THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR Bulletin of the Sebewa Center
Association (Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI); DECEMBER 2002, Volume 38,
Numbers 3. Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. SLOWINS:
FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Home of Frank & Estella BALDWIN PRYER, 9633 East Grand River
Avenue, Danby Township, Portland, Michigan.
SURNAMES: Baldwin, Pryer, Wiselogle, Ryder, Pike, Yager, Leak, Wilson, Brake,
Wilson, Dalzell, Carr, Zibowski, Kartuski, Wortley, Edwins, Baine, Bywater,
Middaugh, Knott, Tussing, Kauffman, VanHouten, Daniels, Rogers, Sandborn, Shaw,
Tyler, Smith, Gale, Gillette, Cramer, Gardner, Gierman, Jarchow, Meyers, Klager,
Shipman, Willett, Young, Buck, O’Mara, Endres, Steinberg, Schnabel, Wenger,
Brake, Cosens, Miller, Nogle, Lehman, Lakin, Clark, Green
FREDERICK YAGER WISELOGLE, 90, widower of Louise RYDER WISELOGLE, husband of
Charlotte PIKE WISELOGLE, father of Elizabeth HASKINS, William R. WISELOGLE, Ann
Dee WISELOGLE and Margaret WISELOGLE, son of Florence YAGER & Andrew J. (Andy)
WISELOGLE. Andy WISELOGLE was the son of Fred & Emma WISELOGLE, farmers near
Springport. Florence was born and raised on a farm near Lake Odessa, taught
BIPPLEY Rural School and then at Albion, where she met and married Andy. After a
career as Ticket Master for Michigan Central Railroad in Albion, Lansing, Ann
Arbor & Detroit, Andy retired in 1940 and he and Florence built a home on Jordan
Lake in Lake Odessa. He was the first person I ever knew to put up a “squirrel
crossing” sign on his street.
Florence was the daughter of Fred & Margaret YAGER, who had retired from their
farm to a home on Sixth Avenue. Maggie’s father was Thomas LEAK, pioneer Sebewa
farmer, whose farm included what became the Baptist Churchyard and West Sebewa
Cemetery. He also had retired to a home in Lake Odessa, and in 1972, at age 60,
Fred WISELOGLE followed this long tradition and built his retirement home on
McArthur Street near the lake, where he was to live for the next 30 years.
Fred WISELOGLE wrote his autobiography in 1992 and we printed it in six issues
of the RECOLLECTOR. Much of this story comes from his own words. Born in Albion,
May 18, 1912; he began kindergarten in Lansing at Clinton School, across the
street from home at Pennsylvania and Michigan. The next year the family moved to
Ann Arbor, at 403 Church Street, directly across from the main University
campus. He graduated from High School there in 1928, got a bachelor’s at the
University in 1932, master’s in 1934, Doctorate of Science in 1936, majoring in
organic chemistry. His first job was teaching organic chemistry at Johns Hopkins
University in Baltimore for $1400 a year.
During World War II he trained Privates and General in the chemistry of
explosives. Then he was assigned to organize and direct research on replacements
for quinine as a cure for malaria. After the war Fred transferred to the SQUIBB
Institute for Medical Research in New Brunswick, NJ, where he continued the
antimalarial research to find a cure for tuberculosis.
His drug – Isonicotinic acid hydrazide – marketed under the names Isoniazid or
Nydrazide thru a joint effort by SQUIBB and HOFFMAN-LaROCHE, proved safe and
effective. Tuberculosis, the principal killer in the United States as late as
the 1940s, has been all but eliminated, and millions of lives have been saved.
He received the prestigious LASKER Award from President Harry TRUMAN – and found
it ironic that as a life-long Republican, the only President whose hand he got
to shake was a Democrat. He also served as President of the New York Academy of
Sciences in 1961.
Retired in Lake Odessa, Fred served on the Lakewood School Board, the governing
boards of the Michigan Association of School Boards, Lake Odessa Ambulance, Lake
Odessa Arts Commission, Jordan Lake Watershed Association, Lakewood Waste Water
Authority, Lake Odessa Historical Society, Lake Odessa Centennial Commission,
Lake Odessa Community Library, Lake Odessa Lions Club, and Ionia County
Republicans, and supported Boy Scouts and the Village Council.
