Sebewa Recollector
Items of Genealogical Interest

Volume 50 Number 4
Transcribed by LaVonne I. Bennett


     LaVonne has received permission from Grayden Slowins to edit and submit Sebewa Recollector items of genealogical interest, from the beginning year of 1965 through current editions.


THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR Historical Newsletter from Sebewa; Sebewa Township, Ionia County, MI; February 2015, Volume 50, Number 4.  Submitted with permission of Editor Grayden D. Slowins: 
    

Front page photo of SEBEWA CENTER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH  1891


Page 2:  SEBEWA CENTER UNITED METHODIST CHURCH CLOSED AFTER 123 YEARS

Board members of the Sebewa Center United Methodist Church made the decision this Fall to close the church.  Christmas Eve, 2014, was the final service for this church, which opened its doors in 1891.  In addition to no longer holding worship services, the church’s Saturday night suppers will no longer be available.  These suppers, which brought in people from the neighborhood and people from more distant towns and rural areas, played a major part in keeping the church open as long as it has been.  Like its sister church, the Sebewa Corners United Methodist Church, which merged with the Center Church almost 50 years ago, in 1966, the need for a new furnace ultimately did them in.

“Like a lot of small churches, we just aren’t viable anymore”, said Sebewa Center United Methodist Church Board Chairperson, Delores (Sid) Stank.  “The decision to close was made after a nearly two-year process of deciding what to do with the declining attendance base and a facility in need of many upgrades.  The cost of propane gas makes it hard to stay open, and we really need a new furnace”.  And the belfry needs major repairs, similar to the task just completed at Portland Congregational church.

If not already related to the founding families, members have become like family, after worshipping together for so many years, according to Stank.  Stank herself has been a member for more than 20 years, and her daughter was married in the church.  In addition, she has served on the Board for about 10 years and as Chairperson most of that time.  With the abandonment option, the West Methodist United Methodist Conference will be responsible for the building, which lifts the burden from the shoulders of members & regular attendees.

From The Early History of the Sebewa Center Church, written by Miss Ella Gunn on the occasion of its 50th Anniversary, we gather the following:  “After organizing a Sunday School in February, 1891, plans for a church were in order.  The first Board was elected May 9, 1891 and organized by electing Theodore Gunn, Chairman; Joshua S. Gunn, Treasurer; and Irving  A. Brown, Secretary.  It was voted to proceed immediately to the erection of a church building.  Theodore S. Gunn, J. S. Gunn, & I. A. Brown be appointed as a building committee to prepare plans & specifications.  These were adopted May 30th and advertised for bids as follows:  “The building committee of the Methodist Church of Sebewa Center will receive sealed bids for furnishing materials and building a church at the center of Sebewa Township, until and including Saturday, June 13, 1891.  Said church to be 32 x 50 feet in size.  Plans and specifications may be seen at the residence of J. S. Gunn at Sebewa Center.  The right to reject any and all bids is reserved.”

The Board made a contract with Bradford Kellogg of Charlotte to build the church for $2000, to be completed by October 1, 1891.  Prine Barclay was given a subcontract to lay the stone & brick.  He boarded at J. S. Gunn’s, married their daughter, Rosa (?), and built a fine home in Portland Township, next to present day Wagon Wheel.  Thru mergers with Evangelicals & United Brethren, Methodist Episcopal became United Methodist Church.


“VOICES FROM THE PAST” & “THOUGHTS WHILE STROLLING ON KENT STREET” Gathered from past issues of THE PORTLAND REVIEW & OBSERVER and THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR By Grayden Slowins.

February 9, 1950:  Funeral services were held Tuesday morning at St. Patrick’s Church for Mrs. Ella Olmstead, 87, who passed away Sunday, February 5, at the Meitler Home after a long illness.  She has suffered a broken hip some time ago.  The Rosary was recited at the funeral home Monday evening.  Rev. F. Louis Flohe officiated at the services.  Burial was in Keefer-Olmstead Cemetery, arrangements by Neller Funeral Home.  Bearers were Sam Burman, Morris Shattuck, Eben Krauz, and Nick Lawless.  Surviving are a daughter, Mrs. May Jenkins of Portland, and a son, Allen (Dick) Olmstead, of Detroit.  There are two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  Mrs. Olmstead was born in Plainwell, MI, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Duhig.  Her father came from Ireland.  The deceased was the widow of Melvin Olmstead.  She and her husband formerly lived on a farm near Collins.

