THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR
Historical Newsletter from Sebewa (Township), MI;
Full photo on front of issue of Kent Street, Portland, MI, before 1900
SURNAMES: Chase, Conkrite, Puffer, Hixon, Kimmel, Sweitzer, Reed, Peabody, Jolly, Tyler, Gunn, Urie, Horner, also a correction for Justman-Biang-Courtney; Williams, Goodemoote, Thorpe, York
CORRECTION: In RECENT DEATHS in August 2011 issue of Sebewa Recollector, Volume 47, Number 1, we confused the lives of two women named SHIRLEY COURTNEY [See NOTE below]. The deceased was Shirley May (Mickey) Justman Biang Courtney. Born Shirley Mae Justman, she acquired the name Biang when her mother, Shirley Mae Nichols Justman, married Melvin Biang. The younger Shirley first married Donald Leak, in 1965, and they were the parents of Danelle Ann Leak, who is married to Ryan Carigon. Shirley then married Tom Courtney and they are the parents of Terri Courtney, who is married to Eric Carigon. Shirley has two grandchildren, Leighton and Danielle; and six sisters, Elizabeth (widow of Richard) Majinska, Linda (Howard) Shearer, Rene Kerns, Deborah White, Caroline Biang and Nanette Biang. Shirley was retired from Michigan Department of Corrections after 25 years as Correction Officer at Michigan Reformatory, Ionia. Born August 14, 1942 in Detroit, Shirley died February 20, 2011. Thanks to Teresa Leak Sweet for updating & correcting this obituary.
NOTE: This correction also has errors. The last name is COURTNAY not COURTNEY. (Thanks to her daughter Danelle A. Carigon.)
THE OTHER SHIRLEY COURTNEY is married to Charles (Chuck) Courtney and is the one who once worked for Ionia County National Bank (First Bank) at the Washington Street downtown drive-thru branch, when it first opened. She is alive, vibrant and healthy.
RECENT DEATHS: RUBY V. WILLIAMS, 97, widow of Gerald Williams, mother of Marie (Larry) Brodbeck, Ann (Bill) Cusack, and the late Leonard and Dale Williams, 13 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, 13 great-great-granchildren; sister of Merle (Mike) (Virginia) Goodemoot, and the late Ruth (Kenneth) Thorpe, Earl (Pat) (Shirley) Goodemoot, and Richard (Marion) Goodemoot; daughter of Florence FOX & Allyn J. GOODEMOOT, son of Thursa Peacock & George Goodemoot, son Mary Wolcott & John Goodemoot.
Ruby farmed and gardened, assisted Gerald with bookkeeping of Odessa Township Supervisor, worked on election boards, loved travel and crosswords and was the area’s best authority on baseball stats for all Major League players. Ruby was born in Sebewa Township, July 13, 1914, married July 20, 1934, died August 10, 2011, funeral at Koops Chapel, buried at Odessa Lakeside Cemetery.
RECENT DEATH: Clinton Don BAILEY, 75, husband of Margot Goodemoot Bailey, father of Doug (Cheryl) Bailey, Sally (Mike) Stout and Brent (Terry) Bailey, 13 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren; brother of Rex Bailey, brother-in-law of Fran (Fred) Morris, Carole (Ed) Reiser, Russ (Mo) Goodemoot, Ron Goodemoot and Dennis Goodemoot; son of Velma Kussmauls & Clinton Bailey. Kussmauls were pioneer settlers before 1891 in Sec 31 Sebewa Township on State Rd at Eaton Hwy, around the corner from the Sweitzer family mentioned in another obituary in this issue. Don was a long-time employee of Lake Odessa Canning Co as Purchasing Agent and in Field Department, buried at Odessa Lakeside Cemetery.
ANOTHER RECENT DEATH: BERNARD YORK, 78, husband of Fran, father of two daughters, brother of Geneva Speas, Ronald York and the late John Rodney York, son of Wilma Meyers & John S. York, son of Ruth A. Grieves & Harry L. York, son of Christina & Stephen L. York, son of Josiah York, son of Zachariah York.
