Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 41 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 Newsletter from Sebewa;
DECEMBER 2005, Volume 41, Number 3. Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI.
Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. SLOWINS:



CORALANE McLEOD BOYES, 85, wife of Harry BOYES, mother of Dawn (Ronald) HUHN, Charmaine (Robert) MILLER, Charlene (James ENGLISH) BOYES, Geoffrey (Joy) BOYES and Margo (Stephen) McCORD, sister of the late Velva JOHNSON, Roswell and Verland McLEOD, daughter of Guy & Floy VanHOUTEN McLEOD, daughter of Cora Ella ROGERS & Charles VanHOUTEN, son of John Henry VanHOUTEN & Betsey Ann RYDER, daughter of Stephen & Elizia E. RYDER, who settled on TUPPER Lake Road in Sebewa Township before 1850.

Long an active genealogist on the VanHOUTEN & McLEOD lines and therefore a strong member of the Sebewa Center Association and Clan MacLEOD Society. Coralane was active in Episcopal Church Women, Historic Parish House Guild, Girl Scouts, Red Cross Bloodmobiles, Jury and Election Boards. She is buried at TUTTLE Cemetery.

MARGARET L. SINDLINGER BROWN, 83, wife of Wayne BROWN, mother of Bill, Fred and Gary BROWN, sister of Mildred RICE and the late Lucille WARREN, daughter of Nora A. RITENBURGH & Fred C. SINDLINGER, son of Elizabeth & Christian SINDLINGER, who settled on KIMMEL Road in Sebewa TOWNSHIP before 1875. Nora RITENBURGH SINDLINGER was the daughter of Ira & Minnie R. RITENBURGH, who settled at the north end of KIMMEL Road.  Margaret was a graduate of Western Michigan University and taught in Ionia and Montcalm Counties. She is buried in Danby Cemetery.

EDGAR ROBERT FLEETHAM, 90, husband of Rosa BELAND FLEETHAM, father of Jeannine ROGERS, Anne MERRILL, Floyd & Terry FLEETHAM, brother of Fern BIGELOW. Durwood FLEETHAM and the late Lucinda and George FLEETHAM, son of Lilly Lauretta SHAW FLEETHAM GRAGG & Floyd H. FLEETHAM, son of Nancy & Edgar G. FLEETHAM, son of George FLEETHAM, son of Richard & Clarissa FLEETHAM, who settled on what was later the BIDWELL farm on KEEFER Highway in Sebewa Township before 1850. Lilly Lauretta SHAW’S parents were Robert & Lucinda SHAW, who came from Ontario, Canada, in the 1890s to the SESSIONS School neighborhood in Berlin Township and then to MUSGROVE & BLISS Road corners in Odessa Township. Edgar was a lifelong farmer on DOW Road, the continuation of KEEFER Highway in Sunfield Township, where his grandparents and great-grandparents had farmed, after his father died when Edgar was fourteen.

Edgar was a local elected official for 57 years, including School Board member, Township Treasurer, 38 years as Township Supervisor & County Commissioner, 25 years on the Eaton County Public Health Board, 22 years on the Mental Health Board, 50 years in Sunfield Lions Club, and 50 years as Lay Leader & member of the Sunfield United Methodist Church Board. He succeeded Theo LENON as an agriculture and history columnist in the Sunfield Sentinel. He is buried in Sunfield Cemetery.

THELMA M. KINNEY PEACOCK, 93, widow of Homer J. PEACOCK, mother of Homer (Bill) PEACOCK and Janice FERRIS, sister of the late Frances KINNEY and Elnora DORNER, daughter of Addie FULLER & Willard KINNEY. She was an active member of the United Methodist Church when they lived in Portland and later the Baptist Church in Chipley, FL.

Her husband Homer was the son of Alice E. HITCHCOCK & Harlan J. PEACOCK, son of Catherine E. DOWNING & Benjamin Calvin PEACOCK, son of Benjamin PEACOCK, son of John JOY PEACOCK, son of Abraham PEACOCK & Anna JOY.

Alice HITCHCOCK was the daughter of Georgia & Thomas JEFFERSON PEACOCK of YORK Road. Catherine DOWNING was the daughter of Elizabeth BAIRD & Samuel DOWNING. The DOWNINGS & PEACOCKS came to West Sebewa on KNOLL Road in 1865.

