Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 36 Number 3
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.
DECEMBER 2000, Volume 36, Number 3. Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. SLOWINS:

SURNAMES: Pranger, Vandenberg, Evans, Skinner, Adams, Eckardt, Schneider, Voelker, Coe, Bryant, Hutchinson, Conkrite, Walker, Rogers


SHERMAN G. PRANGER, 83, husband of Muriel VANDENBERG PRANGER, father of Pamela ROBINSON, grandfather of Jennifer TYLER & David VOLLINK, great-grandfather of Brogan TYLER & Emma VOLLINK, brother of Arlene WHALEN and the late Marge CARR, Raymond PRANGER & Kenneth PRANGER, son of Rein & Kristina PRANGER. Sherm was born in Platte, South Dakota, served in the U.S. Army in WWII, muck-farmed in Sebewa with his father-in-law, Cornelius VANDENBERG, worked as a carpenter, and while storing onions in the old elevator basement on First St. by the RR tracks in Sunfield, he was hired by Theo LENON to manage the Sunfield Elevator Lumber Yard. He is buried in Portland.

ANGELA F. (ADAMS) EVANS, 87, widow of Floyd EVANS, mother of Gordon EVANS, sister of Margaret ADAMS, daughter of Orrel & Calla Lily SKINNER ADAMS. Born in Shimnecon among the Indians, she lived most all her life within a mile-and-a-half of the river ford on Grand River Trail. After a trip to MSU Medical School research, her ashes will be buried on the EVANS family lot in East Sebewa Cemetery.

VICTOR V. ECKARDT, 95, widower of Eulah SCHNEIDER, father of Phyllis THOLIN & Marilyn NELSON, brother of the late Cornelia BLOOMER & Glendon (Fred) ECKARDT, son of Frederick Albert & Bertha VOELKER Eckardt. Vic started school at the old BRETZ School at the intersection of TUPPER Lake Road, HARWOOD Road & CLINTON Trail, a fractional district in Ionia County, by walking down the farm lane, going thru a hole in the fence, and crossing the railroad tracks. His parents may have been living on one of the other ECKARDT farms around on the side road when he started school, because there were three generations of ECKARDTS on the homestead farm at that time.

Later he attended the ECKARDT School at Woodbury and Lake Odessa High School. A life-long farmer, he was first elected to Woodland Township Board in 1934, a Republican in Franklin Roosevelt’s Democratic landslide, as he never tired of telling Democrat contemporaries Theo LENON & Carl BRODBECK. He served 18 years as Justice of the Peace/Township Trustee (all the same job back then), 16 years as Township Supervisor, 10 years as Barry County Commissioner, with a term as chairman in 1960 & 1970. He served on many boards & commissions, including the founding Board of Directors of the Michigan Townships Association, of which he was president in 1957. Buried in Woodland Township Memorial Cemetery.

ORSON E. COE, 86, widower of Sara Margaret BRYANT COE, father of Orson COE II, Brenda CARLON & Connie MILLER, brother of George COE, Jr. and Gladys COE HUTCHINSON, son of George & Mabel COE. We refer you to his autobiography, which he told in an interview for THE RECOLLECTOR in August, 1996, Volume 32, Number 1.

His father, George COE, Sr., entered the auto business in Ionia in 1912, two years before Orson was born. Orson is said to have bought & sold his first car when he was ten, and officially joined his dad in the business in 1937 after graduating from Michigan State University. His life story is the story of the automobile business in Ionia & Kent Counties and much of Michigan.

Ann (SLOWINS) played the organ for his funeral at Ionia Presbyterian Church, where he had been a member since 1942, and he is buried in Sunset Memorial Gardens, a part of the family farm where his father farmed all his life.

CONKRITE UPDATE: When Fern CONKRITE died in 1999 at age 104, and we printed her live story, we told you she had a beau about 85 years ago. We thought his name was Charles KENYON, but that was wrong info.

We located the notes and found his name was Lon WALKER, brother of the late Murl WALKER, and they dated for over a year.

