THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR Bulletin of the Sebewa Center
FEBRUARY 1994, Volume 29, Number 4.
Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. Slowins:
SANDBORN, BANDFIELD, MILES, VROMAN, VERLINDE, KIRKHAM, ERDMAN, CASSEL,
MULHOLLAND, MILLER, KOON, WILDEBOOR, PETERS, SLOWINS
MERIDITH SANDBORN, 82, widow of Allen Sr, mother of Allen Jr, Patricia, Bruce,
Robert & James, sister of Vivian COE, Marian CROEL & Richard MILES, daughter of
Myrtle BANDFIELD & Charles MILES. They farmed numerous places, including the
LINDSLEY-RISCHOW farm, Charles BROOKS farm, west half William CARBAUGH farm,
Charles CORTNEY-Larry BOWER farm, a farm east of Clarksville, and a farm with
brick house on M-43 near Mulliken. Then he went to work at Ionia prisons and she
served as Easton Township Clerk for about 30 years. Buried in Easton Cemetery.
MAURICE H. VROMAN, 90, widower of Zelma VERLINDE, husband of Jean KIRKHAM,
father of Leo, Albert, Rosamond BALL, George, son of Metchie & Henry VROMAN. See
Volume 29, No. 1, August 1993, for more on VROMAN family. Buried in Portland
GARY LEE ERDMAN, 42, former husband of Jackie Cassel ERDMAN MULHOLLAND, father
of Kylie & Amy ERDMAN, brother of Jody CASSEL, Molly CASSEL, Diane ANTHONY,
Gordon PETRIE, John PETRIE, Bill ERDMAN & Richard ERDMAN, son of Ruth MILLER &
Fred Hugh ERDMAN. Buried in East Sebewa Cemetery.
ERDMAN FAMILY GENEALOGY:
The ERDMAN story begins with Sophie & Christian FREDERICK ERDMAN in Posen, East
Prussia. Their two sons were C. William ERDMAN & Michael F. ERDMAN. C. William
ERDMAN (EARTHMAN) was born in Posen in 1849, married Lottie KOON, and they came
to E1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 19 Danby on Musgrove Hwy. at northwest corner of ERDMAN Road
sometime after 1875. Ruth still owns that land today.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
1. Frederick W.
3. William Jr.
FREDERICK W. ERDMAN married Mary WILDEBOOR.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
Agnes was a teacher at Sebewa High School. She & Lottie never married. Grace
married Farrel DEATSMAN. Fred W. & Mary lived at W1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 30 Danby, on
the south side of Mussgrove Hwy., which became the Russell HALLADAY farm and is
now part of Weldon BROWN farm. Grace and Farrel followed them on this farm.
MICHAEL F. ERDMAN (EARTHMAN) came to Sebewa about 1870 and settled on what was
later known as the William PETRIE farm at E1/2 NE1/4 Sec. 26. He tilled the soil
for his first crop of wheat with a shovel and would have gone barefoot to cut it
with a cradle scythe if neighbors hadn’t warned him of rattlesnakes. He built
the house that still stands on the Petrie farm, and barn that was taken down
just a couple years ago. His wife was Hanna Peters.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
1. Charles ERDMAN – married Viola Mary BLOOD.
2. Sharlotta (Lottie) ERDMAN – married Peter KNAPP.
3. Minnie ERDMAN – married Jacob LUSCHER Jr.
4. Augusta ERDMAN – married her cousin John ERDMAN.
5. John Frederick ERDMAN – married Ada BROWN.
6. Mary ERDMAN – married Melvin PALMER.
7. Rose ERDMAN – married Fred BROWN.
8. Frank Peter ERDMAN – married Florence BORTON, Elizabeth COE & Gertrude DORAN.
9. Lena Mae ERDMAN – married Hayden MARTINDALE.
10. George ERDMAN – married Millie.
MINNIE ERDMAN & JACOB LUSCHER JR. had children:
1. Alma LUSCHER – married Lawrence (Lon) SANDBORN.
2. Nora LUSCHER – married Harry TUSSING.
3. Emma LUSCHER – married Norman GIBBS Jr.
4. Edna LUSCHER – married Bert McNeil, J. Peter LICH, Rob WENGER.
5. Ada LUSCHER – married Johnson & went to Utah with Mormons.
6. Homer LUSCHER – died age 21 unmarried.
7. Walter LUSCHER – died as infant.
8. John LUSCHER – died age 28 unmarried.
AUGUSTA & WILLIAM ERDMAN JR. WERE PARENTS OF:
They also went west to Utah with the Mormons.
