Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 44 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 2008.  Volume 44, Number 3.  Sebewa Township, Ionia County, Michigan. 
Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. SLOWINS:



ROBERT S. SPITZLEY, 82, husband of Laurine SPITZLEY, father of Marvin SPITZLEY, Patricia ARNOLD, Daniel SPITZLEY, Jacalyn WILKES, Annette SPITZLEY and Julie BEIDLER, brother of Joan SCHMITZ, Wilma SCHMITZ, Philip, David, Roy and Alvin SPITZLEY and the late Alice ESCH, Leo, Harold and Jerome SPITZLEY, son of Theresa FOX & Leo A. SPITZLEY, son of Josephine ARENS & Michael SPITZLEY, son of Suzane SIMON & Michael SPITZLEY, son of Anna Maria KLOECKNER & Johann Jakob SPITZLEY, who settled at the corner of PRICE Road (DAVID Hwy.) and Clintonia Road, just over into Westphalia Township, in 1846.  (See THE RECOLLECTOR Vol. 27 – No. 4, February 1992, for a larger history of the SPITZLEY Family.)  Bob was a farmer all his life, Portland High School graduate, U. S. Army Veteran of WWII, member of St. Michael Catholic Church in Grand Ledge.
   He was born August 25, 1925, in Dallas Township, Clinton County, and died August 17, 2008, at a nursing home in Delta Township, Eaton County.  Burial was in Meadowbrook Cemetery, Roxand Township, Eaton County. 

LINDA PEARL HILLEY, 56, sister of Terry, Jack, John and the late Tom HILLEY, daughter of Carlisle (Lefty) & Madonna ELDRIDGE HILLEY, daughter of Pearl McLEOD & Eddie ELDRIDGE, Sr., son of Rufus James (Jay) ELDRIDGE & Sophia SLOWINSKI, daughter of Louis SLOWINSKI, son of Daniel SLOWINSKI, Sr. and Anna SCHNABEL, daughter of Regina & Anton SCHNABEL, Sr. whose family first settled on HARWOOD Road in Berlin Township in 1857.  Born in Lake Odessa, September 26, 1952, Linda graduated from Grand Ledge High School, and was a longtime employee of Sheraton Inn in Lansing, until arthritis confined her to her home.  She died October 17, 2008, and is buried at Lake Odessa Lakeside Cemetery. 

ALBERT LEON ROOSE, 92, husband of Crystal HALLECK ROOSE, widower of Frances June Durkee ROOSE, father of Mary Jane GRAVES, stepbrother of the late Joseph, Sr., Maurice and Mitchell VROMAN.  Son of Albert & Sophia POPELIER ROOSE, he was orphaned by the influenza epidemic of 1918 and adopted by his uncle Leon ROOSE, who married the VROMAN brothers’ mother, thus making him their stepbrother.
   Born October 11, 1916, in Duluth, Minnesota, he came with Leon to Lake Odessa.  From 1940 thru 1949, Albert operated a portable feed mill for farmers in the Lake Odessa area.  Several of the VROMANS carried on that service and in 1950 Albert started his own gravel-put and Redi-Mix Concrete plant.  Due to poor health he sold that business to HASKINS-SLATER-VROMAN young men (HSV), and when his health improved, he was boiler operator at the Superior Furniture factory in Lowell.  June died in 1977, and in 1982 Albert married Crystal in Honolulu and lived in Green Valley Retirement Community, Arizona.  Longtime member of Zion Lutheran Church, Woodland, he died October 22, 2008, and was buried in Lakeside Cemetery. 

BUFORD B. (Boots) VALENTINE, 90, husband of Neva, father of Janet PITMAN and James VALENTINE, brother of Mary PATTERSON and the late Burton, Balfour and Bernard VALENTINE and Margaret BUCHE, children of Archie & Mabel SAXTON VALENTINE, daughter of Mary BALDWIN SAXTON, daughter of Esther & George BALDWIN, son of Nathan BALDWIN & Matilda SHAW, daughter of Robert SHAW & Sarah KELLER, daughter of Joseph KELLER & Mary Magdalene ANDRE.  The BALDWINS came to Sebewa Township from Republic, OH, about 1865, and settled on the land at KIMMEL Road and MUSGROVE Hwy, once owned by Ed DEMARAY and now owned by William NURENBERG, Charles & Edward LEIK, Philip SPITZLEY, LaVern & Ken CARR.  The SAXTON (SECKSTONE, SEXTON) family came to Sebewa Township before 1875 and settled on the land on GODDARD Road between KNOLL & GOODEMOOT Roads, later owned by Issi & Ida FLETCHER and now by Larry BRIERLEY.  Boots was a member of WWII 398th Bomber Group.  He died October 9, 2008. 

