Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 45 Number 4
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 Historical Newsletter from Sebewa (Township, Ionia County, MI)
February 2010, Volume 45, Number 4.  Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden Slowins:

SURNAMES:  Daniel, Smiley, Austin, Aungst, Lowery, Sandborn, Miller, Piercefield, Patrick, Green, Schnabel, Myers, Slowins, Hendee, Doelle; and those of many rural school students 1935-1938


Margene B. DANIELS SMILEY, 69, wife of Roger SMILEY, mother of Mark A. Smiley, Scott (Krystal) Smiley, and Lorie Ann (John) Dailey, sister of Dallas (Jane) Daniels, Gary (Sharon) Daniels, and the late Larry (Judy) Daniels, daughter of Beulah AUSTIN DANIELS & Oren Washington DANIELS, son of Anna U. LINDLEY & 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 on the family farm February 11, 1940, Margene died December 14, 2009.  She is also survived by four grandchildren and her mother Beulah, daughter of Eva AUNGST AUSTIN & Daniel AUSTIN, son of Buel C. AUSTIN, who settled in Sebewa Township, at MUSGROVE Hwy. & South State Road, before 1891.  Eva AUNGST was the daughter of Andrew Jackson AUNGST & Bernice LOWREY AUNGST, whose grandfather, John LOWREY, served in the Civil War, farmed on the 80 acres of Lowrey land at LOWREY Road & Portland Road in Berlin Township later owned by George COOK, and retired to Lake Odessa, son of Norton LOWREY, who settled in Berlin Township, Sec. 27 & 28, on Jordan Lake Road at Portland Road & LOWREY Road in 1858.  Margene lived around the United States while her husband was a career military man, then they retired to a portion of the home farm in Sebewa Township.

FRONT COVER:  Photograph of “Martin SCHNABEL’S Descendants – Mom Amie SANDBORN MILLER, Great-grandma Lucinda PIERCEFIELD PATRICK GREEN, Great-great-grandma June SCHNABEL PIERCEFIELD, Grandma Jamie PATRICK SANDBORN MYERS, Jonnie Lynn MILLER”

RECORD OF MARRIAGES – SEBEWA TOWNSHIP, IONIA COUNTY by Justice-of-the-Peace Elkanah CARPENTER, elected April 1867.  (Occupation farmer unless stated)

 BRADLEY, Egbert, 37, born New York,
TOMPSON, Hannah, 23, born New York, dated 17 November, 1867. 
ROCKWELL, William H., 52, born Fairfield Co., Connecticut,
PUMPHREY, Mariah, 45, born Devonshire, England;
dated 4 December, 1867. 

RODEGEB, Henry, 28, born Seneca Co, Ohio,
BROWN, Artemia, 16, born Huron Co., Ohio;
dated 11 December, 1867. 

CHAPIN, Ancil John, 66, (Physician) born Oneida Co, New York,
MERRITT, Anna, 38, born Richmond Co., Ohio;
dated 17 December 1867. 

FORD, Derius, 39, born Onandagua, NY,
TRYON, Marcia Ann, 37, born Summit County, Ohio;
dated 26 January, 1868. 

SMITH, Frank C., 28, born Seneca Co., Ohio,
HIRE, Alice Emeline, 18, born Medina Co., Ohio;
dated 18 April, 1868.

WHEELER, George M., 32, born Seneca Co., New York,
McDOWELL, Martha A., 19, born Canada West;
dated 21 June, 1868.

BRADEN, Joseph W., 24, born Ashland Co., Ohio,
CLARK, Cleeta Ann, 16, born Seneca County, Ohio;
dated 9 July, 1868. 

SHAY, Theodore, 23, born Huron Co., Ohio,
DAVIS, Elizabeth, 17, born Seneca County, Ohio;
dated 6 December, 1868. 

INGALL, William, 30, born Lincolnshire, England,
BENNETT, Sarah M., 19, born Woodland, Barry County, MI;
6 June, 1869. 

