Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 34 Number 1
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,
AUGUST 1998, Volume 34, Number 1. Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI.
Submitted with written permission of Grayden D. SLOWINS, Editor:



THEO YAGER, 88, widower of Elaine LINHART YAGER, father of Duane, Cameron & Wendell, brother of Bernice TRASK and the late Beatrice DANIELS and Margarette LOVELL, son of Ed & Emma SCHELL YAGER, retired farmer and long-time member of Sunfield-Sebewa-Danby Fire Board. Also President of Ionia County Farm Bureau at the time of their building project.

MAX DEAN RISCHOW, 60, father of Pamela UNDERWOOD & Michael RISCHOW, son of Tena & Carl RISCHOW, retired GR employee and amateur pilot.

AUSTIN SCHANTZ, 100, widower of Berniece HEINTZELMAN, father of Victor & Arden, brother of Marion VanDELLEN & Clarence SCHANTZ, son of Lillian & Daniel SCHANTZ, retired farmer and long-time Maple Grove Township Supervisor and member of Barry County Board of Supervisors and Board of Commissioners.

MERWOOD FREDERICK REAHM, 85, husband of Marian, father of Marlene THOMAS, Barbara SCHWARTZ & Charlene SCHRAUBEN, brother of Pauline HOUGH, Ida PETRIE, and the late Duane, Carl & Kendall REAHM, son of Fred J. REAHM.

IONE FLETCHER, 78, widow of Max STRACHAN & Russell FLETCHER, mother of Tom STRACHAN, Mary YEOMANS & Martha ANDERSON, sister of Mary HERBERT, Grace WALTON & the late Winnie SHETTERLY, John BRYANS and Linda BRYANS, daughter of Frank & Minnie BRYANS.

STEVEN SOUTHWELL, 44, husband of Roberta, brother of Sharlene BANKS GOODEMOOT, son of Letha CURTIS & Howard SOUTHWELL, relationship to Sebewa’s Civil War Veteran, William H. SOUTHWELL is unknown.

VERA LANE, 91, widow of Edward LANE, mother of Marie HITT, Robert & LaVern LANE, daughter of Henrietta HOUGH & Carlton COOK.

ALZEO (MIKE) SMITH, brother of Oliver Jr. & Irwin, son of Mable BAIRD HALE & Ben SMITH, son of Elizabeth COLLINGHAM & Oliver SMITH, Sr.


Many readers will probably recall that there was published recently in this paper a copy of an article written by J. C. HOLMES of Detroit and read by him before the Detroit Pioneer Society about 1890, describing a pourney made by him the fall of 1835 to Grand Rapids and back in the company with a Mr. HUTCHINSON, in an effort to reach Saranac.

The opening paragraph of Mr. HOLMES’ article explained the reason for this trip on horseback along trails through the wilderness of Michigan. He stated: “In the autumn of 1835, Mr. Hutchinson called on me and said his firm had purchased the plat of the village of Saranac, located on Grand River a short distance above the Rapids, and destined to become a large city. Before offering the lots for sale, he wished to visit the place and see what it was, so that in selling he might act with understanding as to location, prices and relative values of lots. He invited me to go with him”. Then followed the description of the trip recently published during which they reached Grand Rapids, but failed to reach Saranac.

In a write-up of Jefferson MORRISON in GOSS’ “HISTORY OF GRAND RAPIDS”, is found this statement:
“He was born at Milton, Saratoga Co., July 15, 1805: came to Detroit in 1834 and then in 1836 married Caroline GILL, whom he brought to his Grand Rapids home, making part of the journey in canoes from Middleville down the Thornapple River. He had entered the land and platted the village of SARANAC in Ionia County and CASCADE in Kent County. He had also platted ARTHURSBURG on a hill just west of where MUIR was located in 1856 and lots from this plat were sold as far east as Connecticut but the town never materialized. In 1836 he was elected the first probate Judge in Kent County.”

From Mr. Holmes’ article, stating that in the fall of 1835 Mr. HUTCHINSON told him “their firm had purchased the plat of SARANAC”, also that in 1836 Mr. MORRISON had settled at the “Rapids”, it would seem that Saranac was mapped earlier than 1836. Mr. MORRISON probably purchased the land by the summer of 1835, made a plan of the town which he named SARANAC, and then interested Dwight and Hutchinson of Detroit, who joined with him in a mapped plat.

