Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 10 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,
February 1975, Volume 10, Number 4; submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. Slowins:

 

A TOMBSTONE FOR WECK

          Some who contributed toward a memorial stone for Welcome “Weck” Lumbert a couple years back may have wondered what ever became of their money.  At last we can report that the stone marker has been delivered and is ready to be set.  Inasmuch as we are 30 years late with the marker, what could be more appropriate than a marking of the grave by the author of THE EAGLE SCREAMS with a little ceremony?

          Right now I’m proposing to include in the concrete foundation for the marker a sealed glass jug with a copy of THE EAGLE SCREAMS and any other memento that anyone would like to cram into the jug.  We’ll set the date as Saturday, May 10, 1975 at the East Sebewa Cemetery at 1 P.M.  Come with your coins, stamps, notes and trinkets and we’ll plant a surprise for the ghouls of whatever century that it is decided cemeteries are old-fashioned and should be used for some other purpose.


ONE UP AND ONE DOWN

          Add a little time and the scene changes.  LaVern Carr has recently erected a large pole frame tool shed on what used to be the Joshua-Fred-Alton Gunn farm at Sebewa Center.  The building is located just east of the old barn on the south side of Bippley Road.  Last month fire took down the building that John Joynt built around 1920 as a combination garage and granary.  All that is left is some blackened ruins.  The tool shed that John built to the north of the barn remains but looking a little out of place with the contemporary large pole buildings.  If your memory recalls the mile south of the Center as Lovers Lane, banish the thought!  It is now as open as a western prairie.


ANOTHER OPENING FOR OUR SCHOOLHOUSE FEBRUARY 25.

          An election is scheduled to be held February 25 as a referendum on the Ionia County zoning ordinance and the Sebewa Center schoolhouse will again serve as precinct number 2.  For Sebewa it becomes a question of accepting the urban spill-over helter skelter or have some regulation in any change in the use of land from agricultural to other purposes.


THE GREAT GRANDCHILDREN TAKE OVER

          The Iril Shilton farm has been sold to Mr. and Mrs. J. W. “Bill” and Patty Weller, who will soon move onto the place.  Pattie is Iril’s granddaughter as a daughter of Margaret (Shilton) Ackerson.  Their two children thus are great great grandchildren of Andrew Shilton, who bought the farm in the 1890’s.  The farm is well on its way to becoming a Centennial Farm.

          Another old-time name is the new man of the house where Hugh Showerman used to live.  It is James Cassel, son of Joe, son of Frank, son of James Cassel.  This is the house where Mr. and Mrs. Elon Moyer have lived for several years.  They recently moved to Odessa Township.  Their daughter, Emma, lives at the old Joe Ralston place, Shilton Road at Musgrove Highway.  Going up that family line, many will remember Leon Moyer as living at Sebewa Corners and later at Eagle when he canvassed the neighborhood as the Moorman’s Mineral feed additive salesman.

          Another old-time name is the new man of the house where Hugh Showerman used to live.  It is James Cassel, son of Joe, son of Frank, son of James Cassel.  This is the house where Mr. and Mrs. Elon Moyer have lived for several years.  They recently moved to Odessa Township.  Their daughter, Emma, lives at the old Joe Ralston place, Shilton Road at Musgrove Highway.  Going up that family line, many will remember Leon Moyer as living at Sebewa Corners and later at Eagle when he canvassed the neighborhood as the Moorman’s Mineral feed additive salesman.


BOSTON ANYBODY?  A bus trip to the historic sites of the Boston area is being planned by Mrs. Greta Firster of Vermontville for 6 days following April 26.  If you are interested in such a trip at a very reasonable expense, call Mrs. Fister promptly.


SUNFIELD HISTORICAL SOCIETY MEETING AND YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND.

          The Sunfield Historical Society will have its February meeting in the biology room at the Lakewood High School on Tuesday the 18th at 8 P.M.  Douglass Schmuck, the Lakewood biology instructor, will present a program about the several Indian cultures prior to the Indians the first white settlers know.  If you have a collection of Indian artifacts of points, drills and arrowheads, Doug will be glad to sort them out as to the probable time they were used.  Use the north entrance to the building and you will enter near the biology room.


A LETTER FROM WAY UP IN WISCONSIN

          New Auburn, Wisconsin, 1-14-75     I received the SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR from June 1974, as a gift membership from Miss Frances Shepard.  I was thrilled with the census and other items found in your little magazine and I’m now anxious to find out what I’ve been missing.  Would you please send me the back issues for the 9 years?  My money order is enclosed.