CHRISTOPHER YONKERS, 45, husband of Kari BROWN YONKERS, father of Anna, Christian, Isaac, Lydia, and Levi YONKERS, brother of Taleese, Trena and Mathew YONKERS, son of Patricia THIERY and late Thomas YONKERS, DVM, son of Virginia & Lester YONKERS.  Dr. Tom taught our kids at Sunfield Elementary, before Vet School, and bought 4-H lambs for his own kids from us (GDS).  Chris was a Barry County Sheriff’s Deputy and on duty as undercover narcotics agent with Michigan State Police, when a car turned in front of his motorcycle.  He died October 17, 2008. 

OREN WASHINGTON DANIELS, 98, husband of Beulah AUSTIN DANIELS, father of Margene SMILEY, Dallas DANIELS, Gary DANIELS and the late Larry DANIELS, brother of the late Myrtle EARL, Uceba THOMAS and Bernice GUNN, son of Anna U. LINDLEY & Andrus W. DANIELS, son of Sarah D. & Oren W. DANIELS, Sr., son of Eunice & Andrus W. DANIELS, son of Sarah D. & Oren W. DANIELS, Sr., son of Eunice & Andrus W. DANIELS, Sr., who settled in Sebewa Township at South State Road and BIPPLEY Road before 1869.
   Born in Sebewa Township, October 15, 1909, Oren farmed all his life, and except for one year at his cousin Bob’s farm in Yuma, AZ, about age 62, he continued to farm on the home place well into his 80s, and lived on the same farm until his death September 17, 2008.  He served on the Sebewa Township Board as a Trustee, was active in Ionia County Farm Bureau, was a pillar of the Sebewa Baptist Church, and a regular among the farmers at a local coffee shop.  He is buried with three generations before him and two generations after him, at West Sebewa Cemetery. 

BERNICE YAGER TRASK, 92, widow of Merle TRASK, mother of Patricia (Tish – never TRISH!!) TRASK STIFFLER WONDERGEM, Larry TRASK and Edward TRASK, sister of the late Theo YAGER, Margarette LOVELL and Beatirce (Robert) DANIELS, daughter of Emma SCHEEL & Edward J. YAGER, whose family settled on the east half of the present-day DANIELS farm on BIPPLEY Road, before 1875.  Born in Sebewa Township, November 22, 1915, she and Merle ran the Sunfield Fix-It Shop for over thirty years.  She wrote news for Sunfield Sentinel, was active in Sunfield Historical Society, Red Hat Society and United Brethren Church.  She died September 16, 2008, and is buried at Lakeside Cemetery.



   Jan KARCZEWSKI (sounds like KARTEWSKI in German/Polish) John CARR, born March 21, 1884, in East Prussia/Poland, son of Frank KARCZEWSKI & Mary WISNIESKI, departed Bremen, Germany, and arrived in the Port of New York, United States of America, on the ship WERRA, May 9, 1888, as documented by the passenger list in the National Archives. 

  By age 18 he was shoveling coal on steamships on the Great Lakes.  His family was living in Chicago, where he met Mary ZBIKOWSKI, who was born in East Prussia/Poland, on October 24, 1886, daughter of Joseph ZBIKOWSKI, and had come to America at age 3, with her parents, brother Stanley and sister Helen, landing at Ellis Island, NY.  John & Mary were married in Chicago February 6, 1906, and on March 14, 1906, John became a U.S. citizen in Chicago.

   Their first child, Clara, was born August 7, 1906, in Chicago, according to the 1920 Sebewa Census.  They moved to Toledo, OH, where Frank, Edwin, and Irene were born & died as infants.  Daughter Kathryn (Kate) was also born in Ohio, April 18, 1916.  Then they moved to Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI, first on the Charles HALLADAY/Leon MOYER/Larry BROWN farm south of Sebewa Corners Methodist Church, and then the Heman BROWN farm on the southwest corner of Sunfield and MUSGROVE Hwys, now owned by grandson Kendall & Jackie CARR.  They raised tomatoes for Lake Odessa Canning Co. and worked in the sugar beet fields – blocking & weeding on hands and knees, topping beets in backbreaking labor.

