Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 38 Number 6
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, Michigan);
JUNE 2003, Volume 38,
Number 6. Submitted with written permission of Editor, Grayden D. SLOWINS:



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 Memorial Gardens.

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 men.


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 winter coats………

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………


Last update November 10, 2013