COVER STORY: The cover photo of a Kent Street business block was taken at a very early date, probably before 1900. The taller three-story building at the very left is Portland’s Opera House built in 1880, as probably were all in the photo. Buildings completely shown were occupied in December 1959 by Jean’s Tavern, left, and Jean’s Recreation, right. At the time the photo was taken, W. M. Elder’s Drug Store occupied the building at the left and W. Fagan & Company sold boots and shoes in the building at the right. Upstairs to the left were offices of Dr. Dellenbaugh, who is pictured sitting at his window, and of Josiah Dilley. A dressmaker occupied the front part of the upstairs to the right, and the offices of Dr. Riste, Surgeon & Dentist and W. M. Howard, Attorney, were also on that floor. Kent Street was not paved at that time, and in the foreground is a wooden hydrant, probably connected to an early water system which served the downtown area through wooden water mains. Sidewalks also were wooden.
THE CHASE FAMILIES OF SEBEWA CORNERS:
The late Fern Conkrite, our source on all things happening in Sebewa between March 3, 1895, her birth date, and July 23, 1999, her death date, told us that Edna Chase came to Sebewa to teach the High District School. She met Harry Brown and they were married. Their gravestone in Danby Cemetery says: Harry L. Brown 1885-1939, Edna E. Brown 1889-1957. We have found no listing of her parents nor her birthplace. There are no other Chases buried in Danby Cemetery.
Nancy Carbaugh Murphy Chase Puffer is buried in East Sebewa Cemetery. She was born March 27, 1855, on what is now the Joseph & Doris Pung farm on Keefer Hwy at SE ¼ Sec. 1 Sebewa Township. Her parents were George D. & Esther Haskins Carbaugh. Her first husband was Homer M. Murphy, born in 1851 in Indiana. Nancy & Homer were married July 4, 1874, in Ionia. She was later widowed, but we have not found a record of his death or burial, although there is a bare space next to her grave. They had one son, Clare R. Murphy, born in Locke Township, Ingham County, MI, May 27, 1879. In the 1900 census he was living in Danby Township, Ionia County. Clare married Emma Clark, daughter of Jonathan Clark, in Oxford, Ingham County, MI, November 23, 1904. He inherited his mother's farm of 80 acres, located just west of the church campground on Musgrove Hwy at E ½ SW ¼ Sec. 24 Sebewa Township. Nancy died February 21, 1940.
Nancy’s second husband was George W. Chase, born August 7, 1858, in Hillsdale County, MI, son of Ebenezer & Ruth Fairchild Chase. Nancy & George were married February 15, 1891, in Portland, and Nancy was married to him the longest, according to Fern. He died December 4, 1904, and is buried with Nancy on her lot in East Sebewa Cemetery.
Nancy’s third husband was Harry A. Puffer, born in 1854 in Ohio, son of Amos & Sarah Hatch Puffer. Nancy & Harry were married January 3, 1917, in Sunfield, MI. They farmed for a while on Emery Road among the Kenyons in Sebewa Township. Then they moved to her house on the East side of Keefer Hwy on the SE corner of Madison in Sebewa Corners, later known as the Jim Bedell house. When he got in poor health, he went to Texas to be with his sons from a previous marriage. Supposedly, when he died, his sons buried him back in Michigan, perhaps with the first wife.
George Chase is the only CHASE in either Sebewa Cemetery. His age is right to be Edna’s father with a previous wife in 1889, before marrying Nancy in 1891. But if that were true, who was that first wife and where did Edna grow up?
“Edna Chase Brown & Harry Brown are the grandparents of all those Browns”, as Fern Conkrite put it, meaning the descendents of Marian & Burton Brown, Cleta & Bob Sawyer and another daughter and husband.
“VOICES FROM THE PAST” & “THOUGHTS WHILE STROLLING ON KENT STREET” Gathered from back issues of PORTLAND REVIEW & OBSERVER:
February 28, 1939: Today is the deadline for paying your property taxes at the local township treasurer’s office; tomorrow they are turned over to the county treasurer for collection, with late penalty. Mrs. Addie Ryerson, Portland Township Treasurer, completed her collections with approximately $19,000 collected out of $30,975.39 on the roll. This figure is slightly below the average for collection a year ago. E. A. (Erastus) Wright, Treasurer of Orange Township, was at the Tri-County Electric office in Portland for his final collection. Mr. Wright says the Orange roll totaled $11,595 and he estimated two-thirds of the amount had been paid in. Charles Wheeler, Danby Township Treasurer, had collected nearly $8000. Total of his roll $11, 558.73.