He was a friend of this and previous editor of RECOLLECTOR and paid member to
2012, his 100th birthday. Ann SLOWINS and Fred WISELOGLE were once the only
people who showed up for a new Great Books Discussion Group!
LOIS JANE WILSON BRAKE, 83, widow of Elwood BRAKE, Jr., mother of Michael,
Brenda, Max, Bruce and James BRAKE, and Virginia DAVIS, daughter of D. Lee
WILSON, granddaughter of Riley N. WILSON, who was a legendary pioneer farmer,
merchant, constable and deputy sheriff in Sebewa Township and later Ionia. Riley
WILSON owned the last house to the north on the west side of KEEFER Hwy. in East
Sebewa, long owned by Burton & Helen GILBERT and now by the JACKSON family.
His biggest shoot-out in Sebewa was with a Mr. DANN, who threshed-out and sold
some wheat which he had previously mortgaged. Later Riley WILSON moved to Ionia,
served as Chief Deputy or Under-sheriff, and ran a store at 318 W. Main Street,
which is the north-west corner of Main St. & CORNELL Alley, long occupied by the
Sherwin-Williams paint store and now by Curves for Women. The late Wilson
DALZELL of Ypsilanti-Reed, whose widow Greta died recently, was also a
grandchild of Riley WILSON.
Jane WILSON was born in Ionia, September 1, 1918, graduated from Ionia High
School, from college in 1939, and began teaching at Kent City in 1939-40 and
1940-41, and was invited back from retirement in Arizona for the 50th class
reunion of the Class of ’42 in 1992. She passed away in Mesa, AZ, May 29, 2002.
Jane and Elwood were active in the Ionia First United Methodist Church and the
Mesa Arizona First United Methodist Church. He was chairman of the building
committee when the Ionia Sandstone addition to the Ionia church was built in the
early 1950s. Elwood was an officer in Ionia County National Bank. After the
November elections of 1952, they moved to Washington, DC, where he became
Chief-of-Staff to Congressman Alvin M. BENTLEY, Jr. Elwood made several trips
back to Michigan to campaign with Congressman BENTLEY and we saw them at the
Ionia Free Fair. He visited us at the Portland farm in 1957 and we visited them
in Arizona in 1971. BENTLEY left Congress in January 1961 and the BRAKES settled
in the Mesa-Tempe area. Jane taught in Arizona and Elwood died there September
GENE FRANCIS CARR, 73, husband of Bernadine THOMAS CARR, father of Thomas &
James CARR and Patricia HOISINGTON, brother of Leo CARR, Katherine MARTINI and
Delores STEDGE, and the late George & Edward (Jack) CARR and Clara TIMMERICK,
son of Mary ZIBOWSKI & John (KARTUSKI) CARR. Born and raised in Sebewa Township,
mostly on the Heman BROWN farm, Gene was the youngest of seven children and was
a kind, gentle man. He spent his entire adult life selling John Deere farm
machinery and parts, first for POFF-LAPO Sales, then G. & W. Sales in
partnership with Wayne STEWARD, and finally part-time in retirement for LICH
Sales. He served on the Board of Directors of Union Bank, St. Edwards Catholic
Church, Lake Odessa Village Council, and as Captain & Secretary of the Lake
Odessa Fire Department from 1962 to 2000. Buried at Lakeside.
MARDI E. WORTLEY EDWINS, 95, widow of Glen EDWINS, mother of Luella SMITH,
sister of Madge LEAK and the late Genevieve MOORE, daughter of Urah BAINE &
Walter WORTLEY, son of Joseph WORTLEY. Her mother was a BYWATER, and all these
families were early farmers in Campbell, Odessa, Woodland and Sunfield
Townships. Mardi graduated from Lake Odessa High School, attended Ferris
Institute, worked in the HANSBARGER and TASKER Pharmacies. She is buried at
HARLAN A. (BUD) MIDDAUGH, 74, husband of Ann MIDDAUGH, father of Sally, Gary,
and Kate MIDDAUGH, brother of LaVern MIDDAUGH, son of Harlan L. & Estia A. KNOTT
MIDDAUGH, daughter of Rebecca TUSSING & Alonzo KNOTT. Alonzo & Rebecca KNOTT.