John Trierweiler, 82, a resident of Portland for 51 years, passed away Sunday night at the home of his son, Peter.  Funeral services were held this (Thursday) morning at St. Patrick’s Church, Rev. Fr. Louis Flohe officiating, arrangements in charge of Bandfield Funeral Home.  Rosary was recited at the funeral chapel Wednesday evening.  The deceased was born in Filch, Germany, and he came to Westphalia, MI, at the age of nine months, later moving to Portland.  Filch is near Trier, Germany, and the syllable “weller” means  “in and around” explaining the origin of the family name.  Mr. Trierweiler owned and worked the Marshall Chipman farm for about 30 years.  His wife, Rose, died in 1943.  Survivors are the son, Peter J. Trierweiler, Portland Postmaster, one granddaughter, Genevra Trieweiler, and several nephews and nieces.

The old Sowles Hotel, home of Mrs. Lela First, on Broad Street (the west side continuation of Bridge Street) has been sold to Frank Davenport, who lives in the next home south, facing on Market Street.  It is probable Mr. Davenport will transform the First place into a plumbing shop (later home of Snitgen Plumbing & Heating).  Mrs. First is one of the Michigan Bell operators being transferred when dial goes into effect here, and she will go to Ionia.  The First property was years ago the Sowles Hotel, one of the oldest buildings in town.  It stands just west of the Nazarene Church, and within a block northwest of the site of the Aunt Polly Clark home, which Fred Jarvis tore down last summer, after it had stood for well over a century.

Fire destroyed a small barn Thursday afternoon on the Donald Gregory farm at Tremayne’s Corners northwest of Portland.  A motorist saw the fire on the northwest corner of the intersection and reported it to Mrs. Gregory.  Mrs. Gregory said firemen might have been able to save the structure, but the telephone (party) line in the area was busy and wasn’t cleared after she explained that it was an emergency call to report a fire.  The flames were fanned by high winds and the firemen stayed to save a nearby barn.  The destroyed barn was more than 75 years old.

February 9, 1930:  Miss Helen Possehn, 12-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Possehn, underwent an operation for appendicitis at a Lansing hospital on Thursday.  (Helen Possehn Godwin just came off our mailing list at Brighton, MI, in 2014, indicating she may have lived to age 95 or 96).

Howard Knapp, of Sebewa, has secured nearly the necessary number of signatures to warrant an extension of the Consumers Power Co. service to Sebewa Corners vicinity.  The line would be built from M-39 (now M.43), which is 4 miles (3 miles) to the south.

February 9, 1910:  Dick Merryfield drove in this week from Holland, Michigan, with a handsome span of horses, new harness and new robes.

February 16, 1950:   Grant Carbaugh, 72, of Sebewa, passed away at University Hospital, Ann Arbor, on Saturday.  He had been taken to the hospital on Thursday.  Funeral services were held at Mapes Funeral Home in Sunfield, Rev. Harold Arman officiating.  Burial was in (East) Sebewa Cemetery.  Grant was born in Orange Township, the son of the late William Carbaugh.  Surviving are:  a sister, Mrs. Mary Ferguson of Orange; and two stepdaughters, Mrs. Burton (Helen) Gilbert and Mrs. Frank (Goldie) Jackson, both of Sunfield.  There are also several nieces, including Mrs. Charles (Stella) Munger, of Portland.  Pall bearers were:  Melborn Sandborn, Earl Black, Don Benschoter, Carl Rischow, James Bedell and Marcus Galer.

B. W. Jackson and his daughter, Mrs. Anna May Peck of Lansing, will open a shoe and clothing store on Kent Street within a few weeks.  It is to be located in the former E. A. Richards Grocery building, recently vacated by Pierce’s Grill, and will feature shoes for all members of the family, as well as clothing for men & boys.

