Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 17 Number 3
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, Bulletin of The Sebewa Association;
Volume 17, December 1981, Number 3. Submitted with written permission of Grayden D. Slowins, Editor:

NAMES OF WWII VETERANS APPEARING ON THE SERVICE BOARD HONOR ROLL, GAR HALL AT SUNFIELD, MI:

In the aftermath of WWII the people of Sunfield erected a service board adjacent to the G. A. R. Hall with a list of names of people who had served in the late war effort. The names were from the Sunfield area and supplied by volunteers. Necessarily the list was incomplete. Recently two names have disappeared and nobody seems to have a record of those names. For the record we list the remaining names.

Richard Krebs, Neil Sutherland, Fred A. Van Antwerp, Earl Holton, Joseph Chemachi, Royal Ritter, Stanley Chemachi, Clair McWhorter, Merwood Reahm, Carl Young, Gerald Brooke, Morrice Sutherland, Wayne Bosworth, Vern Porter, Max Wickham, Maurice Hoover, Dale W. Ackerson, Vance McWhorter, Donald Sipperley, Donald Reese, John H. Stemler, Ray Elliott, Otto W. Barnum, Robert Bishop, Jack S. Smith, Frank Rathbun, Jr., Wendell B. Brown, Robert Sayer, Walter Brown, Lawrence Dean, Burton Daniels, Kenneth Seybold, Eugene McDairmid, Virgil Edgel, Charles Bosworth, Robert Schneckenburger, Loren B. Reed, Robert L. Canfield, Paul R. Lumbert, Carol F. Benedict, Norton Benschoter, Curwood Fleetham, Robert J. Haynor, Maurice Forshey, John H. Sayer, Verle Daniels, Everett McDairmid, Jerry Schray, Richard Lenon, Vernon Hines, Robert Creitz, George W. Lake, George Fleetham, Thomas Cramer, Kenneth Stemler, Philip Park, Lloyd Figg, Elmer H. Creighton, Lawrence Holton, Wesley Meyers, Forest Estep, Jr., Loren Gerlinger, William Bosworth, Charles DeLand, Harold Campbell, Maynard F. Linhart, Crawford Fleetham, Perry J. Welch, Jr., John Peabody, Lyle Shaffer, Arnold Sipperley, Larry Mapes, Oren F. Barnum, Keith Stinchcomb, Arthur Dilley, Clifton Smith, Rolla West, Harold Meyers, Sherman Pranger, Gerald Porter, Fred Marsi, Kenneth Figg, Richard B. Wright, Byron VanBuren, Gerald Knapp, Robert E. Smith, John Nelson, Franklin E. Dean, Chalres Mast, Ervin Lubitz, Carlton Estep, Barnard E. Duffey, Richard Estep, John J. Cain, James Cheal, Bryce Trowbridge, Loyal Dean, Edward Black, Robert Sutherland, Glendon Hynes, Paul Fisher, Gordon Schray, Maurice Joppie, Robert DeLand, Dennis Petrie, Ralph R. Powell, Sidney J. Ball, Walter Joppie, Duane Dean, Harold Ball, Cecil Hynes, Robert E. Forshey, John R. Munoz, Howard Sandborn, Howard Meyers, David Blackmer, Ward C. Malcuit, Kenneth Pranger, Virgil Daniels, Eric A. Rice, Keith Hough, Leo E. Malcuit, Richard Fender, Jack Beebe, Robert Wilson, Russell Frantz, Joseph Sleight, Charles E. Lumbert, Gerald Richard, Lynn O. Lowe, Robert Marsh, Arthur Cramer, Jr., Gus Joppie, William Barkley, Harold F. Green, John Wellman, Clifford VanBuren, Lynn W. Jackson, Elmer VanAntwerp, Lawrence L. Porter, Martha Vangansbeke, Russell Peabody, Don Benschoter, Jr., Lawrence Lowe, Dr. S. P. Huyck, Leo Jones Wies, Paul E. Wilcox, Kendall Dow, Bernard Black, Russell Franks, Bernard Dodge, Jack Wilcox, Richard Black, Harold Figg, Melvin King, Donald Marsh, Nathan Peabody, Robert L. Anderson, Max McWhorter, Jr., Eldon Holton, Jack Fleetham, Billy McDairmid, Richard C. Hamlin, Ray Pranger, Lyle C. Van Mere, Charles Barnum


SURNAMES YEOMANS AND HENDERSON

HENDERSONS - Among Ionia's first settlers in 1833 in the Dexter Colony from Herkimer, New York was Erastus Yeomans and family. Erastus prospered and acquired the title of Judge. He was in a position to hire help in his farming operations.