Alonzo & Rebecca KNOTT lived on the Robert MUSGROVE farm, corner MUSGROVE &
JORDAN Lake Highways. The W. KNOTT family owned 80 acres on TUPPER Lake Road in
Sebewa Township in 1891 and after, but we cannot find out if this was the father
or grandfather of Alonzo KNOTT. Bud MIDDAUGH was born in Eagle, but grew up in
Lake Odessa, played basketball and graduated here. He and his father and brother
ran a Service Station from the time the boys were in High School until Bud was
past age 50. He had been a Medic in Germany during the Korean War years, and
after selling the station he worked as an orderly at Ionia County Memorial
Hospital. Buried at Lakeside.
GERTRUDE E. VanHOUTEN, 97, widow of Merle VanHOUTEN, mother of Trevor, Arlo,
Jack, and Gary VanHOUTEN, sister of the late Hulda SMITH and Beatrice
SHELLENBARGER, daughter of Samuel KAUFFMAN & Lottie DANIELS, daughter of Sarah
D. & Orren W. DANIELS, Sr., son of Eunice & Andrus W. DANIELS, Sr., who settled
in Sebewa Township on State Road in 1866. Samuel KAUFFMAN was the son of
Catherine & Jonathan KAUFFMAN, who settled in Sebewa Township on HENDERSON Road
before 1891. Gertrude worked at Pennock Hospital in Hastings for over 30 years.
She was buried at Lake Odessa Lakeside Cemetery.
DONALD W. ROGERS, 84, husband of Kathyleen SANDBORN ROGERS, father of Joan
TRUMBLE, Mary LEONARD, Larry and Douglas ROGERS, brother of the late Charles
ROGERS, son of Millie SHAW & Warren ROGERS. Don was a lifelong dairy farmer on
Portland Road in Orange Township, breeder of draft horses and riding horses, and
along with Kate was long active in 4-H and the Ionia Free Fair. He had served on
the Portland School Board, was a Hall of Fame farmer, and a member of Portland
United Methodist Church for 77 years. He is buried in Portland Cemetery.
DEAN S. TYLER, 78, father of Michael D. and David L. TYLER, brother of Mignonne
HODNETT, son of Veryl TYLER & Florence SMITH, daughter of Della GALE & Leonard
Laban SMITH, son of Hannah GILLETTE & Laban A. SMITH, Sr., who settled in
Portland Township on the farm which is now Portland Country Club, on Divine
Highway, in 1866, and accumulated over 700 acres to divide among his six living
children. Veryl TYLER was the son of Otis D. TYLER, son of Isaac E. TYLER, who
settled in Orange Township on Peck Lake Road before 1875. Dean served in the
Navy during World War II, farmed on the family homestead until the death of his
parents, then moved to Gobles. Buried in Portland.
THOMAS LEROY CRAMER, 79, widower of Betty Anne CRAMER, father of Mark, Matt and
Clay CRAMER and Anne STRATTEN, son of Arthur & Carrie GARDNER CRAMER, and was
raised by his Uncle Glen CRAMER. Orphaned at an early age, Tom made a career in
the United States Air Force, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. Then he came
home, sold off his late Uncle Glen’s beautiful set of antique Allis-Chalmers
farm equipment and re-equipped with John Deere. After expanding to work rented
land in addition to his own, he retired again. Buried in Sunfield Cemetery.
CHRISTINE GIERMAN JARCHOW, 89, widow of Lloyd JARCHOW, sister of Pauline,
Maurice and the late Charles and Robert Wilfred GIERMAN, daughter of Nellie
Effie MEYERS & Robert Ernest GIERMAN, son of Christina KLAGER & Charles GIERMAN,
son of Frederick (Fritz) GIERMAN. Nellie was the daughter of Lydia SHIPMAN &
Albert MEYERS. Christine was born where Robert Wilfred later lived and attended
Sebewa Center School. Most of her adult life was spent in Kalamazoo and she is
IONIA SENTINEL: Marriage in January 1899; Miss Allie J. WILLETT and Frank J.
BUCK FAMILY UPDATE: The real estate development on the Mary WHITE BUCK farm is
called River Ridge Estates, not Cottonwood Creek Estates, which is across the
river off DIVINE Highway & MAYNARD Road.