Half-pound pepper, two pounds salt, a 27 cent value for 17 cents, at Percy Earl’s Cash Grocery, open until 9:00 PM.
The Grand River, a meek-looking stream in summer, was on a wild rampage early last week. It rose to its greatest heights in recent years and flooded basements of Kent Street stores with muddy water, also spreading out on the flats on the west bank and driving several families from their homes. Trouble started Tuesday afternoon, when slush ice began banking up downstream. About 9:30 AM water began seeping into store basements, rising rapidly. Most store owners got the goods kept in their basements onto higher shelves or up to the ground floor. There was a temporary halt in the rising, but early Wednesday morning the rise began again. The river ran over Water Street, filling basements of homes and even covering the first floor in several instances. The home of Mr. & Mrs. A. Gustavson, near the north end of the block north of Grand River Avenue, has water to the eaves of a garage in which the family car was stores, at the rear of the property. Years ago flooding of that section was almost an annual event, but this is the first time in recent years.
The village employed several men to dynamite the jam of slush ice below the village. The effort was not successful because the ice was piled so deep it was impossible to move any large quantity. The Pere Marquette Railroad sent in a train of loaded coal cars to weigh down the steel span near the depot; and as in 1920, this action saved the bridge. Water gradually seeped through the soil and up sewers into basements of Hotel Divine and Zene Ward’s Garage in the Burger Building on the east side of Kent, putting out the fire under the boiler in each. The LookingGlass was also filled with anchor ice and the Grand backed up into the mouth of the former, filling the basements of Valley City Milling and Barley-Earhart. Governor Fitzgerald and Senator Vandenberg were contacted, relative to blasting by airplane. The furnace under Louie Guidi’s Candyland was about the only one working, because it sat on a high concrete foundation and employees used a rowboat to carry coal to the furnace. Water came into the basement of the REVIEW office in the Wilhelm Building near north end of Kent Street just before press time. Paper stocks, and other equipment were removed, although the paper cutter was covered.
Another note on the article about the 1939 flood says a fire broke out in the basement of a flooded building. The fire department was called when a smoldering fire in the watery basement of the Owen Pharmacy threatened the building. It was quickly extinguished and little damage was done. With the water so high, the furnace could not be fired, and a small stove had been set up in the back room of the store. An open chimney flue in the basement was hidden by stock piled on a shelf. Embers dropped down the chimney and a pasteboard carton sitting next to the chimney was ignited. (This reminds us of an event this week in 2011, when we had a fire in the swimming pool at Clark Retirement Community. A small electric motor burned out on the pump used to recycle the water in the pool. There was smoke and we saw Carol Bergman, Director of Safety, standing in the street with her cell-phone, guiding in the fire truck, but here again, no fire damage.)
VIRGIL I. HIXON, 70, once a well-known resident of Portland, died at Manistique, MI, Friday, February 24, 1939. He had visited Mayo Clinic at Rochester, MN, but to no avail. Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Frost, Jr. left that day for the funeral, as deceased was a cousin of Mr. Frost. Mr. Hixon was born in this vicinity, son of Mr. & Mrs.
William Hixon, who lived on the farm next south of the Frost Road.) Mr. Hixon graduated from Portland High School and University of Michigan Law School. He had been a resident of Manistique for many years, as a prominent attorney and former prosecutor of the county. He was a brother of Mrs. George W. Wood and Mrs. Phoebe Mains, both of whom now reside in California. (Another member of this family, Sumner Hixon, was long active in Portland and its village government.)
MRS. ROSA KIMMEL, 78, died at her farm home in Sebewa Township. Born in Maryland, she came to Michigan at 18 years of age. In 1880 she married Amos Kimmel, who died two years ago. The couple had lived on the same farm for over 50 years. Two sons, Walter and Charles Kimmel, of Sebewa Township, survive.
NOVEMBER 19, 1939: Don Braendle, Portland High basketball coach, announced his varsity squad as: Dick Dawdy, Earl Foster, Bill Bryer, Mose Goff, Arnold Whitney, Glen Crosby, John F. Mauren, Harold Davenport, Bob Wieber and Ed Zerfas. Reserve team will be: Bob Schaefer, LeRoy Durfee, Jim Sullivan, Boyd Benedict, Lawrence Peabody, Don Schlarf, Bill Moriarty, Jack Ryerson, Bill Dutcher, Bob Russman and Don May. Also Bill Pryer and Mose Goff were named to the 1939 Ionia County All-Star football team. Wilbur Peake of Danby is enrolled in the winter Agriculture Short Course at M. A. C.
