Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 36 Number 2
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 Center Association, Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI.
OCTOBER 2000, Volume 36, Number 2. Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. SLOWINS:

SURNAMES: Friend, Colley, Halladay, Carpenter, Meacham, Sears, Lincoln, Slater, Heintzelman, Dodge, Bishop, Lapo, York, Reeder, Eastman, Ingall, Stambaugh, Greenman, Weller, Cross, Kenyon, Esterline, Rogers, Haller, Peacock, Lepard, McWhorter, Olry


LAWRENCE FRIEND, 101, widower of Gertrude COLLEY FRIEND, father of June SEILER & Marilyn POWELL, oldest & last surviving brother of the late Evelyn COURSER, Beatrice CURTIS, Lucille TODD, Mildred MERRILL & George FRIEND, son of Lucy HALLADAY & Ralph FRIEND, son of Jane E. CARPENTER & George E. FRIEND, son of Polly Ann MEACHAM & John FRIEND, son of John FRIEND, Sr., who emigrated from England to Beria, Ohio, with his wife and seven children in 1833.

John FRIEND, Jr. came from Ohio to what is now the KNAPP/STANK farm in Sebewa in 1854. Lawrence’s mother, Lucy A. HALLADAY FRIEND, was the daughter of Mildred SEARS & Charles LINCOLN HALLADAY, son of Amanda LINCOLN & Elihu HALLADAY, who also came to Sebewa in the 1850s.

The previous page (of this issue) shows one of many obituaries & memorials for Lawrence FRIEND that were sent to us by Patricia ZANDER, Eugene COURSER & others, and we wrote about him in June 1999, Vol 34 No 6, when a Frenchman came to award him the Legion of Honor, created by Napoleon BONAPARTE in 1802. (See article in this issue, titled VIEWPOINT – cozy corner by Roger Brown.)

OLIVE I. HEINTZELMAN SLATER, 87, widow of Ivan Keith SLATER, mother of Lewis & Duane Slater & Marilyn BURDINE, brother of Robert HEINTZELMAN and two deceased sisters & three deceased brothers, daughter of Grace CARPENTER & Harry HEINTZELMAN, son of Ida F. & William E. HEINTZELMAN, who settled on BIPPLEY Road, west of Sebewa Center, before 1891. She had worked at Chrysler Lyons Trim Plant and Michigan Department of Mental Health. Buried at Clarksville Cemetery.

RAYMOND LAVERNE HEINTZEL, 70, husband of Joanne WILSON HEINTZELMAN, father of Kristine Thomas & Pamela HEINTZELMAN, brother of Marcella GIERMAN, Lucille MEYERS, Betty HASMAN, Edith EDWINS, Alvin & William HEINTZELMAN, and the late Velma HEINTZELMAN, Lillian McCULLUM, Ethel GROVER & Charles HEINTZEMAN, son of Hannah J. HALVORSON & Walter A. HEINTZELMAN, son of Ida F. & William E. HEINTZELMAN, who settled in Sebewa before 1891. Ray was a retired Farm Bureau Insurance agent. Buried in Eden Township, Custer, MI.

OPAL M. DODGE, 94, widow of Dean DODGE, mother of Charles DODGE & the late Delore McWHORTER, sister of the late Veda BLICKENSTAFF, Hildred DAVIS & Clair LAPO, daughter of Nettie BISHOP & Charles LAPO, son of Jacob H. LAPO, who settled at the northeast corner of MUSGROVE Highway & GODDARD Road in Sebewa before 1875. Opal was a Kindergarten teacher in Lake Odessa for many years, buried in Lakeside Cemetery.

GEORGE YORK, 81, widower of Dorothy, father of Donna KEEFER, Sally BREINING & Denise INGRAHAM, son of Olive REEDER & Ernest YORK, son of Christina & Stephen YORK, son of Josiah YORK, son of Zachariah YORK. Retired farmer & TRW employee, buried in West Sebewa Cemetery.

VIVIAN L. EASTMAN, 79, widow of Herman EASTMAN, mother of Joyce, John & the late Arlene EASTMAN, sister of O. Virginia KARRAR MEYERS & the late Arlen STAMBAUGH, daughter of Greta INGALL & John STAMBAUGH, son of John H. STAMBAUGH & Sara Jemina GREENMAN, daughter of Sheldon GREENMAN. Greta was the daughter of D. C. INGALL, son of William INGALL, who settled in Sebewa before 1875, and Vivian’s farm was part of William INGALL’S land. The STAMBAUGH & GREENMAN families were also early settlers in Sebewa, at least by 1891.