          I am not sure how the Sebewa Township Gunns will connect up or if they will at all to my family, but it’s very important to trace their origin.  My direct line came from Ashtabula County, Ohio to Eaton County, Michigan before 1860.  My great-grandfather was Alonson Gunn, who bought land and settled in Chester Township, Eaton County.  He died in the Civil War and his wife, Anna (Cone) Guan died December 16, 1862, 9 days before the death of Alanson.  Their children were:  Adelbert Gunn born November 10, 1853; Joshua Gunn born August 4, 1856; Oren J. (called Joe) Gunn born June 9, 1862 and died November 18 1872 at Chester.

          After the death of their parents, Noble Gunn was appointed guardian until about 1870 when their uncle, Seth Gunn, was their guardian.  Noble Gunn, I’m sure, was the father of Alonson and Seth.  The 1860 census of Chester Township shows Alonson and Noble living next to each other.  There are many descendants of Westrull W. Gunn found in neighboring counties.  Westrull was a brother to Noble.

          It is very probable that Noble had other children besides Alonson and Seth.  I am most interested in corresponding with anyone interested in the Gunn genealogies and will gladly share any information that I have relating to their emigrant ancestor and assisting in their searching.  I am trying to locate the graves of Noble and his wife, Esther, and also the grave of my great grandmother, Anna (Cone) Gunn.  I have been unable to pick up any leads on my grandfather Adelbert’s two brothers or their descendants.  I would welcome correspondence from anyone interested in searching the Gunn family.

                                                  Mildred (Gunn) Hanson

                                                  Box 320, New Auburn, WI  54757


TYPING TROUBLES

           Like the spring breakup of the roads, something has gone wrong with our stencils this time; whether it be a poor batch of stencils, the wrong quality pads, the winter atmosphere of a new bite in the teeth of the aging typewriter is not readily apparent.  Before another issue of the Recollector we hope to isolate the trouble and get away from so many over punched letters (???) and hope that despite the extra black spots we may still be legible this time.


           THE OKEMOS story used this time does not tally in every respect with those we have had previously—take your choice.

          DEATH AND BURIAL OF CHIEF OKEMOS VIVIDLY DESCRIBED

          Refused Whiskey Because He Wanted to Enter Presence of Great Chief in Possession of Faculties.  From PORTLAND REVIEW  3-26-22

          Hall J. Ingalls, the man who superintended the burial of old Chief Okemos, says the boulder placed in his memory by the D. A. R. a few weeks ago rests on the exact spot where the famous Indian was laid away, contrary to a statement recently printed in the REVIEW.

          “I ought to know, for I put him there myself” was his terse comment.

          Mr. Ingalls recalls the incident surrounding the death and burial in detail.  He and Al Nichols were rushing work on the Indian schoolhouse, on the reservation known as “Shim-Ne-Con”.  It was near the Chief’s home and he walked over every day for a chat.  One day he failed to come and an Indian told Mr. Ingalls the Chief was ill.  That night he visited Okemos’ home.

          “Are you sick?” he asked the Chief in the Indian language.  The old man shook his head in the negative.  “Not sick; just tired”, in the language they both understood so well.

          Whiskey was commonly used both as a medicine and a beverage those days.

“Want whiskey?” Mr. Ingalls inquired.  There was another shake of the head.  We go to Happy Hunting Grounds like Okemos—not like whiskey makes him” was the reply.

          This remark should be perpetuated in history by the present generation, which frowns on hard liquor.  The dying chief had known the taste of fire-water and observed its effects.  In his cups he was not Okemos.  He wanted to enter the presence of the Great White Father with his faculties unimpaired.  Yet they say he was a pagan and as such he was buried in what was known as the heathen cemetery.  Some of the Indians had been converted to the Christian religion and as they were called, were laid away like the palefaces, in a cemetery of their own.  No pagan presence desecrated the silent settlement---not even a dead one.

          Next day there was again the sound of hammer and saw.  The men were at work on the schoolhouse.  The sounds reached the cabin where the chieftain slept.  Gradually they grew fainter and then seemed to cease entirely, for they fell upon deaf ears.  Old Okemos had come to the end of the long, long trail.

          The news of his death was brought to Mr. Ingalls.  Because he had laid away many of the tribe, he was called upon to bury the Chief.

          The grave the Indians dug was larger than usual for it had to hold the personal effects of the Chief as well.  It was four feet deep, seven feet long and four wide.  Mr. Ingalls had the Indians gather bark.  A floor was laid on the bottom and the grave was also sided up with bark.

