Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 44 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 Newsletter from Sebewa; Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI. 
JUNE 2009, Volume 44, Number 6.  Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. Slowins: 



FRONT PAGE PHOTO:  William B. STOCUM, Portland Barber


NORMAN LEE HASKIN, 81, husband of Harriet JANDERNOA HASKIN; father of Allen (Diane) HASKIN, Chris (Rhonda) HASKIN, Cathie (Ron) DENNEY, Connie (Fred) TEACHWORTH, Mary (K. SPIKES) HASKIN, David (Amy) HASKIN, Debra (Matt) CRAMER, Brian (Becky) HASKIN and Liza SPENCER; brother of Helen BRAMAN and the late Wanda KEIFNER and Marvin HASKIN; son of Allen &  Mildred HASKIN. 
   Norm & Harriet farmed in the Lake Odessa area all their 60 years of married life, raising beef cattle and cash crops, were very involved in 4-H, and in retirement traveled so he could play golf throughout Michigan and Florida.
   He died March 6, 2009, and is buried at Lakeside Cemetery, Odessa Township. 

MADGE O. WORTLEY LEAK, 100, widow of Maynard LEAK, mother of Paul Walter LEAK, sister of the late Mardie EDWINS and Genevieve MOON, daughter of Urah BAINE & Walter WORTLEY.  Born in Lake Odessa, November 8, 1908, Madge graduated from Lake Odessa High School and Lansing Business University, worked in Maynard LEAK Sales & Service, East Lansing, for 35 years, volunteered at Ingham Medical Center for 21 years, died Mar. 12, 2009, buried in Lakeside Cemetery, Odessa Twp. 

LUCILLE R. PRYER, 88, wife of William S. PRYER, mother of W. Larry (Patricia-Tricia) PRYER, Cynthia (James) ROBERTSON, and the late Jeffry H. PRYER, sister of Marjorie (Jack) WOOD and Eloise (Sherman) DeMARIS, daughter of Ola Jones & Will HAUSER.  Born August 21, 1920, in Villa Grove, IL, Lucille married Bill July 8, 1944, at Ft. Riley, KS, and after he served in the South Pacific, she came with him to Danby Township.  They were very active in Portland Congregational Church and she with the Girl Scouts. 
   She died March 13, 2009, and is buried in Danby Cemetery. 

JAMES J. MILLER, 79, husband of Sandra SLOWINS MILLER, father of Carolyn Marie BRALEY and David James (Melissa) MILLER, brother of Gertrude SCHUELLER, Edmund MILLER, Herman MILLER, Theresa FOX, and the late Helen FRECHEN, Carl, Fred, and Dick MILLER, son of Edith FELDPAUSCH & Fred MILLER. 
   Born in Dallas Township, Clinton County, November 24, 1929, Jim served in the Korean Conflict, was married to Sandra June 13, 1959, worked at Builders’ Lumber in Portland 30 years.  They retired to Hardy Dam on Muskegon River, White Cloud, where they enjoyed fishing and woodcrafts.
   He died April 8, 2009, and is buried at Portland Cemetery.

PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) December 18, 1952:

The body of Gerald L. CHARTRAND, 20, who was born and raised in Portland, arrived in the United States Wednesday.  Pvt. CHARTRAND died in an army Hospital in Japan November 13 of wounds received in Korea on November 4.  Funeral services at St. Patricks Church, with military honors at Portland Cemetery under the auspices of Portland V. F. W. Post 4090.  All bearers were veterans, and honorary bearers were men who had seen service in Korea.  Archie CHARTRAND, Sr., father of the young soldier, received one American flag, and Jerry’s widow another.

Mrs. Charles VanHOUTEN, the former Cora ROGERS, observed her 92nd birthday on Wednesday of last week.  (Born in Sebewa December 10, 1860, Cora died November 20, 1955.)  They owned a farm on Goddard Road (later owned by Grover & Reva COOK) and moved to the farm now owned by Walter MARTIN just west of Portland 50 years ago (1937).  (Editor’s note:  Born in Sebewa November 15, 1857, Charlie died May 25, 1944.  Their oldest daughter, Fern, 1882-1972, married Glen OLRY, 1881-1956, and we bought their farm in Sebewa in 1957. 

