03-08-2018 Tri-City Area History Page

Looks like the employee/family Christmas Party! North Berrien Historical Museum is always interested in photos, stories or information sharing. The museum can be contacted at 269-468-3330 or by email to info@northberrienhistory.org.


The Paw Paw River Journal


Manley White, war hero! I hate to admit it, but I’m old enough that I can remember personally knowing two Civil War heroes. Both Hartfordites, one was Doc McLain. I think he was a druggist, and had gone all through the war. I was but a little kid, and my dad said to me one evening, “Would you like to go with me to visit Doc McLain? Today is his 100th birthday!” Of course I wanted to go, and I can remember him vividly. It was a cold winter’s night, and he lived on Hartford’s north side. We parked in front and went up the walk to his house. He was sitting in the living room in a wheel chair with a blanket wrapped around him. My dad gave him some cigars, which he seemed to relish, and we talked with him. Actually I kept pretty quiet and listened to them talk. He had a raspy, aged voice, but seemed alert. That’s all I remember about the evening. The other Civil War hero was Manley White. He and his wife, both white-haired, lived in the house next to Latuses on Main Street just north of the old Hartford High School. We were invited to have dinner with them. Their old-fashioned house was quiet, clock ticking in the living room. I don’t remember much about the dinner, but I know that my sister, Wilma, and I sat quiet as little mice while the grown-ups talked. This must have been in 1929, and I was 5 years old. Next year Manley White died of pneumonia. That must also have been on Memorial Day, because I remember they rode around with us to visit the local cemeteries. We even went to the old one over in Lawrence. And I’ll bet a lot of people don’t even know where that is. Going east on Red Arrow Highway, about two blocks before you reach Lawrence’s only traffic light, turn left, and there is the old cemetery just beyond the houses. There used to be a cemetery out in the Miles School District, but they recovered all the pioneers buried there, and reinterred them in that old Lawrence cemetery. Perhaps Manley White had some friends or relatives buried there, because that is one of the places we visited. That day I have never forgotten… must have been something about the elderly, white-haired couple, a simple dignity. And I never knew until much later what a war hero Manley White actually was. His war record says he was 18, but actually he was 16 when he enlisted in the 8th Michigan Cavalry in 1862. Born in New York State, he and his brother were orphaned at an early age, and he was sent to live with relatives at Quincy, Michigan… from there he ran away from school to enlist. Well, a lot of kids were doing that. His first taste of battle was marching across the Cumberland Mountains into Tennessee, where he was wounded. He deserted from the hospital before his wounds were really healed and rejoined his regiment. Thereafter he contracted small pox and they left him to recover in a log cabin. He did, and walked 150 miles to rejoin his regiment. In 1864 he was part of Sherman’s Army marching on Atlanta. At Macon, GA, most of his regiment was killed, wounded, or captured. He escaped by taking to the woods, made his way through enemy lines and reached the safety of his regiment in five days. He survived by eating wild blackberries… and I’ll bet that didn’t do his digestive system any good! From there he was sent back to Tennessee and into battle again. This time he was taken prisoner at Mt. Pleasant and sent to a Rebel prison in Alabama. Conditions for prisoners in the Civil War were horrible, and Manley White almost died of starvation. In March of 1865, he was paroled with a lot of other Union soldiers and sent to Vicksburg, Mississippi where they were staged to be sent back north on the steamer Sultana. All of the men were overjoyed at the thought of returning home, but their happiness was short lived. Eight miles above Memphis, the steamer boiler exploded in the middle of the night, and the Sultana burned to the waterline. One thousand paroled prisoners lost their lives that night! But Manley White escaped by diving into the water. He swam downriver about six miles before lodging in a tree top. Some men in a boat rescued him and took him to Memphis. From there he started walking north and finally reached home two months later. In June of 1865 he was honorably discharged from the service at Detroit. In all he had participated in 23 battles, marched over 10,000 miles and in the process lost his only brother, Wesley. Manley moved to the Hartford area and married a Watervliet girl, Eliza Ann Golden in 1870. They had four children, and lived out the last years of their lives quietly in the house on Main Street in Hartford. And when I knew him as a small child… in the last year of his life, I never knew what a hero he really was. All I realized at the time, that he was a quiet man, with a lot of dignity. Like so many others, Manley White was just there. And he did what he had to do. Did he go into battle with fear and trepidation… and a dry mouth? I’m sure he did. You know, Dear Readers, bravery is not a foolhardy disregard for danger… it often is just doing a job in spite of fear… because the job is there and has to be done. There are a lot of heroes around who did just that. And they have woven many golden threads into the rich tapestry of our lives in these storybook towns along the Paw Paw River.