O’MARA FAMILY UPDATE: Susan Mary O’Mara CSONGA was daughter of Norma SHOEMAKER &
Thomas S. O’MARA, son of Emma ENDRES & Frank O’MARA, son of John O’MARA &
Paulina STEINBERG, daughter of August STEINBERG & Rosanna SCHNABEL, daughter of
Regina & Anton SCNABEL, Sr.
A VISIT TO THE CEMETERIES by Grayden SLOWINS:
We often hear it said “Get the older generation to tell the family stories and
locate the homesites and gravesites while they are still with us”. Well, in the
winter of 2000, my youngest sister, Donna, who is fourteen years younger, asked
Ann & me to ride with her in the Spring and show her the cemeteries. We said
“Uh, huh, she wants to do it while we are still here”.
So-o-o, this is the tour we took with her, along with some stories and a little
history on some of the cemeteries. We climbed into her van on a sunny morning
and started to:
Mt. Olivet Cemetery, since it has the most relatives by far: two SLOWINSKI
grandparents, four SLOWINSKI & LEHMAN great-grandparents, three
SCHNNABEL-SLOWINSKI & GREGIE great-great-grandparents, and oodles of aunts,
uncles and cousins.
The Germans came to Ionia about twenty years after the English settlement called
DEXTER Colony and then Ionia County Seat. Part of Dad’s family, who started
arriving in 1857, were Catholic and part were Lutheran. Often brothers & sisters
went opposite ways. Mt. Olivet was of course the Catholic group. The Lutherans
used the various township cemeteries, as we shall see later. When they started
Saints Peter & Paul Church, Catholics also acquired land for their own cemetery.
I found it interesting that in the beginning both properties were deeded in the
name of the priest, Father C. G. BOLTE.
HIGHLAND PARK CEMETERY was started by an investment association or stock
company, and is now owned by Ionia Township. I should explain here that a law
was passed in Michigan about 1926 requiring any private burial ground that was
not being cared for, no matter how large or small, to be taken over by the
surrounding township or city and maintained properly. It was actually in the
early 1970s when Highland Park got so bad that people requested Ionia Township
take it over. Frank & Priscilla KIPP SNOBBLE and Emmett WOODEN (early Prairie
Creek miller and husband of Julia STEINBERG) are buried there.
OAK HILL CEMETERY straddles the Ionia City & Easton Township line and each is
supposed to maintain their part, as I understand it. It contains the graves of
the earliest pioneers. Robert Wilfred GIERMAN and I restored the white marble
slab stones in that little chained-off plot, as have others over the years, but
it never seems to stay that way. The VanderHEYDENS are in the Easton portion –
three generations of them. My family worked for them in the brickyard, helped
build both their homes, and provided household services & repairs. But we have
no blood relatives in that cemetery.
EASTON TOWNSHIP CEMETERY, located northwest of Ionia on JOHNSON Road at McKENDRY
Road, was started by the Methodist Church once located within it and later
rebuilt a mile and a half south, but belongs to the township. Emma SLOWINSKI &
WARNER SMITH, who lived on the north side of YEOMANS St., corner of Short & WALL
Streets, and some of their family, are buried there. Also Richard SLOWINSKI,
last family owner of ARNOLD Machine Shop, has a baby boy there.
TUTTLE CEMETERY is next, southeast of Ionia on KELSEY Hwy., at TUTTLE Road. Many
of Emma SLOWINSKI & WARNER SMITH’S family are buried there also. This cemetery
was started by the Methodist Church once on that corner, where the first
minister was Rev. Nelson TUTTLE. This cemetery is owned by Ionia Township, and
the church long ago merged with Orange Methodist to form LeValley United
BALCOM CEMETERY, in South Ionia, or actually in North Berlin Township, and also
on TUTTLE Road, owned by Berlin Township. This cemetery has an active cemetery
society which assists in the care. Balcom has our great-great-great aunt Minnie
SCHNABEL & Thomas CANNAM. Also great-great-great-uncle Michael SNOBBLE & Mary
CANTANT and their children, another Lutheran family, including Hanna & Fred
ARNOLD, who were moved from the ARNOLD Cemetery half way down the hill, and
Horace & Nellie PIERCE SNOBBLE from Bellview Drive. Also Aunt Marguerite
SLOWINSKI, Marion MITCHELL & George MITCHELL. Also Uncle Elwood BRAKE & Aunt
Nadia COOL BRAKE and their daughter Barbara HARBECK & Cliff HARBECK.
