Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 30 Number 5
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;
APRIL 1995, Volume 30, Number 5. Submitted with written permission of Editor Grayden D. Slowins:



ZELLA M. HAZZARD BECKHOLD, 101, born September 39, 1893, widow of Benjamin HAZZARD & Frank BECKHOLD, mother of Marguerite SHORT, Betty McMILLEN, and the late Maxwell HAZZARD & Maxine TORREY, sister of Maude OLES, Mabel VALENTINE, Clare SAXTON & Vern SAXTON, daughter of Oscar & Mary BALDWIN SEXTONE, daughter of Esther & George BALDWIN, son of William F. BALDWIN & Matilda SHAW, daughter of Sarah KELLER & Robert SHAW, son of Mary McDOWELL & Richard SHAW, Soldier of the Revolution. Oscar SEXTONE was the son of Henry SECKSTONE, who owned what later became the Issi & Ida SECKSTONE farm, later owned by Calvin SMITH, Ron WALKINGTON, and now Larry BREARLEY, in NE ¼ Sec. 6 Sebewa, on Goddard Road. Also the W ½ NW ¼ Sec. 5, now belonging to Richard GOODEMOOT. Oscar SEXTONE got the GOODEMOOT eighty and that is probably where Zella was born. Note the changes in spelling. The BALDWIN families lived on MUSGROVE Hwy. Rush BALDWIN had the east eighty of the Theo BULLING farm. George had the next east eighty, where the Ed DEMARAY – Wm. NURENBERG home stands. Isaac had the east 160 of the DEMARAY farm. Christi SAYER, sister to Clarence’s father, Jacob, married George BALDWIN’S son Charles, which may explain how the north forty of George’s farm passed to the SAYER family. Zella’s second husband was Frank BECKHOLD. Mary’s second husband was Edwin LEAK. Esther’s second husband was a HUTCHINS.

MARGARET E. BUCHE, 69, widow of Horace, mother of Jean WOLTZ, Beth AINSWORTH, Amy BUCHE, Steve, John & Matt BUCHE, sister of Mary PATTERSON, Bufford, Balfour, James & Bernard VALENTINE, daughter of Archie & Mabel SEXTON VALENTINE. Her mother was a sister to Zella.

BEATRICE SHELLENBARGER, 82, wife of Adrian, mother of Jerry, sister of Hulda SMITH & Gertrude VanHOUTEN, daughter of Samuel & Lottie KAUFFMAN, daughter of Sarah & Orren W. DANIELS, son of Eunice & Andrus W. DANIELS, who settled at SW ¼ SW ¼ Sec. 18 Sebewa before 1865. Samuel was son of Jonathan & Catherine KAUFFMAN, who settled at NW ¼ Sec. 18 before 1891. Jonathan’s buildings were where Geneva & Howard KNEALE later lived, and Sam built where Walter HUNT later lived. Sam & Lottie were active in Oddfellows, Rebeccahs, Grange, and Township Offices.


Thomas ADGATE was a soldier in the Revolutionary War and survived to live to the age of 97 years. His son, Abel ADGATE, was born in Connecticut in 1786, and was an infantryman in the war of 1812. He married Olive (Polly) PORTER, born in Connecticut in 1787, daughter of another Revolutionary soldier. They were married in New Jersey about 1814 and farmed first in Orange County, NY, then pioneered in Sullivan County, where he also lumbered, and then farmed in Cortland County about 1829-1838. In 1838 they came to Oakland County, Michigan, and that same fall bought the Ionia Township farm, but remained in Oakland County on rented land until March 3, 1841. This Ionia tract was partly cleared, but the only building was a log shanty. The first summer they cleared enough land to sow twelve acres of wheat, and began building a frame house. But on October 3, 1842, Abel died at age 56, leaving the widow Olive ADGATE with seven children to carry on the ADGATE dynasty. She was a life-long member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and died November 7, 1871, at the age of 84 years.