Schenck's History states this plat was not recorded and Mr. MORRISON then disappears from association with SARANAC, as history states that “late in 1836 or early in 1837 the proprietors proceeded to hold a public sale in Detroit and at that and other sales disposed of many SARANAC lots. In 1837 Dwight and Hutchinson, failing to see any signs of village growth, (for none of the lot purchasers seemed disposed to make improvements) induced Cyrpian S. HOOKER of Oakland County, by the donation of some land, to come out to SARANAC and build a sawmill. This was begun in 1837 on the site later occupied by Saranac Mills. The construction dragged along until 1841 when the mill first did active duty.

This data quite clearly shows that it was Jefferson MORRISON, in 1836 elected first probate judge of Kent County, who first made a plan of a town which he named “SARANAC”.

A valuable and interesting sequence followed the publishing in the SARANAC ADVERTISER and the Ionia COUNTY NEWS of the article, written by J. C. HOLMES of Detroit, which he read before the meeting of the Detroit PIONEER Society in 1890.

Soon Mrs. Maurice CAHOON, whose home is west of South Boston GRANGE HALL, placed with Mr. Hiram JOHNSON, editor of Saranac ADVERTISER, some valuable historical papers connected with the early days of SARANAC, her interest being aroused upon the reading of Mr. HOLMES’ article. Mr. JOHNSON, in time sent these to me and one of these papers doubtless is the unrecorded first plat of the village of SARANAC, which evolved from Mr. MORRISON’S idea and plan, the mapped plat being later entered into also by Dwight and Hutchinson of Detroit, who, by the article of Mr. HOLMES, had by the fall of 1835 purchased “Mr. MORRISON’S plat of SARANAC”, which was never recorded.

The plat is titled “Map of the Village of SARANAC. Situated at the mouth of Lake Creek and Grand River in the County of Ionia and Territory of Michigan. Surveyed by E. SHEPARD.”

Lot No. 1 in Block No. 44 reserved for Episcopal church.
Lot No. 8 in Block No. 21 reserved for public school.
Lot No. 6 in Block No. 63 reserved for Presbyterian church.
Lot No. 10 in Block No. 62 and 74 reserved for Baptist and Methodist churches.

The street running north and southwest, east of Lake Creek, was named Canal Street. Next east is Center Street. Those next east in order are Skutang, Wegwos, State, Ocomoss, and Cheemon, while streets running east and west are Bridge, which is the most southerly and crosses Canal where the southern end of the mill race joined Lake Creek. Next north of this is MORRISON Street, by which Mr. MORRISON’S name would be perpetuated; then Main. Eight and one half blocks were mapped north to Grand River with streets named LORETTE, McKINSTRY, GREEN, WACOUSTA, MASKEGON, LABERCROSH, EAST RIVER STREET, while north of Main Street is East Public Square, triangular in shape, formed by course of Grand River bounded on its northwest side by QUIOUIGOSHCUM street.

On the west side of Lake Creek, Main, MORRISON and Bridge streets are continued west from the east side. On Lake Creek, Main Street is widened for a triangular piece of land called West Public Square, and squares of lots on this west side are platted on the map way to Grand River. The streets running east and west, north of Main Street being BISFORD, DWIGHT (doubtless after the Detroit partner in the proposed town), next north being West River street. The streets intersecting, running north and south on the west side of Lake Creek, are first, Lake Street, WASHCASS, WABESASH and MOQUA. Seemingly Indians and French people were living at the location and streets were named for them.

I carried the map to Mr. J. Clyde WATT, a former citizen of Saranac, to ask if any of the many Indian names of the streets in this plat of SARANAC were in use today; but while the present plat uses some names today, the plat in use is different.

The old plat presents a very handsome “layout” for a town, and no wonder many lots were sold at the public sale held in Detroit in 1836 or 1837. One cannot help but wonder if “OCOMOSS” street was not named for “KEMOS, the famous Indian chief buried at the deserted location of the Indian village of MISH-SHIM-ME-NE-CON-ING five miles south of Portland, as this chief often traveled in state through the valley to the “Rapids”. Mr. WATT called attention that the map stated it was situated in the Territory of Michigan.

To the year 1857 the village was called SARANAC, but in that year, it was rechristened “BOSTON” and for the first time formally platted. The plat was surveyed in May 1851 by Alexander F. BELL of Ionia, the village proprietor being Louis S. LOVELL, later of Ionia. He was for many years Circuit Court Judge.

