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ORGANIZATION OF OTTAWA COUNTY AND ITS TOWNS
ORGANIZATION OF OTTAWA COUNTY AND ITS TOWNS
BY S. L. LOWING
Fellow Citizens of Ottawa County:
In compliance with the request of your committee to write up that portion of the history of the early settlement of Ottawa county, that came under my knowledge and experience, allow me to say, that my earliest acquaintance with Ottawa County was in the fall of 1836, and the winter and spring following. I was then about eighteen years old, and had left the place of my birth and boyhood in Genesee county, New York, for the purpose of seeking my fortune; and like many others of that day supposed it was to be found in the far west, and with that purpose in view I found my way to Grand River,. by the way of what was then known as the Shiawassee trail. I arrived at Grandville, Kent county, about the 1st of October of that year, where I engaged as a laborer, in a saw mill, then owned by Brown & Britten, but operated by Hiram Jenison as their foreman. At this time the title of the Indians to the land on the south side of the river had been extinguished, and the lands surveyed and put in market at the Ionia land office.
On December 31, 1837, Ottawa county was organized, and five towns, to wit, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Talmadge, Norton and Georgetown. In the meantime the lands on the north side of the river had been surveyed and brought into the market. And owing to the fact that the lands on the south side of the river had been purchased and were held by speculators, the immigration was largely turned to the north side of the river, and settlements were formed rapidly along the river.
In those days local politics ran very high. The highways having a coutroling influence, each man being anxious to secure a well worked and traveled highway to his own door, even to the exclusion of his neighbor, and the office of highway commissioner was as eagerly sought after then as the presidency is at this day, and many roads were partially constructed, large sums expended on them, and afterwards- abandoned as useless and uncalled for.
The boundaries of townships were also a bone of contention along the river. as the river cut in two every surveyed town along its banks, leaving parts of the surveyed town on each side of the river. This interfered with the construction of highways and school districts to such an extent that the legislature was very often called upon to fix the boundaries of the townships, sometimes making the river the boundaries of townships, and sometimes repealing those acts and restoring the township to its surveyed limits. These frequent changes of the boundaries of townships frequently led to contention among the settlers, and sometimes to bad blood and trickery, and sometimes took a ludicrous turn. I will mention an instance: Georgetown, being mostly taken up by speculators, had large sums of money raised for highway purposes, while Talmadge was mostly Government lands, or what was then known as internal improvement lands, upon which no taxes couhl be levied. The settlers were very anxious to handle the highway and school money raised on the non-resident lands of Georgetown, and construct highways on the north side of the river. This could only be done by annexing the two towns and extending the highway district across the river. In 1841 and 1842, petitions and remonstrances were sent to the Legislature to have the river made the dividing line. Talmadge remonstrated, because that would give them three more inhabitants; while they had more than there were offices for, and each man must have an office, and it would cut off all the non-resident lands upon which they could raise money to build roads on the north side of the river.
The legislature granted the prayer of the petitioner, and made the river the dividing line between the townships, but, by a mistake in the newspaper report of the act, Talmadge was alleged to be attached to Georgetown, the town below (now Polkton) retaining the name of Talmadge; the town meeting to be held at Eastmanville. Talmadge outnumbered Georgetown in voters four to one, and they rejoiced in the prospect of handling the money of Georgetown for one year at least. Georgetown voters made efforts to induce Talmadge to remain on their own side, elect their officers, and apply to the legislature the next winter to legalize their acts, promising not to assess them or exercise any jurisdiction on that side of the river. This offer was refused by Talmadge, and a week before the township meeting Talmadge held a caucus, nominated a full set of officers on their side of the river, and rejoiced in the prospect of having everything lovely. In the meantime Georgetown sent to the Secretary of State for a copy of the act, when lo, it appeared that the river was made the dividing line. The next question up was how to retaliate on Talmadge; we were not long in drawing a plan; it was to let Talmadge remain in ignorance of the real facts and let them come up to the east part of Georgetown, the place of holding our election, and detain them there so long as to render it impossible for them to return to Eastmanville in time for them to vote there. In the meantime George M. Barker, who had been set off from Georgetown to Talmadge by the act, to go down to Eastmanville and inform them there and hurry up their township meeting and close the polls before Talmadge voters could arrive. This was successfully accomplished. Talmadge appeared in full force at the place now called Jenisonville and offered their votes; they were challenged of course; this led to long and laborious arguments, which continued until about one o'clock p. ji., at which time it was believed that there was sufficient time before the close of the polls at Eastmanville to induce Talmadge to attempt to get there, but not time enough to reach it in fact; they were then shown the certified copy of the secretary, and they at once saw the plot laid for them, and with one accord left for Eastmanville, some in canoes with the wind strong against them, two men on one horse in some instances, the greater portions on foot with hats and coats off, determined to make the distance of fifteen miles before the polls should close at Eastmanville. This was the most exciting campaign and the closest run for office that Ottawa county ever witnessed. Some few arrived at Eastmanville in time to vote, while others failed to reach there in time; those voting did so without organization, and the campaign was lost to Talmadge. Eastmanville folks took good care to get set off from Talmadge before the next town meeting.
The judiciary branch of the settlement of Ottawa county was not neglected. Four justices of the peace were elected in each township, who each, for himself felt that the entire responsibility rested upon him to see to it that the path of each citizen was made straight, and that he walked therein, and there was more litigation per capita then than there ever has been since, each justice and constable feeling that he was not elected for ornamental purposes only. Many ludicrous scenes in court might be- mentioned, but time and space will not permit. Conspicuous among the elements of litigation was the so-called Church & Dalton mill, at Sand Creek. This proved to be a source of revenue to two old attorneys at Grand Rapids, Moore and Abel, and a vexation to the settlers around; they being few in number, were quite too frequently called from home, as jurors, to decide upon the contentions of the two owners of the mill. This mill was built at Sand Creek about the year 1838 or 1839, by B. Church, a Seventh Day Baptist, who resolved that his property should not labor on Saturday, and James Ualton, a Catholic, who resolved that his property should labor on Saturday, but not on Sunday. This was the first bone of contention between them, but led tomany others. The difficulty was partially compromised after awhile, by an arbitration, in which Amos Robinson was the principal arbitrator. He determined that each man should use the mill the alternate week; but that did not stop the litigation, which continued without abatement until both parties were very much impoverished, and was only terminated by a separation of the parties. Mr. Dalton abandoned his property and went to Chicago, where he has since remained. Both parties having cut their pine, the mill went into disuse, and 'was swept away a few years ago by the flood. Abel and Moore each lost the pearl of great price, and both abandoned the practice of the law soon after.