          It was so close to the hut where the remains were lying that but few steps were required.  The body was lowered and then covered with blankets.  Blankets were placed under the head so that the August sun, almost to the western horizon, fell full upon the face.  At the Chief’s right were his two guns.  At his left his tomahawks, scalping knives and other personal effects were placed and over the whole went another blanket as a shroud.  Bark was then laid over the whole and the grave filled with earth.

        Fires were started on both sides of the mound, fed by sassafras wood and they were kept burning for three days and three nights.  By night they sent forth a greenish glow and no doubt served well the purpose for which they were intended, that of frightening away the evil spirits.

     Three years later, Mr. Ingall’s brother, George, living close by, heard a noise in the night and peering in the direction of the grave, saw the flickering of lanterns.  The story that many valuables had been buried with the chief had gone the rounds.  George crept out of his home and made a stealthy advance through the underbrush.  When he was within a few feet of the grave robbers he let out an unearthly yell.  Three men were seen to run from the spot as rapidly as their legs would carry them.  The men left their shovels and picks as well as their lanterns.  Next day they visited the vicinity.

          “I don’t know whether you are the man who tried to rob this grave or not, but the shovels and lanterns are over there,” George said, pointing in the direction of a clump of bushes.  “If they are gone when I come back, I shall know they belonged to you.  I ought to scalp you on the spot, but never dare to set foot upon this spot again”, he warned.

          When he next visited the pagan burying ground the tools were not there.  Hall Ingalls know the identity of the men, but as some are still living and have probably many times repented, he is helping them keep their secret.

          The Ingalls brothers, to guard against another such attempt, collected a large number of stones and placed them in the hole where the ghouls had dug.  They are still there and this is how it came about that when the women of the county came to mark the historic spot, Hall Ingalls led them immediately to it.

          “The boulder is directly over Chief Okomos’ head” he says and he is the only man who knows.


 OLD TIME ENTERTAINMENT

          December 24, 1879.  Mr. Delos Staples will exhibit at Holmes’ hotel (Sebewa Corners) tonight the most remarkable case of vivisection on record—the “headless rooster”.  We are told that this is the genuine thing—no humbug—and that for a small sum of 10 cents anyone can find it out to be so for himself.  That is all the handbills claim, there can be no doubt. 

          January 7, 1880.  Last week we forgot to mention the ignominious death by freezing of the great and only headless rooster that was to have been exhibited at the Holmes Hotel.


TOWNSHIP OFFICERS

The Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society has requested information from the various local governments of Ionia County to enable them to include Ionia County in their series about the various countries of Michigan.  As we have completed a listing for Sebewa Township, we include part of that effort here.

 

OFFICE OF SUPERVISOR:

Benjamin D. Weld  1845, 47-58, 1853-54,  

William Hogle 1846.

Rufus Goddard       1849-50, 

William Packard  1851, 

Hiram Trin  1852,

Charles Ingalls  1855-56,

Cyril Carpenter  1857,

Aretus Howland  1858,

Isaac Brotz  1859-62, 69, 83,

Daniel W. Goddard  1863-66, 70, 80,

Lucius E. Showerman  1871-72, 74-75,

John Waring   1873

Andrew M. Ralston  1876-77

Watson Merchant    1882, 84-89, 91

Riley N. Wilson  1890

Orlando V. Sherman  1892

C. L. Halladay   1893-94

John M. Bradley  1895-96

Adam Fender  1897-1917

Samuel Kauffman  1918-20

Fred Bulling   1922-28

William Reseveare  1929-43

Charles J.  McNeil  1949-74

 

OFFICE OF CLERK

William Hogle   1845

John C. Smith   1846

William Packard   1847-48

Albert Thompson   1849

Elkanah Drake   1850

Chauncy Lott   1851-52

Elihu Halladay   1853-57

Elkanah Carpenter  1858-59

Ephrain Probasco   1861-62

George Baldwin   1862

C. L. Halladay   1863-66, 69, 80

Ephrain Shay   1867-68

R. P. Baldwin   1862

J. H. McClelland   1871-79, 83-89, 1894, 96

Watson Merchant  1881

Oren (N. or W?) Daniels   1882

George E. Waring   1890-91

W. A. McClelland  1892-3

Frank Showerman   1897-1900

Wm. Troub   1898-99

Samuel Kauffman   1901-06

 Geo. A. Goodemoot   1907-08

Fred Sindlinger   1909

E. J. Downing   1910-12

Archie Meyers   1913-16

Harry Gibson   1817-18

Ross Tran   1919-28

Robert E. Gierman   1929-32

Harry Meyers   1933-43

Walter Luscher   1945

Wilbur E. Gierman  1947-49

George Petrie   1951-59

Clyde Avery   1959-66

Grayden Slowins   1968-74

 

