THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR Bulletin of the Sebewa Center
(Sebewa Township, Ionia County, Michigan);
JUNE 2003, Volume 38,
Number 6. Submitted with written permission of Editor, Grayden D. SLOWINS:
SURNAMES: ELDRIGE, EARLE, DANIELS, LINDLEY, KINNEY, MERRYFIELD, GIERMAN, THUMA,
MOORE, OATLEY, KLAGER, GUNN, RARICK, LEHMAN, GUERNSEY, CLAPP, KUBISH, HANSBARGER,
MUMAW, KLADDER, HOORT, FISHER, McCAUL, SLATER, SANDBORN, BENSCHOTER, LUSCHER,
GIBBS, BRADLEY, ERDMAN, HUNTZINGER, SMITH, PERKINS, HOENES, SINDLINGER, WARREN,
RITENBURGH, CROSS, POSSEHN, ZANTO, STAPLES, STAPLES, SEARS, WILSON, BLANCHARD,
POLLYANNA (POLLY) ELDRIDGE, 65, wife of Gordon ELDRIDGE, mother of Ronald &
Laurie ELDRIDGE, sister of Donna DEAN, Patricia COOK, and the late Unsurulla
ELDRIDGE & Edward EARLE, daughter of Avard EARLE & Myrtle DANIELS, daughter of
Anna U. LINDLEY & Andrus W. DANIELS, son of Sarah D. KINNEY & Orren W. DANIELS,
Sr., son of Eunice MERRYFIELD & Andrus W. DANIELS, Sr. Buried at Lakeside.
REBA SARAH GIERMAN THUMA MOORE, 85, widow of Volney THUMA & Fred MOORE, mother
of Paul THUMA, Agnes HOLLAND, Marjorie MORRIS, Sue WRIGHT and Mary MILOVIC,
sister of Wilbur GIERMAN, daughter of Mae OATLEY & George GIERMAN, son of
Christina KLAGER & Charles GIERMAN, son of Frederick (Fritz) GIERMAN. Mae OATLEY
was daughter of Sarah GUNN & Gravener OATLEY, son of Sally & Simeon OATLEY.
Sarah GUNN was daughter of Amelia RARICK & Theodore GUNN. Buried at East Sebewa.
ANNIE LAURIE LEHMAN GUERNSEY, 103, widow of Robert GUERNSEY, Sr., mother of
Joyce HOLLAND and the late Robert GUERNSEY, Jr. & Nadine SHETTERLY, sister of
the late Robert JOHN, Clara Belle & Frank LEHMAN, Jessie Cathaleen HEDDON &
Bertha Baker CRAIG, daughter of Ida CLAPP & Roman LEHMAN, son of Frank LEHMAN &
Regina KUBISH, daughter of John KUBISH. She was born in Ionia August 3, 1899,
grew up at Otter Lake & Davison, Michigan, lived after marriage on Louisa Street
in Ionia, then on Union Hill, and finally at Heartlands Health Center, died
April 20, 2003. She was one of our last natives to have lived in three
centuries. Buried at Highland Park Cemetery at Ionia.
NELSON D. (DUTCH) HANSBARGER, 88, widower of Marguerite, father of Kay (CAMERON)
YAGER & Harlo (Shorty) HANSBARGER, brother of Owen MUMAW & Dorothy DOTY, son of
Ada (Becky) MUMAW & Jeremiah HANSBARGER. Retired supervisor of Lake Odessa
Street & Water Department. Buried at Lakeside Cemetery.
ETHEL MAY KLADDER HOORT, 80, wife of Henry HOORT, mother of Sandra HEYBOER,
Larry & Randall HOORT, sister of late Marion BOOTS, daughter of Ann FISHER &
Ernest KLADDER. Buried in Sunset Memorial Gardens at Ionia.