At the time that Georgetown was organized, in 1840, it embraced four townships, those that are now known as Jamestown, Zeeland. and Hiendon. Jamestown was organized about 1849. Jamestown took its name from three James's—James Skeels, the second supervisor, James Brown, and James M. Conkwright. The land, although mostly located by specu lators, in 1835 was mostly put on the market, and was rapidly settled by emigrants largely from Ohio. The first settler in Blendon was Booth Kinney. who settled on Dec. 12, about the year 1845, now dead. Afterwards a family by the name of Woodruff,—Milton, and Henry,—who settled on the same section. This town settled very slow. Stoors & Wyman built a mill in southeast pnrt of the town somewhere about 1850. The town was organized in 1856. First town meeting held at the house of Booth Kinney. Albert Vredenburg was the first supervisor. Zeeland was set off from Georgetown and attached to Holland, and was after organized, and one D. Young was the first supervisor: this was about 1850. The heads of families of the settlers as early as 1840 are now nearly all dead. Henry Griffin, J. V. Harris, Samuel Hart> Thomas Woodbury, Daniel Rieley, and Mrs. H. Steel are the only survivorswho first settled Talmadge.
Hiram Jenison, Luman and Lucins Jenison, S. Yeomaus, L. Burdsly, Edward F. Bosworth, and Freeman Burton are the only survivors of the residents of Georgetown, in 1840, at the time of its organization. The settler* of that day endured many trials and privations, such as are incidental to a: new country. The western portion of the county, and particularly on the south side nf the river, was regarded valueless for agricultural purposes, and had been a great drawback to the settlers in the eastern part of the county, owing to the malaria rising from low lands, causing much sickness, from which very few, if any, of the older settlers were able to escape. It was not unfrequently the case that whole families were found sick with the ague and burning fever at the same time, and no one able to offer a draught of cold water,—and frequently these families resided many miles from other settlers. The mdsquitoes and fleas were intolerable.
The contrast in the appearance and comforts of this county in 1840 and the present day is very great.
e Ida died September 15, 1937. Charles died at Hollywood, Florida, December 3, 1944. They had three children.
ALICE HUBBARD (230), was born January 15, 1866. She attended school in Georgetown, Muskegon and Menominee. She began teaching school in Georgetown and Muskegon Counties, and also in the city schools in Menominee. Alice went west in 1889, and taught in the Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington schools. Her specialty was the Primary Grades and held the position of Supervisor for 35 years in Vancouver. She was never married. Passed away April 3, 1935.
FRANKLIN HUBBARD (231), the first boy and fourth child was
born April 4, 1868 and died July 25, 1873 at the age of five years.
GEORGE HUBBARD (232), the fifth child of Martha and George Hubbard, was born October 2,1870 and died November 28, 1900 at the age of 30. He attended schools in Muskegon and Menominee. George was employed in the office of Pemberthy and Cook Company, wholesale grocers. On June 15, 1899 he married Bertha L Nowack (269) of Menominee, Michigan, who was a kindergarten teacher in that city. George belonged to the National Guard. He is buried in his father's plot in the Georgetown Cemetery. They had one son.
- FRANCES (CARGILL) LINDSLEY (241), was born August 3,1890 at Marinette, Wisconsin. She attended private school at Grand Rapids, Akeley Hall in Grand Haven and Semples at New York City. Frances married Lee Lindsley (244) of the Lindsley Lumber Company, April 4,1914 at Grand Rapids, Michigan. She lives at 2126 Monroe Street, Hollywood, Florida. They have two children.
- CHARLES CARGILL LINDSLEY (245), April 12, 1914 at Grand Rapids, Michigan. He attended public schools at Grandville, and Atlanta Georgia, and the University of Georgia. During World War II Charles served overseas and attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. He is with the Lindsley Lumber Company at Miami Florida.
- PATTY (LINDSLEY) CARLILE (246), was born January 30, 1922, at Escanaba, Michigan. She attended Public Schools at Grandville, and Atlanta, Georgia, and the University of Alabama. Her first marriage was to John Disosway (247) (deceased). She married Norman P. Carlile (250), December 19, 1948. He was a 1st Sergeant during World War II and served overseas. He is now Vice President of the Southern Oxygen Company, at Hollywood, Florida. She has four children, all born at Hollywood, Florida.
- LYNN DISOWAY (248), born June 3, 1945.
- JOHN DISOWAY (249), born March 15, 1947.
- PATRICK CARLILE (251), born July 30, 1949.
- CONSTANCE CARLILE (252), born August 1, 1951.
- CHARLES ROGER (DON) CARGILL (242), was born August 9, 1892, at Iron Mountain Michigan. He was 2nd Lieutenant and a Bomber Pilot in the US Air Force during World War I. Don married Evelyn Hope Gove (253), June 30, 1919 at Detroit, Michigan. He was a commercial photographer and lived at 550 Laural Avenue East Grand Rapids, Michigan. They had two children. Don passed away 17 January 1984, buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Grand Rapids.
- DON ASHTON CARGILL (254), was born September 3, 1921, at Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was commissioned Lieutenant JG in the US Navy at Annapolis and served during WWII. He married Martha Leete Skinner (256), January 4, 1946 and they live at 822 Fairfax Road, Bloomington Michigan. He is President and owner of the Detroit Cargill Mechanical and Engineering Corporation. They have two children.
- SUSAN HOPE (257), born October 31, 1947
- JOHN SHERROD (258), born April 6, 1953.
- CONSTANCE (CARGILL) SHUSTER (255), was born February 21,1924 at Grand Rapids, Michigan. She married Harold Schuster (259), June 17, 1949, at Los Angeles, California. He is a salesman and they live at 4 Hawthorne Avenue, Princeton, New Jersey. They have three children.