Mrs. CAHOON also showed three old letters, sent to Timothy WHITE, concerning their ownership of land, principally in SARANAC. These letters were sent before envelopes were in use, one being from John BULLARD, Detroit, written July 12, 1840. Another is from the more well known Rix ROBINSON, who in 1822 purchased the trading post of Madame La FRAMBOISE on Grand River, just west of where LOWELL was later located. Rix ROBINSON later established a post at ADA. His letter was written on July 10, 1840. A third one from “Your most obe’t serv’t, Timothy EASTMAN”, was written on July 11th 1840 and addressed to Timothy WHITE, Esq., Boston, Ionia County, Michigan. These letters, especially the two by Mr. ROBINSON and Mr. EASTMAN, were beautifully written, script-like in appearance.

Concerning Timothy EASTMAN, the spring number of the Michigan Historical magazine, published at Lansing by Dr. Geo. N. FULLER, executive secretary of the Michigan Historical Society, tells of him in giving a reading on tablets placed at historic points in Michigan counties. Among those placed in Ottawa County was found the following: “Boulder with bronze tablet at the four corners of the village of EASTMANVILLE”. Inscription on the tablet: “The old swimming rock. Placed here by Frederic EASTMAN in 1921 and dedicated to the memory of his grandfather, Dr. Timothy EASTMAN, 1798-1868. The first white settler in 1835, who organized this town of POLKTON in 1845 and of his father, Mason EASTMAN, 1829-1860, who in 1855 platted this village of EASTMANVILLE.”

Ionia county history states that the spring of 1836 Timothy WHITE, James B. TALLANT, Worcester ENGLISH and Jesse WILLIAMS came west from Vermont with their families, and stopped at Kalamazoo for a time while they looked about them for a desirable location to settle, and decided to settle in BOSTON township, Ionia County. Worcester ENGLISH setting out with his family for a new home in January 1837. The next after ENGLISH as a settler was Timothy WHITE in March, 1837. One of Mr. WHITE’S five sisters married Harvey HATCH, also an early settler in Boston Township.

Mrs. Maurice CAHOON wrote me saying she became much interested in the story of Mr. J. C. HOLMES about the attempt to find SARANAC in 1835, and thought the early plat of SARANAC and letters in her possession might add to the historical data in Historical Rooms at the Hall-Fowler Library. She states she is a great-grand-daughter of Timothy WHITE, also of Harvey HATCH and her husband and herself reside on the farm that Timothy WHITE settled on in the spring of 1837. Mrs. MORTON, daughter of Mr. WHITE, lived on the farm until her death many years ago, and had many old records and letters which she prized highly, but Mrs. CAHOON does not know how she came to have the first plat of SARANAC “as that was made before they came here”.

After Mrs. MORTON’S death, some of the old papers were given to Mrs. CAHOON. She writes she has a map of Michigan made in 1829; a bill to the House of Representatives, to provide for a wagon road from Jackson to SARANAC in 1845; also the first proceedings of a town meeting held in BOSTON Township in 1837. These historical papers will be considered as additional data for the rooms. Mr. and Mrs. CAHOON reside on U.S. 16, the fourth house west of South BOSTON Grange Hall.

(Note: This Editor was born across the road from Mrs. Jessie CAHOON. See Vol. 26, No. 4)


Three BALDWIN brothers settled in Sebewa Township right after serving in various Ohio Infantry & Cavalry units in the Civil War. Rush homesteaded on the 80 acres at W ½ SE ¼ Sec. 20, which later became the east half of Fred BULLING’S and later Theo BULLING’S farm, now owned by Charles & Edward LEIK. Forty years ago, before all the fences were removed, the foundation stones of Rush’s house were still visible directly across from the John SHAY – Tom DRURY driveway.

Rush P. BALDWIN was born in Republic, OH, August 6, 1841, died in Portland Township, Ionia County, MI, July 22, 1921, was married March 4, 1866, to Phoebe Maria FRIEND, born near Beria, OH, December 30, 1847, died in Sebewa Township, June 2, 1903. All of their children were born & raised in Sebewa. He was married April 9, 1910, to Emma BROWN and they owned the west 120 acres of what is now the Ron LENNEMAN farm on Grand River Ave., W ½ NW ¼ Sec. 32 and E ¼ NE /4 Sec. 31 Portland Township. Rush and Phoebe are buried in Portland Cemetery.

1. Addie E. BALDWIN born July 22, 1868, died December 17, 1940
2. Clarence E. BALDWIN born Dec. 13, 1871, died Feb. 20, 1889
3. Estella E. BALDWIN, born Dec. 15, 1876, died Feb. 16, 1909
4. Lee E. BALDWIN, born October 13, 1883, died December 6, 1940

Addie E. BALDWIN married Albert B. CULVER II of Ionia Dec. 27, 1893, and they lived in Mexico and Pasadena, CA, and are buried in Portland, MI.
1. Albert B. CULVER III, born Nov. 4, 1914; grandson is Albert IV.