ROSE & FRED BROWN lived at W1/2 SE1/4 Sec. 19 Danby, where Howard SANDBORN lives
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
GEORGE & MILLIE ERDMAN lived on south side of Musgrove at W1/2 NW1/4 Sec. 29
Danby, now part of Weldon BROWN farm also, buildings gone now. Later they lived
on Ionia Road in Portland Township, just west of Maurice VROMAN.
1. Mae LaBARGE
1. Jean – married Lawrence PEABODY.
FRANK PETER ERDMAN & FLORENCE lived on north east corner of ERDMAN Road &
Musgrove Hwy. at S3/4 W1/2 W1/2 Sec. 20 Danby.
THEIR CHILDREN WERE:
1. Flora ERDMAN – married James DILLEY & still living past 90.
2. Fred ERDMAN – died young.
3. Floyd Erdman – married Lillian GETTINGS, Ethel LOVE & Cecil GOODEMOOT.
FLOYD ERDMAN’S CHILD WITH LILLIAN WAS:
FLOYD ERDMAN’S CHILDREN WITH CECIL WERE:
5. Frederick Hugh
They lived on the C. William ERDMAN farm on west side of road. Frederick HUGH
followed on same farm
FREDERICK HUGH ERDMAN’S SON WAS:
NEW ZEALAND conclusion by Grayden Slowins:
Fly-fishermen are trying for trout on a stream entering Lake Taupo. Brown &
rainbow trout were imported from California in 1884. Radial pine & Australian
Blue Gum trees, which were used to manufacture photo-copy paper. Lots of
brand-new lambs, not licked off yet, on flats by the lake. In the distance it is
snowing in the Kaimanawa mountains and a sign says “Desert Road Closed”. We will
take the windy road instead. We see some very pregnant Romneys. Freshly worked
ground for potatoes and freshly dug carrots. English Leicester sheep with long
stringy wool over their eyes like a Lincoln, not clean face & Roman nose like a
Border Leicester. Ohakune has a carrot statue to its main product here on the
mountain plateau. We drive thru sleet at 3600 ft above sea level, and see a 2500
acre sheep farm in Rengitiki Province.
To Nelson for the night. Nelson is named for Lord Nelson, a navigator; Lord
Rutherford, splitter of the atom & inventor of fluorescent light was born here.
Sawmills here for shipping squared logs to Japan. Also meat processing plant. We
see Kiwi-fruit, developed by hybridizing Chinese Gooseberry. Fruit is high in
vitamin C, skins are fed to cattle & sheep in winter. An Allis-Chalmers WD
tractor. First trench silo we have seen, no upright silos.
Wednesday, September 8, sheep on the flats, sheep on the hills, sheep
everywhere, a shepherd’s dream tour! Daffodils grow wild in the sheep pastures.
Hope river valley contains Little Hope, Big Hope, Some Hope & No Hope
Rivers……Too wet for sheep along the west coast of South Island, so dairy & deer
& water buffalo……
We do see lots of Jersey & Ayrshire dairy cattle, and outdoor milking parlor on
the flats by Tasman Sea……The area is subtropical forest due to the rains, yet
not humid. It rains a little every day, so they can’t make hay, but some silage
in plastic bags for cattle, never for sheep.
We head inland up the Haast River Valley to the plateau……Here they have imported
Merino sheep from Australia to live on the dry hill pastures. This time of the
year they are down in the valley along Lake Wanaka to have their lambs. We
travel for miles & miles along beautiful Lake Wanaka. Apricot blossoms, peach,
pear, nectarine orchards & grape vineyards. Little lambs blossoming everywhere.
Some ewes are getting hay. At Roaring Meg Power Station we cross the 45th
Parallel South, equivalent to Gaylord, MI, in northern latitudes……
At dusk we ride on cruise ship Earnslaw across the lake past mountain range
called The Remarkables, to Walter Peak Sheep Station. Walter Peak is a mountain,
not a man. The sheep station, formerly owned by the McKenzie family, has 64,000
acres and 28,000 sheep. Marinos are raised on the mountains for their fine wool.