- STEPHANIE ELLEN (260), born April 13, 1952.
- ALEXANDR H (261), born September 16, 1954.
- ELIZABETH CLAIRE (262), born August 30, 1956.
- RICHARD IRVING CARGILL (243), was born January 30, 1897. He married Jean Benham (263), December 28, 1922. They were divorced. He had one child, Milton Benham Cargill. Richard was Quarter Master Sergeant in the US Army for 2 1/2 years, of the Commander in Chief Section Headquarters, and was personal chauffeur to General George C. Marshall and General John J. Pershing during World War I. He married Florence Youse (265), January 10, 1937. He is a salesman.
- MILTON BENHAM CARGILL (264), of Elkhart, Indiana was born June 4,1924. He was a Seaman 1st Class and served 3 years in the US Navy during World War II. Milton married Marjorie Borneman (266) of Elkhart, Indiana, November 10, 1947. He is now a salesman. They have two children.
- MICHAEL (267), born August 21, 1949.
- LINDA SUE (268), born January 28, 1952.
MARY (HUBBARD) PRINDLE (233), sixth child, was born February 11, 1873, in Georgetown Michigan. She was married to Dr. Earl Stanley Prindle (271), December 18, 1894. He was born in Vermont, June 10, 1869. He practiced in Menominee, Michigan and Spirit Lake, Idaho, for several years, and last at Portland Oregon, where he had a large practice. Dr. Prindle died May 1935, and afterwards Mary moved to San Mateo California where she died, May 27, 1958 at the age of 85. Five children were born to this union.
- GEORGE JR. (271), born June 11, 1901. Lived with his mother in Grandville, Michigan until his death, April 15, 1918. He is buried in the Grandville Cemetery.
GRACE D. HUBBARD (234), the seventh child of Martha L. Lowing and George Hubbard, was born February 12,1876. She graduated from Central High School in Grand Rapids. Taught in Holland City Schools. While on leave of absence to study Art in Ypsilanti College, she was taken ill and died March 13, 1904. She is buried in the Hubbard-Lowing Plot in Georgetown Cemetery. She was unmarried.
JULIA (HUBBARD) FROST (235), was born February 8, 1879 at Muskegon, and attended schools in Muskegon and Menominee. She taught piano in Hudsonville, Grandville and Grand Rapids. She married William Eastman Frost (294) April 4th, 1912, and moved to Portland Oregon. He was born September 5, 1878 at Sand Lake, Michigan. Mr. Frost was a lumberman and his activities were largely in the Northwest. He at one time owned and operated mills in Washington, Idaho and Oregon. He spent some time in the goldfields of the Klondike. William died July 22, 1945. Julia lives at 44 San Mateo Drive, San Mateo, California. They had no children.
JESSIE (HUBBARD) JENISON (236), the youngest child was born September 11, 1881 at Muskegon, Michigan. She received her education at Muskegon, Menominee, and Grandville. When nine years old, owing to the illness of her father, the family moved to their farm in Georgetown, where Jessie attended the Bosworth School. When a young lady she moved to Grandville, where she became a teacher in the rural schools. While teaching at the Bursley School, she married the Director of the School Board, Hiram Jenison (295), June 6, 1906. They settled in a home in Grandville, living in that community for over fifty years. She is a Life Member of the Order of the Eastern Star and is a Past Matron and occasionally attends both Grandville and Dowagiac Clubs. She served several years as Member of Grandville Board of Education and had the pleasure of presenting her daughter Julie with her diploma.
- KIRK HUBBARD PRINDLE (272), of 865 Culrbra Rd, Hillsborough, California, was born April 15,1897 at Menominee, Michigan. He attended public schools in Idaho and Washington, Reed College and the Medical Department of the University of Oregon. He married Anne Goss (277), October 14, 1930 at Long Island, New York. She was born May 8, 1900 in New York City and attended Horace Mann, and Vassar College, and is a musician. Dr. Kirk Prindle is an Episcopalian, belongs to several Church Societies and is Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at Stanford University Medical School. He was an Ensign in Navy Aviation during World War I. They have five children.
- ELEANOR PRINDLE (278), is the first child of Dr. and Ann Goss Prindle, and was born September 13, 1931 at San Mateo, California. She attended Hillsborough and San Mateo Public Schools, Reed College in Portland Oregon, and is librarian at Wine Institute.
- ANN (PRINDLE) ANTHONY (279) was born May 13, 1933, at San Mateo, California. She attended Hillsborough and San Mateo Public Schools. Graduated with an A.B. degree from Stanford University and also is a Registered Nurse having attended Stanford University School of Nursing. She married Donald Anthony, September 11, 1960. He is a Professor of Music at Stanford University. Both are active in music at Palo Alto, California
- JUDITH PRINDLE TOLLACKSON (280), was born April 24, 1935 at San Mateo, California. She attended Hillsborough and San Mateo Public Schools, Catherine Brannson's, and Whitman College at Washington. Judith married Kenneth Tollackson, MD (284), February 2, 1958 at Trinity Church Boston. He is a Lieutenant Surgeon in the Medical Corp of the Navy. They had one child, Kendra (285), who died at Oak Knoll Hospital, December 7, 1960.
- MARTHA PRINDLE (281), was born May 3, 1937 at Hillsborough, California. She attended schools at Hillsborough and San Mateo. Catherine Brannsons and Whitman College at Washington. She is a graduate nurse from the University of California Nursing School at San Francisco. She lives at home.
- KIRK HUBBARD PRINDLE, JR (282), was born February 11, 1940 at Hillsborough, California and attended Public Schools there. He also attended Cate School and Whitman College at Washington. Was President of the Whitman College student body 1960-1961. Entered the Medical School at Stanford University the fall term of 1961.
- ALICE (PRINDLE) McBROOM (273), of Bakersfield, California is the second child of Dr. and Mary Prindle, born January 31, 1900 at Menominee, Michigan. She attended Spirit Lake Grammar School, Washington High School in Portland, Oregon, and the Musical Department at the University of Washington where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. In 1952, she married Harold McBroom at Las Vegas, Nevada. He is in the US Air Force. Alice is a Public School teacher and has been a Professional Soloist for seven years, for the Warner Brothers Broadcasting Company of Hollywood, California. She also works for Twentieth Century Fox. Belongs to the Christian Science Church. They have no children.