EARLY SCHOOL MINUTES CONTINUED with original spellings (surnames capitalized by libennett for genealogical purposes):

Please know all men by these presents that we John WADDELL the Assessor of School district No 4 in the Township of Sebewa and John F. OLRY and Lucius SHOWERMAN his sureties are held and firmly bound unto the Said district in the sum of Seventy dollars to be paid to the Said district for the payment of which sum well and truly be made we bind ourselves our heirs executors and administrators both jointly and severally firmly by the presents
Sealed with our seals and dated the 18th day of April 1852 J OLRY

The condition of this obligation is such that if John WADDELL Assessor of Said district shall faithfully apply all money that shall come into his hands by virtue of his office then this obligation shall be void otherwise of its full face and virtue.
Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of Jacob SHOWERMAN.
Sebewa Sept 27 1852

The taxable inhabitants of school district No 4 have met at the school house to elect their officers and transact their business
Resolved that John OLRY be chosen Moderator
Resolved that Major BROWN (given name not title) be chosen Director
Resolved that John WADDELL be chosen Assessor
Resolved that five Dollars of the public money be reserved for the summer school
Resolved that five months school shall be kept the ensuing year that is three months winter and two months summer school
Resolved that one Dollar tax shall be raised for every scholar liable to Town public money
Resolved that one cord of wood be furnished by each scholar that attends school

I do hereby certify my acceptance of the office of Moderator in
District No 4 of the Township of Sebewa Dated this 27th Sept 1852

I do hereby certify my acceptance of the office of Assessor in
District No 4 of the Township of Sebewa Dated this 27th Sept 1852

I do hereby certify my acceptance of the office of Director in
District No 4 of the Township of Sebewa Dated this 27th Sept 1852

Resolved that this meeting be adjourned till the last Monday in Sept next at this place. Major BROWN Director

Minutes of Annual School Meting of School District No 4 of Sebewa as an anual meting of the Qualified Voters held at the School the 26th Day of Sept AD 1853 persuant to Notice Moderator presiding was Major BROWN as well as recording as Clerk

Resolved that Major BROWN be chosen Moderator
Resolved that Charles W. INGALLS be chosen Director
Resolved that John F. OLRY be chosen Assessor
Resolved that there be raised one Dollar tax for all children between ages 4 and 18 years.
Resolved that a male teacher be employed for 3 months winter school to commence the first of December next
Resolved that each proprietor of the school shall furnish one half cord of wood for each Schollar
Resolved that this meeting be adjourned to the last Monday of Sept 1854 at the School House J F OLRY Moderator Major BROWN Director

Sebewa Sept 25th 1854 Minutes of the Anual School Meeting of School Dist No 4 of Sebewa of the Qualified Voters of Said Dist held according to Notice The meeting was called to order by Major BROWN Moderator Presided over by C. W. INGALLS Director

Resolved that John WADDELL serve as our Moderator for ensuing year.
Resolved that Ephraim PROBASCO be our Director
Resolved that John F. OLRY be Assessor
Resolved that one Dollar tax be raised for each Schollar between the ages of 4 and 18 years
Resolved that we have 4 months winter school to commence the first of November next and to be a male teacher
Resolved that each Schollar shall furnish one half cord of wood delivered at the School House
Resolved that this meeting now adjourn to the last Monday of Sept next
Signed C W INGALLS Director

I accept the office of Director for the ensuing year in
School District No 4 Sebewa October 4 1854

Notice is hereby given to the taxable inhabitants of School District No. four (4) of the Township of Sebewa that a Special Meeting of said District will be held at the School House of said District on the 11th Day of July 1855 at 5 Oclock PM the object of said meeting is to establish or change the site for the Schoolhouse and also to take into consideration building anew School house. Sebewa June 30th 1855

Ephraim PROBASCO Director John OLRY Assessor

I do hereby certify that the above is a true copy of the Notice of the Meeting to be held at the School house in School District No. 4 on July 11th 1855. Ephraim PROBASCO Director

July 11th 1855 A Special meeting of the qualified voters of School District No. four (4) of the Township of Sebewa held at the School house of said District No. four (4) on the 11th Day of July 1855 one thousand eight hundred and fifty five persuing to public notice the Moderator presiding and Ephraim Probasco present as Clerk.

Resolved that the School house site be changed and located near the Southeast corner of Section Sixteen leaving it with the School board to show and perchas land site above named being at this vote ten ayes to four nays.

Resolved that this meeting be adjourned until Saturday the fifth (5th) of August next at 2 Oclock PM.

