THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR, Bulletin of the The Sebewa Center Association, Bulletin of The Sebewa Center Association, October 1970, Volume 6, Number 2
ONE PUPIL—NO TEACHER
A raccoon has found his way through soft dirt to the opening we made in the schoolhouse foundation at the time of the tornado repairs. While he has poked around a bit and looked over the course of study, he has not yet adapted the building to style of living. His preparation for winter was mostly to dig a burrow under the center pylon that supports the floor beam. We hope to find grounds and means of expelling him before he can claim bargaining rights.
THE 1970 CENSUS
In his “Report from Lansing”, Representative Stanley H. Powell gives the local population figures from the 1970 census.
Sebewa has a gain of 57 for a total of 948. Ionia County shows a gain of 1500 with 45,632 for the total. Only Keene and Orange townships have fewer residents than Sebewa. Orange and Berlin show losses—the nearly 600 drop in Berlin probably reflects the institutional change as does also the 257 gain for Easton.
The county’s three cities have spacings of approximately 1200 apart—Portland 3809, Belding 5002 and Ionia 6284. Lowell in Kent County with 2153 has 756 fewer residents than Portland.
SOME OLDER POPULATION FIGURES FOR SEBEWA
1850 247, 1860 635, 1870 932, 1880 1551, 1930 913, 1940 929, 1950 941, 1957 971, 1960 891
THE GREENHORN STORIES
Anybody who has ever lived in Sebewa has snickered a little at the stories that are the converse of the country hick acquainting himself with the ways of the big city. There is the old one that is credited to Elem Tran about the city boy visiting his farmer uncle. At the first sight of a cow the boy asked “What are those things on the cow’s head?” Of course, uncle explained that they were her horns. After a few minutes the old cow gave out a loud “Moo”. The startled boy quickly asked, “Which one did she blow that time?”
These blew in from across the Ohio line: The city boy visiting the old farmer wanted to show his usefulness y milking the cow. So the old farmer gave him a bucket and milk stool and told him to go to it. When the farmer came back a few minutes later; here was the boy disheveled and sweaty with no milk in the pail. To the query of “What’s the trouble?” the boy replied “Aw I can’t get her to sit on that stool at all”.
The farmer then explained what the boy was supposed to do to get the milk and went on about his chores. After the boy had tugged awhile without results the old cow swung her head around in disgust and said “Well you just hang on and I’ll jump up and down.”
Finally the farmer returned to find the boy feeding the milk to the cow. “What’s going on here?” he asked. And from the boy, “She put her old foot in the pail and got the milk dirty so I’m running it through again to get it clean”.
AREA TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE SERIES
Programs arranged through RALPH WINDOWS TRAVELOGUES, INC. GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN
KIWANIS CLUB PORTLAND Sundays at 3 P.M.
October 18, 1970 SWITZERLAND Thayer Soule
November 22, 1970 TEXAS BY COVERED WAGON Stan and Irene Paulauskas
January 24, 1971 TIMBUKTU, AFRICA & BEYOND Romain Wilhelmsen
February 21, 1971 AMERICA’S HIDDEN JEWELS Joe T. Adair
March 21, 1971 THE YANKEE SAILS INLAND Capt. Irving Johnson
April 25, 1971 WELCOME—NEW ZEALAND Robert O’Reilly
ROTARY CLUB OF IONIA Wednesdays at 7:30 P.M.
October 21, 1970 I LOVE MEXICO Thayer Soule
December 9, 1970 EXPEDITION SOUTH POLE Albert Kerlof
January 6, 1971 SCENIC AMERICA Robert Brouwer
February 3, 1971 ETHIOPIA, FABLED KINGDOM Stan & Irene Paulauskas
March 3, 1971 AUSTRIA Robin Williams
April 7, 1971 IRELAND Bob O’Reilly
KIWANIS CLUB OF HASTINGS Tuesdays 8 P.M.
October 3, 1970 JAPANESE SUMMER Phil Walker
November 17, 1970 WE DISCOVER ONTARIO LeRoy Crooks
January 12, 1971 OUR PACIFIC SHORELANDS Robert Brouwer
February 23, 1971 EXPLORING POLAND Stan & Irene Paulauskas
March 30, 1971 ARIZONA—CHULKLEOGUE Stan Midgley
May 4, 1971 WELCOME—NEW ZEALAND Robert O’Reilly
KIWANIS CLUB OF CHARLOTTE Saturdays 8 P.M.