BERTON E. McCAUL, 82, husband of Doris FAHRNI McCAUL, father of Roxie HAZEL,
Neil McCAUL, Betty HASKINS, Alex McCAUL, Sue ELLIOTT & Steve McCAUL, brother of
Doris CANFIELD, Lois GOODEMOOT, and the late Owen McCAUL, son of Anthony McCAUL
& Mabel SLATER, daughter of Berton SLATER, son of Clara MULHOLLAND & Peter
SLATER. A lifelong dairy farmer, owner of Lake-O-Maid Dairy Bar, and parade
participant with his draft horses. Buried in Lakeside Cemetery.
HOWARD ALDEN SANDBORN, 82, husband of Mary GOODRICH SANDBORN, father of William,
Robert & Edward SANDBORN, brother of Riley LaVERN, Louis, Richard, Kendall &
Gary SANDBORN, Maxine VOLK, June HIGBEE, Joyce LYON, Janet GILBERT, Bonnie
JAMESON, Judy McCRUMB & Betty RUSSELL, son of Anis BENSCHOTER & Riley SANDBORN,
son of Elma Winifred LUSCHER & Lawrence WATSON (Lon) SANDBORN, son of Sarah Jane
GIBBS & Columbus SANDBORN. Anis BENSCHOTER was the daughter of Bertella BRADLEY
& John BENSCHOTER, son of Mary M. & Oliver P. BENSCHOTER, son of Diana &
Cornelius VanBENSCHOTEN. Bertella was daughter of John M. & Mary A. BRADLEY.
Elma LUSCHER was daughter of Minnie C. ERDMAN & Jacob LUSCHER, son of Anna
HUNTZINGER & Jacob LUSCHER, Sr. Sarah Jane GIBBS was daughter of Robert & Mariam
GIBBS. Buried in East Sebewa.
DAVID H. SMITH, 90, husband of Louise SMITH & widower of Norine BYINGTON SMITH,
brother of the late George & Lawrence SMITH, and Marilyn SMITH McKINLEY, son of
Mabel PERKINS & David SMITH, Sr., son of Barbara HOENES & John George SMITH, who
immigrated from Wurttemberg, Germany, in 1852, to eighty acres at W ½ SW ¼ Sec.
6 Sunfield Township, Eaton County, MI, where the village of Woodbury stands
today. David was born in 1913, graduated from Lake Odessa High School & Albion
College, and if memory serves correctly had intended to study medicine, as his
brother George did, but became ill & had to drop out.
He was a successful insurance agent, active in Lake Odessa community affairs,
admired & respected by all who knew him. He was an interested & contributing
member of the Sebewa Center Association for all its 38 years. Our children moved
their lawn for a number of years and they came to their graduation parties. In
1978 they retired to Sun City, AZ, and were active there as well.
LUCILLE SINDLINGER WARREN, 87, widow of Kenneth E. Warren, mother of Roger C.
WARREN, sister of Margaret L. BROWN & Mildred P. RICE, daughter of Nora A.
RITENBURG & Fred C. SINDLINGER, son of Christian & Elizabeth SINDLINGER, who
settled in Sebewa Township in 1855. Nora was the daughter of Ira & Minnie R.
RITENBURG. Lucille graduated from County Normal and taught in Berlin Center,
West Sebewa & COON rural schools, and Ionia Public School. Buried in Sunset
Mary Kathryn (Kate) CROSS POSSEHN WELLER, 80, widow of Harold POSSEHN & Jacob
WELLER, mother of Phil & Debora POSSEHN, sister of Clare CROSS, Doris SHATTUCK,
Dorothy FEDEWA & Barbara DAY, daughter of Anna ZANTO & Raymond CROSS, son of
Della STAPLES & Leonard CROSS, son of Emma & John H. CROSS, who settled in
Sebewa Township before 1875. Anna was daughter of Mary & Louis ZANTO, pioneer
Orange Township farmers. Della was daughter of Loren & Delos STAPLES, innovative
farmers in Sebewa Township. Buried in Lakeside Cemetery.
UPDATES FROM WALLACE SEARS: WILSON FAMILY – A sentence last time did not make it
quite clear that Christina WILSON EVANS was the sister of Victor WILSON, Sr. and
both were children of Arthur WILSON. Christina married Albert (Bert) EVANS and
they had Herbert EVANS, Mildred EVANS BROWN, and another son, Eston EVANS.