- PAULINE PRINDLE (274), died in infancy.
- ELINOR EARLE PRINDLE (275), was born November 4, 1912 and died October 19,1919.
- MARY ELIZABETH (BETTY)(PRINDLE) LOMBARD (276), of 2119 East Dartmouth Circle, Englewood, Colorado was born May 2, 1908 at Spirit Lake, Idaho. She attended Spirit Lake grammar school, Washington High School at Portland, Oregon, Washington State College, and the University of Oregon. February 25, 1933 she married Abner Loren Lombard (286) at St Michaels and All Angles Church at Portland, Oregon. He is Vice President of a Life Insurance Company and Betty is a Piano Teacher. They have three children.
- MARY PRINDLE (LOMBARD) MULDER (287), was born December 14, 1933 at Spokane, Washington. She attended schools in California, Boise, Idaho, Olympia Washington and Honolulu. She married Herman Mulder (290) June 14, 1952 at Olympia Washington. They live at Kona Inn, Kailu, Kona Hawaii. He is manager of the Inter-Island Resort. Herman Mulder was born and raised in the Netherlands, living under hazardous conditions during World War II. Escaped a Concentration Camp and came to America. He settled in Olympia in 1956. They are Republicans. They have two children.
- MARY ELIZABETH (291), born September 12, 1958 at Hilo.
- JAN RENEE (292), was born November 25, 1960 at Honolulu, Hawaii.
- PETER KIRK LOMBARD (288), was born October 12, 1935 at Spokane, Washington. He attended schools in California, Boise, Idaho, Olympia Washington, Honolulu College and the University of Arizona. October 15, 1960 he married Peggy Ann Watson (293) at New York City. Peter is an actor and singer, and she is an actress, singer and dancer. He was a member of the Broadway Production of "Carnival". He also had leading roles in these previous shows; "Straw Hat", "Lil Abner", and in Dallas, Texas had the male lead in "Red Head", and has also had many leads in the field of
musical comedy. Peter was a 1st Lieutenant during World War II. They have no Children.
- THOMAS ABNER LOMBARD (289), was born November 3, 1949 at Los Angeles, California. He attended schools in Olympia, Washington and in Honolulu. He is not married and works in Denver, Colorado. Thomas has been ill for many years. He lives at 23209 East 13th Street, Denver, Colorado.
She is a member of the Methodist Church and was active in Sunday School and other Church organizations. Being interested in the "Votes for Women", she helped organize the Grandville Woman's Suffrage Club and served as an officer. It was an honor to have been selected to serve on the City Election Board, the year that women were first allowed to vote, and she was a member of that Board for many years.
Hiram was Secretary and Treasurer of Grandville Elevator Company, Manager of the Michigan Auto License Bureau of Grandville, and a member of the Masonic Lodge. He died October 5,1947. After the death of her husband, Jessie sold the family home and eventually moved to Dowagiac to be near her son Eugene and his family. She retired from active life. She had two children. She passed away May 18, 1962, and is buried in Georgetown Cemetery.
LUKE LOWING (223), second child of Stephen and Ruth Madison Lowing, was born October 18, 1843. His father being very religious, at that time gave him the name of Saint Luke Saint John but it was immediately shortened to Luke. He was born in the log-house on the creek, but shortly moved to the second log-house where now stands the family home. They were living here when their mother returned to NY on a visit and did not return. This separation caused great hardships for the children. Their father was unable to get a woman to care for them and only a doddery old man watched over them. They lacked clothes and sometimes there was a shortage of food. When business increased and their father built his third mill and boarding house close to the river, the children were sure of food, for he hired cooks. When they had clothes, they attended Haire School and Luke tells of wearing pants made of flour sacks.
- EUGENE JENISON (296), son of Hiram and Jessie Jenison was born May 16, 1911 at Grandville, Michigan. He attended Grandville High School, Michigan State University and Ferris Institute. He married Henrietta Avink (298), February 24, 1940 and they live at 602 Green Street Dowagiac, Michigan. He is a Magazine and Newspaper Distributor. Eugene was elected Mayor of Dowagiac, April 1959, is Charter President of Dowagiac's Lion Club; Member of Masonic Lodge and Elks and a member of the Federated Church at Dowagiac. They had two children. Henrietta passed away December 11, 1989, buried at the Riverside Cemetery Dowagiac.
- JUDITH (299), born May 17, 1942.
- RODGER (300), born August 29, 1945.
- JULIE (JENISON) JONES (297), daughter of Hiram and Jessie Jenison was born May 23, 1914, at Grandville, Michigan. She attended Grandville High School. She married Dean W. Jones (301), June 4th, 1938 at Grandville Methodist Church. He is with the J. Walter Advertising Agency, Chicago, Illinois, and is the Account Executive on Kraft Cheese Company. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois; Member of the Masonic Order, Merchandising and Advertising Clubs. They live at Thackery Lane, Northfield, Illinois. They have three children.
- THOMAS HUBBARD (302), born August 7, 1939.
- JILL JENISON (303), born December 12, 1947.
- MARY SUSAN (304), born February 14, 1956.
He had a dog that he traded for a violin that he taught himself to play, laboriously learning the notes. He became an accomplished violinist, and played for all the parties, and dances of the community. He also learned to play the fife, and in 1861, when his father organized Company I, he played so that Company I would have martial music on the long march into Grand Rapids to join the 3rd Regiment.
He married his Cousin Amelia (134), daughter of his Uncle William, June 25th, 1865, and a year later with baby Nettie, moved to the farm down the river, where he cleared the stumps, and set out the first orchards on the land that later became known as the Hubbard farm. Bertha and Albert were born there.
In 1874, the family moved up to the old farm, where his father had recently moved two parts of the boarding house and set them at angles. Here Stephen, Luke, Elizabeth, Charles, Harry and Harriet were born. The land still needed much stump-pulling and work from the ox-teams. With the help of his sons, all the land was cleared.