   In Sebewa Township, probably while living in the Larry BROWN house with a Sunfield address, John was working for Fred REAHM as a farm laborer and had to register for WWI Draft on September 12, 1916.  In Sebewa Leo was born October 14, 1918, George was born April 14, 1922, Delores was born June 12, 1923, Edward John (Jack) was born October 12, 1924, Raymond born March 18, 1927, died in October 1929 and is buried in the back of Portland Cemetery, Gene was born June 10, 1929.

   In 1946 they moved to a farm on Darby Road, south of TUPPER Lake Road/M-50, west of Lake Odessa, Campbell Township, later owned by daughter Clara & husband Otto TIMRICK, and John died there November 23, 1949.  Mary died April 23, 1956, near daughter in Chicago.  They are buried in Lake Odessa, Lakeside Cemetery.

   Clara born Aug. 7, 1906, died Nov. 29, 1976; married Feb. 1, 1934 to Otto TIMRICK born June 18, 1902, died September 28, 1961, no children.

   Kathryn born April 18, 1916 and died August 2003; married March 16, 1935 to Robert MARTINI who was born November 1, 1903 and died January 11, 1978 and their children were Joseph John, Richard George, and Mary Ellen.

1.  Joseph John MARTINI married Valma GRIFFETH.  They had children Michael, Christina, Karen, Robert, Donna Marie

2.  Richard George MARTINI whose children were Richard Scott, Wendy, Dean, Cindy Marie and Shawn.

3.  Mary Ellen MARTINI whose children were Mark Allen and Kimberly

   Leo CARR born October 14, 1918 married Marge PRANGER and their children were Diane, Delores, Darrell, Duane and David.

   George CARR born April 14, 1922 married Ilene DARLING and their children were LaVern E. and Kendall.

   Delores CARR was born June 12, 1923 and married  Lynn STEDGE and had children Theresa, Douglas and Phillip.

   Edward John (Jack) CARR was born October 12, 1924 and married Jean.  Their children were Clara Jean, Paul John and Mary Deborah and Kathy.

4.  Raymond CARR was born March 18, 1927 and died October 1929.

5.  Gene was born June 10, 1929 and died June 17, 2002.  He married Bernadine THOMAS and their children were Randy Paul, Thomas John, Patricia Jean and James Dean.

    PORTLAND REVIEW:  JANUARY 29, 1948:  LAWRENCE E. KNAPP, 70, of Sebewa, died suddenly from a heart attack at Bradenton, FL.  He and Mrs. KNAPP were spending the winter at a trailer park there, as had been their custom for several years.  Surviving are the widow, a son Howard of Sebewa, and one grandson Gerald, of Lansing.  Mr. KNAPP was for years a Sunfield rural mail carrier and retired some years ago.  (Lawrence was the son of Peter KNAPP, who once farmed at Sunshine.)
    WILLIAM S. (BILL) COMPTON, of Danby, who was taken last week to a Lansing hospital, was later moved to Veterans’ Hospital at Grand Rapids.  Bill has been in ill health for several months and in the past two weeks his condition had grown worse.  He is a former Serviceman, having been in the Regular Army years ago.  He later operated a grain elevator business here in Portland and then was a bean company representative until retiring.
    DALE BINNS, having decided to quit farming, will hold an auction sale at the premises, known as the John KLINTWORTH place, located half mile north, one mile west, and half mile north of Sunfield, on Tuesday, February 10, 1948, starting at 1:00.  Full list next week includes 23 head of purebred Jerseys, hogs, feed, tractor, tractor tools, other fine tools.  Allen HASKIN, Auctioneer, Asa BURNETT, Clerk. 
   Workmen are tearing down walls between former Roy DAWDY’S Men’s Clothing Store and Mrs. Del GRIFFIN’S Style Shop for ladies, to make it ready for Federated Department Store.  They have located a couple of long-sealed connections – old doors between the two.  One located near front of building, we (REVIEW EDITOR – Fred MAUREN, Jr.) can’t remember.  But we do recall when the one nearer rear was used.  Leon HIXON, then Cardy & FOLAND, then F. A. WHEELER ran a jewelry store in south building.  Leo LEHMAN had his clothing stock in north side.  He needed more room and arranged to put his shoe stock in back part of the jewelry building, reaching it through the arched door at back.
   (Most of these businesses were located in different spots over the years.)  A few stores north, the old Temple Theatre showed pictures where Labe SMITH’S Hardware is today (bottom of opera house, south half).  To meet state fire regulations, Fred PATTERSON, its owner, had a hole cut through the brick wall into the pool hall at north, and a steel fire door installed.  Leo C. LEHMAN later bought the pool room building (north half of opera house), and remodeled it for his clothing and shoe business.
   Michigan is marking the anniversary of one of the state’s greatest public health advances – the free distribution of biological products.  In January 1922, the Michigan Department of Health began offering free to physicians of the state a biological product for the treatment of disease.  The first product offered was to fight diphtheria.
   The late Dr. C. C. YOUNG of Portland, then Director of the Bureau of Laboratories of the Michigan Department of Health, promised Governor GROESBECK the death rate could be cut in half in ten years if the lab was able to offer products to prevent and treat diphtheria.  The 1921 legislature passed a bill enabling free distribution, and Dr. YOUNG’S promise has been fulfilled, even before sulfa & penicillin. 