Victor married Ella PEACOCK and had Rose WILSON AINSWORTH, Joyce WILSON LUSCHER,
Carol WILSON CASSEL, Keith WILSON and another son, Royal WILSON.
BLANCHARD FAMILY: Wallace also says there were two sons in the family of Helen
HALLADAY & Elmer BLANCHARD. Their names were Glenn & Guy BLANCHARD, but they
were called “Tunk” & “Dud”. Neither ever married, they lived all their lives in
the old family home, now gone, and they “rode shotgun” with Syd BROWN hauling
livestock to Detroit.
WILLIAM ALLEN SMITH FAMILY: Wallace says Clifton & his family went to China as
missionaries, not South America. Burton SMITH built the little house west of
William, not Clifton. Glenn & his widowed mother, Louise, went to Gobles to live
with Clifton & family, not Berrien Springs. Glenn’s crippling disease from
childhood was rheumatoid arthritis.
OLIVER SMITH FAMILY: Three granddaughters of Ben SMITH: Margaret SMITH TROYER,
Ilene DARLING CARR & Georgianna HOLLENBACK PERKINS, are trying to identify the
above photo (included, on back page of this issue, with article) and to locate
the history & graves of their great-great-uncles Lafayette (Lafe) SMITH &
Abraham (Abe) SMITH, brothers of Ben’s father, Oliver SMITH, Sr., and Nancy
Elizabeth SMITH TIDD. Georgianna can remember them as tall, white-haired, old
OUR FIRST TRIP TO FLORIDA by Grayden SLOWINS:
Sunday, February 23, 2003, a nice sunny day, with forecasts of freezing rain and
snow to the south of us, caused us to decide to leave today, at about 4:15,
instead of early tomorrow morning. We took Sunfield Road and M-50 to Charlotte
and onto I-69. These roads were clean and dry, but as we entered Indiana, there
was more snow on the surrounding fields. At Auburn, IN, KOA (Kampgrounds Of
America) there was about 6 inches on the ground and 2 inches more fell during
the night. This was two hours drive south of Sebewa Township. We used the
electic heater to take the chill off and then set the gas furnace at 63 degrees
overnight, because it was 18 degrees by morn.
Monday, February 24, we turned the key and the RV wouldn’t start! Both batteries
were okay and the solenoid clicked, but the starter motor would not even try to
turn the engine. The tow-truck operator diagnosed the problem as a failed
starter and towed us to Ben Davis Chevrolet. They told him to bring it right
inside and a mechanic got on it at once. $502.00 for new starter & labor & tow!
Then south on I-69 to I-65 and on to Kentucky, where we camped at South
Louisville (“Louvi”) KOA near Shepherdsville, KY. Just before we reached Kentucy
the good cropland had changed to hilly pasture.
Tuesday, February 25, there was only a small amount of snow in the park, but 20
degrees in the morning. Talked to a nice couple on their way home to Ohio from
Florida in reverse order of our trip. We had also intended to go down on I-75
and thru the mountains of eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas and
Georgia, but reversed it because of ice storms there. Now getting back on I-65,
we began to see a few places where there was a little loose snow on the highway.
Many small pickups and cars were in the ditch from Sunday night and Monday
storms. There was no ice and no reason to lose control, except they drive too
fast for snowy conditions. Only an occasional field of wheat and one soybean
stubble field. Not even many animals on the hilly native-grass pastures. Pulled
up at a Rest Stop along side a couple in a short Class C RV with two bikes on
the back, who had lived in Grand Rapids and now in Atlanta, MI. They are headed
to tour Florida same as us. We had seen them on the road Monday also.
We spotted several small old cemeteries on hilltops, as we retired Sextons
always do. But almost no sheep for us retired Shepherds except a few in
Kentucky, and only a few small bunches of cattle and pleasure horses. There were
a few race-horse farms, but far fewer than we would see in Florida. Tennessee
has even poorer ground and very little crops or livestock. After crossing these
two narrow states quite quickly, we entered Alabama and no more snow.