Amelia had a fine voice and sang for all occasions, she also played "second" for the many dances that were held in the old house on Saturday nights. They both worked to educate their children. Luke, who had had such little time for schooling, was very insistent that the children be given time to study. He improved his own reading and writing after marriage.
Amelia died June 25th, 1895; leaving a young family and for the next years with help of his daughter, Bertha, he cared for them. In 1907 he sold his large farm to his sons Charles and Harry, and built a new house on the corner fourteen acres. When he died February 22, 1922, he left it to Bertha with the stipulation that any of his children could come back there to live if they so chose. Albert, Stephen, Elizabeth, Harriet all spent their last years at this home with Bertha until her death, and Harriet continued to make a home for the rest. Harry and Charles lived on the adjoining land for years.
Luke started the first Lowing reunions by holding a strawberry festival in his yards. These continued until his death.
His sister Martha was his only childhood playmate, and at a very early age, there was formed a closeness between them that lasted throughout their lifetime. After their families were grown they would spend many weeks together each year. It was a time of telling of their old pioneer hardships, and their stories, much of the history of the Lowing family and the progress of the growth of Georgetown was saved for the future generations.
OSCAR (TOBE) LOWING (224), was born December 12,1847. His grandfather and grandmother, Lavinia, cared for him from the age of two until he was a large boy, so he escaped some of the hardships of Martha and Luke.
- NETTIE AMELIA (LOWING) HUBBARD (178), the first child of Luke and Amelia Lowing, was born August 13, 1866, at Georgetown, Michigan. She attended the Chrysler School, walking to this school on old logging trails that her father had blazed to show her the way. The family moved to the old Boarding House home on the original Stephen farm, and she finished her grade schooling at Haire's. She attended school in Muskegon, for two years, and received her teaching certificate. Her first school was at Haire's where she received $3.40 a week. She also taught at Blendon and Chrysler, receiving $6.50 a week her last term. She married George M. Hubbard (312) March 22,1892. They moved to the lumbering town of Watersmeet, Michigan, here he became bookkeeper at the mill. In the Spring of 1895, the bottom dropped out of the lumber market, and they returned to Georgetown, with their son, Donald, and moved to the farm on the river, where the rest of the children were born. They brought out two carloads of lumber and built the home that was not entirely finished, when the family moved to Hudsonville twenty-years later, in 1915. George was postmaster for a few years, then with Guy Edson bought out the Lumber Yard at Hudsonville, and with this company remained until his death in 1937 Nettie lived until April 1, 1945. They are buried in the Georgetown Cemetery. They had six children.
- GEORGE DONALD HUBBARD (313), was born in Georgetown, May 4, 1893. He attended Chrysler School and Tri State College in Angola, Indiana. He married Belle Van Haften (319), October 3, 1917, at Grand Rapids, Michigan. He enlisted in the Army Air Force, June 1, 1918, and spent most of his year's service at Camp Upton, New York. He moved to Miami, Florida in October 2, 1934, where he worked for several years at South Miami. Later he purchased the Carter Electric Company, and became an Automotive Electrician. They had two children. George passed January 9, 1963 buried in Miami, Florida. Bell passed May 8, 1973 also buried in Miami.
- JOYCE DONNA (HUBBARD) HARPER (320), was born November 26th, 1918, at Grand Rapids, Michigan. She was graduated from High School and the Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. She married Helm T. Harper (322), February 11, 1941, and they moved to Aruba, Netherlands West Indies, and Venezuela, where he was employed for 14 years on the Foreign Staff by the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (EXXON). He also served in the China, Burma, India theatre during World War II. They have two children.
- STEVEN CHARLES (323), born November 24, 1954.
- LISA LOUISE (324), born April 29 1961.
- LOUISE FRANCES HUBBARD (321), was born November 7th, 1923. She graduated from High School and Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida. While working at the hospital she was burned in an accident and died June 4th, 1944. She is buried in Miami, Florida.
- ALBERT M. HUBBARD (314), was born May 25,1895, in Georgetown. He moved to Hudsonville after his father bought the Lumber Company, and worked in the mill there as a carpenter. He served in World War I, in the Air Force and spent most of his war years in Hawaii. Albert married Myrtle Chamberlin (325) October 13, 1934. They have no children. He belongs to the American Legion Post at Grandville. Last known residence L. Lakes near Baldwin. Myrtle Chamberlin Hubbard passed July 29, 1976 at the age of 85.
- DOROTHY (HUBBARD) SKINNER (315), was born on the river farm in Georgetown, January 29th, 1897. She attended Chrysler and Grandville High School. Dorothy began teaching school in 1916, and taught for twelve years in Ottawa County. She married Almond Skinner (326) March 23, 1929. They moved to Federal Avenue, Grand Rapids, near the National Cylinder Gas Company, where he was employed for thirty-three years before his retirement in 1961. They had no children. Dorothy passed July 15th, 1979 at the age of 82 in Grandville, Michigan.
Dorothy was responsible for much of the research and was supplier of many stories for the update of the Michigan Lowing History that was published in 1962. To her we will forever be grateful.
- EUGENE E. HUBBARD (316) was born August 12, 1899. He graduated from Grandville High School, and taught at the Alward School for two years before becoming the Postmaster at Hudsonville, a position he held for thirty-seven years before his retirement in 1959. He married Flora Sweet (327) July 7th, 1926, and they lived one and a half miles north of Hudsonville. He is a member of the Lions Club. They have no children. Flora passed February 4, 1990 at age of 89.
- LUKE C. HUBBARD (317), was born October 4,1904 in Georgetown. He graduated from Hudsonville High School. He served in World War II from September 8th, 1942 to June 16, 1945, and was located mostly in the Trinidad Area. On his return he went into "Spe-d-Gas" business with his brother Glen. Luke married Gladys Seydel (328), June 28, 1949. He is a member of the Lion's Club. They have no children.