Corriedales are raised on the flatlands for nice lambs. After dinner at the
sheep station, we enjoy a nighttime cruise back to Queenstown and a walk on the
docks back to our luxurious hotel.
Sunday, September 12, out of town past small town called Frankton on a
peninsula, where a few lambs are just born this morning. This is Southland
Province and the English Down breeds such as Dorset & Suffolk are common here.
Shepherds are out with their pickups checking on lambing. Elk farms. Kingston is
settled by Irish miners……Athol is a town settled by Scottish shepherds, like
Athol McNeil of Sebewa, I suspect.
These sheep have many more twins than the breeds raised in other parts of the
country and shepherds check them carefully. They can be walked up to when
freshly lambed. Problem cases can be located & taken to a shed. It appears to be
the first day of lambing season. Good grass pasture & turnips. Very flat &
fertile land. More hay & tool sheds here. Some lambs all black, some with black
feet & head. Intensive care here, not on-their-own like range sheep. Mossburn is
another town settled by Scottish shepherds. Then we see some Tussock grass which
grows as a weed and must be closely grazed & clipped, because plowing or burning
will not destroy it. In 1904 President Theodore Roosevelt gave deer to New
Zealand and today there are 2700 deer farms for meat & hides……
New Zealand has correspondence courses in agriculture thru the Ag College at
Hamilton in North Island. Students have a ten-year apprenticeship with annual
three-week study on campus. After passing the exams and acquiring $80,000, 200
sheep or 100 cattle & necessary machinery, their name goes in a lottery to
purchase 1000 acres sheep land or 200 acres dairy at reduced prices. The large
government-owned sheep stations are being split up to do this……
We pass Blackmouth forest……cross Waiau River to Tautapere. Sheep are pasturing
turnips. A shepherd is helping twin lambs in process of birthing. The pasture
fields are smaller here on the flatlands, 20-40 acres in size, with larger
fields on the hills behind for summer pasture. Large ducks are Paradise Ducks,
and the white-headed one is the male. At Tautapere the town lots of one or two
acres have a few sheep pasturing among the daffodils. Town had largest sausage
factory in New Zealand. Also a sawmill with lumber banded on shipping skids.
We pass by Foveaux Strait……….Invercargill is the sixth-largest city in New
Zealand and southernmost in United Kingdom……Bluff Harbor is famous for Bluff
oysters……Mataura has a paper recycling mill……Mosgiel has a woolen mill and a
Ferguson tractor dealership……Pacific Ocean……Dunedin……Palmerston……Waitaki dam &
power station……Cook Strait………we see sheep mowing in the cemetery and a gren
Deutz-Allis farm tractor……Merino sheep again create a traffic jam……Tekapo River
Valley……The flat sheep pastures suddenly change to “a little bit rolling!” Then
flat again as we enter Geraldine, formerly called Fitzgerald. They raised flax
for linen here until end of WWII, now garden crops, grain & sheep. We bought a
Swiss Army Knife made by our cousins, the Wengers, of Delemont, Switzerland,
Confederation of Helvetica. We also purchased one in Wengen, Switzerland in
We are crossing the Canterbury Plains, famous for Canterbury Lambs. The land is
flat & irrigated and the lambs have spotted faces, indicating they are crossbred
with meat sires. Farmers are preparing to plant the rich soil to spring wheat,
barley & oats…….
New Zealand’s two islands have about the same land area as Michigan’s two
peninsulas, a total length over 1000 miles (Michigan’s is 600), 3 million
population (Michigan’s is 9 million), and 60 million sheep!
We leave Christchurch on Quantas Flight 46 at 6:00 PM, Wednesday, September 15,
arriving back in Sydney at 7:15 PM……
We depart from Los Angeles on Northwest Flight 338, a DC-10……arrive in
Detroit,,,,,Actual flying time on return trip is 17 hours 45 minutes compared to
20 hours 55 minutes going over. Only a handful of people on this milk run and we
can follow our path all the way, mostly along I-96. We spot U of M stadium & Ann
Arbor, Lansing, Eagle, Bruce WALKINGTON’S big dairy barn & blue silos, and then
quickly looking back we see our Sebewa Sheep Farm!