Just a little rain today and the soil & road-gravel were red-red-red! Crossed a
very large river and flood pond, part of the Tennessee Valley Authority with
hydro-electric dams. There is extra flooding right now from the past week’s
rains. Also saw a freeway exit for the Saturn plant at Spring Hill, TN, and lots
of their semis hauling both parts and finished cars were on the highways………At
South Louisville, KY, we didn’t hear any trains, but had lots of sonic-boom or
thunder type noises. Turned out it was artillery practive at nearby Ft. KNOX. We
drove straight thru Birmingham, AL, on I-65 at rush hour………KOA at Pelham,
AL……Got out of the RV into sunny high 50s and pulled off our Sebewa Township
Wednesday, February 26……near Montgomery we saw new baby calves being dropped in
pastures, some cattle on wheat fields, corn stubble, or greening grass, and big
grain elevators…….began to see Spanish Moss on the trees, fields of cabbages,
strawberry farms with no berries yet……Some roadside trees & bushes are in bloom
– pink is maybe wild plum – white & yellow. Palm trees, sod farms & evergreen
nurseries….Camped at Pensacola/Perdido Bay KOA……
Thursday, February 27, 61 degrees in morning……Visited with a nice couple from
Michigan……we walked to the beach & dock on Perdido Bay off the Gulf of
Mexico…..miles & miles of swamps along I-10 in Florida, with sandy ridges
growing long-needle southern pines between. Rose bushes in bloom in East
Tallahassee………we noted a gradual improvement in farmland as we traveled east in
the Florida panhandle, with some wheat, irrigation equipment, and clear-cut
forests being replanted to pines.
Friday, February 28, rainy and 60 degrees in the morning………there are beef cattle
and wood storks/wood ibis at the pond over the fence. These birds are white with
black edges to their feathers and are the only storks native to North
America……Lots of palmetto trees & bushes also. There are sweet-gum trees, wild
grapevines, and Carolina Jessamine. This plant is the state flower of South
Carolina and has yellow trumpet blossoms…..
Saturday, March 1, 63 degrees at sunrise…….picked oranges, grapefruit & kumquats
in the back yard……oranges are past their prime & juiceless, grapefruit are good,
kumquats have a nice flavor but are very sour……we used “OFF” today for the first
time, although there were not really many insects yet – just one mosquito.
Sunday, March 2……to Trilby United Methodist Church….minister grew up in
Kalamazoo……many northerners in the congregation from MI…..we saw just a couple
white sheep and later one black sheep. The beef cattle are mostly thin in
Florida, raised on native grass, poor grass hay in round bales, no grain. They
look like the cattle of the Old West, where it took 3-5 years to get them to
market weight and mighty tough meat. A few extremely large dairy farms with
hundreds, probably thousands of cattle that looked well-fed. We have seen no
alfalfa, trefoil, or other clover since we left MI, also little corn or other
grain. We wonder if citrus pulp is used as feed. Wednesday, March 5…..Neighbor
with a boat on trailer headed for lake says: “Can’t use a stringer for fish in
Florida – it attracts ‘gators on inland lakes and sharks in the Gulf. Either one
can get into your boat!”
Friday, March 7, 70 degrees in morning. Drove to Alaina & Jim TROUT home in
Eustis, traveling a terrible tangle of winding, poorly marked roads, plus road
construction, plus heavy traffic; were exhausted. Toured her beautiful home &
lakeshore, ate delicious meal, looked at SNOBBLE-ARNOLD photos. Then she took us
for a ride around town to see former Horace & Nellie SNOBBLE/Catherine COVERDALE
ARNOLD home and the Agnes & George VANDECAR/Cora & Arthur DENTON home.
Saw the Ariel & Lynn MORRIS/Ardelis & Frank ENDRE home, then to Sharron & Dick
McCARGEAR home for more photo albums……
Monday, March 10, 61 degrees, sunny & warm, expect highs in 80s & lows in 60s
every day this week. Today the humidity is down and 80 degrees is very pleasant.
The high in FLINT, MI is 20 degrees and it’s snowing there!
………to be continued………