Ephraim PROBASCO Director John WADDELL Moderator

Notice is hereby given to the taxable inhabitants of School District No 4 of the Township of Sebewa that a Special meeting of said District will be held at the School house of said District on the 4th day of August next at 2 Oclock. The object of said meeting is to vote a tax for building a new School house also to determine the size and form of said School house. Sebewa July 24th 1855 Ephraim PROBASCO

I do hereby certify that the above is a true copy of the Notice of the Meeting to be held at the School house in School District No. 4 on the 4th day of August 1855 Ephraim Probasco Director

August 4th in pursuance to adjournment and also public notice as per copia. Meeting of District No. 4 of all taxable Inhabitants was held (and) after some deliberation it was resolved to adjourn for one week to a day at 4 Oclock PM being the 11th of August. Ephraim PROBASCO

August 11th at 4 Oclock PM as pursuance to the foregoing adjournment the taxable Inhabitants of the aforesaid District No. 4 met at the School House. This meeting called by John WADDELL Moderator. Present also Ephraim PROBASCO Director. The meeting proceeded to business, first Resolved that Jacob PLANTS be Assessor for the remainder of the present year to fill vacancy.

Resolved that we build a frame school house 24 feet x 30 feet with ten feet between floors. Also that we raise tax of two hundred Dollars for building the same according to law. To be built as follows to wit Sills to be 8 by 10 inches of the best oak, floor joists to be 3 by 8 inches two feet apart. The frame to be corner posts 4 by 8 with door(ways) and windows part of the framing. With a beam through the center from end to end 8 by 10 with posts 4 by 8 with proper fastening by iron plates with bolts and nuts to support the same. This to support the rafters from side to side across the center also 3 by 8 but 16 inches apart. Studding to be of baloon style with 2 x 6 (at) 16 inches apart in a workmanlike order. Resolved also that the floor be laid of 1 ¼ inch thick white ash. Roof to be pine shingles 10 inches long 5 inches to the wether. Cornish to be fir. Siding to be white pine and painted immediately with white paint two coats with all the work to be in a workmanlike manner and of the best of materials.

The house to be furnished with two entry doors with Master’s desk on a platform of 8 inches set between the doors. Seats and desks to be in three lines facing toward the doors and to be built of the same kind of wood and painted, finishing in a workmanlike manner. Slate boards starting 18 inches above the ground (floor). Chimney to be built like the one in District No. 1 and all to be done in a workmanlike manner.

Resolved to have all other matters settled by the officers of said District No. 4 with house to be built by lowest bidder to make a first rate house.

Resolved to let all tax payers furnish suitable materials if accepted by Contractor as ordered and as cash basis.

Resolved to have all completed by the first of December if the weather is favorable and if not as soon as possible.

Resolved to now adjourn to the next annual meeting.This is to certify that I hereby accept the office of assessor of District No. 4 August 11, 1855 Jacob PLANTS

Notice is hereby given that the School board of School District No. 4 will meet at the old School House on Saturday September 7, 1855 at 1 Oclock PM for the purpose of letting the job of building a School house to the lowest bidder said house to be built on the southeast corner of Section fifteen. Said house to be built on the Specifications to be seen at the Director’s house also to be made known on the Day of Sale. Sebewa August 15, 1855. Ephraim PROBASCO Director

I hereby certify that the above is a true copy of the Notice of the meeting to be held September 7, 1855. Ephraim PROBASCO

In conformity of the above notice the officers in full of School District No. 4 met Sept 7th and voted to extend the time of building and completing School house to tenth Day of June next, after which the job was put out to the lowest bidder. Charles W. INGALLS had offered the bid at three hundred and twenty Dollars to be completed the first Day of June next, which is to be entered in Contract with proper securities the same to be enclosed immediately.

Ephraim PROBASCO Director Jacob PLANTS Assessor

EDITOR’S NOTE: The above is the story of the wood frame schoolhouse which came after the log building and before the brick building. It served from 1856 until 1882, when the brick building was built a mile west of the first two. The School Board members listed came before those listed in the April 2005 issue of the RECOLLECTOR, connecting the two lists in 1854 with John F. OLRY and Jacob PLANTS each serving part of the term as Assessor.

FRONT PAGE PHOTO of Class of 1963-1964 of Sebewa Center School:
Back row: Susan FYAN, 4th grade; Martha MEYERS, 5th; Wayne FYAN, 8th; Duane MEYERS, 8th; TEACHER Ariel MORRIS; Janet GIERMAN, 8th; Patricia MEYERS, 7th; Judy SEYBOLD, 3rd.
Middle row: Toni DROSTE, 1st grade; Debrah MEYERS, 2nd; Carolyn FOX, 1st; Kay FENDER, 3rd; Lueanne FYAN, 2nd; Shellery FOX, 2nd; Karen SLOWINS, Kindergarten.
Front row: Gordon FYAN, 6th grade; Joe SLOWINS, 2nd; Eric GIERMAN, 2nd; Buddy FOX, K.; Douglas SEYBOLD, 6th.