October 3, 1970 ENCHANTING NEW MEXICO Romain Wilhelmsen
November 14, 1970 OUR PACIFIC SHORELANDS Robert Brouwer
December 5, 1970 CANADA’S CHANGING NORTH Keith McColl
January 9, 1971 THE LONG LAND OF CHILE Gene Goetz
February 6, 1971 CONSTANTINOPLE, TURKEY John Strong
March 20, 1971 INTO SIBERIA Raphael Green
All showings are at the respective High School auditoriums.
All have season tickets at less than individual admission charge.
WELL, WELL, HOW ARE YOU?
Answering the question from the news items from Sebewa correspondents to the PORTLAND OBSERVER for 1913-14 we have the following replies:
Ben Smith was called Monday to see his mother, Mrs. Oliver Smith, who is seriously ill in the Charlotte Sanatorium.
Mrs. John Stinles oldest child has the whooping cough.
Mrs. Jake Miller is not better at this time.
The many friends of Mrs. Charles Rader will be glad to know that she is on the gain in Ann Arbor where she went a short time ago for a second operation.
Mrs. John Palmer of Sunfield, who has been in poor health for two or three years, is no better.
Mrs. Puffer’s grandson is sick.
Little Margaret Taylor is still on the gain.
Clifton Smith was out of school last week on account of sickness.
Harry Jones of Danby has typhoid fever.
Mrs. Ward is not well.
Little Margaret Taylor, whose health has been delicate, is still on the gain.
Mrs. Jacob Miller is on the sick list.
Mrs. Frank Cornell is on the sick list.
Mrs. Hubbs is not so well.
Mrs. Archie Brown is quite sick.
Mrs. Emma Wooden of Danby has rheumatism.
Clyde Franks and wife attended the funeral on Friday, of his niece, Mabel Franks who died Tuesday of pneumonia at the home of her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Marion Franks.
Little Maxine Gill has been very ill; but is much better.
Mrs. Arthur Crowell is quite ill at this writing.
F. N. Cornell of Sunfield is on the sick list.
Mrs. James Smith was called to Berlin one day last week on account of the serious illness of her brother.
Mrs. Earl Baker is still on the sick list.
Mrs. Will Sleight is on the sick list.
Lyman Brown is quite sick with heart trouble.
Della Peacock is quite sick with lung trouble.
Mrs. Giles Thorp is under Dr. Maynard’s care.
R. Knoll is quite ill.
Mrs. Andrew Shilton is on the sick list.
Lillie Allaman of Sunfield is on the sick list.
C. H. Sevey is sick with a bad cold.
John Horner of Portland is on the sick list.
Ed. Halladay is on the sick list.
Mrs. Emma Wooden of Danby is on the sick list.
Mrs. Louella Sevey injured herself quite seriously by falling on the ice.
Mrs. Archie Brown is on the sick list.
Little Orville Cower has been quite sick with a hard cold.
Harry York’s children are on the sick list.
Little Maxine Gill of Grand Rapids is not much better.
Mrs. Walker Downing was ill Saturday.
Mrs. George Halladay is on the sick list.
Mrs. Betsey Hiar of Boyne City is seriously ill with dropsy.
W. C. Taylor has been sick with a severe cold.
Margaret Taylor has a severe cold.
Lyman Brown is on the sick list.
Mrs. D. A. Creighton is under Dr. Maynard’s care, suffering from inflammation of the bowels.
Ben Fletcher is sick with la grippe.
Mrs. Uri and baby, how have been quite ill, are much better.
Ben Smith is on the sick list.
Mrs. Hubb and Mrs. Harvey Sleight have been very sick with severe colds.
Sam Bigham,who lives with Sid Wakeley near Portland, is seriously ill.
Harold Cornell, who is attending school in Portland, is ill at the home of his father in Sunfield.
Little Margaret Taylor is still on the sick list with a severe cold.
Samuel Creighton and Lawrence Durkee are ill with quinsy.