DEPUTY CLERK

Bertha Avery   1963-66

Ann Slowins   1968-74

 

TREASURER

John F. Tirrell   1846

Edward Sandborn   1849

George W. Dickinson   1848

Eleazer Brown   1850

Samuel Carpenter   1851

John Olry   1852, 59

David Griffin   1853-54

Lucius E. Showerman   1856, 60, 62, 67, 1869-70, 1884

Oren Stebbins  1857

Major Brown   1858

Cyril Carpenter   1861

William Estep   1863

John W. Stone   1865-65

Lafayette Stimson   1866

Joshua Gunn   1871-72

Andrew M. Ralston   1873-75, 80, 85

Josiah Smith   1876-77

Christian Sindlinger   1878-79, 81

Orlando Showerman  1882-83, 86, 89

 

TREASURER Continued

William J. Ramsey   1887-88, 90-91

Henry P. Young   1892

George E. Waring   1895, 98, 1901

Oren W. Daniels   1896

Marvin E. Kenyon   1897-99

Jacob Sayer   1900

Frank J. Showerman   1902-03, 05-06, 1909-1910

J. Snow Peabody   1904

Samuel L. Kauffman   1906-08, 15-16

William F. Sayer   1913

William H. Howland   1917

Harry York   1919-20

Cora Showerman   1921-23, 33-34

Wm. Reseveare    1924

Isaac Johnson   1925-26

Victor Wilson   1927-28

Ross Tran     1929-30

Hugh Showerman   1931-32

Carl F. Gierman  1935-38

Homer Downing   1939-42

Charles J. McNeil   1943-45

Roy Pumfrey   1847

Ernest J. Frantz   1949-51

Walter Hunt   1953-61

Dennis Petrie   1963-64

Hazel Fender   1965-74

 

HIGHWAY COMISSIONER

John Maxin   1845

Rufus Goddard   1845

Eleazer Brown   1845

John F. Tirrell   1846

Jacob Showerman   1846

Oran Merchant   1846-47, 1853

William Packard   1847, 1852

Andrew L. Estes   1847

John C. Smith   1848

Lillian Reeder  1849

Pierce G. Cook   1850

John Estep   1851, 1855

Cyril Carpenter   1853

Noah Tryon Jr.   1854

Perry Trim   1856

Josiah C. Clark   1857-1858

Saloman Hess   1857-1867-69

Daniel W. Goddard   1858-59

Horace Lyford     1859

Christian Sindlinger  1860

Oren Stebbins   1860

Addison Rice   1861, 1866

Lucius E. Showerman   1862

H. F. Green   1862

H. C. Carpenter  1863

Charles O. Stone   1863-64

Francis M. Brown   1863

Thomas Steele   1864, 1867

John W. Stone   1865

Theodore Gunn   1868-69

John (?)aring    1868-72

Josiah Smith  1868

J. H. Lapo   1869, 71, 83

G. C. Ayers   1869, 71

Isaac Bretz   1871

James H. Creighton   1872, 82, 89

Orlando V. Showerman   1873

John G. Snyder   1875-76

L. A. Glazier   1879-81

Oscar Whorley   1884

Allen B. Lippincott   1886

Henry Young   1887-88

Ancel C. Green   1890

Geo. A. Goodemoot   1891

Thomas H. Reed  1897

Oscar B. Socksten  1898-99

William F. Sayer   1900-01

Charles Hogmire   1902

Richard Bickle  1903-04m 24-36

Henry Whorley   1905-90m k 2-22

Buell Austin   1910

Barney Oatley   1912

Edwin Leak   1921-22

Fred Gunn   1925

 

DRAIN COMMISIONER

Webster Goddard   1873

P. G. Cook   1874

D. B. Soule  1874

William Estep  1874

George Young  1876

Elijah Leak   1877

Marshall Peabody  1878

S. M. Severance  1879

Adam Stout    1881

Luke Cook   1882

Oscar Whorley   1882

Gideon Stinchcomb   1883

Columbus Sandborn   1885

William A. Washburn   1886

Marvin Kenyon   1888

Bowers Peabody    1890


NEWS OF ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO

     By 1875 the PORTLAND OBSERVER had begun to reach out to the rural areas and began publishing many local items from the communities around it.  For 1875 we have a number of items concerning Sebewa people and the things related to them. 