CHASE, Henry, 22, born Pennsylvania,
Emeline J. (maiden name STOCKWELL) CONLEY, 23, born Indiana;
Dated 12 August 1869. 

SWINEHART, Samuel P., 58, born Belmont Co., Ohio,
MARTIN, Elizabeth (maiden name STINCHCOMB) 48, born Pennsylvania;
Date 22 June 1869. 

McCLURE Philander, 20, born Bangor Maine,
LUSCHER, Mary, 21, born Switzerland;
Dated 17 August 1869. 

NASH, Shelby B., 23, born Portage Co., Ohio,
NEWELL, Nancy R., 30, born Vermont;
Dated 2 October 1870. 

BROWN, Sylvester P., 24, born Oakland County, MI,
OBERHALTZER, Emeline, 16, born Lebanon County, Pennsylvania;
Dated 6 November, 1870. 

SMITH, John R., 22, born Warren County, Ohio,
McCLURE, Mary, 16, born Bangor, Maine;
Dated 6 November, 1870. 

MERRIFIELD, Mansfield, 20, born Oakland County, MI,
McDOWELL, Sarah Jane, 18, born Canada West;
Dated 18 February, 1871. 

SLATE, Dennison, 23, born Ingham County, MI,
SLATER, Delila Josephine, 23, born Jackson County, MI;
Dated 23 January, 1871. 

COLLIER, George, 21, born Lorain County, Ohio,
LEAK, Gariene, 18, born Genesee County, NY;
Dated 9 January, 1872. 

LEIGH, Franklin, 37, born Oswego County, NY,
MIDDAUGH, Ugene (maiden name HASKINS), 23, born Oakland County, MI;
Dated 20 April, 1873. 

TURNER, William, 45, born Schuylkill, Pennsylvania,
BUCKHART, Christena (maiden name BESLEE), 36, born Germany;
Dated 10 May, 1873. 

MARTIN, Thomas B., 22, born Wyandotte County, Ohio,
BROWNFIELD, Eliza A. 17, born Wood County, Ohio;
Dated 5 April, 1874. 


VanHORN, James G., 26, born Portland, MI,
LONG, Lovina, 18, born Lowell, MI;
Dated 13 February, 1875. 

NICHOLS, Marshal L., 23, (occupation: sawyer), born Lyons, MI,
WOOD, Naomi, 19, born Canada;
Dated 21 June, 1875. 

HASKINS, Lewis E., 30, (Physician) born Indiana,
OWEN, Susan M., 19, born Lake County, Ohio;
Dated 2 December, 1875. 

By Justice-of-the-Peace R. A. KNOLL: 

SAUNDERS, Alwin, 30, (machinist), born Southwest Texas,
STAPLES, Clara, 22, born Litchfield, Hillsdale Co., MI;
Dated 15 February 1882. 

BROOKS, Charles O., 26, born Eaton County, MI,
CARL, Louiza, 18, born Sandusky, Ohio;
Dated 31 March 1882. 

DAY, Mark D., 28, born Erie County, NY,
COLE, Mary E., 18, born Franklin County, PA;
Dated 2 April 1882. 

By Justice-of-the-Peace Norman GIBBS, (Sr.): 

SANDBORN, Chester E., 24, (teacher) born Danby Township, MI,
MILLS, Clara A., 16, born City of Ionia, MI;
Dated 27 February 1886. 

BICE, Andrew, 35, born Fremont, Ohio,
AMES, Mattie, 19, born Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI;
Dated 22 October, 1887. 

SARGEANT, Silas H., 35, born Calhoun County, MI,
Mary S. Fuller, 19, born Calhoun County, MI;
Dated 9 September 1888. 

TREECE, Henry H., 18, born Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI,
Martha L. RODEGEB, 18, born Sebewa Township;
Dated 19 February 1889. 

WASHBORN, 52, born in Ohio,
Lizzie BEARDSLEY, 30, birthblace unknown;
Dated 26 March 1889.