JACOB H. WELLER, 80, husband of Kathryn CROSS POSSEHN WELLER, father of Jacob William, Michael Earl, Gerald Mark, Patrick John, Daniel Kevin, Terence Alan & Loren Donald WELLER, Teresa BRENNER, and the late Kay & Fred WELLER, brother of Joseph WELLER and the late Ruth & Gertrude WELLER, son of Phoebe KENYON & Jacob WELLER. He was a tilling machine operator, a farmer in Orange & Danby Townships, and a General Motors Employee. His first wife was Lorene A. ESTERLINE, and they are buried in Portland Cemetery.

Ethelyn G. ROGERS, 94, sister of the late Christine GUILFORD, Dutch ROGERS, and another sister, daughter of Dora KENYON & Harley ROGERS. She was a retired employee of the State of Michigan. Her father was a long-time mail-carrier out of Portland Post Office and he once clerked in John BRADLEY’S store in Sebewa Corners. Her mother was a KENYON from Sebewa, as was Jake WELLER’S mother above. Ethelyn is buried in Portland Cemetery.

KEITH C. HALLER, 79, husband of Helen PEACOCK HALLER, father of Shirley (John P.) LICH, brother of Lola & Royal HALLER, son of Racie LEPARD & Royal HALLER, Sr. He installed floor coverings in the Lake Odessa area, first for Williams’ Department Store and then on his own. In retirement he worked with stained glass. His wife Helen is a daughter of Leander PEACOCK of an old Sebewa family. (See November/December 1996, Vol 32 No 3 and February 1997 Vol 32 No. 4)

VIEWPOINT – LAWRENCE FRIEND - …”cozy corner by Roger Brown; THE LOWELL LEDGER – Wednesday, July 26, 2000, page 5:

……all those of my parents’ generation are getting right up there, but I can’t consider them elderly. To me, elderly is the generation before them, my grandparents. My Grandpa was Lester, not Les. My wife’s grandfather was Laurence, not Larry.

LAURENCE is the one I’m here to write about. We lost the old guy a few days ago. He was 101 years old, just a few weeks away from 102!

Everybody called him Laurence, or Grandpa Laurence. Some called him Mr. FRIEND (his last name was a perfect match for his personality). I referred to him as Grandpa FRIEND. Nobody called him Larry.

The funeral was last Monday. For a man that old, there certainly were a lot of people there. And a lot of tears were shed for a man of his age.

He was a WWI Veteran, a “Doughboy”. When they played “taps” at the graveside, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd.

Grandpa FRIEND has been the point of, or at least mentioned in this column several times over the years, I wrote about him when he was honored with a medal commemorating living veterans at the 75th anniversary of WWI.

Again, when the French government bestowed their highest honor, the Legion of Honor, upon all living WWI Veterans who served in France, Grandpa FRIEND was the subject of a piece of this paper. I don’t remember for sure, but I’m guessing I mentioned something in print when Willard Scott acknowledged Grandpa FRIEND’S 101st birthday on the TODAY Show. Those were the highlights, but there were also lesser stones that defined the man.

One story goes back ten or twelve years….way back when he was a young man of ninety. Grandpa Laurence roofed his garage. It wasn’t just a shingle job. I’m talking a new roof! Plywood roofing boards, the works!

He couldn’t get full 4 by 8 foot sheets of plywood up the ladder by himself. So he cut them in half. They say getting old ain’t for sissies. Laurence was no sissy.

Another story I love to tell is of a time grandpa mentioned going on a cattle drive when he was a young sprout. Immediately conjuring a John Wayne vision of Texas or Wyoming, I asked where. He told me he and a bunch of friends drove a hundred head from Sebewa where he grew up, to Greenville. The drive took a week; they camped along the way and had to drive the cattle across the Grand River in Ionia. Far from the wild west in my imagination, the real life 40-mile cattle drive had taken place right here in our back yard.

Today the cattle would be loaded on trucks and delivered that afternoon. Stories like this one made a person realize just how old 101 is.

Grandpa FRIEND was five years old when the Wright Brothers flew. He had been retired for ten years when we went to the moon. Imagine what he must have thought from his perspective as the incredible events of the twentieth century unfolded before him.