   My parents dickered to buy Charlie & Cora’s farm at Portland in 1937, but bought the Abram WAY farm across the corner instead.  Cora and Charlie’s other children were:

2.  Ethel B. VanHOUTEN, 1884-1974, married J. Almer GIBBS

3.  Floy VanHOUTEN, 1887-1975, married Guy McLEOD

4.  Arlo VanHOUTEN, 1890-1954, married Marian HAMLIN

5.  Wier VanHOUTEN, 1895-1996

6.  Cloyce VanHOUTEN, 1898-1979, married Alma RADEMACHER

7.  Ilah L. VanHOUTEN, 1902-1988, married Ernest FARMER

SEE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR Volume 28 Number 3 for more on VanHOUTENS.

PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) December 18, 1952:

Charles O. MANSIL, 76, of Hill Street, is survived by wife, Fern MANSIL, and daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth KNAPP, of Portland.  Born at Sebewa Corners on February 6, 1876, he had resided in this area most of his life, and in Portland five years. 

The wife of Almeron NEWMAN, former Portland resident, died at Trinidad, Colorado.  The NEWMANS, James & Almeron, and their father, Elisha, were the first landowners in Portland Township, in 1833.  They built a dam, established a flour mill and platted the village of Portland.  This Almeron was a grandson.

Pvt. Wendel G. GILBERT has left Japan for Korea, Sgt. James LEIK is stationed at Mitchell AFB, New York City, and Pvt. John S. WEST is in Bavaria, southern Germany, having entered the army in May 1952.


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) December 18, 1932: 

Considerable interest is manifested as to who will be appointed deputies on the staff of Sheriff-Elect ROSS.  He is understood to have decided upon Jay CLARK of Portland for this area.  Mr. Clark recently disposed of his bakery business. 

An ample supply of river ice seems to be guaranteed and cutting on the Grand River, near the Municipal dam, will be started early next week, according to Mrs. Myrtle ALLEN, who conducts the business of her late husband.   

Price of REVIEW is 7 cents per copy, or $2.50 per year when delivered by mail.


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) June 14, 1951:

Records of Sebewa Township show that on June 5, 1851, application was made by residents of the township for construction of several highways, and after the meeting construction was voted by the board, surveys made, and eventually the highways were finished.  They were far from the fine roads that township has today.

   Pioneer roads were rough and rocky, but were forerunners of the highways we know today.  Among first roads built were what we now know as GODDARD Road from MUSGROVE Hwy north, CLARKSVILLE Road running south and west from Portland through Sebewa, and BIPPLEY Road.  John ESTEP and Wm. REEDER were the Sebewa Township Highway Commissioners. 

Open house was held for Mr. and Mrs. Harley ROGERS, 331 Smith St., Portland, in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary.  Mr. ROGERS came from Sullivan, OH, when a very young man, to clerk in the CORNELL General Store at Sebewa Corners.  Mrs. ROGERS, the former Dora KENYON, had resided in Portland vicinity her entire life.

   The couple had four children:  Mrs. Christine (Harold) GUILFORD, Clarence (Dutch), Thelma, and Ethelyn ROGERS.  Mr. Rogers retired as a rural mail carrier out of Portland in 1933, after 32 years of service, then spent 15 years as a salesman for Valley City Milling Co. 

Assets of the defunct Westphalia State Bank were offered at public auction and the highest bid was $15.00 by Harold STORZ of Portland.  The assets, offered as a unit, were valued at $6000.  They included unsecured notes, judgements, one share of stock in the bank, and other valuable assets.  The board of directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation reserved the right to reject, within 30 days after the date of the auction, any and all bids. 

Mrs. Hannah SAYER, of Vickery, OH, was visiting at the home of Mrs. Margaret ADAMS.  Many would remember Mrs. SAYER as Hannah WEIPPERT, whose father was Andrew WEIPPERT, who at one time had a mill north of Sebewa Corners.  She was also the sister of Griffin WEIPPERT, formerly a banker in Sunfield, and was accompanied by his daughter, Mrs. Reva BISHOP, of East Lansing. 

Private Dale TRAN, 20, is the son of Mr. & Mrs. Ross TRAN of Sebewa Township.  He entered service March 13, 1951, and was stationed at Camp Gordon, GA.  He was a graduate of Sunfield High School, and before entering service was employed at Fisher Body Plant, Lansing. 

Mrs. Herbert T. EMERY and her daughter, Miss Florence Alton EMERY, of Howey-in-The-Hills, FL, were visiting at the home of Mrs. Kittie WILKINS on Brush Street in Portland.  All were former neighbors at KEEFER Hwy & EMERY Road corners in Sebewa & Danby.  (ED NOTE:  Actually we think Kittie WILKINS was an EMERY, but can’t verify at this time.)