RECORD OF MARRIAGES By Justice-of-the-Peace Benjamin C. PEACOCK: 

SANDBORN, Lawrence N., 22, born Sebewa Township, Ionia Co.,
LUSCHER, Elma, 17, born Sebewa Township;
Dated 6 April 1892. 

RECORD OF MARRIAGES By Justice-of-the-Peace Charles LUNDQUIST: 

SAGE, Clyde, 31, born Ronald Township, Ionia County, MI to
STALEN, Gertie, 32, (silk mill worker), born Belding, MI;
Dated 7 March 1908. 


   There are two cemeteries and a single burial site in Sebewa Township at the present time – 2008.  A third cemetery, called the CARPENTER or REEDER Cemetery, was a private cemetery located in the northeast corner of Sec. 32, at the intersection of KIMMEL & TUPPER Lake Roads.  It was about one-fourth acre in size.  In 1905 this cemetery was taken up and the CARPENTERS were moved to the West Sebewa Cemetery, while the REEDERS were moved to East Sebewa Cemetery.  Our earliest grave in the township is that of Jonathan INGALLS, Soldier of the Revolution, born 1762, died 1843, buried along the west roadside, at 13400 South KEEFER Hwy, 0.4 mile south of MUSGROVE Hwy.  It is now well-marked with a new bronze government plaque on a stone next to the monument placed in 1921 by the D. A. R.

   WEST SEBEWA Cemetery was started on August 1, 1872, when Thomas LEAK sold Sebewa Township a one-acre plot, 12 ½ rods deep x 13 rods long, just to the west of the lot 15 rods long at the northeast corner of Sec. 30, MUSGROVE Hwy & GODDARD Rd, which he had sold to the Baptist Church two years earlier. 

   The Baptist Church assumed the care of this cemetery in the early days, and some old-timers called it the Baptist Cemetery, but from day one the cemetery belonged to the township.

   On May 10, 1919, the township purchased an additional 40 feet (2 rods & 7 feet) on the west end from Frank & Carrie KIMBLE, successors to the Thomas LEAK estate.  On September 22, 1952, Maurice & Vera GIERMAN sold a lot 12 ½ rods deep x 7 rods long to the township.  On August 25, 1986, GIERMANS sold a lot 12 ½ rods deep x 13 rods long to the township, making 12 ½ rods x 35 rods 7 feet, or approximately 2.75 acres at 950 East MUSGROVE Highway.

   EAST SEBEWA Cemetery, originally called just Sebewa Cemetery, was started with 1.234 acres at the center of the north side of the NE ¼ Sec. 24, on BIPPLEY Road near KEEFER Hwy, purchased from Jacob HIGH on May 14, 1858.  Polly BAKER was the first recorded burial there, on August 29, 1861, although it is believed some of the unmarked and unrecorded graves may have been there as early as 1845.

   On October 8, 1904, two acres were purchased from Jacob COLlINGHAM’S log yard and added to the west end of the East cemetery, bringing the property line to the center of Sebewa Creek.  On January 6, 1972, a driveway along the top of the creek bank at the west end was traded to Clyde & Opal THUMA for a driveway along the south and east sides, plus one acre additional purchased on the east end, making 4.159 acres at 5680 East BIPPLEY Road. 


Harvey GUNN – east              Wellman & Barbara DARLING
William PETRIE – east           Clyde & Bertha AVERY
Edwin LEAK, Sr. – west          Grayden & Ann SLOWINS
Chuck & Blanche LITTLE          Kenneth & Joan GUY
John PROCTOR & wife
Lynn BAILIFF & daughter Alice
Carl & Tena RISCHOW
Orrin & LaVancha AUSTIN

PORTLAND REVIEW January 9, 1923:

Knox School Wins Sentinel-Standard Cup.  The Knox School, taught by Lester CAMPBELL, was last week presented with the Sentinel-Standard Scholarship cup.  A sterling silver medal was given to Miss Salome SKINNER, who, as an eighth grad graduate of the Knox School, had the highest average standing, 91.4.  A school winning the cup two years in succession gets to keep it; otherwise it will change owners each year.  Miss SKINNER keeps the medal. 

