Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 45 Number 5
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; APRIL 2010, Volume 45, Number 5. 
Submitted with written permission of editor Grayden D. Slowins: 

FRONT PAGE PHOTO:  Sebewa Corners – East Sebewa, 1881, looking west on MUSGROVE Hwy.  Complete with the anticipated Coldwater, Marshall & Mackinac Railroad.  From SCHENCK’S History & Directory of Ionia & Montcalm Counties. 

SURNAMES:  Erdman, Mulholland, Miller, Borton, Peters, Cassel, Franks, Shannon, Goodemoot, Walcott, Hanna, Cayton, Cure, May, Kenyon, Curtis, Campbell, Fuller, Hamilton, Griffiths, Reynolds, McCrumb, Kruzel, Dumas. Gregory, Martens, Jones, Seiler, Friend, Colley, Stiffler, Wheeler, Sutherland, Hyland; Wolverton, First; Bowne, Putt; Bartow, Lloyd, Newman, Churchill, Berry, Knox, Beers, Root, Boggs, Emmons, Carus, Scribner, Cutcheon, Allen, Bemis, Payne, Dean, Faulkner, Cole, Briggs, White, Buck, Schribner, Doremus, Engle, Lott, Crittenden, Welfare, Stevens, Allen, Crittenton, Thompson. 


KYLIE MARIE ERDMAN, 30, born May 17, 1979, died January 22, 2010, at Hospice House of Mid-Michigan; sister of Amy ERDMAN of Ann Arbor and Danielle (Craig) BULL of DeWitt, daughter of Jackie L. CASSEL ERDMAN (Craig) MULHOLLAND & the late Gary L. ERDMAN, son of Ruth MILLER & Frederick Hugh ERDMAN, son of Cecile GOODEMOOT & Floyd ERDMAN, son of Florence BORTON & Frank Peter ERDMAN, son of Hanna PETERS & Michael F. ERDMAN, who came from Posen, East Prussia, about 1870, son of Sophia & Christian Frederick ERDMAN, and settled on what was later known as the William PETRIE farm at E ½ NE ¼ Section 26, Sebewa Township, on the south side of MUSGROVE Hwy.  She was buried in East Sebewa Cemetery.
   Kylie’s mom, Jackie CASSEL, is the daughter of Audrey O. & Joseph Andrew CASSEL, son of Florence SHANNON FRANKS & James Franklin CASSEL, son of Catherine & James CASSEL, who settled at NW ¼ NE ¼ Sec. 15, Sebewa Township, on CASSEL Road, before 1891.  Kylie’s great-grandmother, Florence S. FRANKS, was daughter of Julia SHANNON & Andrew Franks, whose family settled at SW ¼ Sec. 11 Sebewa Township, at YORK Road & Sunfield Hwy., before 1891.
   Kylie’s great-grandma, Cecile GOODEMOOT ERDMAN, was daughter of Russell GOODEMOOT and granddaughter of John & Mary J. GOODEMOOT, great-great-great-granddaughter of Oliver WOLCOTT Sr., Governor of Connecticut and a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  John & Mary GOODEMOOT settled in Section 5, Sebewa Township, before 1875, and later the family spread along GOODEMOOT Road and KNOLL Road in Sec. 5. 

HAROLD JAMES HANNA, 91, born March 13, 1918, died Feb. 8, 2010, widower of Maude CAYTON HANNA, husband of Valerie May HANNA, father of Sonya (Larry) DAVIS, Karen (John) MILLER, Mary Jane (Kermit) HANNA-SMITH and Mark (Mary) HANNA, brother of the late Ray HANNA, son of Earl & Millie CURE HANNA.  Harold lived on the family farm on Eaton Hwy. in Sunfield Township, with land also in Sebewa Township. 
   He was married to Maude CAYTON, September 5, 1937, and after her death in 1980, he married Valerie MAY, October 3, 1981, so he was married a total of 72 years.  He founded Hanna’s Meat Locker Service in Sunfield and was past president of the Meat Packers Association of Michigan.  He was active on the Sunfield School Board, Masonic Lodge, Lions Club, Ox Roast at Farmers Picnic, Sunfield United Methodist Church and Lakewood United Methodist Church.  He was buried at Sunfield Cemetery. 