NOVEMBER 19, 1919: The Portland Opera House has been leased to the Methodist Society, who will transform it into a youth recreation center. (Not much got transformed at that time, nor down through the years. A similar idea was revived a couple years ago.)
Carl D. Bywater, one of Portland’s up-and-coming young business men and president of the Chamber of Commerce, was married Thursday to Miss Margery Wilhelm at the home of the bride’s parents.
DECEMBER 3, 1959: John Demaray, 98, retired fur buyer and Lake Odessa resident, died Saturday at the Robarth Nursing Home at Mason. He had been a patient there for four years, following a fall in which he fractured a hip. Mr. Demaray came with his parents, Calvin and Julia Ann Russell Demaray, early pioneers of Bonanza before Lake Odessa was founded, from Ingersoll, Canada. He had lived in his home on Pearl Street for 53 years before moving to Mason in 1955. His wife Mina died January 6, 1946. Surviving are his daughter, Mrs. Ethel Adams of Mason, a sister, Mrs. Rose Cartlidge of Hastings, 7 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren. Funeral at Pickens Chapel, burial in Odessa Lakeside Cemetery, Rev. A. J. Pitman officiating.
MRS. ANNA SWEITZER, 89, died Sunday at the Fisher Rest Home at Nashville, where she had been a patient for several months. She was a lifelong resident of Ionia County and lived for many years on a farm east of town (Sec. 31 Sebewa Township, near northeast corner of Eaton Hwy. & State Road) after her marriage to William H. Sweitzer, who died in 1934. Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. Luna Pickens VanTifflin of Lake Odessa and Mrs. Evelyn Chapin of Southfield; four grandchildren, Clare Pickens of Lake Odessa, Arlo Pickens of Lansing, Jack Chapin of Livonia and Nancy Chapin of Southfield and eleven great-grandchildren. Funeral at Pickens Chapel, burial in Odessa Lakeside Cemetery, Rev. F. J. Fitch officiating.
DECEMBER 3, 1899: Ray B. Arms is the new carrier on the Portland-Jeffrey mail route. “Jeffrey was the neighborhood in Danby Township along Towner Road between Charlotte Hwy (Basswood Corners) and Okemos Road.) (This is a small, contracted, “Star” route.)
DECEMBER 10, 1959: Several months ago the secretary of the Portland Library Board, Mrs. K. R. Hargie, wrote to Clarence Buddington Kelland asking him for an autographed photo that might be placed in the library. It has been received and will be hung near the library’s collection of his books. Although Mr. Kelland left Portland in childhood with his family, his vivid memories made it possible for him to describe it in THE STEADFAST HEART and possibly others of his many books and short stories. In his letter to Mrs. Hargie he said “My memories of the old public library upstairs in the former building on the corner across from the old Churchill home (now the funeral home) are very vivid and my gratitude to it is enduring, for introducing me to many, many fine books.”
We have many thoughts about the Grand River, which has brought notoriety to our vicinity since a human leg was found last Friday above the Portland Municipal Dam. The old river flows on and on, the secrets it holds often not revealed. From our boyhood we recall that Floyd Sayer went out in a row boat during spring flood and never came back. His boat was found on the river flats, and later his body was recovered. Years later Lynn Remalie fell thru the ice near Island No. 1 (behind the library) and his body was not found until the next summer. In more recent times a body was found in the bushes below the municipal dam, partly clothed. There were no papers of identification in the pockets, and who the man was was never established. Today, as any day, the silent river rolls on, taking unknown facts with it.
DECEMBER 31, 1959: Coming from Westphalia, we pick up Andy Cramer near the former Hamlin School, walking to Portland in a snow storm, basket on his arm and picking up bottles as usual. As we come by Valley City Milling Co., Andy, now past 80, recalls that for about 30 years he unloaded coal cars there. At one time, when a rail or coal strike threatened, Portland mill had 20 carloads of coal on sidings in Portland, and Andy unloaded them all.