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI), June 14, 1931:

Portland is again likely to furnish a Commander of the Michigan Department, Grand Army of the Republic.  John KILLEEN, who made his home here for some time, and is now Senior Vice Commander, is next in line.  (Philo N. CHAPEL, last surviving member of the John MEGARAH Post GAR of Portland, had died several years before, (1928?) and now another GAR vet had moved in for a few more years.) 

Rev. William HALLADAY, who is pastor of the Congregational church at Marshfield, MA, and who has been studying at Harvard Theological Seminary, has been awarded a degree of Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the school.  (ED NOTE: Rev. Will HALLADAY was a native son from a founding family in Sebewa and had been a lay preacher in the United Brethren denomination before he graduated and was fully ordained.)

PORTLAND REVIEW (MI), June 14, 1911:

C. D. TOMY has purchased a Hupmobile.  Frank JENKINS drove it from Detroit.  A Brush runabout belonging to Elba STEVENSON was stolen from his barn.  A bicycle was taken from Fred. H. KNOX’S barn the same night.  Lafe (Lafayette) LINEBAUGH’S jaw was broken in two places when the lever of a fence stretcher flew back and hit him in the face.


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI), May 31, 1951:

Sebewa Center School Reunion to be held Saturday, June 9, 1951, at the schoolhouse.  The oldest living former teacher of the school, Mrs. Jennie (Lidy) WEIPPERT, recalls teaching in the school 66 years ago when this schoolhouse was only two years old.  Her most advanced pupil was Stacy BROWN, now of Lake Odessa.  One of the older girls was Stella GREINER, now Mrs. Charles AVES, Jr., of Sebewa Center.  Mrs. WEIPPERT boarded at John OLRY’S, where Glen OLRY was then about four years old.  Mrs. WEIPPERT now lives at Coldwater.


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI), September 20, 1951:

Funeral services for Daniel SLOWINSKI, 77, of HARWOOD Rd., Berlin Township, Lake Odessa, were held Monday at SS. Peter & Paul Church in Ionia, with interment in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Ionia.  Mr. SLOWINSKI passed away at Pennock Hospital, Hastings, following a stroke suffered a week earlier.  He was a lifelong resident of the same farm in Berlin Township and was a prominent farmer and apple grower.  Surviving are 11 children, including Donald SLOWINS of Portland, and 12 grandchildren. 

Pearl L. BARR, 78, passed away at Ionia Hospital.  Burial was in Portland Cemetery.  Surviving were two nieces, Mrs. Berdella BECKER, of Germfask, MI, and Mrs. James BARR, of London, Ont.  The deceased was born and lived most of his life on a farm in Danby Township, south of Portland.  Bearers were neighbors Melborn SANDBORN, Charles WHEELER, Floyd EVANS and William POHL.  (ED Note:  Melborn had purchased the farm and after farming it for a number of years, Melborn’s son Luke developed it into Pearl BARR Estates.  I know Pearl lived someplace away his last few years, because I met him when he came back to visit and we talked pioneer history.) 

(ED NOTE: The REVIEW has a note that Burke B. BOWES, whose death we reported last issue, owned the garage & dealership of J. A. CAMPBELL & Son at Sunfield for a while after selling out in Portland.)


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI), September 20, 1911:

Allen HUGHES leaves for Detroit, where he is to begin a course in the Detroit College of Medicine.  (We wonder what happened to change his plans?)


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI), May 31, 1951:

James GOFF is the dad of a brand new baby boy – fourth son of Mr. & Mrs. GOFF.  Years ago the firm of GOFF & Sons was widely known in this area.  It was made up of Frank GOFF and his sons, Russell and Ben.  Ben is James’ dad, and in recent years has been in the father and son combination with James.  If some of Jim’s boys take to the carpenter trade and work with their dad, the firm of GOFF & Sons will continue as a Portland institution.  By the way, the founder, “Old Frank” is past 90 years old and still out and about.  He is great-granddad to Jim’s boys. 


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI), May 12, 1949:  STILES & Company was sold this week to Southwestern Michigan Cooperatives.  They in turn will lease the company to Michigan Livestock Exchange of Detroit.  STILES & Company has operated in Portland and Battle Creek.  (ED Note:  Cliff HARWOOD, Charles CROEL, and others and now) Carl A. SMITH has been manager in Portland, and Carl will remain in this position under the new owners.   STILES & Company, which has been located in Portland for many years, purchased their yards here from Portland Cooperative Company, who formerly operated a livestock department.  (ED NOTE:  Sid BROWN, livestock trucker, succeeded SMITH as local manager.) 