SUNSET MEMORIAL GARDENS, around the corner on State Road, in Ionia Township, was
organized as a stock company or association, but as I understand it, is now
owned or managed by one man, Henry Curtis.
LETTS CEMETERY, on Peck Lake Road, just west of State Rd. (M-66) in Berlin
Township, has no relatives, but is worth mentioning because it has one of Ionia
County’s three veterans of the Revolutionary War, Louden ANDREWS. Woodard Lake
Cemetery has Wm. PANGBORN and Sebewa has Jonathan INGALLS.
ALDERMAN CEMETERY, in southeast Berlin Township on State Road, is located in the
middle of a SCHNABEL farm; all the burials are English people from before the
Germans bought there. Last used in 1906, it is faithfully maintained by Berlin
SARANAC CEMETERY, in Boston Township on David Highway at the east edge of
Saranac, is township maintained. The descendents of Agnes SNOBBLE & George
VANDECAR are buried there, including most recently, Ariel MORRIS.
LAKE ODESSA LAKESIDE CEMETERY, is large for a township cemetery.
Great-great-uncle August SLOWINSKI & Amelia SHADDY are there in unmarked graves.
Great-great-uncle Louis SLOWINSKI is there in a grave marked only by a lilac
bush. Many of his descendants in the ELDRIDGE & FARRELL families are there also.
HOLY CORNERS CEMETERY; slipping over into the southeast corner of Kent County,
we visit this cemetery started by the Meonnonite Church that was originally
there and now a township cemetery. Our grandparents, Barbara WENGER & John F.
BRAKE are buried there, as is her grandmother, Elizabeth GOOD WENGER, Barbara’s
grandfather, Christian Z. WENGER is buried at Yellow Creek Mennonite Cemetery,
Elkhart, Indiana, but we won’t visit there today! Great-grandpa Abraham BRAKE &
Caroline COSENS BRAKE are also at Holy Corners.
CALEDONIA LAKESIDE CEMETERY is a township cemetery within the village and has
graves of our great-grandparents Christian G. & Lovina NOGLE WENGER, as well as
several of his brothers & sisters and their families.
BOWNE MENNONITE CEMETERY, on 76th Street, heading back toward Ionia County, just
west of Montcalm Avenue & Freeport Road. Great Aunt Inez WENGER KLAHN & Uncle
Fred KLAHN are buried there, along with their teenage son, Oliver.
CLARKSVILLE CEMETERY , owned by Campbell Township, is where we find graves of
Uncle John & Aunt Dorothy KYSER BRAKE and their son Bob, as well as Great Aunt
Mary WENGER BIDELMAN and some of her family.
STEELE CEMETERY on Kelsey Hwy. at Peck Lake Road in Orange Township……
UNION CEMETERY on KEEFER Hwy at Peck Lake Road in Portland Township……
MATHEWS CEMETERY on Sunfield Rd. at Grand River Trail in Orange Township………these
three small older cemeteries have no relatives, few recognized names, and no
modern day burials, but people often ask us about them because of their
proximity to Sebewa.
PORTLAND CEMETERY, long maintained by Portland Township until Portland Village
became a city. It was started on a portion of the farm of the first landowners
Elisha, Almeron & James NEWMAN. My parents and Ann’s parents are there, as well
as many of her LAKIN, PRYER, BALDWIN, CLARK & GREEN relatives and a few
SLOWINSKIS & LEHMANS.
DANBY CEMETERY, where Ann also has PRYER & PEAKE relatives, has at least in the
past had an active cemetery society.
EAST SEBEWA CEMETERY on BIPPLEY Rd. has many of Ann’s John FRIEND family
relatives and a few of my SCHNABELS.
WEST SEBEWA CEMETERY on MUSGROVE ROAD is nearest to our farm and it’s where we
will be buried. We took care of those two cemeteries for 28 years and kept their
records for 32 years as Sebewa Township Clerk & Sexton. We wrote about their
history & origins in February 1997, just before our retirement.
So those and Portland Cemetery are good examples to explain cemetery layouts.
Most are in rows of lots with four graves per lot. Sixteen and one-half or
seventeen feet of lot width allows four adult graves side-by-side in vaults.