JOHN E. KENYON, 55, born January 11, 1955, died January 30, 2010, husband of Karen HOPE KENYON, father of Brandon John KENYON, brother of Dianne (Chuck) CORNELIUS, Curtis (Martha) KENYON, and Ronald KENYON, son of Janis CURTIS & Edward KENYON, son of Roxie CAMPBELL & Nathan H. KENYON, son of Mary Allena FULLER & Henry Nathan KENYON, who came from Holland and settled the family in Sections 11-12-13-14, Sebewa Township, in the early 1900s.  Janis CURTIS is descended from Henry CURTIS, who settled at NE ¼ Sec. 29, Odessa Township, corner of MUSGROVE Hwy. & TASKER Road, before 1891.  John lived in Addison, MI, and had worked for 30 years at Life Fitness Co.  He was cremated and ashes scattered on the KENYON farm in Sebewa Township. 

LOIS J. GREGORY MARTENS, 73, born August 22, 1936, on the GREGORY farm at Peck Lake Road & GREGORY Road, Sec. 23 & 24, Orange Township, died January 27, 2010, wife of Ronald MARTENS, mother of Alan (Cheryl) MARTENS, Camille (Martin) SUBJECT, and Nathan MARTENS, sister of Russell GREGORY, Larry (Carol) GREGORY, Carol Jean (Steve) PRICE, Jerry (Judy) GREGORY, Norma (Bob) MULDER, Perry (Margaret) GREGORY, and Richard (Marilyn) GREGORY, daughter of Marion JONES & Donald GREGORY, son of Mr. & Mrs. Arthur D. GREGORY, whose farm was on the south side of DAVID Hwy., Sec. 11 & 12, Orange Township.  Marion JONES was a sister to Lewis Jones, located at SW ¼ Sec. 4, Portland Township, north side of David Hwy., whose children, Robert (Diana) Jones and the late Elizabeth Jones (Dean) Tyler were cousins to Lois.
   Lois completed her education and began practicing nursing at age 39 at various hospitals in Detroit, Marshall, Battle Creek, Sturgis and Kalamazoo, and attached the rank of Major in the US Army Reserves Nurses Corp.  Member Richland Presbyterian Church.  She was cremated. 

JUNE ELAINE FRIEND SEILER, 88, born June 18, 1921, died January 17, 2010, widow of Donald SEILER, mother of Dennis (Lynette) Seiler, Patricia (Cork) Helman, Michael (Lana) Seiler, and Judy (Tom) Knight, sister of Marilyn Powell, daughter of Gertrude COLLEY & Lawrence FRIEND, son of Lucy A. HALLADAY & Ralph E. FRIEND, son of Jane E. CARPENTER & George E. FRIEND, son of Polly Ann MEACHAM & John FRIEND II, who came from Beria, OH, and settled in Sec. 24 & 25 Sebewa Township, on MUSGROVE Hwy., in 1854.  June’s grandmother, Lucy A. HALLIDAY, was the daughter of Mildred Eliza SEARS & Charles Lincoln HALLIDAY, son of Amanda & Elihu HALLADAY, who settled in Sec. 25, Sebewa Township, on KEEFER Hwy., where Larry BROWN lives today, in 1852.  June & Don farmed at SW ¼ Sec. 30, Orange Township, and NE ¼ Sec. 36, Berlin Township, Portland Road at State Road.  She was cremated. 

Dale L. STIFFLER, 78, born July 20, 1931, died January 17, 2010, husband of Gladys TRIEWEILER STIFFLER, father of 10 children:  Sue (Bob) Van Lente, Cindy (Jerry) Selden, Linda (Kevin) Goodwin, Steve (Geralyn) Stiffler, Doug (Beth) Stiffler, Jerry Stiffler, Sharon (Pat) Lay, Carol (Brian) Russell, Kim (Jerry) Smith, and Trina (Dave) Hengesbach, grandfather to 40, great-grandfather to 27, and with another on the way, the total will be 100 immediate family, brother to Ted (Orpha) Stiffler, Barbara (Bob) Hendee, and Robert (Connie) Stiffler, son of Mary Wheeler & Forrest Stiffler, son of Warren Stiffler, son of Jacob Stiffler, who settled the family farm in SW ¼ Sec. 6, Danby Township, Keefer Hwy. & Clarksville Road, before 1875.  Dale retired from Motor Wheel Corporation in 1991.  Buried at Danby Cem. 