City Mail delivery service for Portland has been granted by postal officials in Washington.  Equipment to be sent to the local office will include satchels, straps, smaller sorting cases for city carriers, and stools to go with them.  Two of the former lock-box sections will be removed to make room for the city carrier cases.  Postmaster Peter J. TRIERWEILER stated that the department will advise soon in regard to allowances for necessary vehicle hire for mail-bundle relay and parcel post. 

Signboard philosophy along US-16 near Lansing reads:  “Listen a lot; say little; write less!”.  Good advice. 


(ED Note: (Attention RECOLLECTOR readers:  In November we dropped TIME MAGAZINE after 40+ years and went to NEWSWEEK for more balanced reporting.  If at any time you wish to avoid the views we represent, please send a simple note saying “Stop sending it.”  No need to aggravate or annoy any of us.  With the current price of ink, paper, and postage, it now costs nearly $1.00 for each issue we send you.  The nonprofit Sebewa Center Association disbanded in late 2005, so every dollar is taxable for us and not a charitable donation for you.

   We write mainly for our family and friends, who receive it free---Do not send money!  Others may stay on the mailing list by sending $5.00 by July 1 each year to help out.  This is not a subscription and we don’t guarantee six issues per year.

   We are not now and have never claimed to be philosophical heirs to founding editor Robert Wilfred GIERMAN.  We are more than a generation apart from him (23 years), knew fewer of the pioneer settlers, and have different life experiences and perspectives:  US Army service, lifelong self-employed farmer-shepherds, 43 years township government service, local school board, etc.  In retirement we continue as historians and genealogists).) 


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) May 12, 1929:  A ewe gave birth to twin lambs on the Lawrence HUHN farm.  (Section 1 Sebewa Township. Big deal!  The time came, half a century later, when a ewe who did NOT raise twins two years out of three was a candidate for replacement in the breeding flock, and a well-fed ewe could raise triplets.) 

The SCHULLER (sic) Store at Fowler has been purchased by Mr. and Mrs. William O. BARTON of Portland.  (In 1949 the SCHULLER Store (featuring high quality clothing for women) in Portland was sold also, and soon closed out.)


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) August 25, 1949:  A few weeks after Portland’s stockyards were sold for use by Michigan Livestock Exchange, the manager, Carl A. SMITH, left there and became a partner in Ionia’s stockyards.  Now, after just a few more weeks, the Ionia yards burned to the ground.  It was located in part of the old Pere Marquette Railroad Car Shops off Front (Adams) Street since 1936.  There was lumber piled on the grounds for remodeling, to be started first of the week.

   Ionia Livestock Auction temporarily relocated at the Burt Houghton farm on M-66 just south of Peck Lake Road.  (ED NOTE:  This was later known as the Roland & Joyce CLEMENTS farm, and as far as we know, Ionia Stockyards never rebuilt any place else).


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) September 29, 1909:  Sebewa, like many other towns in the state, is auto-mad.  Those who already have machines are:  Harry YORK, Fred GUNN, Clarence SAYER, Asa CASSEL, and Russell WARING, and others expect to buy next year.


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) October 20, 1949:  Dr. Levi BURHANS of Peoria, IL, pleasantly surprised us with a call at the R. & O. office Wednesday morning.  He and Mrs. BURHANS have been visiting his brother George and wife at Lansing.  Dr. BURHANS graduated from Portland High in the early 1890s, and for many years has practiced in Peoria.  His nephew, Dr. Ernest BURHANS, now has the practice in that city.  Dr. Levi was born and raised on a farm in Sebewa Township.  (ED NOTE:  North and south sides of CLARKSVILLE Road, just east of TRAVIS School, which he attended.) 

DEATHS for the week of mid-October, 1949, included:

MISS LOIS GODDARD, born in Sebewa January 7, 1871, granddaughter of pioneer settlers, Rufus & Louisa GODDARD;

CLARE MURPHY, born in Sebewa about 70 years ago, teacher, long a resident of Bay City, son of Nancy CARBAUGH MURPHY PUFFER CHASE, he still owned the MURPHY farm, just west of the United Brethren campgrounds, Mrs. James BEDELL was a relative; Mrs. Georgiana Pearl COMPTON, mother of Mrs. Lynn PEABODY, Mrs. Oswald LINHART, Earl COMPTON, and Forrest COMPTON (father of Joyce (Marvin) SMITH), born Georgiana Pearl WOODEN, June 24, 1876, sister to Mrs. Fred J. MAUREN, Sr.; Hugh Jesse WELLFARE, born 1870, lifelong resident of the same farm in Danby Township, valedictorian of Portland High School Class of 1891, attended Albion College, taught rural schools, had been Danby Township Clerk and Master of Danby Grange, Mrs. Glenn BOUGHNER was a daughter.