FLOYD REED, 69, well-known resident of Danby Township, died in a hospital at Perry, FL, December 24, after having suffered a heart attack near Tallahassee, FL. Mr. & Mrs. Reed were on their way to Vero Beach, FL. Funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at Barker Funeral Home in Mulliken, Rev. George B. Barna officiating, burial in Danby Cemetery. Surviving are the widow, the former Pearl Lyon of Danby; two daughters, Mrs. Florence Whitney, Lansing, and Mrs. Delfa Stair, Eaton Rapids; and two grandsons, Robert Root, Naval Air Force, Washington, D. C., and Donald Root, Mason, and one great-granddaughter. Mr. Reed was born in Danby and lived on the same farm all his lifetime except for two years when he did greenhouse work for the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C. he farmed while he long served as Sexton of Danby Cemetery, across from the farm home and surrounded by the Reed farmland.
DR. CHARLES H. PEOBODY, 83, who was born at Mulliken, died on Christmas Day at Youngstown, OH. After his graduation from medical college, D. Peabody practiced at Mulliken for some time, and then went to Lake Odessa. He practiced there until his retirement in 1948. (But I am certain he treated our Grandpa, Dan Slowinski, until his death in September 1951.) Dr. Peabody married Neva Buck in 1905 and she preceded him in death in 1954. Survivors include a son, Dr. Cary Peabody of Youngstown, and a brother, Dr. Guy Peabody, of Toledo. Burial in Odessa Lakeside Cemetery.
DECEMBER 31, 1939: Clarence Croel has purchased from Dr. Lurette I. Powers of Muskegon, the 90-acre farm located just beyond the curve on the road to Collins (Lyons Road Sec. 19 Portland Twp.), formerly owned by John Probart and later Mark Probart.
Mrs. Gladys Leslie Pew of Saranac recently sold the building on South Kent Street occupied by the Ferris Implement store to Jerome Atansio of Ionia. The building at one time housed the Portland Fire Department, and before that the Barton Brothers Implement Store.
Start of the extensive rebuilding project on the Portland Municipal Dam has been postponed until next spring, according to Russell Goff, WPA superintendent.
DECEMBER 31, 1919: Among the last survivors of the Civil War who resided here was Lewis C. Jolly, who died Friday.
William M. Spitzley, son of Mathias Spitzley of Westphalia has taken over the interest of Charles L. Crane in Portland Hardware Company.
SEPTEMBER 27, 1962: John Sherrard shows us a small round mirror from yesteryear which has advertising of Portland Mfg. Company on the back. Done in color, it says, “The Largest Manufacturers of Power Washing Machines in the World.” In the illustration, the Grand River in the background looks about the size of the Mississippi, and there are steamships and sailboats pictured on it. The firm’s plant on the west bank of the Grand River just below the upper bridge burned in the early 1900s. (They also had a mill further upstream near Beers Street (Riverside Drive) and a finishing shop and warehouse extending from Kent to Maple Streets, about at north end of today’s City Hall.)
Circuit Judge Leo Bebeau named Walter Marks of Portland to become Ionia County Prosecuting Attorney, effective October 1, to serve the remainder of the term of Ronald VanBuren, who resigned from the post. Mr. Marks won the nomination for the position in the recent Primary Election.
FLORENCE SMITH TYLER, 70, passed away at Meitler Convalescent Home. A lifelong resident of the area, Mrs. Tyler was survived by her husband, Veryl; a daughter, Mrs. Mignon (Howard) Hodnett of Torrence, CA; a son Dean (Elizabeth Jones) Tyler, of Gobles, MI, and five grandchildren. (Florence was the oldest daughter of Della Gale & Leonard Laban Smith, with sisters Clara Smith and Laura Smith. Leonard was the oldest son of Hannah Gillette & Laban Atwater Smith, Sr., pioneer farmers on what is now Portland Country Club and adjacent land. They settled there in 1866 and retired into Portland in 1890 when he was age 62, where he was active in village government. Their home in town was on the west side of Smith Street, the second house south of James Street. Leonard & Della also owned and farmed some of Laban’s land. Florence & Veryl farmed on Peck Lake Road in Sec. 13 & 24 Orange Township.)
October 4, 1942: The 80th birthday of Otis D. Tyler, pioneer farmer in Orange Township, (father of Veryl Tyler) was observed with a family gathering.
EDWIN A. BUCK, a well-known farmer in the area and later a resident of the village of Portland, died at his home on Quarterline Street. (He and his brothers, George and Bart, had large land holdings.)
October 4, 1942: Albert Guidi will leave for Italy this week, where he will wed a young lady (names Queenie) whom he knew when he lived in that country.