Mrs. Kate Peacock and Mrs. Mary Sexton are able to be around after their recent illnesses.
(and how are you? Not ill, we hope.)
Mrs. John Benschooter is quite sick
Wick High, who has been on the sick list, is no better.
Fern Steele, who attends Lansing school, is on the sick list in a Lansing hospital.
Mrs. Archie Brown is on the sick list.
Miss Lillie Alleman of Sunfield is sick at the home of Edward Taylor.
Mrs. Ward is on the sick list.
Orrin Reeder had two of his fingers cut off while at work in Taylor and Dean sawmill Saturday.
Mrs. Alice Crapo, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Columbus Sandborn, Sr. of Portland, died at Ionia Wednesday afternoon of pneumonia.
Giles Thorp and wife are both ill with the grippe.
Miss Bowen and Hazel Westbrook resumed teaching the West Sebewa schools after a week’s illness.
Mrs. Ellis Dorin has gone to visit her son, Leslie, who is sick at Ann Arbor University.
Mrs. Jesse Wellfare is sick with a severe cold.
Mrs. Amanda McNeil is on the sick list with lung trouble.
Mrs. Mary Ward is very ill with neuralgia of the heart.
Theron McNeil had a sick horse Sunday.
Vernon Durkee has just recovered from the mumps.
Mrs. Harvey Sleight had a serious hemorrhage of the nose Monday.
BUSINESS CHANGES IN SUNFIELD SINCE I CAME HERE (1910) Part 2
By Dr. Malcom G. Slater (1880-1962) Written in 1948
Across the street to the east from the Drug Store was the hotel building. Jim Walsh built it before I came to Sunfield. Mr. VanAuker was the proprietor of it and the saloon next room east. His son, Floyd, and wife and son-in-law, Fred Morrison, and wife assisted in the operation of the business. He operated the saloon and hotel until Michigan went dry and then he closed it to go back to Eaton Rapids where they all came from. Roy Lumbert, Pat Pierson, Henry Davidson, Dave Rader and Bun Perrin were operators of a pool and card room after prohibition. Will Perrin, brother of Bun, worked for Bun. The hotel was operated by Charley Healy, a Mr. Jones, Hugh Barnes and Sam Burns. As I remember, the hotel closed then. The Sunfield State Bank then bought the building and moved the bank from a building farther east into it. Griffen Weippert was the manager. Later the bank was closed during the bank holiday. Mr. Brown was the receiver. The Lake Odessa Bank put in a branch bank later but it closed also. H. H. Mapes then bought the building and it is now a part of the Mapes stores.
The next building east, I think, was occupied by Charles Thomas as a drug store before he moved to the brick building mentioned before. Later there was a meat market, furniture repair shop and a Mr. Haynor had a cream parlor there too. Mapes also bought that store.
The next double brick store east was operated by Henry Bera and H. H. Mapes as a furniture store and the undertaking business. Mr. Bera was postmaster when I came here. Bera and Mapes built the upper stories on the one story buildings. The Mapes Furniture Co. owns and has stock in all the buildings including the hotel building as far east as the Masonic Temple.
The Temple is the last brick building to the east. The Freadly Brothers had a barber shop and cigar factory there when I came. Neal, Milt, and Herbert Nichls operated a barber shop there as well as a man called Deafey. Mr. Merritt moved the printing office in the building and is still there.
The next building east is the home of Anna Bidwell. It was built by a man named John Scheidel, who owned the lumber yard at that time. John Wolcott owned it before. Witherell and Bidwell were the owners after that. Then Mr. Bidwell became the sole owner. Mr. Bidwell operated the lumber and coal business for some time. Then it became the property of Smith Bros. Velte & Co. and they still own it.
Down east to the corner where the DePue garage now is was a two story building. H. O. Branch owned it, lived upstairs and operated a general wood shop and feed mill. Mr. Branch was the first owner of an auto-buggy. Later a Mr. Bady owned and operated the mill. Frank Mills became the owner and operated a garage there. I think he remodeled the building to a one story building. Now Mr. De?e operates a garage there.