SEBEWA, January 5, 1875.  There was a grand rally at Sebewa Hall Christmas eve, for the first time to witness Santa Claus with his snow-white whiskers, loaded down with candy and toys for the children, and to assist in distributing the nice and costly presents that hung bountifully on the branches of the nice and costly presents that hung beautifully on the branches of the well selected evergreen, illuminated with many tapers, clothed with red, white and blue, mad it delightful to the eye; and the well selected music and singing, with speeches and dialogues, and the many beautiful and valuable presents made it cheering to the hearty of all, both parents and children.

     No less than three hundred people were present, but owing to the hall being small, many were compelled to return to their homes without hearing part or share or even getting a glimpse of the grandieur prepared by a tasteful committee.  We are very sorry so many were disappointed, that our room is so small, but shall live in hopes that before another Christmas eve we shall have ample room to accommodate all that may come, and may it be a Merry Christmas.  O. W. K. (O. W. Kirby) 

Benjamin Weld died at the age of 62. 

SEBEWA, January 26, 1875.  Prof. Ira Guilford of Grand Ledge, Michigan has just ended his course of lectures on phrenology at this place. 

SEBEWA, March 2, 1875.  Mr. John was largely interested in the recent smashup, having two carloads of cattle, from which he saved but sixteen. 

PORTLAND, March 2, 1875.  If we had a boy and wanted to make a sure thing on having him become a proficient roudy, we would send him to the University at Ann Arbor. 

It is said that a young boy living near this village employs his spare time in making counterfeit five cent pieces, which he distributes among his playmates and some of them find their way into circulation.  This is dangerous business and our young friend had better quit it. 

Death came on the 27 ult. At Green Bay, Wisconsin to Jonathan Ingalls, a brother of Mrs. – Sawyer of this village and Chas. W. Ingalls, formerly of Danby.  Mr. Ingalls was born in New Hampshire, January 23, 1804 and was therefore 71 years of age.  Mr. Ingalls stopped at Maj. Sawyer’s in this village in the winter of 1872-73.  (This Jonathan Ingalls would have been a son to the Revolutionary War soldier, Jonathan Ingalls whose grave marker is on Keefer Highway in Sebewa Township.  

There was one grasshopper sufferer who didn’t propose to stay in the doomed country and beg.  He arrived at Saginaw a few days ago, having walked all the way from Nebraska. 

The Otisco Grange has collected and forwarded $85.00 for the benefit of western sufferers from the grass hopper. 

A letter from Mr. Stephen Bunker of Kansas—formerly of Portland—was received by some of his friends last week stating that his family was in need of temporary relief.  A subscription was taken up for his benefit and also the proceeds of the Universalist social were sent to him. 

The Ionia people are going to send a carload of supplies to the Kansas sufferers. 

PORTLAND.  The entire proceeds of the next Band Hop, which comes off Friday evening of this week, will be sent to the grasshopper sufferers.  March 23, 1875. 

March 30, 1875.  The whole county is wild about spelling matches.  One next week Wednesday at the M. E. Church.  A copy of Webster’s unabridged Dictionary to the person who spells the school down. 

April 13, 1875.  A few mornings since, we are informed, Mr. D. W. Goddard, of Sunfield (Sebewa), for many years supervisor of that town, arose, and upon going to the door, found a blanket containing a girl baby about three days old.  Not wanting to adopt the young hopeful, he took it to the poorhouse at Ionia, but as infants are not admitted to that institution while so young, the little stranger was taken back and will probably find a home with Mr. Goddard’s family for the present.  It is not known who is the mother of the child. 

April 20, 1875.  Married, Johnson-Parmeter at the residence of the bride’s parents in Sebewa April 1, 1875 by Rev. D. Moyers, Mr. Chauncy L. Johns of Muir and Miss Elizabeth S. Parmeter of Sebewa. 

Portland’s population is 1875, 2,000 inhabitants. 

A plowing match is to come off on the farm of W. Hays, in the township of North Plains May 1. 

PORTLAND, April 27, 1875.  Died in this village on the 22 inst., Benj. R. Probasco aged 22 years, 7 months and 6 days. 

Four thousand dollars a year is $10.96 a day, Sundays included, and that’s what the new superintendent of the D. L. & L. H. Railroad gets. 