Ellsworth (Bob) Lear has set the dates for a Grand Opening of his new food store as Friday and Saturday, March 3 & 4.  His present store will be closed Monday through Thursday, February 27 & 28, March 1 & 2, to allow moving to new location and settling into that location.  A large amount of new food store equipment is being installed in the new building, which Mr. Lear bought from John Kortes.  The Sun Theater was located there for many years.  (Some years later the Lear Family built a new, much larger supermarket on East Grand River Avenue.)  The Theatre building is where Duncan (Dunk) Kennedy conducted his hardware business for so long, and where folks sat around of an evening, gathered about his giant Garland stove, while important political questions of the day were debated.  (After Carl Derby & Bill Stocum moved the late Duncan Kennedy’s Hardware across to the Opera House block, they sold out to Leo Lehman & Labe Smith, who sold to Aaron Channel.  We think the U. S. Post Office occupied the Kennedy building for a spell, before moving up to the new Masonic Temple building.  The Duncan Kennedy family lived on Grant Street, up the hill from DeWitt Street (Grand River Ave.), next door to Leo Lehman or perhaps it was the same house.  Kennedy’s daughter Edith married Louis E. Slowinski, son of Theofil Slowinski, a tailor in Ionia.  The Kennedy family graves are near the Frost Family Mausoleum in Portland Cemetery.)

February 16, 1930:  Mr. & Mrs. Charles (Cora Rogers) VanHouten are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary.  (They farmed and raised their family on S. Goddard Road in Sebewa Township, where Mr. & Mrs. Grover Cook later lived.  Before 1930 they bought a smaller farm on the west edge of Portland, just outside the village (now city) limits.  Milo McNeil, another former resident of Sebewa, had about an 8 or 10-acre farm/orchard just across the fence in the village (now city) limits.  In 1937 Donald & Crystal Slowins dickered for the VanHouten farm, but bought the A. A. Way farm, across from Milo, within the village.  VanHoutens sold their farm to Mr. & Mrs. Walter Martin and moved to Smith Street north of the Brush Street School, and Charlie died there soon after.  Their oldest child was Fern VanHouten (Mrs. Glenn) Olry, born in 1882.  She sold their farm on Musgrove Highway in Sebewa Township to Grayden & Ann Slowins in 1957, after Glenn’s death in 1956, and moved to Meitler Home in Portland; later she moved to the Olds Manor in Grand Rapids, where she died in 1972, age 90.)

Fred England Jr. has completed his studies at Lansing Business University and is now in the employ of Webber State Savings Bank in Portland, taking the place of Miss Nettie Berles, whose mother is ill, requiring her attention at home.  (After the Great Depression, Fred became a Time-Keeper, calculating employees’ paychecks, at General Motors in Lansing.  Nettie Berles completed her working years at Maynard-Allen Bank and was the first person we knew who retired here at Clark Retirement Community in Grand Rapids.)

A cablegram sent by George W. Ramsey to his brother Claud, who is in Rio de Janeiro, flashed across the seas and was delivered with such promptness that an answer was received within a few hours.  (Amazing!!!  We wonder what they would think of the speed of communications today, 85 years later!)

Gasoline dropped two cents in price at all stations in Portland Monday morning, and it was said this was true of the whole state.  It is now retailing for 18.8 cents per gallon.  (When the gas price got down in this range, some stations offered 5.5 gallons for $1.  We thought we had it good when gas dropped below $2 per gallon recently.)

Mrs. William Kuhtz of Orange Township died at age 73, leaving her twin sister, Mrs. Sarah Weisgerber.  They had been constant companions since their birth in “York State”.  (Sarah was the mother or grandmother of Robert S. Weisgerber Sr. and William Weisgerber Sr.)

February 16, 1910:  Funeral services for Mrs. Fidelia Northrop were held at the home of her son, A. L. (Adelbert, Del) Northrup, of Sebewa.

John J. Smith has purchased Henry Townsend’s farm of 80 acres in Sebewa Township.  (This is Hazel Fender’s farm on Cassel Road, now owned by Kay Fender Meyers, but we don’t know who John “J” Smith might have been.)

March 16, 1950:  Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Willems have sold their farm south of Frost Corners in Danby Township to their neighbor, William Pryer.  They expect to move to Portland and reside in the home they have purchased on the west side of town, (Grand River Avenue at West Street.  Bill & Larry Pryer eventually enlarged their original 80 acres and the Willems 120 acres, by adding 160 acres from Charles & Ray Pryer and 80 acres of the Eugene Lyon farm, making a total of 440 acres.  They operated a Grade-A dairy and first-rate Sheep Farm.)