Notice to Farm Bureau Members:  A meeting of Portland Farm Bureau Community Group will be held at BARTON Bros. Hall, Portland, Friday, January 12, 1923.  Forenoon session:  10:00 A.M., reading of reports from all divisions of the business.  Afternoon session: election of officers, addresses by state speakers.  Lester CAMPBELL, Secretary. 

Mrs. Jesse HENDEE, Mrs. Mary VanBENSCHOTEN, and her son Cornelius (Jr.), who are spending the winter in California, write that they were guests of Mr. & Mrs. Albert B. CULVER, at Pasadena, on Christmas Day.  Mrs. CULVER attended Portland schools at the same time the other ladies were students.  She was the former Miss Addie BALDWIN, daughter of Phoeba Maria FRIEND & Rush P. BALDWIN of Sebewa. 

Cashier Charles GILDEN (Jr.) resumed his duties at the Webber State Savings Bank Friday.  Mr. & Mrs. GILDEN returned from their wedding trip early in the week, devoting several days to getting settled in the GILDEN home on Academy Street, where they will reside.  (Mrs. GILDEN is the former Margery ALBERTS of Sebewa Corners, where her father ran a general store.) 

John A. DOELLE, who last week resigned as Director of the State Department of Agriculture, married Miss Lucille BUELL, daughter of Rev. G. A. BUELL, once pastor of the Portland Methodist Church.  Mrs. DOELLE is also a sister of Mrs. Will McCLELLAND of Portland.  The resignation was made on account of Mr. DOELLE’S appointment to the vice presidency of the Federal Land Bank of St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Clifton PEAKE returned Friday from a very successful fur-buying trip to Ohio.  It included 311 mink pelts, 1000 coon pelts, 3000 skunk pelts, and 10 fox pelts.  Mr. PEAKE buys for Kalamazoo Hide & Fur Co. 

FOR SALE:  Farm of 100 acres, fine location, inquire John A. McCLELLAND.  (This farm, still belonging to John A. McCLELLAND in 1937, was located a half-mile east of FROST Corners on the north side of PEAKE Road, and belonged to Sylvester & Mae JENKINS in the 1950s.) 

FOR SALE:  The Will PEABODY farm, three-fourths mile west of COMPTON’S Corners, (north side of Tupper Lake Road,) Danby.  No finer farm in Michigan.  Best of buildings, good fences, 120 acres.  House has hardwood finish, bath, electric lights.  Priced very low to close estate.  G. W. ALLEN.  (This farm later belonged to Weldon HARMON, then Harley CHAPMAN, and is now the Keith & Reva MERRYFIELD farm.)

PORTLAND REVIEW January 9, 1923:  Prison Labor Contract Terminated.  New Order Will Increase Demand for (outside) Labor at Plants of Ypsilanti Reed Co.  Work formerly handled at the prison will be added to that outside.  Order seen as a result of Ge. GREEN’S failure to bow down and worship (party politics).  An order issued last week, that inmates of Jackson and Ionia prisons be put on State work at once, marks the end of prison labor contracts.  Incidentally, it should mean an increased output at the main factory of the Ypsilanti Reed Furniture Company in Ionia and at its branches in Portland and elsewhere.  Convict labor played an important part in developing the reed furniture industry, but Gen. GREEN and his associates have been gradually working away from it.  Scarcely one-third of the output was being furnished by prison labor when the order came last week.

   For two years Ionia Prisoners have worked on a day-to-day contract with the Ypsilanti Reed Co., whose officers have seen the end coming and were prepared for it.  More hands have been taken on lately in the outside plants and Manager EMERY is this week advertising for more girls (!) at the Portland factory, where 248 names were on the payroll Friday.  As many as 350 can be given employment as soon as some of the room now used for storage can be given over to manufacturing.  Several offers of storage space have come from people in the village, but the company trucks have been too busy to move the stored articles.

