTZ, supported by Peter CREIGHTON, to ask the county Allocation Board for one mill for this road repair. Motion carried. The allocation request was turned down, so it was covered from the general fun until such time as a millage could be voted. We have used millage on the roads, usually the regular allocated millage as well as special voted road millage, in all but three of the last forty-seven years. In 1997 Sebewa Township has budgeted $55,000 for gravel, brine & tubes.


John WAITE has been researching his ancestors in the Lakewood area and elsewhere since he was very young. He recently located a branch of the family that has been lost for generations. Waite has been publishing a HASKINS family newsletter for some time and organized a special sesquicentennial reunion for July 4-7, 1996.

The HASKINS family migrated to Michigan from Ohio in 1845, and America HASKINS and his wife settled near the line between what are now Woodland and Odessa Townships. In 1850 John and Cathreen MEYERS settled near HASKINS. Several of the children from the two families later married. So both HASKINS and MEYERS were well represented in the bloodlines at the reunion. During the lifetime of these two first families, a church with a cemetery and a school were established on MEYERS land, called the MEYERS Church & MEYERS School. The church was dismantled a little more than one hundred years ago, and at that time some of the members helped establish the congregation now called Woodbury United Brethren Church.

On July 7 a bronze plaque was set in place in the MEYERS Cemetery to mark the place where the MEYERS Church stood. The foundation of the church can still be seen in a few places. This was the first United Brethren Church in the Michigan Conference, although not the first in Michigan. When M-50 was changed many years ago, cutting off the triangle that contains the cemetery, some graves were moved to Lakeside Cemetery, including those of the original HASKINS. During the reunion a marker was placed on the grave of America HASKINS. If there was an original marker, it had been lost in the move. END

BONANZA BUGLE provided the above story and also listed other family histories in the Lake Odessa Community Library. One not listed was our SCHNABEL FAMILY HISTORY. It contains many Ionia County & Lake Odessa area families descended from the SCHNABELS: SLOWINSKI, STEINBERG, BENHAGEL, BIEHLER, LEHMAN, MAJINSKA, O’MARA, ELDRIDGE, FARRELL, SARLOUIS, RENUCCI, KRIEGER, KRYWANSKI, etc. Price is $26.50 leather bound. $30.00 if mailed. Also in Ionia & Portland Libraries.


A century ago to this very date, THE PORTLAND OBSERVER (great-grandmother of the Portland R. & O.) heralded the opening of an impressive local residence on Bridge Street – the home of C. H. MAYNARD. This article offers insights on the extensive preservation project undertaken by current owners Brian DEVLIN and his wife, Kay KAMINGA. Brian is a State of Michigan Assistant Attorney General and Kay is a registered nurse, working with the burn unit at Sparrow Hospital. To celebrate the house’s 100th year, this story highlights remarks drawn directly from our original feature published January 13, 1897. My thanks to Brian and Kay for sharing their home and its unique history with readers. Theirs is truly a labor of love – a reflection of the quiet grace and subtle elegance of Portland’s past.

Long-time residents Charles H. MAYNARD and his wife, Frances, were sharing a small home with their only daughter, Helen, and her husband, Jason WOODBURY, when they decided to build a new house in Portland. This small house had been added to as occasion demanded until it covered considerable ground, but was never pretentious, and no stranger would ever suspect that one of the wealthiest men in the village occupied it. This prominent local banker wanted something suitable for entertaining and efficient housekeeping; something of modernity with electric lighting, central steam heating, arching coved plaster halls, and a full compliment of laundry gadgets housed in a finished cellar.

The structure has an imposing appearance and gives one an idea of solidity from the foundation up. It is symmetrical in proportion and all together is one of the handsomest residences in Ionia County; and when the lawn, which has been carefully graded, has grown its coat of green, it will be the handsomest place in the county.