Wednesday, March 15, marked the 30th anniversary of Portland’s greatest flood, when the Grand River, filled with ice up to three feet thick, went on a rampage.  Water was so high in Kent Street basements that it almost touched the first floor.  With a grinding noise, the river raised the old lower bridge and carried it downstream like so much tissue paper.  The back of the Blanchard & Knox Block was knocked into the river, and many homes on low land on the west side of the factory was full of new Reo Automobiles and all were submerged.  The village electric generators were flooded out.  As dusk settled over the light-less town, the day’s climax came in the sudden death of Will Hath, who had long been a Pere Marquette Railway Section Foreman.  His work in helping to save the Grand River Railroad Bridge during that day was thought to have brought on his fatal heart attack.  Portland has never had a flood since that has approached the record-breaker.  (However, in the early 1950s, a similar flood did similar damage to the back of the Blanchard & Knox Block, and many of the same homes and stores were flooded, but no damage to bridges.)

Bread on the pavement, and lots of it, according to Bob Russman, who drives from Lansing each morning to deliver mail out of the Portland on R#1 during vacation period of Russell Blackman Sr.  A bread truck some distance ahead of Bob was sowing its load along Grand River Avenue, as a back door had swung open.  The driver directly behind the truck was stopping every little way, gathering bread and rolls and putting them in the back seat of his car.  He did such a clean job that all Bob got was a package of donuts.  (Wouldn’t do that today at speed of traffic on I-96!)

May 4, 1950:  Charles E. Hart advertised his Auction Sale to be held Wednesday, May 10, at the premises located west of Portland on US-16 to Shindorf Gas Station and four miles south on Keefer Highway, or four miles north of M-43, or one mile north of Sebewa Corners Store, starting at 1:30 o’clock sharp, the following described property:  This was followed by an itemized list of eight milch cows, four calves, several milking goats, and the equipment for feeding dairy cattle, 300-400 chicks and laying hens, and a few hogs.  Field equipment was mostly International, including “10-20” & “A” tractors, two plows, four drags, hay mower, side rake, hay loader, combine, manure spreader, disc harrow, Dunham cultipacker, and Superior grain drill.  Also horse-drawn plow and cultivator, Riteway pipeline milker, DeLaval cream separator, milk cans and cream cans, fence stretcher, and “Other articles too numerouse to mention”.  Allen Haskin, Auctioneer, Asa Burnett, Clerk.  This was the family of present day Sebewa Township resident Fred Hart.

May 11, 1950:  William Urie, 74, a resident of Portland and vicinity for many years, died early Tuesday morning at his home near Mulliken.  Funeral services are being held today (Thursday) at 2:30 at the Bandfield Chapel, Rev. Keith Avery officiating, burial in Portland Cemetery.  The deceased is survived by his wife, Ella, and two sons, Elmer Urie and Charles Urie.  Bearers are Charles Compton, Stanley Post, Cecil Lyon, Ray Pitch, Richard Kollman and Harold Charles, were teamsters in this vicinity for many years.  (I believe they lived in the area of the Township Park, but cannot find their names as property owners.  Back then, teamsters drove teams of horses and mules, and were not truck drivers in the Teamsters Union.  My great-great-grandfather, John Brake III, was a teamster in the War of 1812; a task which started with hauling supplies and evolved into driving the first ambulances (horse drawn back then) and giving medical aid on the battlefield.  I was trained for the same role, but with somewhat more modern ambulances, near the end the Korean War, 142 years later.)

Bessie Galloway, former Treasurer of Ionia County, passed away Tuesday.  In failing health since a stroke suffered five years ago, Mrs. Galloway, age 63, died at St. Johns, where she lived with her son Pitt Galloway.  Funeral will be Thursday at 2 PM at Ionia Methodist Church, burial in Balcom Cemetery.  She was married in 1907 to Fred Galloway, Orange Township farmer.  He was killed in a farm accident in 1916, when a barn collapsed.  Mrs. Galloway was elected County Treasurer and served several terms.  A daughter, Mrs. Marian McPherson of Millbrae, California, also survives.  (Their fine farmstead, located on Grand River Avenue, was later owned by Thomas Christensen, then by his son, Andrew Christensen, and now by his son, Kenneth Christensen.}

May 18, 1930:  Though Philo N. Chapel, last surviving member of the John Megarah G. A. R. Post, has lost all of his comrades, he has found a lot of new ones.  Monday evening he was invited to attend a meeting of the Dale E. Hyland American Legion Post, and was made an honorary member of that organization.