Bruce ‘Ozzie’ SUTHERLAND, 74, born June 24, 1935, died February 9, 2010, husband of Nancy BURDICK SUTHERLAND, father of Mark Sutherland, Dawn Hostetler, Amy (Mike) Bladzik, and Bruce (Robyn) Sutherland, grandfather of four, great-grandfather to Miss Phoebe Sue Shattuck; son of Neil Sutherland & Esther HYLAND, daughter of Ward Hyland, son of Charles Hyland, son of Sarah E. Hyland, who homesteaded on 19 acres at E ½ NE ¼ Sec. 35, Orange Township, Portland Rd. before 1891.  Sutherlands were from Woodland Township.  Ozzie sold cars most of his life and was an avid golfer.  He was cremated. 

Pauline ‘Polly’ FIRST WOLVERTON, 89, born July 6, 1920, died January 21, 2010, widow of Richard Wolverton, mother of Joani (Vern) Slager, Kerri Idema, and the late Kathy Wolverton and Randy (Linda) Wolverton, grandmother of six and great-grandmother of eight, sister of Helen Olsen, Doris Gregory, Judy Youngs, and the late Gene First, daughter of Beatrice BEEMER & George FIRST.  Polly & Rich farmed at SE ¼ Sec. 23, Odessa Township, on MUSGROVE Hwy.  She was a graduate of Central Michigan University and taught at South LeValley, Adgedon, Mulliken, and Lakewood Schools until her retirement in 1980.  She was active in Retired Teachers Assn., Friends of Lake Odessa Library, and Central United Methodist Church.  She was buried at Lakeside Cemetery. 

Judith Ann ‘Judy’ PUTT BOWNE, 69, born in 1941, died February 10, 2010, wife of William ‘Bill’ BOWNE, mother of Andy (Ruth) Bowne, Jason (Debbie) Bowne, Becky (Troy) Hoople, and Josh (Michelle) Bowne, grandmother of eight, sister of Janet MacKinnon, daughter of Raymond & Dorothy PUTT.  Judy was a graduate of Montcalm Community College with an Associate’s Degree, Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor’s Degree, and had a Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University, and taught at Ionia Public Schools until her retirement.  She had long been a runner, and in retirement they traveled in their Motor Home, and participated in runs all over the country.  She will be cremated. 


   The District was organized June 6, 1837, with Hervey BARTOW and Zina LLOYD as School Inspectors.  It included most of Maple (Lyons) Township on the north and Danby Township on the south.  On September 20, 1837, Almeron NEWMAN was elected Moderator; William CHURCHILL, Director; and James NEWMAN, Treasurer.  It was voted to have six months of school a year and $90 to be raised for the support of the school.  Ten dollars was appropriated for a library.

   The first school taught in Portland was in a small log house near where the depot stood until recent years.  Jenny BERRY is thought to be the first teacher.  This school burned to the ground a few years later.  A vacant house closer to the river was then used.  William CHURCHILL, who taught in this shanty, is thought to have been the second teacher.  Next came Miss Clarissa KNOX, who taught in a house on the hill above the depot.

   In 1839 it was voted to raise $300 to build a new schoolhouse, but the act was rescinded.  Again in 1840 it was voted to raise $300, but this vote was not acted upon either.  Finally in 1842 it was again voted to raise the $300, and to locate the school on the west side, but that last part of the proposal was withdrawn.  The “Old Red Schoolhouse” was then built on the brow of James Street Hill at the north end of Smith Street and contained only one room.  Mr. Lodiwiski BAKER taught in the summer for two dollars per week.  Charles C. FULLINGTON taught in the winter for $18 per month.  There were 52 children of school age, according to the school census, but 70 attended in winter, meaning some were pretty big boys, more than a schoolmarm could handle.