Sometimes more are buried if some of them are infants, small children, or old
graves that had no vaults. The depth of the lot may be eight feet, with a
two-to-five foot alley for monuments. But sometimes the lots are ten feet deep,
including monuments, with little or no alley. Most are arranged in north & south
rows, so that everyone is buried facing east to the rising sun. However, some in
Portland, Highland Park, and elsewhere, are in squares, rectangles, circles, or
curves, and do not all face east.
The old method of doing the layout was with chalk-lines and stakes, starting
from one square corner. Today accuracy requires someone with surveyor’s skills
and equipment. Lastly, Sebewa Township has the INGALLS GRAVESITE, named for
Jonathan INGALLS, soldier of the Revolution and first person to die in the
Township, back in 1843. It is located 0.4 mile south of MUSGROVE on KEEFER
GRAYDEN & ANN SLOWINS’ entry in the FAMILY HISTORY OF IONIA COUNTY, soon to be
published by the Ionia County Genealogical Society:
Grayden’s first American ancestor was Christian WENGER, a Swiss Mennonite who
came to Pennsylvania in 1727. His son Hans bought the family farm in Earl
Township, Lancaster County, from William PENN’S sons, and the deed on real
sheepskin is still in the family. Hannes BRECH, another Swiss, came about 1751
to Montgomery County PA. His son John’s widow, Christina (SHERK) BRECH, moved
the family with four horses and wagon 500 miles to a farm in Waterloo County,
Ontario, in 1806. Their son, John BREAK, was a Mennonite teamster in the War of
1812, and married Catherine BETZNER, daughter of Samuel BETZNER. Hans WENGER’S
son Joseph’s widow, Elizabeth (ZIMMERMAN) WENGER, also moved their family to
Waterloo with teams in 1825.
John’s son Abraham BRAKE married Caroline COSENS, daughter of Charles & Ann
MILLER COSENS, and moved to a Caledonia Township, Kent County, MI, farm in 1865.
Their ten children were: Menno, Lucinda, David, Wesley, Mary, Elizabeth, John,
Ida, Jane & Emma, who became farmers, shepherds, millers, blacksmiths. Joseph
WENGER’S grandson Christian came by way of Elkhart, IN, to a Caledonia farm in
1864, where he married Lovina NOGLE, daughter of Benjamin & Elizabeth
SHELLENBARGER NOGLE. Their eleven children were: Barbara, Inez, Amos, Verne,
Joseph, Mary, John, Christian, Franklin, Flossie & Elizabeth, all doctors,
nurses, veterinarians, and farmer-shepherds. John BRAKE & Barbara WENGER married
in 1892, moved to a farm in Campbell Township, Ionia County. Their children
were: Hazel & Wayne – infants, Elwood – teacher & Ionia County School
Superintendent, Mable Van ALLSBURG – dental assistant, Crystal SLOWINS – teacher
& family historian, John – farmer, barber, electrician, foster son Duane Gray –
Many Germans, including the SLOWINSKI, SCHNABEL & LEHMAN families came from
Posen, East Prussia, to Berlin & Odessa Townships, Ionia County, in 1872 after
fighting Bismark’s wars to unite Germany. They were farmers, shepherds,
stonemasons, woodworkers. Frank & Regina (KUBISH) LEHMAN’S eight children were:
Roman, John, Pauline, Lewis, Mary, Wilhelmina, Peter & Anna. Most were
farmers.Christopher & Mary (GREGIE) SLOWINSKI’s nine children: Roman, Theofil
(Pete), Anna, Daniel, Michael, Martha, Minnie, Mary & Emma, were mostly farmers.
Daniel & Wilhelmina (LEHMAN) SLOWINSKI farmed in Berlin and their twelve
children were: Infant, Frances, Florence, Donald, Marguerite, Herbert, Louise,
Eugene, Frank, John, Clarence & Wilson. Donald & Crystal (BRAKE) SLOWINS’
children were: Grayden, Sandra & Donna.
Grayden was born January 20, 1932, on a farm in Boston Township, Ionia County,
grew up on a farm in Portland Township, graduated from Portland High School &
Ferris Institute, served as a Medic in Korean War. Ann LAKIN SLOWINS was born
October 22, 1932, in Lansing, lived in Ionia, grew up in Danby Township,
graduated from Portland High School & Ferris. They were farmers & shepherds in
Sebewa Township. He was School Board Treasurer, Justice of the Peace, Township
Clerk for 32 years, Cemetery Sexton for 28 years, President of Michigan
Townships Association, Editor of Sebewa RECOLLECTOR, and a historian.