In 1857 Archie Henderson was an immigrant from Scotland and became one of Judge Yeoman's employees. Mr. Yeomans was so well pleased with Archie Henderson's work that he said to him, "I wish I had another good man like you".

Archie was quick to reply, "I'll write my brother, James, and he will come". James was living at Jedburgh, Scotland near the English border with his family. He accepted this opportunity for a chance to emigrate to the "New World" and came to Ionia in the employ of Mr. Yeomans.

The Yeomans family owned considerable land in the south part of the country as other speculators did. Eventually James Henderson bought a Yeomans' forty located on the northwest corner of Henderson Road and M 66. Later he bought other land nearby. James' daughter, Mary, and son, Archie, spent their long years at the family home just south of Henderson Road on M 66.

Son John married Kate Seybold, sister of John Seybold and they established their household in a log house a half mile west of M 66 on the south side of Henderson Road. Later he bought the farm just south of Archie's where Charles Steward had built the large Italianate house that has long been known as the Henderson home. The lumber for that house whose style was so popular in the late 1800's was white pine hauled from Ionia by horse.

Of John and Kate's six children Mildred Hall and Florence Eckhardt still live in that house and Marian of Lake Odessa and Olive of Battle Creek frequently visit them. The elder Hendersons saw to it that all six of their children completed high school at Lake Odessa at a time when going to high school was not yet considered a necessity for rural children.

At the Bippley rural school they walked with the Rogers girls, Eva Augst (Austin) and the Bippley children. There Florence Yeager, Helen Cheetham, Clyde Battdorf, Minnie Sindlinger, Lydia Sindlinger and Emily Brown were teachers. Lydia Sindlinger was very strict. Once the Bippley School baseball team went to Sebewa Center and played a game. The boys never wanted the girls to play ball so they got a ball club of their own and painted it red. Then they had a girls' team. Once they attended a field meet sponsored by County Superintendent Harvey Lowery and Mr. Angell at Sebewa Center.

At high school Mildred had to stay in town during the week--first with a family by the name of Simmons. The oldest Simmons boy was home from work in a bank in Grand Rapids. Everybody knew that he had tuberculosis. Mrs. Henderson wisely knew that Mildred shouldn't be subject to that exposure and that was when she went to stay at the Frank Reiser home. When Florence was ready for high school James Henderson got the girls a driving horse and buggy and the children drove daily and stayed in town only when the weather was severe.

George Downs was the Superintendent of Schools. LeRoy Steward was principal. A Mr. McCullough was a superintendent later and Clarence Mote was principal. This was before the high school building burned and was replaced by the 1923 building. There were twenty students in the 1915 graduating class.

The driving horse was named "Teddy". Sometimes he would get spooked by the sight of an automobile and turn right around in the road. They drove south to Bippley Road. The next mile south was swampy so they drove straight west to Odessa Center and then south into town. The horse was kept in a barn near the Reisers'. A few oats supplied Teddy at noon. The Rogers girls drove a horse named Bessie. Sometimes they would race to see who could make the trip first.

After high school the girls earned life certificates for teaching by spending two years at the Teachers College at Mt. Pleasant. Mildred taught at Carr, Johnson, Jennings, Clarksville and Halladay schools. Florence taught at Odessa Center, Limerick and Bippley. Olive taught at Lawton and Mason and Marian taught three years at Vicksburg.

Mildred remembers Em Martin driving the stage coach between Woodbury and Ionia. It was not what she thought it should be but rather just a buggy with three seats. Before Rural Free Delivery in 1900 the mail came to West Sebewa and residents around there would go there to pick up their own. John Henderson kept horses, cows, sheep, pigs and chickens. He never raised beef cattle. Eggs and butter brought the trading money for groceries at Jason Peacock's store in Lake Odessa in the location where the bank is now. When John Henderson was no longer able to work the farm, Mildred's husband, Irwin Hall, took over the farm work.

In 1977 Mildred, Florence, Marian and Olive made a trip to England. After seeing some of the British sights they took a bus across the border to Jedborough in Scotland. There they found the farm where their grandfather had lived and worked. No relatives were to be found. End.