   When this red schoolhouse became too small, classes for the older boys and girls were held in the basement of the Universalist Church across the street to the south.  They were taught by the minister, Reverend GORDON, with Miss Almeda HIXON as assistant.  This lasted two or three years.  When more space was needed they sold the Red Schoolhouse to the Methodists and it was moved to the site of the present United Methodist Church.  Later that building was moved across Elm Street and enlarged into a two-family apartment building, where it still stands today south of the brick & block BANDFIELD building.

   Around 1858 a two-story building 25 feet by 42 feet was built to replace the old red schoolhouse on the north side of JAMES Street, a short block west of the head of Elm Street.  This “New Red Schoolhouse” still stands and later became the home of Phoeba Marie FRIEND & Rush P. BALDWIN, retired farmers from W ½ SE ¼ Sec. 20 Sebewa Township on north side of MUSGROVE Hwy., now owned by Charles LEIK, and later on south side of Grand River Ave. Sec. 31 & 32 Portland Township, now Sunset Community.

   During this period school funds were raised by the “rate Bill Method”, meaning the expenses were divided among the parents according to the number of children they had in school.  There was a fund for poor children, and as late as 1865 $300 was voted by the School Board for indigent children.  The board members were:  Dr. M. B. BEERS, Moderator; Dr. Wm. ROOT, Director; A. F. MOREHOUSE, Assessor.

   In this new red schoolhouse four teachers were provided.  In 1865 the four were:  Mr. BOGGS, Upper Department & Principal; Miss Phoebe BEERS, Assistant; Mrs. Ellen NEWMAN, Lower Department; Miss EMMONS, Assistant.  In 1869 a fifth teacher was added and the Intermediate Department occupied the Universalist Church basement.  In 1869 the State Teachers’ Institute was held in these buildings.  The School Board called a special public meeting to arrange for the Institute to be held there.

   During this time they were erecting a High School building at the end of Smith Street in a four-acre plot of beautiful trees, where the tennis courts of the Brush Street School were later located.  This school was known as “The BROWN School” and was ready for occupancy in January 1870, with J. W. CARUS, Principal; Miss SCRIBNER, Assistand.  In 1871 there were 380 children between the ages of 5 and 20.  The schools were divided into the following departments:  First Primary, Second Primary, Intermediate, Grammar School, and High School.  The Union Schools were kept open for 40 weeks in the year and the cost was $2500 for teachers’ salaries.  395 students actually attended.  The first attempt at grading the school was made by Mr. CARUS in 1872.  The following year the School Board voted to grant diplomas to those who had completed High School by satisfactorily passing all the examinations.  However there were no graduates for ten years.

   In 1872, Mr. George HALLADAY became Principal and the schools were well furnished with apparatus.  In 1873 it became necessary to add another building, two rooms each for First and Second Primary (Grades 1-4), on the west side of town.  This was a two-story building on the west side of Quarterline Street south of Detroit Street.  This was known as “The White School”.  The building had a covered outside stairway on the south side.  This building was used for school until 1911, when the children were all sent to the east side of town.  It was torn down by the Visser family construction contractors in 1940, after serving as a factory and storage.  A modern one-story home was built on the lot for Johanna (Ann) VISSER PUNG and husband.

   In 1880 there were these three wooden schools valued at $8000.  The Board members were:  F. M. CUTCHEON, Director; Capt. E. M. ALLEN, Assessor; C. C. DELLENBAUGH, and N. B. RICE, Trustees.  Teachers were:  C. L. BEMIS, Principal; William PAYNE, Grammar School; Emma DEAN, Intermediate; Lizzie FAULKNER and Anna CUTCHEON, Second Primary; Hattie COLE and Ella BRIGGS, First Primary.

   In 1881 a brick High School was built at a cost of $15,000 on the same four-acre plot, to the west of the BROWN School.  It accommodated all the grades except the First and Second Primary, which were left at the BROWN School.  These buildings were used as such until 1903, when a two-story addition was put on the south side of the High School building.  The old BROWN School was then moved to the east side of Maple Street, between Bridge Street and JAMES Street (actually Grand River Ave. by today’s configuration.)  It served as Wards’ Garage for many years and some portion of it may still be in the structure.  Professor BEMIS was re-titled Superintendent in 1882.