Across the street north and east there was some of the old stave mill machinery and the cooper shop was still operated after I came. J. H. Palmer operated the elevator. It was later owned by George Triphagen. Then it became the property of Smith Bros. Velte & Co. who operate it now. Mr. Dell was manager and ?en Theo Lenon took over. They added a Leonard bulk oil station in 1946. Dale Steward is the truck man now.
Coming up the street west there were three two story brick buildings. One was a double width building. A. H. Sayer operated a hardware in the first one and lived upstairs. He later sold to C. N. Towns. Grant Mead operated a store in the second part and lived upstairs.
The next brick building was operated by Fred Turner as an implement store and opera house above. George Wirt operated a harness shop in the Mead building later. Also Ray Welch operated his hardware and implement business in both of the rooms downstairs until the fire, which cleaned up the entire corner except the wooden building that is the Farmers Oil Station now.
A Mr. Carlington opened the oil station first, selling to the farmers, and it has been managed by Mrs. Smith since and still is.
We will drop over to the P. M. Depot now. When I came here, A. S. Amon was the agent. George Creaser was one of the operators and a Mr. Cole, Mr. Jacobs, Mr. Huckel and others I cannot recall were the night men. The office was open all night then. Mr. Amon died and William Davis, who was also on second trick, became the agent. Herb Anderson worked with him. Robert Haynor is the agent now. We had four passenger trains that stopped here regularly and two local freights. They were operated by Henry Knapp, Joe Blough, Harold Hotchkiss, Fred Hope and others I do not recall. The drays delivered all the coal then. All were operated with horses. George Ripson was Section Foreman when I came. Later there was Homer Duel, M. G. Cogswell, a Mr. Smith and now Mr. Towner.
The big corner store with the town pump was built when I came and was operated by Cramer & Gebot with groceries and drygoods along with men’s clothes and shoes until a fire destroyed some of the stock and the inside of the building. He repaired it inside and Mr. DeLaven operated a general store there. He sold out to some Jews, who closed out the entire stock. Frank Cornell opened the store again with a line of groceries and general merchandise. Griffen Weippert was the manager while M. Cornell still operated the store in Sebewa. Later Mr. Weippert became cashier of the bank and the store was closed out, I think. Mr. Harlan Sweitzer put in a hardware stock and Roy Freemire worked for him some. Later Jack Esler became a partner and finally sole owner. After Mr. Esler’s death the store was sold to Hod Warren and he eventually sold it to Herm Rey. Rey sold to Barnum and Peabody and they sold to Mechem and Hagar, who now operate the store.
The next store west was occupied and was built by William Bennett and wife as a photograph and book store. Later they sold out to Effie Richards, who operated the place for some years and finally closed out the stock. The building was purchased by the local Women’s Club and converted into a community room and library. It is still used for that.
The next building west was built by Dr. Snyder and was occupied by him and Dr. Mighan when I came. The doctors moved out and Mrs. Charles Walrath operated an art shop there some time until they moved away. Mr. and Mrs. Jay Alleman owned and lived there for some time. Mrs. Alleman sold the building to Dr. Huyck, who has offices there now. End part two.
WOLVES ALONG THE OLD SAUK TRAIL from WOLVES AGAINST THE MOON by Julia Cooley Altroochi (Reprinted by permission Julia Cooley Altroochi)
WOLVES AGAINST THE MOON, the historical novel dealing with the fur trade in Michigan was first published in 1940. An eighth edition of the book will be brought out before Christmas by The Black Letter Press, 120 ??? St., S. E., Grand Rapids 49507. The chapter we quote here, WOLVES ALONG THE OLD SAUK TRAIL, recounts the forced trek of Michigan Indians to the Mississippi under the Indian Removal Act of 1830.