UPDATE ON WAR OF 1812 VETERANS: Have you ever wondered why we have so few War of 1812 vets buried in our Michigan cemeteries, even though we have a few Revolutionary War vets and lots of Civil War vets? The reason is that the Bounty Lands & Land Grants traditionally given for enlisting or serving had been moved to Illinois and Missouri for the 1812 vets. A couple of survey crews working in the northeast part of lower Michigan falsified their maps while sitting in their quarters on bad winter days. Thus their surveys had to be done over, causing a couple years delay and not being ready for returning veterans.

Letter to Byron GIBBS, May 16, 2005, from Grayden D. SLOWINS:

Dear Byron,
Sebewa Fractional District No. Six schoolhouse was located just beyond the south edge of Sebewa Corners in its heyday, at the northwest corner of KEEFER Highway and TUPPER Lake Road. This was commonly called the HALLADAY School, after David W. HALLADAY, whose farm the lot came from.

Your father, A. Bruce GIBBS, boarded with the Elliot WYMAN family about a half mile east of the schoolhouse when he taught there. Apparently he attended eight grades at TRAVIS School, Sebewa District No. Eight, in years 1886-1894, then three years at Portland High School in years 1894-1897. He then taught at HALLADAY School for one year in 1897, 1898, and returned to Portland High School for his Senior year in 1898-1899, where he boarded with Mrs. John (Harriett) CLARK, who was Ann LAKIN SLOWINS’ great-grandmother. Then he taught a second year at HALLADAY in 1899-1900, again boarding with WYMANS.

Sebewa Fractional District No. One schoolhouse was located at the north edge of Sebewa Corners on the west side of KEEFER Highway. This was commonly called the Sebewa HIGH School, after Jacob HIGH, whose farm the land came from. A. Bruce Gibbs taught there two years in 1900-1901 and 1901-1902. He boarded at least the first year with Oliver VanBenSCHOTEN, whose great-grandson James BENSCHOTER now owns that farm, along with his own grandson, Robert. Note the change in spelling over the years.

As you note, there was only about 1 ½ miles distance between the two schools near Sebewa Corners. Both were called fractional districts because they also served a portion of Danby Township.

Sincerely, Grayden D. SLOWINS


As Mrs. Mariam GIBBS, a widow woman living about 6 miles west of Portland in Sebewa Township, was going to one of her neighbors when within a few rods of the house she slipped and fell on the frozen ice, breaking her shoulder and otherwise severely bruising and jarring her. Assistance was speedily secured and she was conveyed into the house and Dr. Chester SMITH of this village was called on to set the broken bone, and at last account she was doing as well as could be expected from the nature of the accident and from the fact that she is quite an old lady.

(Editor’s Note: The 1860 census would indicate Mrs. GIBBS was 47 years old in 1870! Actually she was 48 at the time of the accident, because she was born April 12, 1821. Also, as you know, she was not really a widow, but divorced.)

Thought you would enjoy this added tid-bit. G.D.S.


Thursday, March 24, 52 degrees. High today 85 degrees………at campfire I told Wally GIMBEL about the hometowns of our cousins the COSENS at Palmerston, Gowenstown & Listowel, northwest of Kitchener about 20 miles.

March 25………stayed inside and began typing this story for THE RECOLLECTOR.

Tuesday, April 5, 50 degrees & sunny, up at 5:00……pulled the electric cord & TV cable, started engine and took off at 7:10 AM. Saw lots of pecan trees and peach trees and country estates in Georgia. Corn is up in Bainbridge, GA. Peanut shelling mills and cotton gin buildings. Rivers are flooded, ponds are filled with brown water. Fields that have been fitted & planted are compacted by hard rains and parts are under water………saw a dead armadillo about 12 inches long on the shoulder of road. Found out later they tend to turn up as road kill like possums & raccoons at home. A narrow strip had been hit by a tornado, with trees & barns down and a house roof covered with a blue tarp. Temperature was 85 degrees at Pelham, AL. Got gas there at $2.259/gal and it came to an even $100.00 for first time ever!

Thursday, April 7, 58 degrees, up at 6:00, after rain in night, overcast now…………lots of soil has been tilled in Indiana, but nothing planted………sunny & nice & 58 degrees when arrived at home about 4:00. Everything looks neat & trim & homey. The beauty of travel is it makes home seem more beautiful. Return trip was 1182 miles. Total trip was 2373. END



Last update November 10, 2013