HISTORICAL RECORD OF ORANGE CHARGE; LEVALLEY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

After reading the record of the organization and early operation of School Distirict #4, Sebewa in the last issue of THE RECOLLECTOR, William Weisgerber thought that the early history of Orange Charge might also be of interest to our readers. This record is now in the repository of the LeValley United Methodist Church. It gives a glimpse of rural life of 100 years ago. Except for Hashier’s Hollow, most of the locations mentioned are still easily recognized. This account is the first indication I’ve ever seen that Sebewa Corners Methodists were ever connected with Orange Charge. For most of its early history Sebewa Corners Church was part of Danby Charge with the Compton Church. Our thanks go to William Weisberger for making this record available.

“Orange Charge was partially formed in 1866 by a vote of the QUARTERLY CONFERENCE of the then Berlin Charge. During the following two years there was added to the charge the Tuttle Class from Ionia Charge and a class was formed consisting of six appointments with five classes numbered as follows: #1 Orange, #2 Berlin Center, #3 Benedict Schoolhouse, #4 Tuttle Class, #5 Sebewa (Sebewa Corners). During the year 1866-67 revivals were held with good results at classes 1, 2, 3 and 4. The record from which the above is copied does not state who the pastor was.

Rev. A. C. Hovey, 1867-68. We were appointed to Orange circuit in the fall of 1867 and found no parsonage suitable to live in. We immediately took means to build a comfortable house. The contract for the new parsonage was let by the building committee October 15, 1867. The building was completed June 1, 1868. The house and lot were valued at $1,200, the best parsonage property in the district. The present membership is 175. Spiritually the Charge is at a low ebb owing to a large falling off of probationers from the prosperity spoken of by my predecessor as written above and other difficulties culminating this year from difficulties of the past. No probationers were received as per record and the pastor’s name does not appear. These two years seem to be an entire blank.

Rev. B. H. Whitman. In September 1870 Rev. B. H. Whitman was appointed to Orange Circuit. He says we found a good people, a good parsonage with some hens and chickens and other things to welcome us for our comfort. But there was no well. We immediately secured a good well pump and raised means and paid for the same. We held special meetings at the Yellow Schoolhouse with considerable success, the Lord helping us and also at Tuttle’s without any apparent success except that the Church was greatly revived. The year closed with 156 members in full connection.

Rev. B. H. Whitman, September 1871 was returned for a second year. This year several small debts contracted the year before were provided for and paid. Special meetings were held at Berlin Center with little success. In May 1872 a new class was organized at the Riker Schoolhouse and called the Central Orange Class and which we would recommend, he says, to a successor as the most likely place to succeed in revival effort. The year closed very pleasantly to pastor and people.

Rev. T. J. Spencer. For the year 1873-74 there appears no record of history but by references to the record, the copyist, Rev. O. E. Wightman, finds that T. J. Spencer was pastor during this year and that there were received on probation as follows: Berlin Center 15, Orange 16 but a very imperfect record as to how or when Rev. J. A. Phillips. For the years 1874-75 J. A. Phillips, pastor found the charge much in need of churches in which to worship, there being but one, a small one, the gift of Nelson N. Tuttle at Tuttle’s Corners. The parsonage property was in need of repairs but could get no help to repair it as the circuit was opposed to expending more on it, as the location did not suit the majority. Had to lay out $78 of our own money to make parsonage comfortable for winter. Commenced to work up an interest to get it moved. Also to build a church by uniting the Riker and Old Orange Classes. Accordingly a meeting was called and a unanimous vote taken to build. Also arrangements were made to unite the Tuttle and Benedict Classes and build a church. Special meetings were held at the Tuttle Church with good results, 18 or 20 persons being converted. The year closed pleasantly with God’s blessing.

For the year 1875-76, J. A. Phillips, pastor. By unanimous request of the official board and the action of the Bishop, Rev. J. A. Phillips was returned to Orange Charge for the second year. The old parsonage was sold and a new one erected at the LeValley’s Corners. The church at Hall’s Corners (Grand River Ave. and Sunfield Hwy.) was finished and dedicated. A debt of $1,050 was provided for by notes drawing 10% interest. The church at LeValley’s was commenced in May 1876, the walls and roof completed and partly painted at a cost of $2,200. Hall’s Church cost $2,550. Thank God for His preserving and sustaining care.