On the right of the front entry hall is the parlor, finished in curly birch, a very handsome wood, rather more dark than light in color. Connecting to this is the sitting room, finished in the same wood. In the sitting room on the further side from the parlor, is a handsome mantel of curly birch; the fireplace is fitted with an Aldine grate of the latest make and handsome design, the whole making a very attractive piece of furniture.

The house features several distinctive woods in its 13 rooms. The front hall boasts quarter-sawed oak and a four-foot-wide stairway of white oak. The kitchen is finished in black ash. The second-story den is accented with sycamore and the bedrooms and hallway are finished in white pine. The attic ballroom completes the picture with pine, its floor bearing witness to scores of ladies who kicked up their heels at banquets and dances. It’s essentially a three-bedroom home, despite its size. It does have two small servants’ rooms off the back stairs to the kitchen, which were used as children’s bedrooms by subsequent families who owned the house.

Previous owners applied seven or eight layers of wallpaper, but left the woodwork and cupboards unpainted, maintained the structural needs, and kept the majority of the original lighting fixtures. There were never gas light fixtures, and although the Spence steam heater has long ago been replaced by a new boiler, the original 1897 radiators still take the chill off every room. The kitchen was furnished with all the modern appliances for doing work handily and expeditiously. First to be mentioned is the steel range of modern make, with warming oven, and in which can be burned either wood or coal. In the slate sink on the south side of the room are faucets for hot and cold soft water, plus city water. The basement laundry room is a peach. It is fitted with everything that makes washing a pleasure, including a set of three Wolf’s slate laundry tubs, faucets for hot and cold soft water, chutes thru which soiled linens are carried from the upper floors. There are speaking tubes and antique tub fixtures.

The building material is red pressed brick with Portage Lake stone trimmings – water table and door and window caps and sills. The roof, which is of antique design, is covered with blue slating, while the gables, in each of which are dormer windows, are red slated. The style is Queen Anne Free Classic. It doesn’t have a lot of elaborate details that decorate other houses of its era, and only cost $15,000 as compared to the $20,000 rival banker, John A. WEBBER, spent on his home. But that slate roof has lasted for 100 years! END

EDITOR’S NOTE: There is an important part of the history of the MAYNARD-WOODBURY house which has not been included in the Portland Review. Helen WOODBURY was not alone those last 26 years of her life. Barbara KEILEN was a farm girl who grew up a neighbor to the C. H. MAYNARD family farm on GOODWIN Road in Portland Township. Barbara came to live with the MAYNARD right after completing school – probably the eighth grade. She was a companion and hand-maiden for Helen as they were growing up. When Helen married, Barbara went along as housekeeper, cook, etc. When Helen was widowed, Barbara’s role as companion increased and Helen was definitely not alone those last 26 years of her life. Barbara received the house and bank stock when Helen died and lived there probably another 15-20 years. I am certain that her heirs are responsible for the flowers on the graves of the MAYNARD-WOODBURY family.

In the October issue we offered a wedding license for William R. DARLING and Mary LIBOLDT, from their wedding performed by Pierce G. COOK, Justice of the Peace, after the Civil War. It was provided by Harold COOK of Hillsboro, OR, great-grandson of Pierce G. COOK. It was claimed by Merrilee MORRISON COTTER, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Earl MORRISON of Ionia, and granddaughter of Gertrude Rose DARLING, daughter of Benjamin Franklin DARLING, son of Mary Clarissa HOLLY & Theo RICE DARLING, who settled where Harold WHITLOCK’S live now in 1844. He died in 1883, she died in 1884, and they are buried in Union Burial Ground on KEEFER Hwy. near Peck Lake Road.

Other children of Theo & Mary were Ephraim, Orlando, Myron, Ira & Charles DARLING, and Maria DARLIN MARTIN. William R. DARLING was son of Elisa ROCKWELL & Ira DARLING. With Merrilee’s help we hope to tie the DARLINGS of Sebewa, Portland, Lake Odessa, and Ionia all together. Also ties to EDDYS & HARWOODS.


Last update November 15, 2013