   In 1882 Mr. BEMIS had the honor of graduating the first students of Portland High School.  There were two in the class: Mary (WHITE) BUCK and Kittie SCHRIBNER.  The exercises were held at the Captain E. M. ALLEN (Civil War Vet and Portland banker) handed out the diplomas.  Some Superintendents now feel overworked without teaching any classes, but Mr. BEMIS and W. H. STONE taught every subject in the High School.  Mr. BEMIS also organized a lively debating club held on Friday nights.  Frank E. DOREMUS distinguished himself with his able arguments, later becoming a newspaper editor and State Representative.  In 1883 it was discovered that the school had one too many board members and all this board had done was illegal.  However, one member resigned and the crisis was averted.  In 1884, after four years of strenuous work, Mr. Bemis was given an assistant, Miss Alice WARRER.

   In 1883 there were 7 graduated, in 1884 no one graduated, 1885 had 5, 1886 had 8, and in 1887 there were 16.  In 1885 they started holding the graduation exercises in the Opera House, which was a very nice building with a seating capacity of 600 and a suitable stage.  In 1887 the High School planted a row of 74 maples along in front of the buildings; and the Senior Class the same year planted 87 pine trees to the east of the school buildings.  (Can anyone remember the pines, which were gone at least by 1937 when we started?)  There were 12 graduates in 1888.  Professor S. G. BURKHEAD was Superintendent this one year, 1887-1888, with Miss Allie ENGLE and Miss Emma LOTT as assistants.

   Allie ENGLE became Superintendent in 1888-1889, 1889-1890, and 1890-1891.  In 1889 Florence CRITTENDEN was the Valedictorian and in 1891 it was Hugh WELFARE.  The next Superintendent was A. D. DEWITT during the years 1891-1897.  There were two notable events during his time; the High School curriculum was divided into courses; Latin-German, English-German, and English; and Minnie FENNER was hired as music teacher.  Frances CHRUCHILL (REYNOLDS) was Valedictorian in 1895, and Dora Stone (WEBBER) in 1896.

   In 1897-1898, Mr. KELLER was Superintendent and his wife was Assistant, best remembered for her green dress with black buttons sewed on with white thread.  Professor AGNEW was Superintendent in 1898-1899 and 1899-1900, and Blanche VAUGHN was Assistant.  The Valedictorian in 1899 was Mabel STEVENS and Fannie ALLEN in 1900.  A Science course was added at this time.  In 1900-1901 thru 1912-1913, Blanche VAUGHN was Superintendent.  A new Latin-English course was added and in 1902, through the efforts of Miss VAUGHN, the Portland School was placed on the University List.  It remained on the list during all the years she was Superintendent except one.  That year Mr. WATERMAN was hired as Superintendent except one.  That year Mr. WATERMAN was hired as Superintendent but the next year Miss VAUGHN was rehired.  In 1901 James CRITTENDEN was Valedictorian and in 1902 his sister, Mary CRITTENDEN (OLMSTEAD) was Valedictorian.

   The class of 1901 was noted for two things; the most elaborate decorations ever seen in the Opera House, and the finest Valedictory, given by James CRITTENDEN.  The average age of the class was 17.  The class of 15 ladies in the year 1902 was not to be outdone by the class of 1901.  Their innovation was a male chorus led by Reverend STEVENS.  Another was the entrance of the class into the hall.  They gathered in a dressing room and when the time came, they marched up and down all the aisles to the stage.  Two scholarly orations were given, the first by Miss Olive OUTWATER on “Patriotism” and the second by Miss Ora PEAKE on “The Advancement of Women”.  In 1911 Miss Vaughn received a salary of $1500.  She possessed a rare talent and untiring energy, and she left the schools in 1913 in a splendidly organized condition.  Nonresident tuition was $4.00 per term for higher departments, $2.50 per term for Primary, and $1.00 extra for Greek and Latin.  About this time the Board voted to teach Latin in the third grade.  German was taught in the grammar school.