For the year 1876, Rev. A. J. Wheeler, pastor. For these two years no record is given. During this time, however, 36 were received on probation of which 21 were received into full connection.

In the year of 1879-90 Rev. D. M. Ward, pastor by appointment. I moved with my family to Orange Charge in September 1879. Found a kind, warm hearted people, a good parsonage and two comfortable churches. These all were built during the pastorate of Rev. J. A. Phillips, who died soon after Conference after his third year as pastor on this charge. I found the church in good condition temporally but dull spiritually. During the year my health failed and I had to give up and seek rest under the direction of my physician and with consent of the church and my presiding elder I moved my family to my father’s home in Farmington, Michigan. While there my wife and children had diphtheria. We buried both our precious girls and came back in April, childless. My health some improved and with the Lord’s blessing I have been able to do the regular work of the charge. During the year some improvements were made on the parsonage property in the way of well, pumps and a good bell put in the LeValley Church, altogether costing $160.

Year of 1880-81. Rev. J. H. Thomas, pastor, came to this church in September 1880 and began a canvas of my charge. The LeValley Church had a year of prosperity. Congregations have been large and regular. The Sunday School has been a decided success. The Hall Church has made no progress. Congregations have been sometimes large and sometimes small. The Sunday School is thin, indeed. The means of grace are neglected. Energy and religion are greatly needed in the church. Berlin Center is more hopeful but greatly needs a house of worship. Gorham (North end of Sunfield Hwy.) Class has made some progress with indications of general prosperity. The year closes with indications of general prosperity.

Rev. J. H. Thomas for the year of 1881-82 was returned. November 25, my health has failed and I find it necessary to resign my work at the close of this first quarter. The year has opened very pleasantly and this is to me a great trial and I commit myself to the care of the good and living God.

Rev. J. F. Wallace. In January 1882 Rev. J. F. Wallace, supply. As others have recorded I found a good charge, good churches, a good parsonage and a good people. Special meetings were held at the LeValley Church and at Gorham’s Schoolhouse with some success. The work has been interrupted much by diphtheria and smallpox. I close my work and go to conference and trust God will revive his work in this charge during the coming year.

During the following three years Rev. J. F. Orwick was pastor and did a grand work. Glorious revivals and large additions all over the charge but no historical record has been made.

Record for the year 1885-86. Rev. O. E. Wightman came to this charge in September 1885, found a warm hearted people ready to welcome us to our field of labor. The charge consists of LeValley and Hall churches, Berlin Center and Gorham appointments where there is preaching on Sabbath days and Sebewa Appointment where I am to preach every alternate Wednesday evening, which appointment, however, is kept up somewhat independent of the Charge. I found the membership as follows: LeValley 100, probationers 5; Hall Church 56, probationers 18; Berlin Center 21, probationers 4; Gorham 18. Total membership in full 195, probationers 27. Grand total 222. The spiritual condition of the charge is fine though not up to what it ought to be for the work of soul saving. The church property is in good condition. Parsonage is very comfortable and good. I find Berlin Center greatly in need of a church building in which to worship. In the spring of 1886 we began the erection of a church at Berlin Center, which up to conference time had progressed nicely, being enclosed and partly finished. During the year, revival work was held at Gorham and Berlin with fair results. Eight were received at Gorham and 13 at Berlin on probation.

For the year 1886-87 O. E. Wightman, pastor. The year opened pleasantly. The Berlin church was crowded to completion and dedicated January 2, 1887 free from debt. The appointment remained the same as last year save that Sebewa was discontinued immediately after the dedication of Berlin. Revival work was commenced at the LeValley Church which continued four weeks and resulted in much good to the church while some converted to Christ. Also a series of meetings were held at Berlin with moderate success. During this year repairs to the amount of $50 were made on the parsonage and barn while the churchyard was greatly improved in the line of new conveniences for hitching teams. Congregations were good all through the year while peace and harmony prevailed.

Rev. O. E. Wightman was followed by Rev. F. A. VanDeWalker who remained two years and did good work.

Rev. Brother VanDeWalker was followed by Rev. Albert Smith, who remained a little over one year. Rev. Smith was a good worker and was successful in his labor. Rev. J. Dietrich filled out Rev. Smith’s term. Brother Smith transferred to Grand Rapids.

Rev. John Dobson followed Rev. Dietrich and remained three years. During his stay the church property was greatly improved and a good interest manifested in the charge.