   Close observers venture the guess that politics had something to do with the sudden termination of business relations between the State and the Reed Co.  Gen. GREEN has been held responsible by Gov. GROSEBECK for the poor showing given him in this county in the election two years ago and last fall.  This perhaps accounts for the day-to-day arrangement at the prison.  It is clear Gen. GREEN had not sacrificed his political independence as the price of retaining prison labor and so the ax fell.  (Both were Republicans, but after Alexander J. GROESBECK was elected to one more two-year term in 1924, General Fred W. GREEN was elected to replace him in 1926 & 1928.)

   The Portland Farmers’ Telephone Company voted at their annual meeting to raise the rate for farm telephones to $18 per year.  (Editor’s Note:  This rate was still in effect when we moved to this farm in 1957.)  This was an advance of $3, made necessary by the fact that the Michigan State Phone Company, which does the switching for the farmers, recently made a $3 advance for this service.  At present little is being done to extend areas of service, pending consolidation of major companies.  Joseph SPITZLEY, who has acted as secretary and manager of the company for the last seven years, declined reelection.  Arthur ELVERT takes his place.  Other officers are:  President – C. W. PEAKE, V. Pres. – Arthur NUNNELEY, Treas. – Lorenzo WEBBER, Directors – Nelson BOWMAN, Fred KLOTZ, Ernest BUCK, David DILLEY, Wm. H. PRYER.

   J. Calvin LINEBAUGH, County School Commissioner, was in town Friday.  He expects to make an active campaign for re-nomination and reelection.  (Elwood M. BRAKE won that election and served for 39 consecutive years.)

IONIA COUNTY NEWS, December 14, 1961:  IONIA’S CON-CON DELEGATES ACTIVE ON THE JOB AT LANSING.  Ionia County’s two delegates to the current Constitutional Convention are very active and influential, according to Edward HUTCHINSON, Vice-President of the Convention.  Speaking at a service club luncheon, Mr. Hutchinson pointed out that during the campaign, both Mr. D. Hale BRAKE of Stanton and Mr. Stanley M. POWELL of Ionia were active in opposition to the holding of a Constitutional Convention.  (POWELL was elected to represent Ionia and Montcalm’s two-county Senatorial District at the Con-Con.)  Many folks regarded them as ultraconservatives and felt that they wouldn’t want to change anything that is now in the Constitution.

   Mr. HUTCHINSON pointed out that contrary to the predictons, Delegate BRAKE has introduced more proposals to change the Constitution than any other of the 99 Republican delegates.  As of that Delegate POWELL has tied for third place, having introduced 10 proposals.  This illustrates that Delegates BRAKE and POWELL are not against revision of constitutional provisions, but both felt that desirable changes might preferably be made by the individual amendment process rather than through a general revision by a Con-Con.

   Mr. BRAKE is Chairman of the Committee on Finance and Taxation and is an influential member of the Committee on Local Government.  Mr. POWELL is a member of the Committee to which the largest number of Delegate Proposals have been referred, the Committee on Legislative Powers, and is Chairman of one of its subcommittees and is also a member of the very important Committee on Style and Drafting.  He is chairman of the delegates from the 8th Congressional District.  Recently Delegate POWELL was called before the Committee on Legislative Organization to present his views on the very important issue of legislative districting and apportionment.

   A few days ago the Convention President, Steven S. NISBET called on Delegate POWELL to deliver the invocation at the opening of the daily session.  The Journal of the Convention records that Mr. POWELL offered the following prayer:  “Our gracious Heavenly Father, we pause at the threshold of this, our daily session, to voice our dependence on Thee for all that we are and have.  We thank Thee especially for our great heritage of freedom and opportunity.  Give us the vision and wisdom to preserve these precious liberties for our fellow men and to pass them on, undiminished, to future generations.

