THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR, Bulletin of The Sebewa
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.”
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.”