Two of their children were:
1. John ADGATE, died August 26, 1888
2. William ADGATE born November 20, 1829, died 1901.
John ADGATE was born in Batavia, NY, son of Abel & Olive PORTER ADGATE, came to Oakland County, MI, with his parents in 1838, and to the Ionia Township homestead in 1841. After his father’s death, John helped manage his mother’s farm until his marriage, at which time he bought a farm on 110 acres in SE ¼ of Sec. 33 North Berlin Township, now part of the State Park, west side of Jordan Lake Road. He married Catherine TAFT and spent the remainder of his life on that farm. Catherine died in 1859 and John married Rosetta BRIGGS. He died 1888.

John & Catherine’s children were:
1. Infant son
2. Lowina, married Riley HARWOOD
3. Adaline, died age 18
4. Chester born February 3, 1857
John & Rosetta’s children were:
5. William who lived in Saranac
6. Philo who farmed across east in SW ¼ Sec. 34 Berlin
7. Milo who farmed on John’s homestead
8. Sara who died age 12

CHESTER ADGATE, born in Berlin Township, February 3, 1857, died in Saranac, the son of John & Catherine TAFT ADGATE. He attended the old cobblestone SESSIONS School, built in 1847, and worked on the family farm and neighboring farms until his marriage on April 1, 1876, to Norah HARWOOD. They first farmed on a forty west of his parents, and then on an eighty just east of them. This farm he later sold to his brother Philo, followed by Max, while he engaged in the stock-buying and meat market business in Ionia for three years. Then he bought the old Alonzo SESSIONS farm of 326 acres on Riverside Drive, Sec. 34 North Berlin, directly north of his previous farm. He farmed there until selling to Ionia County for a County Poor Farm in 1906. That farm is now the nucleus of the Ionia State Park and contained 440 acres when given to the State by the County in 1965.

Chester moved to Saranac and again engaged in the buying and selling of livestock, while still owning a one hundred forty four acre farm, the old TIBBETS farm, Sec. 27 Berlin Township, and his business building in Saranac. A Democrat, he was elected Supervisor of Berlin Township for five successive terms, resigning that office when he moved to Saranac.

Chester and Norah’s children were:
1. Mary, married Gilbert CURTIS, a farmer on Riverside
2. Vinnie married Charles GATES; they managed County Farm
3. Lydia married Perry WALTER, a farmer in Sec. 20 Berlin
4. Phoebe married Ray SMITH, a farmer in Sec. 9 Berlin
5. Earl, a farmer near Berlin Center
6. Glenn who ran a clothing store in Saranac
7. John born 1896, died 1993, ran market in Saranac

John ADGATE, born in Berlin Township, 1896, died in Saranac, 1993, son of Chester & Norah HARWOOD ADGATE, was born in the old cobblestone house built on the Alonzo SESSIONS farm in 1845. He attended the new ivory brick SESSIONS School which opened in 1898, although he had visited his siblings in the old cobblestone schoolhouse, Edgar FLEETHAM’S mother, Lauretta SHAW FLEETHAM GRAGG, born in 1891 in Ontario, attended the SESSIONS School before her family moved from Berlin Township to Odessa Township, and remembered John ADGATE gave her a pretty lace valentine. John’s family moved to Saranac when he was ten years old, and he finished school there. He followed his father in the meat business and built it into a fine Spartan Supermarket.

Two of John’s children were:
1. J. Bernard who continued the family food stores
2. Loren, retired chairman of Independent Banking Corp., married Marilyn

William ADGATE, born in Sullivan County, NY, November 20, 1829, died in Ionia Township, 1901, son of Abel & Olive PORTER ADGATE, was nine years old when his family came to Michigan and only sixteen when he began operating half of his mother’s farm in Ionia Township. He was married January 7, 1854, to Sarah TUTTLE, daughter of pioneer Ionia farmers, Nelson & Sophia PANGBORN TUTTLE, and much of their adjoining homestead became a part of his farm, as he increased it from his mother’s one hundred five acres to two hundred eighty five acres in Sec. 32 & 33 Ionia & Sec. 4 Orange. He built a fine ivory brick Victorian-Italianate home in 1886, at a cost of $3000, a photo of which accompanies this story.