His was a full life. His health was marginally good right up until the end. He had been slightly hobbled by a stroke and forced to use a cane.

His hearing and eyesight were poor. His heart weakened and a pacemaker was implanted a few years ago. Like I said, getting old ain’t for sissies. Despite all this, his attitude was good, his mind was sharp, and he was able to do most things for himself.

I would have to say Grandpa loved two things above all else. They were fishing and pie. He used to do odd jobs for the widow ladies in his neighborhood and took homemade pie as payment. We joked at the funeral that we should have made him a sandwich board that read “Will Work for Pie”. I’m happy to say I took him fishing just a few months ago and was with my wife when she took him some pie not long before his death. We’re all going to miss him a lot.

Laurence, not Larry, was a wonderful man and it was a pleasure to have known him.”


Saturday, July 1, 2000, 10:35AM, we flew out of Lansing Airport on a DC-9, five seats wide, Northwest Airlines Flight 495 to Detroit……….Seattle has excellent public bus service……we pay one dollar each for a round trip to University Presbyterian Church on the edge of University of Washington campus in northeast Seattle…..the organist is Jo Ann STREMLER, a round blond Hollander, who lets Ann photo her and be photographed at the console and says she has lots of relatives in Grand Rapids, Michigan……..Monday, July 3, walk around the block to Washington State Convention & Trade Center to board Gray Line Seattle Grand Tour bus. Seattle has 540,000 people in the city proper, which includes several former suburbs just like the five boroughs of New York City. West Seattle, Beacon Hill, Capitol Hill, University District, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Wallington, Fremont, Ballard, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Factoria, Newport Hills, Eastgate, Medina, Clyde Hill, Kirkland, and Redmond are now part of the City, as well as Lake Union and Lake Washington, which they surround. The Greater Seattle Area stretches forty miles south to Tacoma and north to Everett, and includes two million people……….

McWHORTER UPDATE: In the last issue it was stated that the McWHORTER family of Sunfield Township first settled in Sebewa Township in 1851, but the location was long unknown. While searching the old Sebewa Tax Rolls for 1851 & 1852 for something else, we happened onto the following:

Benjamin McWHORTER E ½ NE ¼ Sec 33 – 80 acres, assessed at $80.00 value, State, County & Township Tax $1.12, School Tax $.68, Total Tax $1.90.

The second year the valuation was the same, but State, County & Township Tax came to $1.63, Highway Tax was added at $.63, but School Tax was only $.17, for a total of $2.43. Also in 1852, R. O. McWHORTER was listed next-door at W ½ NW ¼ Sec. 34 – 80 acres, assessed at $80.00 value with the same State, County & Township & School Tax as Ben, but no Highway Tax, making his total $1.80. It was quite common to work out the Highway Tax in road-work, which is probably why it was not always shown.

The McWHORTER farms mentioned above were located on the south side of TUPPER Lake Road at the intersection of SHILTON Road. They were later owned by E. D. BISHIP and included the BISHOP School on the southeast corner. Later owned by Voight FIGG & Rachael BINNS, and now by Gerald & Janet GILBERT, Roy & Alice SPITZLER, Don CUNNINGHAM.

On the same 1851 Tax Roll our John C. OLRY farm was assessed at $160.00 for 160 acres at NW ¼ Sec 27, with corresponding tax of $2.24 for State, County & Township and $1.70 for School. But by 1852 inflation had set in and his valuation shot up 5% to $168.00!

As can be calculated by comparing these statistics to today’s farm valuations, and assuming they assessed at 50% of True Cash Value same as now, inflation on farmland comes to about 750 percent in 150 years or 5% per year on averages. Make that total about 3000 percent if the land goes from agricultural to developmental uses. Those are called “Higher Uses”, but are they really?

Ann & I recently dug out and assembled a dozen more sets of back issues. The Association sells them for $55.00 for 35 years of local history & genealogy and includes paid-up dues for coming issues. That price is hear at the farm. The last set we shipped cost $7.50 UPS and that was cheaper than mailing them. In 1965 the first issue cost 4 cents to mail and now they want an increase on the current 33 cents!

Some people continue to send dues of $5.00 per year, and the Association continues to accept them, but we make no promises on the number of issues per year, nor the number of years before we fold our tent.


Last update November 10, 2013