ROGERS UPDATE: Ethelyn ROGERS, whose obituary appeared last issue, had another sister, Thelma ROGERS, who ran a beauty parlor in Portland.



The following story presents a year in the life, actually one of thirty-two years in the life, of the recently retired Sebewa Township Clerk:

December 1999 – Prepare and mail Agenda to Township Board members 7-10 days ahead of meeting. Prepare checks for monthly bills.

Prepare quarterly payroll spread-sheet on computer, then write the checks for salaries, Federal Income Tax & F.I.C.A.
Withholding Deposit Form 8109, Michigan Income Tax Form SUW-160, IRS Form 941, MESA Forms 1017 & 3104, and Pension Fund quarterly contribution. Blue Cross/Blue Shield is paid monthly, but withheld quarterly from paychecks, plus some extra reimbursement by employee, since most don’t earn enough to cover insurance.

Prepare annual W-2 Forms for employees, with copies attached to Social Security Administration Forms W-3 and another set with Michigan Annual Employer’s Tax Return.

Arrive at Board meeting early to turn up heat & lights and complete sweeping, dusting and other janitorial duties. Take careful minutes of the meeting in longhand, regardless of whether you tape-record, and type in Minutes Book as soon as possible, to be available to public within 7 days and to go out with next Agenda.

Enter next day all Receipts & Expenditures in Journal & Ledger, also in computer if you are learning that program. Compare to see that your Fund Balances agree with Treasurer’s report from meeting minutes. Confer with Treasurer before discrepancies get out of hand.

Enter Burials and Sale of Burial Rights (formerly called Lot Deed) in Cemetery Record Book and in computer if on that program. Then enter on cemetery maps and give a copy to the Cemetery Sexton.

Enter Voter Registration & Cancellations in computer. Print out & put hard copy in Voter Registration Book, mail one copy to school, and mail pink Voter-ID Card to voter. There will be extensive hassle to make your long-standing local voter files agree with the new State of Michigan Qualified Voter File, which we will explain in excruciating detail later. Send Registered Voter head-count to County Clerk when requested……….Record State, County, School & Local Tax Receipts & Dispersals in the Current Tax Checking Account………Examine mailings of various forms & reports………

January 2000 – Prepare and mail Agenda……(continues for 6 pages, through December 2000) with additional note:

Does the repetition of duties bore you to sleep? Yes, sometimes, but more in the telling than in the doing. Does it make an enjoyable career? Yes, most of the time. Does a time come to retire? Yes indeed! END


Total number of voters – 547.
Total number registered – 812.
Percentage of those registered who voted – 67.36%

President & Vice President – BUSH 355, GORE 162, NADER 11, BUCHANAN 1, BROWNE (Libertarian) 1.
Congressperson 3rd District – EHLERS 338, STEELE 124, LOWNDES 3, HASS 2, BERTA 1.
State Represtentative 86th District – GARCIA 326, PATTERSON 122, BROWN 16………
Prosecuting Attorney – BENDA 323, LINCOLN 123.
Sheriff – DENNIS 309, STEPHENS 162.
County Clerk – Barbara TRIEWEILER 375.
County Treasurer – HICKEY 383.
Register of Deeds – ADAMS 362.
Drain Commissioner – BUSH 265.
County Commissioner 7th District – SHATTUCK 356.

Township Supervisor – STANK 390.
Township Clerk – PINKSOTON 379.
Township Treasurer – CARR 279.
Township Trustee – GUY 344.
Township Trustee – SLOWINS 365.

CHANGES IN SEBEWA: In 1968 the Sebewa Township Clerk’s office had no E-mail nor FAX, no electric typewriter nor word-processor, no duplicator nor copier, and no calculator, just a manual typewriter with carbon paper and an adding/subtracting machine.

The last check I wrote as Sebewa Township Clerk was $89,533.87 for Sebewa’s share of KEEFER Highway construction, engineering & testing. Danby Township & Ionia County each paid an equal amount. The State of Michigan & Federal Government highway programs paid the rest from the gas taxes, with the total approaching $1 million.


Last update November 10, 2013