He had made a trip to Iowa at the time of his marriage, and also owned and farmed five years in Orange and four years in Berlin before settling on the old homestead to care for his mother and the farm. His father was a Whig, and William became active in the Republican Party at the outset, but when the Prohibition Party sprang into life, he voted in its favor. As an agriculturalist he was second to none, and kept about three hundred head of sheep. The family was active in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and Nelson TUTTLE built the first Methodist Church south of Grand River on the corner of this farm 1855. William was a leading supporter of the church and instrumental in the merger with Orange Methodist, which formed LeValley Methodist Church about 1906.

William & Sarah ADGATE’S children were:
1. Phoebe A. ADGATE born January 21, 1855, married Fred SCHEURER
2. Franklin born April 20, 1858, died 1942
3. Mary J. born September 9, 1861; married Frank TAFT
4. Flora E. born December 9, 1863, died 1914
5. John W. born June, 1866, died 1931
6. Lewis born June 29, 1868, died 1943
7. Nellie born January 8, 1876; married Arton BENEDICT

Phoebe A. ADGATE, born in Ionia Township January 21, 1855, daughter of William & Sarah TUTTLE ADGATE, married Fred SCHEURER and farmed in Sec. 2 & 4 of Orange Township. TWO OF FRED & PHOEBE SCHEURER’S children were:
1. Frieda; married Paul HAUSSERMAN
2. Bert, father of Kenneth, Harold, Shirley, Allen, Bob

Franklin ADGATE, born in Ionia Township, April 20, 1858, died in Portland in 1942, son of William & Sarah TUTTLE ADGATE, was married to Elizabeth FLEMING, born 1862, died 1953. Frank had a good farm at N ½ SE ¼ Sec. 10 & W ½ Sec. ll Orange Township. In September, 1916, he purchased the New Sydney Farm of 160 acres on Ionia Road, one mile west of Portland. Owned by John WEBBER before him, it was owned by Norman LAY after him, and today belongs to Ivan LAY. Frank paid $20,000 for it, and New Sydney was a fitting name for a sheep farm. But as far as we can tell, he had a tenant on it, never moved there himself, and after a few years he sold it. About this same time, he sold or gave the west half of his home farm with its fine house & barn to his son Elmer.

In 1920, at age 62, Frank & Elizabeth retired to their three-acre farm at the point of Grand River Avenue & KNOX Road or Union Street in Portland. They had a new cement brick house & garage, and a good barn for their driving horse, buggy, wagon, cow and chickens, and the hay from their two acres of alfalfa. He drove daily to his farms with his horse & buggy or Model A. Ford.

FRANKLIN & ELIZABETH’S children were:
1. Elmer; married Jessie MEGARAH
2. Maurice; worked at old U. S. Post Office Department in DC

ELMER ADGATE, born in Orange Township, died in Portland Township, son of Franklin & Elizabeth FLEMING ADGATE, was married to Jessie MEGARAH, daughter of Ed MEGARAH, granddaughter of William S. MEGARAH, pioneer farmer at Collins, SE ¼ Sec. 6 Portland Township. Elmer was sold or given a good one hundred thirty acre farm with excellent buildings in Sec. 10 Orange Township, now belonging to his cousin Shirley (SHERD) SCHEURER, about the time his father retired from active farming. But he lost it in the Great Depression of 1929 and moved across to the eighty acres in Sec. 11 still owned by his parents. There he farmed a bit and fathered eight children, while Jessie continued to teach rural school. She was an excellent teacher and 4-H leader. Frank never deeded that eighty to Elmer, but willed it to Leland instead. After the death of the MEGARAHS, Jessie & Elmer moved to their farm, and Leland has it today. There was a United Brethren Church on the corner of Frank’s home place and District No. 9 rural school, known as the RIKER School, stood on the eighty across the road. The church is long gone, but after years of neglect, the school has been remodeled into a nice home by Rus GREGORY.