In a moment, there followed the outriders a long line of horse-drawn carts, not unlike the death carts used during the cholera plagues in Detroit and in New Orleans. In these carts Joseph saw, to his horror, hundreds of Indians, with their wrists and ankles bound. In some cases, batches of eight or ten were bound together, like cattle headed for the butcher. Soldiers rode in long lines on both sides. After these, came straggling Indians on foot, not only the young braves, but old men, old squaws, young squaws with papooses strapped to their backs. To make matters worse, a cavalryman now and then rode back and lashed the laggards with a whip, some of the flanking infantrymen prodded them with bayonets. This, obviously, was the disinheriting, and the drive of the Indians towards the west, according to the terms of the Chicago treaty of 1833. Joseph recognized the Indians as belonging to the Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes. His blood boiled, as he was forced to watch helplessly. Here were his friends, not only being dispossessed of all they owned and loved but being treated like wild beasts as well. He began to single out individuals whom he had known for years. There walked Weesaw, the once-proud peacock, of the red sashes and turbans and the silver bangles, stripped now to a loincloth and shivering on this cold May day. With his bangles had gone his vanity, his pride, his dignity. An Indian cannot long survive humiliation or loss of freedom. Weesaw’s head was down, his back sagged. He was a dying peacock indeed. He did not even look up as he passed Joseph’s well known house.
“Courage, Weesaw! Courage!” Joseph called out in Algonquin. “You’ll be a great chief in the new land! Courage!”
Weesaw passed stolidly on, without looking up, as if his sense of hearing and of seeing were gone along with his sense of pride.
There were not many of the Parc aux Vaches Indians, whom Joseph strained his eyes to find. But the Trail Creek Indians were there, in full force. Joseph was able to find Ginsey McCoy very easily, because of her golden hair and white skin. She was walking slowly and painfully, carrying a baby not in the Indian manner, strapped to her back, but in her arms. Her Indian husband, his hands tied behine his back, was walking beside her, grim as death. Ginsey looked around her desperately as she passed, and catching sight of Marie in the doorway of the house, held out her baby towards her and called out. Marie came closer.
“Take my baby, Wing Woman! He is dying! Take him and care for him! Please, oh, please! He is only three days old, and he will die on the journey!”
Marie tried to reach Ginsey and take the baby, but a cavalryman rode up, ??his bayonet over Ginsey, and said:
“Hey, you! What you tryin’ to do?”
“She wants me to take her baby and care for it!” said Marie, pleadingly. “Can’t you see she’s a white woman? Let me have the baby.”
“No, Get out o’here! She married an Injun, and an Injun she is! Every man jack of ‘em’s got to go—braves, squaws, and brats! Them’s orders!”
Ginsey cast a despairing glance at Marie over the head of the tiny infant, and walked on, weeping. Marie hurried into the house, returned with blankets and bread in a hastily tied bundle, ran down to the marsh road which Ginsey had just reached, and tied the bundle around Ginsey’s neck. From that moment, Marie busied herself with bringing from the house blankets, clothes, and food and throwing them into the carts, as they passed. Joseph, on the other side of the moving line, tossed in dozens of fur pelts, wondering how much use of them the well clothes soldiers would permit to their shivering victims.
After the Trail Creek Indians, came a group from the Kalamazoo region with whome the Baillys were not quite so well acquainted. But at the end of the long procession, which kept passing the homestead for over an hour, came Noonday and the Ottawa of Grand River and at last, the Ottawa of Arbre Croche, this final spectacle was almost beyond endurance. Old friends of her mother, old friends of hers without number, walked past, with grim, downcast faces, except when some old warrior, like Yellow Thunder or Black Turkey, lifted his head and spread out his arms and seemed to entreat the Great Spirit for mercy upon him and his people. Asa Bun, the cruel, vindictive Asa Bun, walked like a wounded wolf, head down tail dragging in the dust. No one would have laughed now at Sassabe, who had wanted, so long ago, to be baptized “Cursed Toad” or at Wab-she-gun, who had wanted to be baptized “Blockhead” or at Petosega, the “Child of Hell” indeed.
Only a few of the young people looked about them with something of their natural buoyancy. Among these were Oshogay and Three Stars, who were walking arm in arm, heads up, smiling furtively and talking. But a sudden stop was put to their subdued chatter when one of the cavalrymen, who had long been observing Oshogay’s charms, came alongside, swooped down and lifted her to his saddle, with the cry “Come here, my pretty squaw!” The capture and the hug that accompanied it must have reminded Oshogay of her experience with Thad Todhunter, for she screamed like a trapped panther and struggled with such terrible desperation that she slipped from the cavalryman’s grasp and fell from the horse, one of whose hind hoofs came crushing down upon her face. The cavalryman rode on, as if he had merely lost a button from his coat.