   We come to Thee today in a spirit of praise, of gratitude, and thanksgiving.  We ask that Thy special blessing may be upon us.  Reduce our prejudices and our pettiness.  Purify our motives and our aspirations.  Clarify our vision and grant us a double portion of discretion, understanding, and wisdom.  Help us to be ever true to our highest and most worthy principles.  In the name of Thy dear son, our Savior, we pray.  Amen.”

IONIA FAIR PREMIUM BOOK – Printed in 1906 by Gen. James H. KIDD, Editor of the Ionia Sentinel, reveals history of that event and facts about the community.  Fair Association dues were $1.00 per year, which entitled a person to enter competition for all regular and special premiums.  Daily admission was 25 cents for adults, 15 cents for children under 12, and children under six years were admitted free.  Grandstand tickets were 15 cents for all.  The Fair opened at 7:00 AM and closed at 5:00 PM.  Family picnics were encouraged and cheap excursion fares were available on both railroads.

   The Fair Association officers in 1906 were:  President D. O. McVeigh; Vice-President H. J. HALL; Secretary E. A. MURPHY; and Treasurer E. E. SLYE.

INTERESTING FACTS – Ionia City in 1906 had:

A population of nearly 6000.
Two steam railroads.
Two planned electric railroads (Interurbans).
Eight churches and six public schoolhouses.
City hall and opera house.
Four banks and twelve insurance offices.
Water works and fire department.
Electric light and gas plants.
Four good hotels and two boarding houses.
Seven livery stables.
Free public library and park.
Three weekly and two daily newspapers.
One bowling alley and two billiard halls.
Three photographers.
Thirty lawyers, nineteen physicians and surgeons.
1550 Bell and Citizen phones.
Four shoe stores.
Three dry goods stores.
Thirteen good grocery stores.
Three good bakeries.
Four good meat markets.
Four jewelry and five millinery stores.
Three furniture stores.
Four bazaar stores (Like 5 cent & 10 cent or today’s Dollar stores – ED. Note).
Five ready-made clothing houses and six merchant tailors.
Three department stores.
Five drug stores and fifteen saloons.
Four hardware and three implement dealers.
Three grain elevators and four wood & coal yards.
Pere Marquette car shops.
Ionia County Court House.
Four cigar factories and three tobacco stores.
Capitol Wagon Works.
Ionia District Fairgrounds.
Fourteen mails daily.
No empty houses.

CLASS LISTS – SEBEWA CENTER SCHOOL (As of 1st day of school each year)



1st:  Bertha SHILTON, Dale TRAN, Geneva YORK
2nd:  Cleo DOWNING, Edith SHILTON 
3rd:  Carl SHILTON
5th:  Virginia CROSS, Gretchen GIERMAN, Arlene SEARS
6th:  Eleanor MEYERS, Margaret SHILTON
7th:  Bruce DOWNING, Mary ZWIEP
8th:  Arden MEYERS, Howard MEYERS 

YEAR:  1936-1937, TEACHER Mildred ENSWORTH

Kdg: Frederick SMITH
2nd:  Bertha SHILTON, Dale TRAN, Geneva YORK
6th:  Virginia CROSS, Susie DeGROFT, Gretchen GIERMAN, Arlene SEARS
7th:  Stella DeGROFT, Eleanor MEYERS, Margaret SHILTON
8th:  Bruce DOWNING, Howard MEYERS, Mary ZWIEP


CH:  Jimmy BAILIFF, Geneva CROSS, Robert CROSS, Howard SHILTON, Jean VanPOLEN
1st:  Loretta CROSS, Bertha VanPOLEN
2nd:  Frederick SMITH
3rd:  Bertha SHILTON, Dale TRAN, Geneva YORK
7th:  Virginia CROSS, Susan DeGROFT, Gretchen GIERMAN, Arlene SEARS
8th:  Estella DeGROFT, Eleanor MEYERS, Frank RATHBURN, Margaret SHILTON


FROM:  Grayden D. SLOWINS, Editor
       3226 E. Musgrove Hwy.
       Lake Odessa, MI  48849-9528

Last update January 17, 2013