1. Eleanor; married Kenneth DAY
2. Leland; farms on both grandparents’ land, Twp. Supervisor
3. Wayne, dentist in Lansing, lives in Grand Ledge
4. Neal (Pete)
5. Lois
6. Margaret
7. Lawrence
8. Phyllis

MAURICE ADGATE, born in Orange Township, son of Franklin & Elizabeth FLEMING ADGATE, graduated from local schools and went to Washington, DC, where his aunt worked at the old U.S. Post Office Department. She got him a postal job and he married, raised a son & daughter, and lived there all his life.

MARY J. ADGATE, born in Ionia Township, September 9, 1861, daughter of William & Sarah TUTTLE ADGATE, married Frank TAFT and lived on his family’s homestead of 374 acres in Sec. 33 Ionia Township.

1. Luetta; married George CROEL, had Ray & Clyde CROEL
2. Jessie E.; married Clyde STOUT, had Frank, Sterry, Mary
3. Myrtle M.; died age 20
4. Leolyn
5. Reva June; married Harry CALLOW, Ionia
6. Marian

FLORA E. ADGATE, born in Ionia Township December 9, 1863, died August 19, 1914, daughter of William & Sarah TUTTLE ADGATE, married Winthrop HALL. She was a graduate of the music department of Albion College, taught in Ionia & Portland, and played the organ at church.
JOHN W. ADGATE, born in Ionia Township, June 1866, died in 1931, son of William & Sarah TUTTLE ADGATE, married Nellie WILSON, and farmed at W ½ SW ¼ Sec. 27 Orange Township.
LEWIS ADGATE, born in Ionia Township, June 29, 1868, died in 1943, son of William & Sarah TUTTLE ADGATE, married Ella HAZZARD, farmed on the old family homestead in Ionia Township.

1. William born in Ionia Township, born 1904, died 1993; married Verla, born 1919, died 1985. They had at least one daughter.

NELLIE ADGATE, born in Ionia Township, January 8, 1876, daughter of William & Sarah TUTTLE ADGATE, married Arton L. BENEDICT and they farmed on 100 acres of the old TUTTLE land in NW ¼ Sec. 32, Ionia Twp.
1. Barton L. BENEDICT born November 14, 1904

REFERENCES: History & Directory of Ionia County, J. D. Dillenback, 1872; History & Directory of Ionia & Montcalm Counties, John S. SCHENCK, 1881; Portrait & Biographical Album, Ionia & Montcalm Counties, CHAPMAN 1891; History of Ionia County, Michigan, Rev. E.E. BRANCH 1916. Atlas or Plat Books of Ionia County, 1875, 1891, 1906, 1937, 1955.

I was born February 5, 1904, in Campbell Township, Ionia County, Michigan. An article appeared in a local paper as follows: “Just observe that high, wide, and handsome gait and the broad grin on John BRAKE’S face. A seven and a half pound girl arrived at his home Friday morning. Dr. KIBLINGER reports mother and child dong fine.”

That might have been the Lake Odessa or Clarksville paper. My parents were John FLETCHER BRAKE & Barbara N. WENGER BRAKE. At that time they lived on the farm with Grandmother BRAKE, northwest of Lake Odessa and southeast of Clarksville, on Campbell Road. Later Roy & Rose TASKER owned that farm. The neighborhood was known as PINHOOK. There were a store and several houses at the corners. I was fifth in the family. The others were: Hazel, who died at a few months of age, Elwood, Wayne, who died at 3 months, and Mable. Another brother, John, was born in November, 1905

When I was two years old, my parents bought 40 acres called the Baldwin farm in what was called the Pleasant Valley area of Campbell Township. The school there had in the beginning been called the Fish School, but one a few miles south was called South Fish, so they changed ours. There was a United Brethren Church on the same four corners. Our farm was north of the corners about one-half mile. My mother’s sister, Inez, and her husband, Fred KLAHN, owned a farm which came to the corners on the southwest. Uncle Fred had helped build the church.

We moved there on Mable’s seventh birthday, February 27, 1906. Our neighbors were Wm. & Nina HULLIBERGER on the north, Truman & Vi BENEDICT on the south, and Wm. COON & wife across the road to the west. I can remember going to those houses to visit. We called the HULLIBERGERS Uncle and Aunt, also the BENEDICTS; but the COONS were called Grandpa and Grandma. None were related to us. I remember my fifth birthday, because a salesman was visiting with my father and gave me a pencil. When my father said “You have a birthday present”, and the man found out it was my birthday, he gave me a nickel.