   Professor GOURLAY was Superintendent in 1913-1914, 1914-1915, and 1915-1916.  He also was paid a salary of $1500.  There were some notable improvements made during his term.  1.  A pure Kindergarten department.  2. Nature study courses throughout the grades.  3.  Language in the grades.  4. Agriculture.  5.  Physics & Chemistry.  Mr. GOURLAY petitioned for a raise in salary, but the School Board decided they could get a Superintendent for less, so he left in the summer of 1916.  The Board hired Mr. Albert STITT at a salary of $1400.  He was hear in 1916-1917, 1917-1918, and part of 1918-1919.  He made a change to have the sixth, seventh, and eighth on one floor and the ninth through twelfth grades on the second floor.  The staff members in 1916 were:  Albert STITT, Superintendent - $1400; Viola HOWE, Principal - $750; John KANTER, Science & Athletics - $900; Mabie LAURENCE, 5th Grade - $525; Elizabeth FLOYD, Music - $525; Marjorie YOST, 3rd & 4th grades central - $525; Frieda MEISAL, Math & German - $500; Lula PACKARD, 1st & 2nd grades west - $500; Frances MULDER, Kindergarten - $475; Elsa BROWN, 3rd & 4th grades west - $450.

   In the early evening of October 16, 1918, the High School building was destroyed by a fire believed to be of incendiary origin.  Because of a lack of water, the building was completely destroyed.  The water in the wells had been exhausted during the day and water pressure could not be maintained.  The building was insured for $10,000.  Plans had to be made to house the students.  Grades were quartered as follows:  some classes met in the Congregational Church, others in the Carnegie Library, West Side School, St. Patrick’s Auditorium, and the Nazarene Church.  School was conducted under these difficult conditions during the remainder of 1918-1919 and 1919-1920 school years.  School was closed for three weeks following the fire and two weeks in December 1918 for the Influenza Epidemic.  Near the end of 1918 the taxpayers voted to bond for $100,000 for a new school and construction started almost immediately, using blueprints in common usage at the time.

   Before school was out in the spring of 1919, Mr. STITT resigned to take a position teaching chemistry at Ann Arbor, a job which he had been hoping to get for some time.  Mr. STITT’S ending salary was $1850 a year and the School Board expected to hire another superintendent for the same salary, but the man they wanted let it be known that he would not come for less than $2000.  The Board was very much impressed with his qualifications, so Mr. Charles BRYAN was hired.  He was a very impressive looking man, six feet tall and weighing 200 pounds.  He was in Portland 1919-1920 thru 1927-1928.  When Mr. BRYAN started out in the spring of 1919 to get teachers, he was very much surprised to find that the School Board would need to make a substantial increase in all salaries.

   The School Board underwent a great change at this time.  The members elected were:  C. D. TOMY, Carl O. DERBY, Mrs. A. Jay BARTON, and Dr. Stanley A. HORNING (DDS).  At this same meeting it was decided to officially close the West Side School and have all the children go to the new school.  The people on the west side were very much displeased by the inconvenience, but they sent their children across the river and it was soon forgotten (mostly)!  Of course St. Patrick’s had opened their eight-grade school in 1906, so some children did not have to trek across town.  Because the new school wasn’t finished, the graduation classes of 1919 and 1920 held their Commencement Exercises in the Baptist Church and their Proms in Sykes’ Hall.

   The new $100,000 Brush Street School opened its doors September 7, 1920, with the following new features:  modern heating & ventilating systems, motor-run vacuum system for cleaning the building, gymnasium with seating capacity of 500, boys’ & girls’ locker rooms with shower baths.  The enrollment in the High School was 127 and the Grade School had 227.  The faculty included:  Charles BRYAN – Superintendent; Mary Maude BROWN – Principal & Math; Beryl THOMAS – Science; Audrie LOVELAND – Languages; Vivian HIRDNING – English; Martha ROOF – History & Biology; Lillian BIGNALL – Eighth grade; Winnie BOERS & Mrs. GARDNER – Seventh grade; Ruby ADAMS – Sixth grade; Irene CRANE – Fifth grade; Ruth Ann SMITH – Fourth grade; Ethel PRIESTLY – Third grade; Marjorie ALBERTS (GILDEN) – Second grade for 11 years and First grade for 33 years; Miss BEERS – First grade.