APRIL 9, 1942: MRS. MINNIE (FRED) GUNN (68) passed away at her home in Sebewa Township, following an illness with which she was seized while in a beauty parlor in Portland the day before. Her maiden name was Minnie Buell and she was born in Portland in June 1873, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Nathan Buell. She was married to Mr. Gunn about 50 years ago and had since been a resident of Sebewa Center. Besides the husband, she is survived by one son, Alton (Bernice Daniels) Gunn, of Sebewa. Funeral services were held at the home, under the charge of Rev. John Bullock, with burial in East Sebewa Cemetery.
APRIL 9, 1942: NELSON J. URIE, a former resident of Portland, passed away in Lansing, following a long illness. Mr. Urie was born in Portland, son of Mr. & Mrs. Bert Urie. Mrs. Marietta Roe of Portland is an aunt and Rueben Graft of Danby is an uncle. Nelson had been a resident of Lansing for the past 30 years, having been employed as a salesman for the Lawrence Baking Company. He is survived by his wife, Lulu; by a daughter, Mrs. Fred Noble of Lansing; by a son, Pvt. Nelson Urie of Ft. Knox, NJ; one grandchild; and a sister, Mrs. John Ward, of Lansing. Funeral in Lansing, burial in Portland Cemetery. (At least part of the Urie family once lived in Sebewa, on the land which includes the Sebewa Township park, called “Sunshine” because Robert Wilfred Gierman’s father, Rob, said it was “Good for nothing but sunshine.”)
NOTICE TO CHICKEN OWNERS: On and after May 1, 1942, it shall be unlawful to allow chickens to run at large in the residential district of the Village of Portland. Published by order of Jay Clark, Village Marshall. (Township Constable, Chief of Police, and Ionia County Deputy Sheriff.) (In 2011, citizens of the township just east of Grand Rapids are debating whether chickens should be allowed to run at will on neighbors’ property; whether they will come home when called; and supposedly whether the value of the eggs will outweigh the nuisance of slipperiness under foot. A limit of four chickens per household has been suggested, but the eggs would not serve many people for breakfast!)
Jimmie McClelland, 7-year-old son of Mr. & Mrs. Russell McCelland, fell while playing in the barn at the home of his grandparents, Mr. & Mrs. Ed Hillis, Sr., and fractured his arm.
Mrs. Fedelia Horner, last surviving chapter member of Portland Women’s Relief Corp passed away. (The W. R. C., an organization providing auxiliary aid to the Union soldiers during the Civil War and in a like manner to the Grand Army of the Republic, G. A. R., the veteran’s organization formed after the Civil War. The Civil War had ended seventy-six years before, when this woman passed on.
APRIL 9, 1912: Russell Waring living near West Sebewa fell from the top of an outside flight of stairs leading to the second story of his granary, as he stepped onto the platform with a basket or corn. He struck his back on a drag harrow and was painfully injured. (The Waring farm was the Joe Schnabel/Brian Pinkston farm.)
The April elections of 1942 had very poor turnout all over Ionia County, with Sebewa returns as follows: Supervisor, William Rosevere, R., 63, Clarence Sayer, D, 47; Clerk, Harry Meyers, D, (unopposed) 76; Treasurer, Elmond Strong, R, 37, Homer Downing, D, 71; Justice, Glenn Olry, R, 46, Alton Gunn, D, 61, Board of Review, Peter Creighton, R, 47, Ernest York, D, 61.
AUGUST 13, 1942: The former Dr. John Toan farm on Maynard Road has been sold to Mr. & Mrs. Val Johnson of Chicago. The place is a nice brick home and (approximately) 90 acres, 15 of which are inside Portland village limits.
UPDATES AND CORRECTIONS: December 24, 1899: Monroe B. Divine of Lakeview, MI, (father of Chester M. Divine) has purchased the Welch House Hotel of Mrs. Mary Wilson of Philadelphia, PA, for consideration of $7,500. John Fraser is to remain as desk clerk. Robert Ramsey was the first to talk over the new State Telephone line, which has a pay station at Hotel Divine. (This item is an update to the cover story on the back of our October 2010 issue, Volume 46 Number 2, which implies direct sale from Welch to Divine.)
From: Grayden D. Slowins, Editor; THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR, 702 Clark Crossing, SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-3300.
Last update January 17, 2013