PORTLAND.  We are informed that the mother of Martin Van Buren Terrill (Sebewa’s first white baby, in this township, a lady of nearly eighty years old, who has had a “gum it” several years, is being blessed with a new set of natural tooth, having already cut six within a short time. 

The Ionians got ashamed to spell before folks and now have masked spelling schools, where people can go, miss and clear out without being known. 

Portland may justly feel proud of its cornet band as they appear in their new $300.00 uniforms. 

June 29, 1875.  Four hundred people went from this place to see Barnum’s show at Lansing, last Saturday.  They came back better satisfied than ever that Barnum knows how to humbug the people. 

From THE PORTLAND OBSERVER of July 3, 1877

             On Thursday, last, Mr. Charles Hastings, living on section ten in Sebewa, while logging off a fallen discovered at the side of a large ash stump a hollow piece of iron, the end of which had been exposed about two inches by the burning of the leaves and rubbish around the stump.  Mr. Hastings, not knowing what it was, took hold of it and tried to pull it up, but was unable to do so.

              He then dug down by the side of the stump and found it to be the barrel of a gun and that it was firmly imbedded in the main roots of the stump, which had grown around it.  The stump was about twenty inches through, and the gun was very near the heart.  Mr. Hastings took an axe and by dint of considerable hard chopping cut the gun out.

           The breech of the gun was about six inches underground on the opposite side of the stump.  In getting it out the barrel was broken in two near the center, where it had become very much rusted.  Mr. Hastings brought the curiosity to this village on Saturday, where it attracted a great deal of attention.

          The only means of estimating the length of time it had been there was by counting the circles in the grain of the wood from the outside to the gun, which Mr. Hastings and others did, giving the number as 144, indicating at least 144 years had rolled around since the gun had been left at the tree when it must have been a very small sapling.

          The gun barrel, to which a portion of the stump adheres, is about two feet longer than the modern shotgun, is “Weight square” at the breech, large smooth  bore, and resembles an old-fashioned French flintlock fowling-piece.  Neither the lock or any traces of the stock had been found, though a careful search will be made for them.  There are various opinions as to the length of time that has elapsed since the gun was left at the tree, but as we said before, the only basis of calculation is from the position it occupied in the tree.

          Occupying a horizontal position, about six inches below the surface of the ground, and almost directly through the center of the tree, with ends protruding on either side, it is evident that it must have been dropped there before the tree took root or while it was very small, as it was within an inch and had half of its heart and the growth of the tree shows a century and a half to have elapsed since the tree began encircling the gun.  It is a very interesting curiosity, and will doubtless sooner or later, find its way to one of our public museums. 

AGAIN on December 6, 1882—AN OLD RELIC

          There is now in the museum at Lansing an old relic in the form of a rifle barrel that has doubtless lain in the Territory for more than a century.  It was found imbedded in the center of a little white ash tree down among the roots.  It is about four and a half feet long and it was about six inches below the ground in the tree, which was about eighteen inches in diameter, had grown right on the center of it and one small root had grown under one end and raised it up above the ground so as to be visible.

          And as there was no trace of a lock or stock, it is supposed that the unfortunate owner had been attacked by wild beasts and after discharging his gun he used it as a club, thus broken of the stock and perhaps lost it some distance from where the barrel was found.

          It was an old piece with a large bore and creased and had been a flintlock, it being long barreled, both ends being stuck out, the tree having grown on the center of it.  Both sights are on it, the front sight is brass while the other is copper.  It was found on the Charles Hastings farm in the territory and judging from the position in which it lay, and the size of the tree, it must have lain there for more than a century.  APACHE  December 6, 1882.


A NOTE OF EXPLANATION

Charles Hastings owned the land that later belonged to Harry York at the corner of Henderson and Shilton Roads—a square 40 acres in the S. E. corner of section 9 and another in the S.W. corner of section 10.  There was a log house and log barn on the west side of the road.  APACHE was the pen name used by Delos Staples in writing his TERRITORY items.  The Territory seemed to comprise the area around the east end of “Wall Street” now called Henderson Road. 

A few years ago I inquired at the State Museum on North Washington Street in Lansing and found the “Old Relic” or “Curiosity” stored in the basement of the museum.  The gun barrel was still inbedded in the chunk of white ash as Charles Hastings had hacked it out of the tree nearly 100 years ago.   R(?)G    


 FROM:  The Sebewa Recollector, Robert W. Gierman, Editor, R 1, Portland, Michigan  48875

 

Last update August 21, 2014