Rev. W. J. Wilson. I was appointed to Orange Charge September 17, 1894 by the Rev. W. F. Malithu at the conference held in Jackson, Michigan. This is my second regular appointment. My first was at Edmore where I remained five years. I found the charge in a fairly prosperous condition.”


SURNAME: YORK

SCHOOLING AT SEBEWA CENTER By Zack York

“The other day I ran across that old poem of John Greenleaf Whittier’s which begins “Still sits the schoolhouse by the road, a ragged begger sleeping”. As I read the rest of his nostalgic and sentimental poem it brought back to me memories of my early school days in a country one-room school. Many times during my sixty odd years spent off and on in a classroom as a scholar, teacher and administrator, I have been grateful that I was born and lived my childhood years on a farm. (“When I was young, people in my neighborhood often referred to the pupils as “scholars” when they spoke of them in the context of academia).

I didn’t know it then, but those were years of transition and change. The machine age was upon us and the world was growing smaller. I have been proud to remind my sophisticated friends and educated colleagues that I am a farm boy and glad to have milked cows by hand, slopped the hogs and taken part in all the things that one does with a team of horses on a small farm.

Life on the farm revolved around the family, the church and the school. I began my formal schooling in the Sebewa Center School, District #4. My first teacher was Lydia Watkins. (She was of the OLD school and very strict). Next came Mamie Williams. (She taught only one year and then married Homer Downing). The next year, because Wilma Hunt (Coe) wasn’t old enough to qualify as a teacher when school started, Kate Howland (Strong) taught for a month. She had taught in town (Sunfield) and brought with her a recognizable urban sophistication, awesome to country kids. Miss Hunt read to us for “opening exercises” and when we misbehaved she had only to threaten not to read to us to bring us “to time”. My last teacher was Mary McCormack. She was easygoing, a reader of the LADIES HOME JOURNAL while the eighth grade conducted the classes and was my introduction to the “child centered”, “open classroom” without a “strong guiding hand”.

Although the belfry is now gone with the tornado of 1967 along with the boys and girls toilets; although the building has had a few changes such as the lowered ceiling and the windows bricked up on the east side in efforts to be a “standard school”; and although the old jacketed stove was replaced by a forced air oil burning furnace and inside toilets have replaced the privies---in spite of all these noticeable changes, the main building of warm yellow and pink bricks remains and the two doors in the south open into the same narrow, dark hall with the center door opening in turn into the one room where I went to school. The room is bare of regimented rows of desks and there is no recitation seat screwed to the floor on the platform at the far end of the room.

I have only to pause to hear the “ping” of the classroom bell and the teacher’s voice commanding, “Turn, rise, pass.” I can see me do just that---turn in my seat with the tilt-top desk; rise and go to the rear of the room; turn right and proceed down the west side aisle to the front of the room; turn right again and march to the recitation seat; turn front and upon command “Be seated” do just that. Upon completion of the recitation period, Teacher said “rise, turn, pass” and we returned to our seats by the outside aisle on the other side of the room to the back of the room and subsequently to our seats.

As most pupils, I can’t remember being taught anything. (I think I knew how to read when I started school); rather I learned by osmosis from listening to the older kids when they were in recitation. The only books we had to read, other than our textbooks, were a motley collection of old books in the “library”---a bookcase with two doors and five shelves of dog eared volumes, the most interesting and exciting of which to me were: Black Beauty, Greek Myths and Legends, and The Rover Boys.

Discipline was the order of the day and in my early years, fear of the teacher was a strong motivating force. I was scared of Lydia Watkins. Big kids told tales of the teacher using a rubber hose, a switch, even a ruler to impress upon the scholars that sass and unruly behavior would not be tolerated. I loved school and I don’t remember many traumatic experiences involving corporal punishment. I do remember hearing Iril Shilton, our neighbor, say that his dad, Old Andrew Shilton, told his kids that if they “got a lickin’ at school, they’d get another when they got home”. I remember thinking that was pretty unjust. Having suffered once at the hands of the teacher, why should one get another thrashing at home?

Recess was not “supervised play”. We just played: pom pom pull away, prisoner’s base (gool-goul-goal?) and circle games like bull in the ring, London Bridge, run sheep run, red light and even duck on the rock. We did play ball, of course, usually work-up. If you were little, you played out on the woodshed side of the schoolhouse where the elm tree was the only stationary base. The big kids used the diamond on the west side of the schoolhouse. We had no playground equipment; balls and bats came from home.