“My God!” shouted Joseph Bailly, rushing forward. “Aren’t you fellows going to do anything for this poor girl?”
The Indians were crowding forward towards Oshogay, and the soldiers were beating them back with whips and bayonets, and trying to move forward over the wounded body of Oshogay, as if nothing at all had happened.
“Give this girl to me to take care of! I demand it! She’s hurt—terribly hurt!”
“Oh, you demand it, do you? Who are you anyway?” A cavalryman gave Joseph a cut over the shoulder with the butt of his whip.
Joseph looked up—into the face of Lieutenant Higgins, who had arrested him at Coeur de Cerf and opposed him at the courts martial at Detroit.
“Oh, Bailly, the jailbird, wants it! Lecherous, too, eh?” said Higgins. “Pick up the girl, Private Billups and Private Stacy, and throw her into the nearest cart! He can’t have her!”
“Yes Major!” The soldiers lifted Oshogay, whose face was an unrecognizable bleeding mass, and threw her with a resounding whack into the nearest cart.
“Go get me my shotgun” said Joseph in a low voice to Jean Baptiste, who had come up and was standing beside him. This passes all human endurance.”
“No, mon cousin. I disobey for once. You be shot down by soldiers. No use! No use!”
“Yes, of course, of course! No use! No use! I know just how these Indians feel, how darkly their blood boils. I feel like killing all these beastly soldiers, all of them! Mort de tous les diables!”
“Get along! Get along! Commanded Major Higgins.
There was disorder in the line, both forward and back, due to the interruption, and Major Higgins rode forward to straighten out the line. Joseph turned towards the rear. At the very end, which was guarded by four infantrymen, Joseph saw Chief Blackbird and Running Cloud holding on to each other, as if each could hardly stand. Taking advantage of the momentary halt, Joseph hurried up to them. Marie also had seen them, and was approaching on the other side of the line.
“My friends! My friends!” I could do anything in the world—“ said Joseph.
“I know, I know! It’s of no use, Monami Bailey. The end has come” answered Chief Blackbird.
“No! Not the end! You will have a new life on the Mississippi, Chief Blackbird!”
“Running Cloud and I will not live to see the Mississippi. We will sone lie down beside the road and sleep, and even the bayonets of the soldiers cannot waken us, then!”
“No, no Chief Blackbird! You are a brave! Fight to the end!”
“The long fight is over, Monami Bailey. They burned our villages at Arbre Crocha. They trampled our graves. They leave our dying and our dead by the roadside, without even giving them burial. Shingebiss, old Shingebiss, who saw the Wing Woman’s first son born, was left dying on the banks of the Grand. And Loonfoot died on the St. Joseph. And Oshogay will be thrown from the cart on the banks of the Little Calument, and Running Cloud and I will not live to see the green waters of the Illinois—“.
“Get along now! Line’s movin’” cried one of the guards.
“Get along! Get along!” echoed the three other guards.
“Here! Take these!” said Joseph, thrusting some silver coins into Blackbird’s hand.
“No, Monami Bailly! What should I want with the white man’s silver?” Blackbird spread his brown palm and dropped the silver on the ground. Two of the guards swooped down, like turkey buzzards, picked up the coins, and stuffed them into their own pockets.
Joseph and Marie walked alongside for a minute.
“Where” asked Joseph, “where are Pokagon and Topenebee? I haven’t seen them”.
“They tell me” answered Blackbird, “that Topenebee drank too much of the white man’s firewater at La Porte a few days ago and fell from his horse and was killed. Pokagon, whom the white men love, is being moved to Rush Lake, on the Paw Paw River, with a few of his braves. He does not have to go to the Mississippi.”
“Get along! Get along!”
“Goodbye, Chief Blackbird! Goodbye Running Cloud! God bless you! The Great Spirit protect you!” cried Joseph and Marie.
Blackbird bowed his head and walked on, and Running Cloud, the tears streaming down her face, limped away beside him. The last that Joseph and Marie saw, as the procession passed out of sight, was one of the guards prodding Blackbird in the back—not with the flat but with the point of his bayonet.
“That” said Joseph, “is the end of our Indians of the old Northwest. That is the end of the old Sauk Trail”.
THE SEBEWA RECOLLECTOR
Last update May 27, 2013