- GLEN HUBBARD (318), was born April 27, 1907, in Georgetown He attended Hudsonville High School, Ferris Institute and the University of Michigan. He served in World War II from April 21st, 1941 until December 1945. He enlisted as a private and was discharged as a Captain. He married Mary Powell (329) March 5th, 1943, at Bay Village, Ohio. Glen is in partnership in the "Sped-d-Gas" Company. They live north of Hudsonville on one of the original farms of Holden Lowing. He is a member of the Lion's Club. They have no children. Mary Hubbard passed February 22, 1963, buried Georgetown Cemetery. Glen married Emily Lowing (2910) (widow of Harry Lowing) September 3, 1965.
- BERTHA LOWING (305), the second child was born on the lower farm, September 12th, 1868. They moved up to the big house in 1873. She attended Haire's School and also one year at Montague, living with her Aunt Stella Todd. She taught at Chrysler for a year, but gave up teaching to care for her ill mother and assist in the home. Her mother passed away in 1895, and Bertha assumed full responsibility for the care of her father, the home and the younger brothers and sisters.
In 1908, her father sold the big farm to his sons Harry and Charles, and built a home on a comer of the farm reserving 14 acres for a garden and pasture. They moved into this house in 1909. It had five bedrooms, so that it could shelter the big family should they wish to all return at one time.
Here she cared for her again father, and when he passed away in 1922, he willed the house to Bertha with the stipulation it should always be home to any one of the family wishing to live there. Here it did become home to almost everyone of the brothers and sisters. Her family deeply loved her. Her life was full of responsibilities, but she accepted them, and there seemed to be no end to her giving, showering love and affection throughout her long life.
Bertha passed away January 11th, 1954, at the age of 85 years. She is buried in the Lowing Hubbard plot in the Georgetown Cemetery.
- ALBERT E. LOWING (306), the third child and first son of Luke and Amelia Lowing, was born August 14, 1870, on the lower river farm. He received a grade school education, and began to assist his father clearing the big farm as soon as he was large enough to work. He helped pull stumps with a stump puller and ox-team, on most of the acres of that farm. Albert married Dora Alward (330) November 7th, 1900, and they moved into an apartment made from the upper story of the farmhouse. They lived there one year while the house was being built on the Eastern section of the land, where they lived until 1911, when Dora and Albert purchased one of the farms on "Street Road" that Holden Lowing had bought and cleared in the 1840's.
Dora was born November 17th, 1876, and passed October 3,1954. Albert sold the farm in 1955, purchased a trailer, and moved it next to Bertha's home, where he spend the remaining years of his life. Albert passed April 11, 1964 and is buried in the Georgetown Cemetery.
- STEPHEN LUKE LOWING (307), the fourth child was born October 5th, 1875. He attended Haire School, Grandville High School and graduated from Central High School in Grand Rapids. He assisted on the farm in his younger days, but did not like farm life, so left for the West in 1900 with two friends. They worked at various jobs including lumbering, sheep herding and ranching. He went to Mexico in 1903, and worked for several months at Mazatlan. The gold rush fever seized him in 1905 and with a companion they purchased their dunnage, consisting of heavy woolen clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, tents, tools and grub enough to last one year. They left Seattle in the early spring and took the inside passage, leaving the ship at Skagway. Here they headed for the noted Chilkoot Pass, going up the icy 3500 foot pass, and experienced the hardships that the early miners encountered. They successfully made the Whitehorse Rapids, with their luggage intact. It was a hard insecure trip until they reached the Yukon River, when it was clear sailing into Dawson City.
They found Dawson crowed on three sides with mountains, there was no room so they traveled up the Klondike River and onto the bank of a creek where they were first allowed to pitch a tent. Here they stayed all summer hunting for a place to stake a claim. Weekly they traveled miles hunting for one spot that hadn't been claimed. It was impossible; gold has been discovered in 1897 and even these few years all possible spots had been taken.
They began working at odd jobs and finally earned enough money to get them to Fairbanks. He took up fur trapping, and remained in the area of Big Delta forty-eight years. A rugged life but lucrative if one could stand the hardships. He established a large trapline and built cabins at various places along the route, maintaining a large cabin at home base in the Big Delta, many miles from Fairbanks. Summers found Stephen busy stocking his cabins for winter, with food, wood, dry clothing and reading material. The food usually was ordered from Sears down in Seattle. It was cheaper than buying it in Fairbanks.
When autumn and trapping season opened he followed his lines 12 or 15 miles between cabins and stations, gathering the furs as he went along. It was always easier going in the winter when he could use his dog team. He was often stranded in his far away cabins during a storm. One of the unwritten laws of the country was to leave a fire laid and doors unlocked when leaving a cabin, so that anyone could enter for protection from a storm. In all the years Steve had his cabins he never experienced any thefts.
In 1942, the Alcan Highway was built through Big Delta and on into Fairbanks. This brought Stephen right out into civilization. In 1946, he sold out his Alaskan holdings and returned to Michigan to live his remaining years, passing away July 23, 1958 at the age of 82 years.
(Stephen's name is mentioned in the book Highway to Alaska, written by Herbert C. Lanks, as one of the "sourdoughs" of the region.)
- ELIZABETH LOWING (308), was born January 18th, 1878, and attended Haire's School. In 1885, she suffered a severe case of spinal meningitis which left her very crippled, and unable to walk to the country school. She went to Menominee to go to school living with her Aunt Martha Lowing Hubbard. She remained there until the family came back to Grandville. Later she left for the West with the Hubbard girls, where she felt there were more opportunities. She taught school near Portland, Oregon, studied at night school and found a fine position in business. For a time she was Secretary in the Chehalis Training School, and last entered the Banking Division of the State Government in Olympia. This position she held for many years. She retired in 1944, and after a winter in Phoenix, Arizona, came back to Michigan in 1945, making her home with her sisters, Bertha and Harriet, and brother Stephen.
Elizabeth passed away November 24, 1959, and is buried in the Lowing-Hubbard plot in the Georgetown Cemetery.
- CHARLES SUMNER LOWING (309), was born February 15,1880. He attended Haire and Grandville School. He remained on his father's farm, and on December 27,1904 married Nellie Berger (331). Nellie was born September 2, 1880 and had taught school for several years in various parts of Kent and Ottawa Counties. After marriage they lived in an apartment in the old big house. Charles and his brother Harry took over complete management of the farm in 1908, forming a partnership. In 1913, they divided the farm, Harry taking the Western Half and Charles the Eastern half where Stephen L. had built his first home. Through long hours and good management, they were enabled to retire in early life.