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) November 3, 1949:  The R&O has two large cacti with “imported” history.  They have been given to us by Mr. & Mrs. Ben PROBASCO, of Sebewa Township, and will add a note of the real West to our office.  The seed was brought from Arizona while Mr. & Mrs. PROBASCO were on a trip thru the Southwest some time ago.  Planted on their Sebewa farm, these western seeds did well and have grown into large and study plants. 

Our news columns this week contain the story of the death of Lemuel (Lem) Wayne GREEN, 79, a resident of the community many, many years, born in Portland February 2, 1870, son of Cornelia FITCH & Lorenzo GREEN.  (ED Note:  Son of Melinda HASKINS & Samuel GREEN, residents of the Christian Bend neighborhood on GOODWIN Road in northwest Portland Township.)
   We have known him since we were a small boy, because he lived about a block from our home in the east part of town.  He worked for years and years in E. A. RICHARDS Grocery.  In fact he and John AVERY were almost permanent fixtures there.  Then Lem quit the store and Kent Street missed him.  He bought a place on MULLIKEN Road (Charlotte Hwy), now owned by Mr. & Mrs. Harold SANDBORN, and raised garden fruits and vegetables there for years.  (ED note:  Before Lem that farm was the Elizabeth HITCHCOCK & William LAKIN farm, and after SANDBORNS it became BEARD’S Lawnmower Repairs and the Lillian BOULEVARD Senior Citizens’ Housing. 

Portland Frozen Foods & Locker Plant advertised your choice of Round, Sirloin, or T-bone steaks for 53 cents/lb, also center cut Pork Chops or Loin Roasts for 53 cents/lb, home-cured whole Hams for 55 cents/lb. 

We now have on our desk one of the new dial telephone affairs, which are being distributed through town in advance of the cut-over date, and mercy, mercy, what a phone number.  Years ago there were two phone systems in town.  The REVIEW’S number on Citizens was 96, and the Bell number was 7, which we kept when they consolidated.  Now we just into a big new number---on the new dial instrument it is 81711. 


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) November 3, 1929:  It is believed the parties who stole a calf from Lon SANDBORN, living near Sebewa Corners, three weeks ago, are the same ones who took 25 or 30 sheep from a pasture on Tony GOODMAN’S farm and a heifer from a field on what is known as the PECK farm on the Portland-Danby town line.  (ED NOTE:  Now Ruth INGRAHAM farm, facing on Market Street, it corners with the GOODMAN farm on the back.)


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) November 10, 1949:  William B. STOCUM, local barber, has the distinction of being the oldest man in business in Portland.  Still very active and at work in his Kent Street shop regularly, Mr. STOCUM will be 81 on December 31.  He was born in Ionia Township, but moved to Orange Township with his parents when he was eight months old.  He attended barber’s school in Chicago.  After having worked as a barber here from 1886 to 1903, Mr. STOCUM worked in Lansing, Grand Ledge and Sunfield during a ten-year period.  After returning to Portland he was in the hardware business for eight years.  He purchased the Duncan KENNEDY Hardware and sold it to SMITH Hardware.  He once gave 42 haircuts and 35 shaves on one Saturday.


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) November 10, 1949:  Ionia Livestock Auction Company, who recently burned out, have purchased the old Piggery buildings along the river south of Portland (on Okemos Road), and are tearing them down to build a new livestock yard at Ionia.  Many residents will remember when big trucks with metal tanks hauled garbage from Lansing kitchens to the local pig farm daily.  Hundreds of pieces of silverware were fished from the garbage as it was strewn on the ground for the hogs to eat.  The business was run by Claud PLANT & Oscar RICE.


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) November 10, 1909:  The Board of Supervisors has given Danby Township authority to borrow not to exceed $9,000 for the purpose of building a bridge at TURNER ford.