PORTLAND REVIEW:  FEBRUARY 5, 1948:  Editor received a fine letter from Mrs. Loren (Eleanor LAKIN) HAZEN.  That family moved some time ago from Eagle to Barryton, MI.  They have had a lot of snow, as here, but the family looks forward to coming of spring.  A trout stream flows through their farm.  In the 15 months they have lived up there, they have entertained 255 guests from the Portland-Eagle area!  She also mentions that in 20 years of marriage, this will be only their fifth anniversary, because they married on February 29.  One birthday we recall on that date is that of Mrs. A. J. BARTON.
Mr. & Mrs. Matt ENGLER spent Tuesday with Mrs. ENGLER’S brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. George (Matilda) LEIK.  The couple had just returned from a wedding trip to New Orleans.  They were married January 9, 1948.  Mrs. ENGLER was former Agnes NEYER.  (Their future son John studied Agriculture Economics and Political Science at Michigan State University and put them to good use!) 

PORTLAND REVIEW:  FEBRUARY 1928:  Residents of Ionia and Lake Odessa were profiting by reason of a war between oil companies.  The price of a gallon of gasoline in these towns last week was 16 cents, while in Portland and most towns in the vicinity it was 19.7 cents!  (We remember in 1848 gas was 18 cents at Basil KINNEY’S Station, because when people asked for five gallons, John SHERRARD would say “I can give you five and a half for a dollar!”) 

PORTLAND REVIEW:  FEBRUARY 12, 1848:  Orange Township Historical Notes:  William SEILER calls us with a stickler question.  He says a school boy has just stopped in and wants to know how Orange Township got its name.  We are stuck and refer him to the TYLER family, as Otis is one of that township’s oldest residents.
   Here is the correct story:  Generations ago TYLERS took up land from the government, and the first neighborhood meeting was held on TYLER property.  The men suggested Orange for the township name, because they had come from a settlement by that name back east.
   If memory serves us rightly, Dean TYLER, now associated with his dad, Veryl, in TYLER Farm operations, represents the fifth generation to work the TYLER land.  (Dean S. TYLER died in 2002 and we refer to his obituary in THE RECOLLECTOR Volume 38 Number 3:  Dean was age 78, had been husband of Elizabeth JONES, was father of Michael Dean and David Lewis TYLER, brother of Mignonne TYLER HODNETT, son of Florence SMITH & Veryl TYLER, son of Otis D. TYLER, son of Isaac E. TYLER, whose parents are not listed.)
   Howard LOWRY retired in February 1948, from forty years on Portland Fire Department.  Mr. LOWRY told of his many experiences in forty years and how equipment had changed since his first responed to fires hauling a two-wheeled hose cart.  (No explanation was given as to how water was supplied to those hoses.)
   Michigan’s Governor Kim SIGLER and Treasurer D. Hale BRAKE were featured speakers at the Lincoln Day Banquet in Ionia, and BRAKE spoke the next day at noon at Portland Lions Club.  DIVINE Highway running north from US-16 at the sight of Portland’s Valley City Milling Co. fire was State Highway M-166 (M-66?). 