Charles then entered politics, holding the office of Supervisor of Georgetown from 1934 to 1949. He served as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Ottawa County for four years, was a member of the Michigan State Farm Bureau, and belonged to the Georgetown Grange for over thirty years. He always amused his family by calling himself the "Politician".
Nellie and Charles built a brick house in 1953, next to the Haire Cemetery. Nellie lived in this house just one year when she passed away, September 3, 1954.
At the time Stephen arrived home in 1946, the family began to have 4 pm coffee time, and every day at that time the brothers and sisters gathered around the family dining table to visit and enjoy a reminiscing period. At first there were six of the family, seven if Harry happened to be in the vicinity. They welcomed guests, and usually had extras. Even though they have passed away one by one, the coffee hour continues with those remaining. Charles always brought so much fun to this coffee time, as well as every gathering he attended.
Charles passed away while enroute home from Arizona, where he had gone to try and regain his health, Feb 28, 1960 at the age of 80 years.
Charles sold his original farm in 1956, and the remaining 40 acres and brick home was sold in 1960.
- HARRIET LOWING (310), the twin sister of Harry was born November 15,1883. She attended Haire School and Grandville and graduated from Central High School in Grand Rapids in 1902. She taught many schools in Kent and Ottawa counties, then in the state of Washington. She taught at the Training School at Chehalis, Washington, and for several years on Camano Island. Harriet graduated from the University of Michigan in 1926. In 1946, she retired and lived with her sister Bertha, assisting her in making that home a center for the rest of the family. She cared for her brother Albert who lived next door. She died December 26, 1977 at the age of 88.
- HARRY LOWING (311), was born November 15, 1883, and attended school with his sister Harriet. He remained on the farm and bought out one half
interest in 1912. He married Delsie Wells (2909), August 26,1912. She was a former Kent County School Teacher. They moved into the old home that now consisted of three apartments. In 1933 they tore down the old farmhouse, which had
been built of the old boarding house and built a home on the same site. After enjoying several years of retirement, Delsie passed away February 6, 1943, and is buried in Georgetown Cemetery. They had no children. Harry married Emily Chamberlin Johnson (2910) on June 14, 1946. Harry sold the farm in 1948 and bought a cottage at L. Lake where they spend their summers and winters in Florida. Harry passed away April 1964. Interment Georgetown Cemetery.
Even as a small child he made friends readily, he was full of fun; a great mimic and he brought great fun into any group that he joined.
He attended Canada Hill and Haire's School. During their father's absence at war and while he was off trying law cases, Tobe and Luke tried to run the farm. They cut wood and tried to earn enough money to keep the family provided with food. It was a time of great scarcity and was especially difficult for the two boys. Oscar married Naomi Whitehead (332), April 4th, 1869, and moved into the boarding house of his father's until 1874, when they moved to the Ohio Mills, here he worked in the woods and she ran the boarding house there. They next moved to the farm near the Chrysler School, where they finished clearing the land. Here their three children were born:
MYRTIE (LOWING) HOPKINS (224), first daughter born June 24,
1873 at Grand Haven, Michigan. She attended school at Allendale, Grandville, and Teacher's Institute in Holland, Michigan. She taught one year in Blendon Township, Ottawa County, at the salary of $26.00 per month. She married Moses Barrett Hopkins (966), October 6, 1892. He was a newspaper reporter and editor working on the Grand Rapids, Detroit and Lansing Newspapers. In 1896, he went to Washington, as Secretary to William Alden Smith, and wrote a daily column for the Grand Rapids Herald. Her husband left newspaper work after World War I and became connected with Wayne County Treasurer's office. For many years Myrtie was a member of the Wayne County Republican Club, and was active in all its membership drives. After her husband's death, April 17th, 1927, she was employed in the Personal Tax Department of the Treasurer's Office until the Republicans were voted out of office in 1932. During World War II she worked in the Detroit Recruiting Office and also at the Indiction District at Dearborn.
- GEORGE (333), May 3, 1870.
- JENNIE LYNN (334) October 17, 1874.
- CARL (335), June 21, 1887.
Tobe died March 11, 1889 at the age of 42. Leaving Carl a two-year-old baby, and George, at 19 to farm the land and care for his mother and children.
Tobe was instrumental in the family buying the family plot in Georgetown Cemetery, and was the first to be buried there.
(For history of the descendents of Tobe and Naomi, see Naomi, under the descendents of William Riley Lowing)
EMILY MARKHAM LOWING (78), fourth wife of Stephen L. Lowing was born in Troy, Ashland County, Ohio April 5,1851. She was the daughter of Loren G. and Betsy Biggs Markham. The family moved to Jamestown, Michigan and there at the age of fifteen, Emily married Andrew M. Christie (2911), October 21, 1866. They were divorced in 1869. Stephen Lowing was solicitor in the divorce proceedings, and a few months later, they were married, March 26, 1870. They moved to Grand Haven where Stephen was then practicing law. After deafness forced him to retire, they moved to one of his farms in Allendale, where he died November 4, 1891. For a short time they continued to live at Allendale, then the family moved to Grand Rapids. She married Joseph Dearborn (2912), and lived in Grandville many years. She died March 11, 1936.
Two daughters were born to Stephen and Emily while at Grand Haven.
Myrtie (Lowing) Hopkins died June 9th, 1943, and is buried in Northview Cemetery at Dearborn. They had two children.
Emily (LOWING) MCBRIDE (226), the second child of Stephen L. Lowing and Emily Markham Lowing was born at Grand Haven, March 5th, 1875. She attended schools in Grand Haven, Grandville and Grand Rapids. Emily taught school in Holland, Michigan and married Charles Hamilton McBride (976), August 16,1899 of that city. He was a lawyer and insurance agent of that city and both were active in the Republican Party, Charles was a State Representative, Speaker of the House, Chairman of the Central Committee and both took an active part in all the Civic Groups and Clubs. Charles died July 14, 1947 and Emily died March 8, 1953. They had four children.