As a matter of economy, the Arctic Ice Cream Co. will close their station in Portland shortly and milk from the routes now being brought to this place will be hauled to Grand Ledge, Lake Odessa or Fowler.  (This processing plant was located in the building at the corner of Divine Highway and Looking Glass Avenue, later occupied by Hengesbachs’ Farm Machinery.  This writer’s uncle, Arthur Van Allsburg, and before him, Art’s uncle, Peter Van Allsburg, made great ice cream in that plant.  They served us Soft-Serve Ice Cream, straight out of the freezer, at their East End Creamery in Grand Rapids in the 1930s – 1940s, before Soft-Serve was invented.  Peter’s grandson, Chris Van Allsburg, continues the East End Creamery under the name Jersey Junction Ice Cream Store in East End Creamery under the name Jersey Junction Ice Cream Store in East Grand Rapids today, and while they serve Hudsonville Ice Cream, it continues in that great family tradition.)

May 18, 1930 continued:  All 16 members of this year’s graduating class of Ionia County Normal have been hired to teach next year.  Thelma Beard will teach the Halladay School; Frances Lippincott will teach at Sebewa Center; Mabel Patrick will teach at the Kilmartin School in Orange; Marjorie Fox will teach the Howell School in Portland Township.  West Sebewa School has not engaged a new graduate.

May 18, 1910:  Frank Jenkins, superintendent of Portland’s lighting plant, has been asked to come to Chicago to talk over the matter of becoming manager of a fine new electric plant just installed in Sioux Falls, SD.

Most of the Rural Carriers out of Portland Post Office have been figuring what a convenience an auto would be in making deliveries.  Carrier Brown has taken over his route from George Bandfield in a Hupmobile, and it was covered in a little more than an hour and a half in good weather.

Tom Frost Jr. arrived from Detroit with his fine new six-cylinder Mitchel Touring Car.

May 25, 1950:  Charles A. Lewis, Manager & Treasurer of Builders Lumber & Supply Co., in Portland, came to this village in 1912 from Lansing, and bought an interest in Del Packard’s implement business, which was just moving from Kent Street to the large building on Maple Street, occupied today by Meitler’s Grocery.  After a few years in that business he went to the Portland Milling co. to work and a year or so later bought E. C. Herholz’ interest in the Portland Elevator Co.  That partnership operated for 16 years and then Mr. Lewis became a partner in Builders Lumber & Supply Co., when the elevator firm sold its lumber department to that company and took over the Builders Coal department.  Mr. Lewis also owns the former Wells Davenport farm of 139 acres east of Frost Corners, which he worked for a number of years, but now rents out by the fields.  He also has found time to build seven new homes in the village, all of which he has sold, and has usually had buyers waiting for their completion.  Much of this work he has done by himself.  Mrs. Lewis is the former Myrtie Wyman of Danby, (just east of the Halladay School on Tupper Lake Road).  The couple has two sons, Glenn Wyman Lewis of Grass Lake, MI, and C. A. Lewis of Sheridan.  Mr. Lewis is a member of Portland Methodist Church and Portland Masonic Lodge.

Mrs. Clara Kellogg (who lived at the northeast corner of Grand River Ave. & Quarterline St.) brought in an old program.  It was for a masked ball at the Arbeiter Bund, held in 1895.  She found it among some old items at the home of her mother, Mrs. Emma Philips on Pleasant St.  (Actually we think it was on Quarterline St., because Nora Titus and her father, Ab Way, lived with Nora’s aunt, Mrs. Philips, after they sold their farm to the Slowins family in 1937, until they all passed away).  Years ago the Arbeiter Bund was a thriving organization in Westphalia and numbered many members from the Portland area as well.  (Strong too in Ionia, the name translates approximately as “German Workers’ Aid Society”.)


RECENT DEATHS: 

John Peter Lich, age 74, husband of Shirley Haller Lich, his wife of 53 years; father of John Lich IV, David (Joanne) Lich, Julie (Brian) Young, Patricia (Mike) Motley; grandfather of Jordan, Colin, Linda (Larry) Tower, and Larry (Mickey) Lich; son of Nellie Torrenga and John M. Lich; grandson of Peter Lich, great-grandson of John Lich I.  John was a lifelong farmer in Sebewa Township, owner of Lich Farm Service & John Deere Dealership in Portland Township, piloted his own airplane, and was an avid deer hunter.  John was born October 16, 1940 and died October 29, 2014.

