Oldtime Area Newspaper Clippings
Relating to Ionia County
Part 1

A BIG Thank You to the Portland Observer, Teresa Sweet, Robert Wilfred Gierman (deceased) for collecting the Sebewa information, and the Sebewa Association for these Tidbits!!

January 14, 1873

The nervous portion of our community began to shake in their boots last Saturday afternoon at a rumor which was being circulated in reference to someone who had come to the village from a southerly direction, and who it was taken for granted was therefore just the subject to expose all our good people to the small pox. In fact, the rumor was that a young lady had come to town who had been living at Mr. Halladay's in Sebewa, and who had therefore been exposed to the small pox.

We are informed by Dr. Albro(?) of Danby, that there are now three cases of small pox or varioloid in the Halladay neighborhood, a daughter of Henry Halladay having come down with the varioloid a few days since. She was promptly removed to the house where the two other cases exist.

January 21 1873

New telegraph operator at the office at this place. We can't keep track of all their names, they change so often.

The Pierce's have just put in a new wood fender at their steam mill, three miles west of this village, at a cost of $500. They try it first on a contract of 4,000 fellies.

February 11, 1873

The wife of William H. Howland of this village has gone to Nebraska to live. Her father is Ben H. Brown.

March 4 1873

With the disappearance of sleighing, it is to be hoped one nuisance will be abolished. We refer to the prevailing practice of whole loads of young people out pleasure riding Sunday evenings filing into a church about the middle of a service to get warm.

Runaway--On Sunday last, as Benjamin Probasco and another young man of this village were returning from Westphalia, their cutter was overturned by a snow drift when about two miles from town, and the occupants spelled out in the ditch. Having got rid of her load, the horse made 2:40 time for about a mile. When turning in at the residense of Mr. H. Conkling, she jumped a board fence, ran over the wood pile, and finally brought up on the outside stairway of Mr. Conkling celler, having completely demolished the cutter and funished the harness maker with a job.

March 11, 1873

Birth--in Sebewa to the wife of J. C. Olry, a daughter

March 18, 1873

Death--George F. Northrup aged 40 years, 6 months, and 13 days.

Births-In Sebewa, March 21,1873 to the wife of G. C. Ayers, a son
Births-In Sebewa, March 24, 1873 to the wife of C. Gott, a son

June 10, 1873

Grove Meeting-The spiritualists of Sebewa and vicinity will hold a Grove meeting near Sebewa Corners on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22, 1873. Let all spiritualists and friends of liberal thought consider themselves cordially invited to attend. Preparations will be made by the friends of Sebewa to entertain all strangers from abroad. A basket picnic at the Grove. Come one, come all, and let us have a feast of reason and a flow of soul. Able speakers will be in attendance to address the meeting. Mrs. Ellen Reeder, Sec. and P. G. Cook, Pres.

June 17, 1873

We hear it stated that a pugilistic encounter occurred near Sebewa Corners one day last week, in which three women figured conspicuously, but have learned no particulars except that the affair resulted in the victory of one female against the other two, and that tranquillity again prevails in the neighborhood.

Married on the 12th inst., Jacob Luscher and Miss Minnie Earthman, both of Sebewa

July 8 1873

Married , Mr. Charles Kelly to Miss Elsie VanHouten, both of Sebewa

July 15, 1873

Partners from Sebewa were in this vicinity "cooning" last week, but were unsuccessful, it doubtless being too early in the season for this kind of sport, fact six of our honored citizens decided that they have no cause for action.

Aug 5 1873

Henry Mapes of Sebewa died of intemperance. He was a blacksmith-Coroner's jury-"that the deceased came to his death by convulsions of alcohol and other intoxicating liquors".

George Ginols and Thomas White of Ionia "cut with a scythe" and bound fourteen acres of wheat on the farm of L. Benedict, in Sebewa, in two and a half days-twenty-five hours.

Sept 2 1873

We have just learned that the Carter Sawmill in Sebewa was destroyed by fire sometime week before last.

Marriage-in the village of Portland, Sept. 9, 1873, by the Rev. P. Spellman, Mr. Simeon Oatley of Sebewa, and Mrs. Mary E. Smith of Portland.