One of the first things I remember is going to Grandpa and Grandma WENGER’S with my parents when I was two years old. I know it was that year, because Grandpa died before I was three. As we walked into the middle downstairs room of their house, Grandpa, who was sitting in a rocker with his Bible in his hands, stretched out his arms for me to come to him.

I remember being in the house at Grandma BRAKE’S after the (grossmutter) addition was built on. It would have been after we moved and Aunt Ida & Uncle Walter LIVINGSTON were living there with her. Grandpa BRAKE had died before I was born. I remember sitting at a table in Grandma’s part of the house. It was a narrow room and the table was about the length of the room. I think Aunt Jennie & Uncle Frank TASKER & Gwendolyn were there, too.

On the “40”, the kitchen and dining room were all in one. A big black cook stove was on the east wall. Mother sat Johnnie and I in front of the oven door to keep us warm in the morning and often had us play in that area with quilts on the floor. She gave us raw oatmeal with sugar in a cup to eat with a spoon. Sometimes she would give us a dish of walnuts and hair pins to pick them out with. We never got sick eating them as I can remember. No doubt we weren’t that good at picking them out. Often in winter Dad would be sitting there between chore times. We’d ask him for his coin purse to play with his money. He’d make us tops from spools and whistles from tree twigs. We would ask for his knife so we could whittle and generally ended up with a nick or two.

There were maple trees in the yard. In the fall we would rake the leaves in rows to form rooms for a house. We had a cat named Toddy, a tiger one. The folks said he was just my age. He was the only pet I remember Mother allowing in the house. We still had him when we moved to the SLATER farm. We would dress Toddy up in my doll clothes, but one day he ran into the driveway tile. He came out without the clothes and we never could get them, even though we enlisted Mable’s help. When Mable was 10, all of us had whooping cough and she was the sickest. She had no appetite afterward and the doctor said she should get out doors. So one day Mother walked with her to Abbott’s store north of us. She had left a piece of chicken on her plate. While they were gone, Toddy ate it. Mother was really upset. He was always such a good cat and never touched anything.
Sometimes Mother would take Elwood & Mable and drive a horse up to Grandpa and Grandma WENGER’S. Sometimes they would go to church and Dad, Johnnie, and I would be at home. Once when they were gone and expected back soon, Dad killed a chicken, dressed it, and put it on the stove to cook. He said “Now don’t tell Mama – we will surprise her.” So when they stepped in the door, Johnnie said “There is nothing on the stove but potatoes.”

Mable, Johnnie, and I used to all like to go to “Aunt” Vi and “Uncle” True BENEDICT’S – although we were half afraid of him. He was always so sober and stern looking. I remember him as always wearing a black suit and a black hat when he went to town. He always drove a shiny black horse and a shiny black buggy. Aunt Vi would set us on kitchen chairs, give us crackers, or peel apples for us. She always said “Eat bruise and all, it’s good”. We didn’t agree, but we ate it. Sometimes she gave us pennies but never in front of Uncle True. She wore men’s Rockford socks with her rubbers over them – never shoes. Sometimes if her apron got dirty she just put another one over the top. She was an odd little old lady but we loved her.

We went to “Uncle” Will and “Aunt” Nina HULLIBERGER’S often, too. Even after we lived on the SLATER farm, I’d still go there after school and stay all night. Ila, their daughter, would always comb my hair. “Aunt” Nina was my first Sunday School teacher. Later on Aunty Ida, Ida BATTLES, and Anna NORCUTT MAURER were Sunday School teachers I can remember. (To be continued)

We continue our tour of Upper Peninsula Courthouses with the Marquette County Courthouse at Marquette, pictured on our cover. The present Marquette Courthouse stands on the side of the county’s first courthouse. The earlier building was completed by the summer of 1858 at a cost of approximately $4,300. By 1890 the population of Marquette County had swelled to about 40,000 and county government had outgrown its quarters. Due to the Depression of 1893, nine more years passed before the county commissioned local architects Demitrius F. CHARLTON and R. William GILBERT to design the present structure, which was constructed by Northern Construction Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at a cost of approximately $210,000. The dedication took place on September 17, 1904. Guests rode the street railway to Presque Isle Point for an afternoon of refreshments and dancing.