PORTLAND REVIEW (MI) November 24, 1949:  Harry HALL stops in to show us a copy of current tabloid sent by GRAND RAPIDS HERALD to its carriers.  There appears Harry’s picture and a brief sketch, stating that Harry, now 40, started carrying newspapers 31 years ago (1918) when he was nine years old.  (ED Note:  Harry was wizened and weather-worn before age 40, when he came back from the WWII years to resume carrying papers, having served as a cook on Great Lakes freighters and in the Merchant Marine.  He went back on board during the Korean Conflict and Viet Nam but always came back to his paper route and the Powers Park ballgames.  When he died in the 1990s, we all thought he must be about 100 years old, but he may have been only in his 80s – still carrying papers! 

Mention the name of Miss Carrie MARTIN to a local resident and he will recall some relative or friend, if not himself, who went to school to Miss MARTIN.  The former teacher says that often she answers her door to find some middle-aged man or woman who has stopped to see if she remembers them.
   Miss MARTIN started teaching in 1886 in the building that preceded the current COLEMAN School.  That was the year she had just graduated from high school.  In those days, if a student reached a high enough standard in high school studies, they were awarded a limited teaching certificate and when the allotted time ran out, could have it renewed.  When the renewal ran out, she wrote her first and last examination and received her second-level certificate.  Shortly after this a ruling was made that if the teacher pleased her school board, she didn’t have to write any more examinations.  Miss MARTIN did however attend summer school almost every year.  She started with a salary of $20.00 per month and was receiving top wages of $55.00 per month when she quit teaching.
   Next after the COLEMAN School, she taught the Sebewa HIGH School, and then the West Side School (Quarterline at Detroit St.) in Portland.  She stayed there three years and then transferred to First Grade at the Central School.  When the work load increased, Miss Ethel YORK (SCHNABEL) of Sebewa became Miss MARTIN’S assistant.  Twenty-four of Miss MARTIN’S twenty-seven years of teaching were spent in Portland.
   She was born on the MARTIN farm in Christian Bend District north of Portland.  When she was about forty years old, she decided she was too old to be teaching young children whose mothers were about the age her first students now were.  So she opened the MARTIN Greenhouse in 1914 and sold it in 1943.
   She retired to an apartment on James St.


   Many people have read about James Jesse STRANG (1813-1856), leader of a splinter group of the Mormons.  Born at Skipio, NY, March 21, 1813, son of Clement Joseph STRANG, James Jesse STRANG taught school, was admitted to the bar, edited a weekly newspaper, and was a country postmaster.

   He visited Joseph SMITH when the Mormon settlement was still at Nauvoo, IL, and was ordained by SMITH in 1844.  After SMITH’S assassination by an angry mob of anti-Mormons that same year, STRANG produced a letter supposedly written by SMITH and naming STRANG as his successor.  He tried to lead the church to settle at Voree, near Burlington, WI, but was outdone by Brigham YOUNG.

   With a few of SMITH’S followers, James Jesse STRANG settled on Beaver Island, Charlevoix County, MI, where he established himself as their “King and Revelator of the Word”.  They even named their township St. James Township.  The number of his followers grew to 5000 in Michigan and Wisconsin, but on June 16, 1856, he too was shot, by two former followers.  He was taken to Voree, WI, where he died July 9, 1856.

   One reason for the rapid growth of the STRANGITE sect was polygamy.  James Jesse STRANG was married to five women, at least four of them at the same time.  One of them was Elvira FIELD STRANG.  She became the mother of Clement James STRANG (1854-1944), born on Beaver Island, MI, December 20, 1854. 

   This man, Clement James STRANG, was Editor of the Sunfield (MI) Sentinel, May 2, 1896 – October 7, 1898.  We don’t know the events of his life before and after that, although along STRANG Hwy, which runs intermittently across ROXAND and ONEIDA Townships as an extension of BISMARK Hwy, a mile south of Mt. Hope Hwy.  There are 20 families of STRANG or STRANGE in the Lansing-Grand Ledge phone book.  Anne FLEETHAM-DOW-MERRILL is looking into this.

   Clement James STRANG died in 1944 at age 89 or 90, and was buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Lansing.  Perhaps most interesting to us, is the fact that his wife was Rosabelle RIDER, born April 7, 1857, died March 28, 1890.  She was the right age to be a daughter of Stephen & Elsie RYDER/RIDER, early settlers on TUPPER lake Road near GODDARD Road in Sebewa Township.  This could make her related to a lot of early families in Sebewa, who are descended from John VanHOUTEN & Betsey RYDER/RIDER.  (Spellings vary on the same lot in West Sebewa Cemetery.)  See RECOLLECTOR Vol. 28 No. 3 Dec. 1992, for RYDER & VanHOUTEN family.



Last update November 10, 2013