LEE E. BALDWIN was married November 15, 1903, to Bertha Ellen TAFT, born in Ionia April 21, 1885, and lived in Breckenridge, MI.
1. John R. BALDWIN born September 27, 1904, died 1968, married Aug. 22, 1926 to Ada Lee POINDEXTER, b. Dec. 9, 1908.
2. Bertha Lee BALDWIN born July 14, 1930, married Frank TUCK.

ESTELLA E. BALDWIN was married November 20, 1895 to Frank WILSON PRYER, born August 1, 1862, died July 3. 1921, and lived in Danby Township. They are buried in Portland Cemetery.
1. Marian Addie PRYER born March 17, 1900, still living.
2. Margaret Morna PRYER born November 2, 1902, died 1974, was married to Dan MORIARTY, William COREY, Hugh JACQUES.

MARIAN ADDIE PRYER was married March 27, 1923, to Elon Dwight LAKIN born August 5, 1900, died October 20, 1978, lived in Ionia and then in Danby Township.
1. Ann Lois LAKIN
2. Phyllis Marian LAKIN

GEORGE H. BALDWIN settled on the E ½ SE ¼ Sec. 20 Sebewa Township, where William NURENBERG, Phil SPITZLEY and the CARR brothers own now. George was born in Ohio in 1834 and died in Sebewa Township in 1894. He married Esther, who was born in 1842 and died in 1924, having married a man named HUTCHINS after George died. They are buried in West Sebewa Cemetery.

1. Charles BALDWIN, who married Christi SAYER, sister to Jacob, and owned the north 40 acres of George’s 80, later selling it to Jacob & Clarence SAYER and moving up by Six Lakes, MI. THEIR SON WAS: George BALDWIN, Jr. whose son was Steve who lives in Baltimore, MD.
2. Edison BALDWIN born April 19, 1875, in Sebewa Township and died December 5, 1966, lived in Ionia.
3. Mary BALDWIN born May 9, 1864, died in Lake Odessa, April 27, 1949, was married to Oscar SAXTON and Edwin LEAK.

1. Claire SAXTON
2. Maude SAXTON, who lived in Hesperia
3. Vern SAXTON, who lived in Lansing
4. Mabel SAXTON, who married Archie VALENTINE and had Bufford, Balfour, James & Bernard VALENTINE, Mary PATTERSON & Margaret BUCHE
5. Zella SAXTON HAZZARD BECHOLD, who married Ben HAZZARD and had Marguerite SHORT, Betty McMILLEN, Maxine TORREY & Maxwell HAZZARD.

4. Jesse BALDWIN born May 4, 1879 in Sebewa Township, died June 15, 1952, was married to Florian KENYON, son of Marvin or Edgar KENYON 1848-1898, grandson of Philelia 1808-5/20/1879 & Christopher KENYON 1802-12/6/1881. They lived at W ½ NW ¼ Sec. 10 Sebewa Township, where Ron THELEN lives now.
1. Esther KENYON who married Herman GRIMES of Lansing
2. Margaret KENYON who married Leonard DENNIS and ran a beauty shop in Lansing.
3. Loyd M. KENYON born 1905, died December 8, 1905.
4. Loren L. KENYON, a Chiropractic Doctor in Lansing & Colorado, whose son Jeff stopped in to see us from Wisconsin and hopefully will add to this story.

ISAAC BALDWIN had the SW ¼ Sec. 10 Sebewa Township, now owned by Bruce & Terry WALKINGTON & Henry HOORT and long known as the Ed & Herbert DEMARAY farm. Rush, George & Isaac were the sons of Nathaniel BALDWIN & Matilda SHAW, daughter of Sarah KELLER & Robert SHAW, son of Mary McDOWELL & Richard SHAW, Soldier of the Revolution and everyone’s ticket to the D.A.R. Isaac took his mother and moved back to Ohio. Nathaniel may have been dead before they moved here. Isaac’s farm passed to William E. BALDWIN, who may have been Isaac’s son. If you have information to add to the BALDWIN story, please sent it along. END

LOWE FAMILY UPDATE: Charles Rose, 6302 Purple Hills Drive, San Jose, CA 95119, who asked us to research the LOWE families of Sebewa Township, says William LOWE in our East Cemetery was his great, great-grandfather and Ben LOWE was his great, great-uncle.


Last update November 10, 2013