Ann was a church organist, pianist, recorder player, painter, weaver,
pharmacist. Both loved to read & travel America in their pickup camper or
motorhome and around the world. Their children were: Joseph, Karen, Daniel &
Kirsten. All graduated from Ferris State University……
Ann’s first American ancestor with the LAKIN name was John LAKIN, born in
Grainthorpe, England, 1819, came to Putnam Township, Livingston County, 1844,
married Hulda ELLIS MERRILL in 1848 and settled on a farm next door. She was
daughter of (first wife) & Daniel MERRILL, farmer and first Clerk of Newton
Township, Calhoun County. Ann’s father, Elon LAKIN, is descended on both sides
from Prudence BIRD MERRILL, born 1548 in Suffolk, England, and thus his parents
were ninth cousins once removed. Two grandsons of Prudence, John MERRILL, born
1599 in Suffolk, and Nathaniel MERRILL, born 1601 in Suffolk, settled in
John was the 8X-great-grandfather of Elon’s mother, Norah CLARK, and Nathaniel
was 7X-great-grandfather of Elon’s father, Claude LAKIN. Daniel MERRILL’S mother
was Hulda ELLIS, daughter of John & Elizabeth SAWYER ELLIS and
3X-great-grandmother of John ELLIS< who died in Sandwich, MA 1697.
John CLARK, born in Ireland, came to New York and was Norah CLARK LAKIN’S
grandfather. His son John (her father) was a blacksmith in Portland and married
Harriett GREEN, daughter of Samuel GREEN & Melinda HASKINS, daughter of Jessie &
Lucy PATTERSON HASKINS, who settled in Portland Township in 1836.
Samuel GREEN, son of John & Sarah TAYLOR GREENE, was 3X-great-grandson of John
GREENE who was married in Rhode Island in 1641. Jessie HASKINS, son of Abraham &
Lois WATTS HASKINS, was 4X-great-grandson of Nathaniel DICKENSON, who died in
Hadley, MA, in 1676.
John & Hulda MERRILL LAKIN’S son William married Elizabeth HITCHCOCK, daughter
of Delinda Jane MILLS & Rufus HITCHCOCK, farmer in Locke Township, Ingham County
& Conway Township, Livingston County, son of Russell & Evalina HITCHCOCK, and a
Civil War casualty at Andersonville in 1863. Delinda MILLS was daughter of
Elizabeth DICKENSON, who died at Howell in 1899, and Stephen MILLS.
Ann’s mother was Marian PRYER LAKIN, daughter of Frank & Estella BALDWIN PRYER.
Frank was son of Cornelia PHILLIPS & Thomas PRYER, who settled in Danby Township
in 1851, was born 1829 in New York City at what is now west end of Brooklyn
Bridge, son of Merselus PRYER and 3X-great-grandson of Thomas PREYER who owned
land in New Jersey in 1674.
Frank PRYER’S mother, Cornelia, was daughter of Silvester & Margaret ALLEN
PHILLIPS. Estella BALDWIN was daughter of Rush BALDWIN, Civil War Veteran born
1841 in Ohio, who settled in Sebewa Township in 1866. He was son of Nathaniel
BALDWIN & Matilda SHAW, granddaughter of Richard SHAW, a Revolutionary War
Veteran who died in 1785. Estella’s mother was Phoebe Maria FRIEND, daughter of
Polly Ann MEACHAM & John FRIEND, who settled on a farm in Sebewa Township in
1854. Polly Ann was daughter of Samuel MEACHEM & Polly HASKILL, and
4X-great-granddaughter of Jeremiah MECHAM, who died in Salem, MA, in 1695. John
FRIEND was son of John & Betty COMB FRIEND, who emigrated to America from
Devonshire, England in 1833.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The preceding story is our entry in the FAMILY HISTORY OF IONIA
COUNTY, soon to be published by the Ionia County Genealogical Society. Have you
written yours and ordered a book? The address is: Pam Swiler, President, 13051
Ainsworth Road, Lake Odessa, MI 48849-9406. Call 616-374-3141 for price and
particulars. Deadline is November 30.