Born in Sebewa, Sept. 26, 1873, to the wife of Mr. Bowers Peabody, a son and daughter.

17 February 1874

Nerve-- The Ionia sentinel of last week has he following; The best exhibit of nerve lately heard of is Merrit Brindle, of Odessa, who some weeks ago came to a doctor of this city and wanted a finger re-amputated. It seems that in skinning some anima, he had cut his finger and poisoned the wound at the same time, that dry gangrene set in, and he amputated the finger at the first joint with a jack knife. This did not arrest the process of decomposition, and his had presented a terrible appearance. The doctor told him the better way would be to cure the disease before performing the operation, and if he would place himself under his charge, and with security for pay, he would fix him all right. Brindle went away without making any arrangement. Yesterday he was in town again, with his wound all healed. It seems he went home on the previous occasion, and tore the flesh from his finger with a vise, and then sawed off the bone with a handsaw. It's a rough, homemade job, but it didn't cost a cent.

We are glad to see that L. E. Showerman, of Sebewa, who has been layed up a greater part of the winter with a felon and erysipelas in his hand, is able to be about. His hand, however, is not by any means well, and his physicians are of the opinion that he will not get the use of it this summer.

3 March 1874

Very often from twenty to fifty persons, women, children babies and if the weather is too cold for them to stay out doors, men and unruly boys are crowded into a twelve by sixteen room (Portland depot), which it is impossible to keep free from tobacco spit and tobacco fumes, to await the arrival of trains.

Men wanted--Let us hear no more complaining that men can get nothing to do. Hands are wanted on the railroad in Sebewa. Clark & Sargent are paying $1.75 per day, cash, and will procure good board at Halliday Hotel for $3.60 per week. We have enough stout able bodied men in this village who are spending their time lounging around billiard saloons and other equally disreputable places of resort, to supply these contractors with all the help they need.

10 March 1874

The people of the township of Berlin and some parts of Orange, Sebewa and Campbell, who have been in the habit of going to Ionia to sell their produce and do their trading, are every year put to a great inconvenience by being shut off from that place from three to six weeks in each year. This year they have been shut out by high water at least two months.

For the past three weeks ice has been shipped in large quantities over the D L & M Railroad, from Trufant station. It's destination is Cincinnati, where it brings $15 per ton. One train of twenty cars has passed every day, and as many as four extra trains loaded with this cooling commodity, have passed on some days.

17 March 1874

Messers Pierce & Co. of Sebewa have rebuilt their sawmill, destroyed by fire about seven weeks ago, supplied it with new machinery, much better than they had before, and have already commenced operations. They will do an increased business, and make up for lost time.

Pierce & Co. again have their spoke and handle factory in full operation and are shipping car loads of work away every week.

5 May 1874

That Syrup--Mr. Sam Brigham of Sebewa, placed upon our table a few days since a can of maple syrup, which, for clearness, purity and good flavor cannot be excelled, It was manufactured by Meyers & Brigham, who have made quite a large quantity of it this season and find a ready sale for it at $1.25 per gallon.

19 May 1874

Mr. M. M. Lunger of Sebewa, writes that one of his sheep was delivered a lamb, having two faces, eight legs, two bodies as far as the abdomen and three ears. One face was round resembling a human face, and the other resembled that of a lamb. It was dead when found.

26 May 1874

Frank cook, of Sebewa, formerly a student in our Union School, has during the past eight months passed through a siege of small pox and a half dozen other malignant diseases, and is now but a shadow of his former self. He is recovering slowly.

23 June 1874

We learn that a little son of a Mr. Sayers, living in the north part of Roxland, came very near losing his life on Monday of last week through the treachery of an old log building which had been allowed to remain to tumble down by itself. He with several other children were playing around the building when it suddenly fell, and the boy was caught beneath its pile, a portion of the wall, several logs high, resting upon his neck and crushing his head and neck into the ground. The accident was witnessed by the boy's mother, who sat in the door, but being a cripple, she was unable to get to him and was only able to give the alarm by shouting to the men-folks, who were at a neighbor's. They came as speedily as possible and it took four of them with the aid of pries to raise the logs from the child. He was taken out, we are informed, after having been under the logs at least ten minutes, and was supposed to be dead, but restoratives were tried and in a few minutes he commenced to breathe and has continued to improve so he is now able to be about. The numerous accidents continually happening from leaving old buildings to rot down, should be a warning to people to remove them as soon as they are of no further use or become dangerous.