One of the memories that I have of these athletic events was field day sponsored by J. Calvin Linebaugh, County School Superintendent. The schools of the township met in all sorts of athletic competition at our Center school on a nice spring day. There were sack races, relay races, running jumps, broad jumps, the high jump---I can’t remember much else about the field day except that I dreaded it; for I was a little fat boy and not particularly athletic. (I marvel now that I never was nicknamed “Fatty” or “Tubby”. My brother, John, sometimes called me “Swift” but nicknames never caught on and I was always called Zack.)

Sometimes we would play ball at the Johnson School in the spring or early fall. The school board gave us permission to take the afternoon off and although we had already walked a mile or more to school, we didn’t complain when we walked two more miles to the Johnson School; played nine innings of baseball; walked back to the Center and then another mile home. No doting mothers chauffered us about for our extracurricular activities. In the winter we played fox and geese and spent hours sliding on our sleds that we brought from home. Belly flopping down the building grade was the mode. One time we planted a maple tree in the schoolyard on Arbor Day. It wasn’t tied in with any of our school subjects; teacher didn’t call it a field day or a field trip and I know that we scholars didn’t worry much about it being a learning experience.

Another kind of event I remember with mixed feelings was the spelldown. We’d have them occasionally on Friday afternoons. I was pretty good in spelling so I didn’t suffer undue humiliation. But as I look back I think that spelling bees were cruel. I know that slower children must have suffered even at the hands of a sympathetic teacher who gave them easy words to spell. They must have resented that sort of consideration. The suffering felt in failure, not measuring up, or being ostracized was not unknown to many of us, I’m sure. There was often the awful feeling of being the last one picked when choosing up sides for games; there was often the unfortunate kid whose frantic waving of the index finger was ignored by the teacher and consequently he peed his pants; there was always some one singled out by the big boys to pester and plague. I personally experienced some of these unhappy times but for the most part we had lots of fun at school.

It was customary for the school kids to put on the Christmas Program. After preliminary practices in the schoolroom we would go across the road to have a first and last practice at the church. We always held the “Christmas Exercises” at the Church. Nothing could equal the excitement and anticipation of that event. The whole neighborhood came to see the “Christmas Exercises”. The church was always packed. Either the teacher had us stay in the annex, supervised by one of the trusted eighth graders until it was time for our number to be performed or we sat in the front pews of the church, giddy with the anticipation of awaiting our turn. Every one took part in an exercise, a recitation or a song with all eight grades participating. The local preacher usually gave an opening prayer. Just before the arrival of Santa Clause a White Christmas offering was taken up for the Children’s Orphanage at Farmington. The separation of church and school was not as important or as clearly drawn as today.

The Sunday School always saw to it that every child in school and even the little preschoolers, brothers and sisters, got a present. It was always the same---a little box, like a satchel, with a cloth tape handle, filled with popcorn, peanuts in the shell and hard candy. The last number of the program, of course, was the appearance of Santa Claus, who came “Ho, ho, ho”ing down the center aisle from the back of the church. We’d always try to guess who was Santa Claus and it was a real triumph when no one knew who was the masked Saint in that pillow-stuffed red camoric suit trimmed with white muslin “fur”.

I think it was Miss Hunt (Wilma Coe) who used to let us older kids be monitors. We were allowed to leave our seats and answer little kids questions---hard words in reading; how to spell a word; or listen to memorization of the multiplication table or poems for language class. I think it was being a monitor that made me decide to be a teacher. I thought it would be great fun to answer questions and grade papers; I didn’t know then that I was to begin my teaching career in this very schoolroom; but that is another tale.

Before that was to come about there was a whole new life ahead---the awesome experience of high school. We were to leave the secure and familiar world of Sebewa in exchange for a one-room school in Kent county to finish our eighth grade. We moved to Bowne Center where we lived for two years with my mother’s Aunt Blanche Thompson. My sister, Helen, and I finished the eighth grade at Bowne Center school and attended the first year and a half at the high school in Alto. Then midway in our sophomore year it was back to Sebewa to drive nine miles with the Gierman kids to town school at Lake Odessa. Just to think of that unknown was to strike terror to the heart of this little fat farm boy who was now fifteen and weighed 196 pounds.”

 

 

Last update November 16, 2013