Native Upper Peninsula sandstone graces the exterior of the courthouse. The foundation up to the first level is Marquette Raindrop Brownstone which was cut at the old Marquette Quarry. The remainder of the exterior is Portage Entry Redstone which was quarried and polished in Redbeach, Maine. Transportation was a major undertaking, as each column weighs 15 tons. The main corridors are lined with Italian marble wainscot and the flooring is vitrified mosaic tile set in a decorative pattern. Numerous columns of Scagliola plaster also appoint the corridors. The woodwork and furnishings are constructed of fine hardwood. The interior and exterior focal point of the building is an elaborate stained-glass dome, which is located above the main circuit courtroom and is protected from the elements by an exterior copper sheathed dome.

The courthouse has enjoyed a rich history. In 1913 former President Theodore ROOSEVELT filed a libel suit against George A. NEWETT, publisher of the Ishpeming “Iron Ore”. NEWETT had reported that ROOSEVELT “was addicted to the use of alcohol and a user of profanity”. Judge R. C. FLANNIGAN found NEWETT guilty and ordered him to pay ROOSEVELT damages in the amount of six cents, “the price of a good newspaper”. Another case tried here inspired Anatomy of a Murder, a novel by Ishpeming resident, Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. VOELKER. In 1959, the courthouse served as the setting for filming the motion picture based on this novel, directed by Otto PREMINGER and starring James STEWART, George C. SCOTT, and Lee REMICK, with musical score by Duke ELLINGTON.

Renovation of the courthouse was conceived in 1977 and plans were drawn by local architect Lincoln A. POLEY, Jr. The Tezak Construction Company of Traverse City, MI, began the renovation work in 1982 for a final cost of $1,784,648. The decorative painting which appears in the Clerk’s office, main corridors, and the Circuit courtroom was done by Conrad SCHMITT Studios of New Berlin, Wisconsin, at a cost of $179,500.

HALLADAY UPDATE: The elusive Rev. William HALLADAY of the United Brethren Church was the son of Lovell HALLADAY, son of Abel LOVELL HALLADAY, fourth brother of Elihu, David & Apollos HALLADAY.

FERN CONKRITE was born March 3, 1895, and a celebration of her 100th Birthday will be held Sunday, March 5, 1995, 2:00 PM, at the Nazarene Church, 9466 CUTLER Road, Portland. Fern was born on a farm on Morris Road, in Danby Township, daughter of Charles CONKRITE and Emma WAINWRIGHT. Her family moved to the Village of Cornell, on the Danby side of Sebewa Corners, in 1897. She grew up in a village of about 35 houses and 90 people. After completing the eighth grade at Sebewa High School, Fern went out to work at housekeeping and then began to specialize in caring for newborn babies and their mothers. She became pianist at the Sebewa Corners Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1927 she moved to Portland and went into the Wallpaper & Paint business with Gertrude FISCHELL. She became pianist at Portland Nazarene Church. Later they bought acreage on OKEMOS Road and did a little farming with cows and chickens. After I-96 took the farm, they built their own house on Riverside Drive. In 1978 they moved to Lillian Blvd.

Fern is our best source of information for the Sebewa Recollector and Ann laughs about the first time I called Fern to inquire about the Henry RICE Post #151 G.A.R. at Sebewa Corners. “Well, they haven’t met there in the last 95 years!” said Fern. True, they last met on December 14, 1895, when Fern hadn’t come to Sebewa yet.

Fern credits her long life to daily doses of Vitamin E. It works for my sheep, why not for people? So it gives me great pride to recognize Fern CONKRITE as our oldest living Sebewa native – even tho in fact she never ever lived in Sebewa!



Last update November 15, 2013