Gerald Frances (Gerry) Perry, of Ionia, born April 5, 1914, passed away December 13, 2014, at the age of 100.  Gerry was married to Bernice Sage on November 29, 1937; she died in 1970.  He was married to Rita Jandernoa Schroeder Mulder on November 28, 1981; she died in 2010.  He was also preceded in death by his parents, Leonard & Anna (Andres) Perry; sons David and Philip Perry, and granddaughter Bethany Bray; his sisters Clara Dean, Teresa Sapa, Quin Wilson, all of California; and his brother Frederick of Battle Creek, MI.  Patricia (Richard) Letts, of Ionia; a grandson Gregory Bray, in Ohio; daughter-in-law Kathy Perry in Michigan; step-children, grandchildren.   Gerry was an active member of SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, the YMCA, Boy Scouts of America, Ionia Knights of Columbus, and the Ionia County Historical Society.  He enjoyed driving the “Train” at the Ionia County Fall Festival; and worked on the annual CROP WALK for 31 years.  He was also the leader of the Christmas Church Walk for many years, and this writer had the pleasure of walking with him and his lantern, while Ann was playing organ for the hymn-sing in one or more churches.  Gerard was proud to have been in Boy Scouts his whole life.  He was an Eagle Scout in his youth, a leader of Troop 86 for many, many years, and sponsored many new Eagle Scouts throughout his later years.  He was honored to serve as a senior member of scouting when President Ford, also an Eagle Scout, was laid to rest at the Ford Museum in Grand Rapids.  He was honored by the State of Michigan for his volunteer work in Ionia, and was proud to have Perry Park in Ionia named after him.  He was an Easter Egg Hunt Chairman in his church for 30 years and member of the Theater Board over 20 years.  He worked at the Christian Service Center for 30 years and with his wife, Rita, was Campground Host at Petoskey State Park.

JoAnn L. Cassel VanOrman, age 66, born October 14,1948, died October 30, 2014, in Portland; widow of Frank VanOrman; stepmother of Betty Jo (Vick) Mickodemus, of Daniel, WY, and Debbie K. (Sam) Jensen, of Casper, WY; step-grandmother and great-grandmother of many; sister of Inez Leik of Portland, Jackie (Craig) Mulholland of Sunfield, Jean (Kelly) Murdock of Ovid, Jim (Patricia) Cassel of Portland, George (Molly) Cassel of Portland, and Dave (Jody) Cassel of Sunfield.  She was daughter of Audrey O. Brindley & Joseph A. Cassel, son of Florence Shannon Franks & James Franklin Cassel, son of Catherine & James Cassel, all buried in East Sebewa Cemetery.  JoAnn worked at Tri-County Electric, Diamond Ice Co., West Michigan Ice in Muskegon, Waterland Ice in Belding, and owned Cassel Ice in Greenville.


ADDITIONS & CORRECTIONS:  In a recent Issue I mentioned the four of us who went into the U. S. Army together October 19, 1954 and were discharged October 18, 1956:  Roy Spitzley, Gerald Schrauben, Jerome Cavanaugh, and Grayden Slowins; but Cavanaugh’s name was Joe, not Jerome.  Later he built a home on Kimball Road, south of Pewamo.

In our December Issue we listed the first husband of the late Mary Baldwin of Sebewa as Oscar Saxton, but Pam Swiler, whose husband Wayne is related to the second husband, Edwin Leak Sr., E-mails us that Oscar’s name was Sexton.  The 1875 Ionia County Plat Book shows the name on that family’s land in Sections 5 & 6 of Sebewa Township as H. Seckston; the 1891 Plat says Henry Seckstone; and the 1906 Plat lists only land in Sec. 5 for the family and it’s owned by Oscar B. Wellington Saxton of Portland & Danby Townships and word in the family was that the Sextons & Saxtons were related, and that Wellington was also born and raised in Sebewa Township, among the Friends and Baldwins.  (Pam says Wayne is related to the Saxtons also.)  Having no further documentation, I stand corrected.  The dictionary says:  SEXTON:  One who takes care of the church property, rings the bell for services, and in some cases cared for the cemetery, which was often around the church.  In the same December 2014 issue, we mentioned the Schnabel Family History, which includes another example of the change of the spelling of a name over time.  Tracking back from Slowins to Slowinski, Slovinski, Slavinski, (“ski” = “son of”) we can trace our family back to Slavic Nations of Central Europe/Asia; people who descended from the early slaves of the Roman Empire.  These ethnic groups include East Prussians, Poles, Czecks, Slovaks, Yugoslavians, Bulgarians, Slovenians, Serbians, Croatians, Latvians and Lithuanians.


From:  Grayden D. Slowins, Editor
       THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR
       702 Clark Crossing, SE
       Grand Rapids, MI  49506-3300



Last update February 07, 2015