   Portland was sports-minded in 1920 and Dr. HORNING proposed to hire Louis CORSIGLIA, the center fielder for the Portland baseball team, to coach the High School team.  Mr. CORSIGLIA would do it for $30 per week, so Dr. HORNING set out to raise the money from businessmen.  However Mr. BRYAN was coaching the team by then.  He was Superintendent until 1928.  By unanimous vote the School Board named H. Britton GIBBS of Marion, Michigan, Superintendent for 1928-1929, but he only stayed one year.  (Anyone remember him?)  In 1929 Fred WILLIAMS was hired as Superintendent and he remained here sixteen years.  The school was robbed February 13, 1930.  Mr. WILLIAMS’ typewriter was stolen, along with some traveling bags, a saxophone belonging to Paul THOMPSON, and a cornet.  They felt it was an inside job and that an auto was used.

   In 1930 the PTA decided the children should have hot lunches and they began a drive to equip the lunch room with dishes and silver that people donated.  The food for the school was furnished by the parents.  By the first of the year they were serving 40 children per day.  A new addition to this Brush Street School was completed in October 1936 at a cost of $58,182.  The work was done under W. P. A. Provisions, with the Federal Government furnished $26,182 and the Portland School District $58,182.  This new addition permitted a room for a Department of Home Economics with 76 girls enrolled and a Manual Training Department with 29 boys enrolled.  Grades K, one, and two were housed in this annex.  It also included a new laboratory, two recitation rooms, and a small library.  Mr. Williams left in 1945.

   Ray HAMILTON became Superintendent in fall 1945 and remained here until 1953.  From 1936 to 1953 there were only minor changes in the Portland School housing all grades; elementary children on the first floor and junior and senior high on the upper floor & basement.  In 1953 William Harry Griffiths became Superintendent.  The Brush Street School was becoming overcrowded, so a new elementary school building was completed in September 1953 at a cost of $200,000.  There were six classrooms in this building, plus an all-purpose room, storage room, teachers’ room, and office.  This is called the Oakwood School and is located southeast of the Brush Street School near the entrance to the athletic field.  After a few years a similar school was built on the west side of town off Cross Street and called Westwood School; both have been enlarged and modernized in recent years.

   Within a few years it again became evident that the system would need to build again.  Two-thirds of the Brush Street School was being used for grade children because of the overcrowded conditions and fourth thru twelfth graders intermingling; the cafeteria was used as a classroom.  In 1960 a bond issue of $1,300,000 for a new high school was voted down by 2 to 1.  In 1961 the voters again went to the polls, this time passed a bond issue of $885,000 by 717 to 524.  This new high school building was built to accommodate 600 students, have 21 teaching stations, and a gymnasium that would seat 1000.  It was built on three levels and contained an arts & crafts room, which they never had before. 

   Groundbreaking ceremonies took place Saturday, June 16, 1962, during the alumni gathering.  Mrs. Frances (CHURCHILL) REYNOLDS, oldest alumnus present, and Arden McCRUMB, Board President, each turned a shovelful of dirt.  In September 1963 the Storz Avenue School opened with 337 enrolled and 1099 in the entire system.  During Wm. GRIFFITH’S term many rural schools were annexed to the Portland School District.  After twelve years, GRIFFITHS retired spring 1965.

   He was succeeded by Paul KRUZEL 1965-1966 & 1966-1967; then Larry HUESTED was Acting Supt a part year; Glenn BOWEN 1967-1971; LaVerne LAMPEN 1971-1981; John CLAREY 1981-1991, dedicating the new Lyons Road High School with gymnasium, athletic fields and up-to-date computers, Sept 30, 1990 and first graduation 1991; and Charles DUMAS 1991 and current.  The Storz Avenue School became Portland Middle School and Brush Street School became Schoolhouse Apartments.


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

Last update January 17, 2013