PORTLAND REVIEW: JULY 29, 1948:  DANBY BOARD CALLS A HALT TO DUMPING.  At the meeting of Portland Village Commission Monday evening, a communication was received from the township board of neighboring Danby Township, demanding that the village cease to use its present dumping area at the south end of Portland-Danby bridge by August 1.
  The message was presented by Floyd EVANS, Danby Supervisor.  The Danby Board has jurisdiction over the dumping spot, because it is in that township.  The Grand River forms the Portland-Danby townline at that point and the bridge over the stream thereby received that name.  The dump is just a few rods south of the bridge.  It is in a hollow created when the original road was abandoned and the new one graded.  It has been used as a dump for some time, although there have been frequent complaints and an order issued last spring demanding its closure June 1.
   An arrangement was made with the township to keep it open, when village workmen went out and cleaned up the adjacent road and field.  Many users have since dumped rubbish right at the roadside, making no effort to get it over into the dumping spot.  Village Manager Bernard MORSE stated Wednesday that arrangements have been made for using an area in the GUIDI Subdivision on the west side.  (This area too was abused, with dumpers starting fires, etc.)
   Village Clerk Don BRAENDLE has received a request for information as to value of stock in the Portland Water Co., a firm which has been out of existence for nearly 50 years.  Mrs. Ruth SZELC of Watertown, NY, attached a photo-copy of her one share of stock.  It is $50 share No. 11, and was issued October 22, 1890, to C. G. GOULD.  The share is signed by C. TILLOFFITT, secretary and J. V. CLARK, President.  The Portland Water Co. was never a great money maker.  In the early 1900s it was taken over by the Village of Portland.  Occasionally old wooden water mains are dug up, presumed to date back to the private water firm.  (This answers our recent question as to how water was supplied to fight fires in 1908.) 

PORTLAND REVIEW:  MARCH 24, 1948:  HOPE FOR FUNDS FOR BLACKTOP ON ROAD M-166.  Portland-Lyons highway has long awaited this improvement.  There has been considerable effort in recent years to have M-166, the road running north from the flour mill in Portland and then west into Lyons, black-topped, but the project has never been started.
   It is recognized as an important highway serving a large area.  The highway runs straight north of Portland to what used to be old M-21, and thence west into Lyons.  It is also hoped that blacktop will connect M-166 at WELCH’S Corners (David Highway) with the present pavement east of there which runs from the county line into Westphalia village. 

WILL BRICK UP OLD SMITH HOMESTEAD.  Ben SYKES has started work on modernizing the exterior of the large farm house on his place north of town on M-166.  The big home will be bricked up on the outside.  New brick will be used on the corners and for the remainder Mr. SYKES will use bricks which he is salvaging from the walls of the engine rooms at the site of the burned Valley City Mill.  Mr. SYKES estimates it will take 27,000 bricks to do the job.  (Ben SMITH, the former owner of the farm, was a son of Laban A. SMITH, Sr., whose home farm across the corner is now the golf course.  Ben was the grandfather of Ruth FRENCH and Frank McGOWAN, Jr. 

PORTLAND REVIEW:  SEPTEMBER 4, 1952:  William HESSE, son of Mr. & Mrs. Dewey HESSE, was taken critically ill on Saturday, at an army base in Georgia.  His parents, of Portland, and his wife, of Lansing, were called and flew there on Monday.  (He died there soon after.) 

Funeral services were held Saturday morning at St. Patrick’s church for Mrs. Ella LAWLESS, 76, of Portland, who passed away at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Mildred TEICHMAN, at Durand, on Thursday evening.  Surviving are her husband, John (sometimes called Sr., although he was not the father of John LAWLESS, Jr., whose father was Joel; another daughter, Mrs. Vera HARTWIG of Portland; son Arthur LAWLESS, of Grand Ledge; sister, Mrs. Charles WRIGHT, of Hubbardston; brothers John and James FITZPATRICK, both of Hubbardston; and seven grandchildren.  Mr. & Mrs. LAWLESS had spent all their married life in the vicinity of Portland.  For many years they owned a farm in Orange Township, just west of the TYLER place, to which family they sold it when they retired from farming and moved to the village.  They had since resided on Green Street, on the west side.  (Behind Estin HYLAND) 

PORTLAND REVIEW:  SEPTEMBER 1932:  It was a little more than three months ago that the new shirt factory began operations, and it will be good news to Portland people that SALANT & SALANT, the owners, have found it necessary to expand, ordering 60 new machines in addition to the 120 already in operation.  (This was in the village-owed building later occupied by BARLEY-EARHART Corp.  Previously this location had been occupied by a branch of Ionia’s Reed had been occupied by a branch of Ionia’s Ypsilanti Reed Furniture Co.) 

ROBERT AND BLANCHE BROOKS have purchased of Mrs. Pearl Sprague, the 120 acre farm located near the ABBEY School I Danby Township, occupied by J. A. MERRIFIELD.

RECENT VISITORS AT THE RECOLLECTOR:  Alice HANSEN and Cathy HANSEN, sisters fro Rochester, WA, researched their great-great-great-parents, Orlow WHITFIELD HOLMES & Renewed MOON HOLMES.  He was a carpenter and she ran a hotel/post office in the LeRoy DARLING house at Sebewa Corners – third house south on southwest side.



Last update November 10, 2013