30 June 1874

Married at the Baptist Church in Sebewa on 28th inst. By Rev. Mr. Niles, Mr. Chavney Gillott to Miss Alice Clark, both of Sebewa.

21 July 1874

This obscure corner of the township of Danby, although usually serene and free from excitement, has occasionally a ripple one night during the recent hot weather, the air being oppressively muggy and mosquitoes very thick and hungry, a lady not many miles from Danby arose about eleven o'clock in the evening. Her husband asked her what was the matter, she said it was so warm and the mosquitoes so thick she could not sleep. He asked her where she was going and she said she was going into the kitchen. She lit the lamp but instead of going to the kitchen, she went to the barn as we suppose, for the purpose of getting where it was cooler and to get away from the mosquitoes so she could get some sleep. Whether she had been asleep or not we do not know, but she had not been long at the barn before she called to her husband who was asleep in the house. He ran out to the barn and asked her what was the matter. She answered in the wards of the immortal chandler, "I've got a baby." Moral for ladies--Never sleep in the barn.

28 July 1874

Married by Rev. L. P. Spelman, on the Sabbath of July 26 at Sebewa Corners, Mr. Hiram Reed of Portland and Miss Parmelia H. Holmes of Sebewa.


04 Aug 1874

James Crowell, a young man of 17, who has been living with his parents in Sebewa, was arrested Sunday eve for attempting to steal from the barn of H. Knox near the M. E. Church where Knox had some of his old stock stored. Crowell was found to be 15 and was sentenced to reform school until he should become of age.

13 November 1874

Nancy Green, better known as Green Nancy, a young girl, fourteen or fifteen years of age, was arrested in this village one day last week on a charge of vagrancy. Her examination comes off on Friday.

< In the case of Nancy Green, whose examination comes off before Esq. Gates on Friday of this week, on a charge of vagrancy. It is suggested that there is an excellent opportunity for a little Home Missionary work. The girl is but fourteen years of age, and the probabilities are that unless something is done for her, she will have to go to the House of Corrections for seven years, while if a place was found for her where she could have proper care and a right influence thrown around her, she might be saved. If the ladies feel interested in helping her, they can procure any information they desire of E. M. Gates, Esq.

17 November 1874

Nancy Shaw, the young girl mentioned in our last, has been found a home in a respectable and well to do family in Sebewa, who, we are informed, will give her proper care and training and a good home.

8 December 1874

Week before last, a stranger passed through the townships of Sunfield and Sebewa, stopping at several houses along the road. Calling at the residence of Jonas Carpenter, he found the family, absent, and this apparently suited him, he broke open the back door and helped himself to Mr. Carpenter's over coat and a few other articles, after thoroughly ransacking the house. He then proceeded tot he house of John Betts, who was also absent with his family. The thief effected an entrance by raising a back window, and at once proceeded to get various articles together and was in the act of tying them in a bundle, when Mr. Betts drove in the front yard. The thief, thus surprised, tool French leave, leaving his bundle on the floor and carrying nothing with him but Mr. Carpenter's overcoat, which he had put on. By a short cut to the woods, he made his escape, and although Mr. Carpenter traced him as far as Woodland Center, he could get no further trace of him and the stranger will probably never be seen in that neighborhood again.

15 December 1874

A resident of Sebewa informs us that among the late accessions to that village is a saloon. One saloon in the county burg like Sebewa, will counter act the influence of three or four surrounding schools, and we advise our Sebewa friends not to tolerate such an institution in their midst a day if they care anything for the morals of their boys and young men. The laws, if executed, will wipe but that saloon so effectively, that another will never attempt to open in the place.

A shooting match is to come off in Sebewa, next Thursday, for fat turkeys and chickens, a double-barreled gun, a watch, etc.

Married at the residence of the bride's parents, December 17, 1874 by Rev. Shelly, Mr. Mason Wright of Chester, and Miss Edith Wright of Sebewa.




Last update 1/5/2008