- HOMER HOPKINS (967), born May 22, 1902 and died at the age of fifteen months, September 4, 1903.
- JESSIE N. HOPKINS KANDT (968), was born in Detroit Michigan, April 6, 1904. She attended Farrand Elementary and Central High School in Detroit. She worked for the L.B. King, Company, Dearborn Hardware, and the Dearborn Library, as Secretary until her marriage to George E. Kandt (969), August 9th, 1929. George was President of the C.A. Kandt Lumber Company, Dearborn Michigan. They live at 22971 Wellington, Dearborn, where she continues to work as a Bookkeeping machine operator at the lumber company. They have two children:
- RALPH EDWARD KANDT (970), was born May 4, 1930 at Dearborn, Michigan. He attended Columbia Military Academy (1948) and Henry Ford Community College (1950). Ralph is a Certified Public Accountant at Petoskey, Michigan. He married Jean M. Smith (972), December 28, 1949, at Dearborn, Michigan. They have two children:
- KATHLEEN JEAN (973), born December 21, 1951.
- SARAH MELISSA (974), born December 17, 1960.
- DOROTHY ANN (KANDT) PORTER (971), was born April 29, 1933 at Dearborn, Michigan. She attended Dearborn High School, University of Michigan and Graduated from Michigan State University in 1955. She married Rodger Lynn Porter (975), November 9, 1957, in the Martha-Mary Chapel, Greenfield Village at Dearborn. Dorothy was a secretary for several years. Lynn is a salesman for the Address-ograph-Multigraph Corp. They live at 3011 Arcadia Drive Lansing, Michigan. They have no children.
- KATHERINE L. (MCBRIDE) BOLTWOOD (977), was born June 5, 1900. She attended Holland Public, Hope College, and National Kindergarten, Chicago. She married Chester G. Boltwood (1580) of Grand Rapids, December 17, 1924 at Hope Church, Holland. Chester was in the Ordnance Dept in World War I. They had three children. Katherine died October 7th, 1945.
- CHESTER MCBRIDE BOLTWOOD (1584), only son was born November 20, 1925. He attended Holland Public, Hope College, and Harvard Navy School. He married Joan Mary Schnaubel (1584), June 3,1947, at Long Beach California. He was a US Navy supply officer stationed at Subic Bay, Philippines. They had three children.
- CHESTER M., II (1585), born December 15, 1948.
- KATHERINE MARGARET (1586), born June 1, 1950.
- PATRICIA ANNE (1587), born September 30, 1955.
- BARBARA BOLTWOOD (1582), born July 1st, 1927. Died June 21, 1937, from an operation at St Lukes Hospital, Chicago. She is buried in the Fulton Street Cemetery in Grand Rapids.
- LINDA KATHERINE (LEE) BOLTWOOD (1583), was legally adopted by Katherine and Chester Boltwood at the age of 3 months. She was born September 11, 1940. She attended Grand Rapids Schools and Michigan State University. Lives with her father and stepmother.
- MAXINE (MCBRIDE) HORGAN (978), the second daughter of Emily and Charles McBride was born August 13th, 1901. She attended Holland Schools and Hope College, Mt Hoyoke. She married Thomas Horgan (1588), November 27, 1925 and lived for a time in Boston. Here she became a short story writer. He was a newspaperman. They were divorced at New York City. She became ill, and was in and out of hospitals, and is now in Northville State Hospital, Michigan.
- MARJORIE DOROTHY (MCBRIDE) DAVIS (979), the third daughter of Emily and Charles McBride, was Born April 10, 1903. She attended Holland Public Schools, Hope College and Oberlin College, Ohio. Marjorie married Ray Davis (1589) in March 1938. He had graduated from the Naval Academy in 1933, was a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Air Force, flew during World War II in the Pacific, and was Wing Commander. He is now a USN Captain Retired and lives at 6 Forest Lane, Warrington, Florida. He was loaned to Canada to assist in building up their Naval Air Force.
- RAY CHARLES DAVIS (1590), was adopted by Marjorie and Ray Davis, October 13, 1949. He attended various schools in this country, Canada, the Philippines and the Fork Union Military Academy, Virginia, and the University of Indiana.
- VIRGINIA GRACE (MCBRIDE) CRAWFORD (980), fourth child was born May 24, 1908 at Holland, Michigan. She attended Holland Schools, Olivet College, and Randolph Macon Woman's College Lynchburg, Virginia. She married Donald J. Crawford (1591) February 14, 1933 at Holland, Michigan. He is General Insurance Agent in the McBride Crawford Agency at Holland. He was born in Detroit, December 12, 1909, attended Culver Military Academy, Olivet College and the University of Michigan. He entered the Navy as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in World War II and retired as a Lieutenant Commander. They are both Republicans, and are active officers in the Macatawa Yacht Club. Both were chairman of the Community Chest of Holland. They have two children.
- DONNA JILL (CRAWFORD) BROWN (1592), was born at Detroit, June 16, 1935, attended Holland Schools, Lake Forest College, and Stephen's College, Columbia, Missouri. She married James Keith Brown (2814), of Edmond, Oklahoma, Aug 22, 1956, at Holland, Mich. They live in Houston, Texas, where he is Representative of Coca-Cola Sales, and she is Receptionist in the Geophysical Lab, Houston, Texas. He sings in the choir in the Episcopal Church and lives on 8822 Robindell Rd. He was staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force in the Korea and Japan areas.
- SHARON ANN (CRAWFORD) BROOKSTRA (1593), was born Jan 15, 1938 at Holland Mich. She attended schools at Holland, Kemper Hall, Kenosha, WI, Sophie Newcomb, New
Orleans, Hope College, and Univ. of Vienna, Austria. She married William Robert Brookstra (2815), February 11, 1961 at St Mark's Cathedral, Grand Rapids. He is an ensign in the U.S. Navy, and she is Hostess for TWA. They are both Republicans, and both active in the Episcopal Church. Wherever they live he sings in the choir. At present he is supply officer aboard the Destroyer "Sullivan".
This Completes The Life of Stephen L. Lowing And All Of His Known descendants.