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:
SURNAMES: YAGER, LINHART, RISCHOW, SCHANTZ, HEINTZELMAN, REAHM, FLETCHER,
STRACHAN, FLETCHER, BRYANS, SOUTHWELL, LANE, HOUGH, COOK, SMITH, COLLINGHAM,
BROCK, MORRISON, CALHOON, WATT, WHITE, TALLANT, ENGLISH, WILLIAMS BALDWIN,
FRIEND, BROWN, LOWE
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 &
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.
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES BRING TO LIGHT MISSING PLAT OF SARANAC; WAS
MAPPED BEFORE 1836 HAD VISION OF BIG CITY – By Mrs. L. P. BROCK – IONIA COUNTY
NEWS of May 21, 1931:
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
In a write-up of Jefferson MORRISON in GOSS’ “HISTORY OF GRAND RAPIDS”, is found
“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.”
MAPPED NEARLY 100 YEARS AGO:
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.
MORRISON PLANNED IT.
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
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
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.
DIFFERENT NAMES NOW:
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
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.”
CAME FROM VERMONT:
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
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
(Note: This Editor was born across the road from Mrs. Jessie CAHOON. See Vol.
26, No. 4)
THE BALDWINS OF SEBEWA: (with front page photo of RUSH P.
BALDWIN, SEBEWA PIONEER & CIVIL WAR VETERAN)
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.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
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.
THEIR CHILD WAS:
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.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
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.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
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.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
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.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
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.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
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.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
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.