Coloma Library News Story Hour

Story Hour meets on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. Join Miss Amy for a story, craft and song time. Story Hour is a free weekly program for toddlers and preschool-aged children, it does not require sign-up. Read with Spirit Spirit, a certified therapy dog will be at the library on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Children may sign up for a 15-minute slot by stopping in at the front desk or calling the library. Reading to therapy dogs is a fun way for children to build reading confidence and fluency. Book Club The Coloma Library Book Club is meeting on Thurs., March 15 at 5:30 p.m. The title to read before the discussion is “Britt-Marie Was Here” by Fredrik Bachman. Generally, depending on demand there are titles available for checkout at the front desk. The book club regularly meets every other Thursday and is always looking for new members. Call the library at 468-3431 with questions on any of these activities.

Watervliet District Library News

In Stitches Knitting Group Friday, March 9, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. Second Friday of every month; bring a project or limited supplies available; beginners are welcome. Local Expert Series: How to Brew Monday, March 12, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Presented by Arclight Brewmeister Edward Nash: At the library learn about the day-to-day workings at Watervliet’s Arclight Brewery and then take a tour of the brewery. Third Monday Book Club March 19, 7 – 8 p.m. Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. Ask for your copy at the desk. Teen Table Projects: March Teen Tech Challenge; complete them all to enter Ring Spinner giveaway! Challenge sheets are on the table. Zachary – the read to me dog Every Saturday thru Spring, 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Call the library at 463-6382 with questions for any activities.

100 years ago – 1918 Friday Bros. canning factory, Coloma’s biggest industry, is continually growing. Land was purchased on Logan Street. An addition to the storage room has begun. Also, sauerkraut and pickles will be added to the output of the factory. It is the patriotic duty of every woman over sixteen to register and give service to the country. Instruction will be held in the Y.W.C.A. rooms. This service, whether in the home, city or state, is of great use. 60 years ago – 1958 The first seven entrants in the Miss Coloma contest are: Edith Howard, Connie Link, Prudence Mannino, Linda Cormican, Karen Lenardson, Barbara Urness and Shirley Johnson. Charles Kelly, proprietor of the Hub restaurant, is general chairman. Allen W. Baker Jr., executive vice-president of the State Bank of Coloma, announced that the bank will now be open during the noon hour. The second annual boat show opens at the South Haven armory. Coloma is an exhibitor and sponsor of this show. The manner in which the pay scale was hiked for township officials was again in the limelight. 30 years ago – 1988 You’re invited to the St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations. Co-chairmen are Wilma Yeske and Joan Bell. The eighth annual parade begins at 1 p.m., with grand marshal Roger Carter. Some entries are: Police and Sheriff, City/Township officials, local Queens, a Leprechaun (Ken Irwin), Grimace and Alf. Coloma Las Vegas Nights at Coloma Lanes: Proceeds of the event go towards Coloma Athletic Boosters. Admission: $2. Save your ticket stub from the first night and get in FREE the second and third nights! The Science Olympiad has been extended to elementary students. Coloma Middle School has organized a team and is excited to be able to participate. Coaches are Rod Cross and Pat Oderkirk.

Submitted by volunteer Sandi Musick Munchow at Coloma Public Library, from the Coloma Courier newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon. & Fri., 10:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Tues., Wed. & Thurs. 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; and Sat., 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. Phone: 468-3431

100 years ago – 1918 Zeno Wise has sold his farm of eighty acres a mile and a half southeast of the village to Mrs. Sophia Khrone of Keeler. Mrs. Khrone’s son-in-law, Ralph Markillie, will occupy the farm. Garments sent in from the Hartford Red Cross unit for the soldier boys include 51 helmets, 30 sweaters, 38 pairs of wristlets, 117 hospital shirts, 5 bed coats, 6 bath robes, 66 pairs of socks, 21 scarves, one dozen bed socks, 41 suits of pajamas, 2 pairs of operating legins and one afghan. An alarm of fire Sunday afternoon called the department to the Mrs. Grace McAllister home in the southwest part of town. C.G. Warren, a neighbor subdued the flames with a Pyrene fire extinguisher before the department arrived. 75 years ago – 1943 The Hartford Art Study group met at the home of Mrs. Minnie Fox on Monday afternoon. The lesson was presented by Mrs. Luce, a study of the life and works of Frank Denson. Mrs. Earl Chamberlin was to have given the lesson, but was unable to attend. The Hartford Garden Club will meet Friday afternoon at the home of Olive and Mildred Smith, 116 Mary Street, rather than at the home of Emaline Rush as was previously announced. The topic to be discussed Friday is “Grafting and Budding,” with Mrs. Dorothea Day in charge. Kathryn Vint was hostess to the Hartford Mother’s Club at the home of Dorothy Kabel on Monday night. The members of the club who are enrolled in the first aid course at the high school attended their first class. 50 years ago – 1968 Ron Ward received an award from Legionnaire Andrew Boze as winner of the Legion’s oratorical contest at Hartford High School. Runners-up were Peggy Remus and Patricia Hollatz. Ron placed second in a district contest at Lawrence, which was won by Donna Miller. The Harford Blossomtime Queen committee will sponsor a turkey dinner Sunday, March 11, at the high school cafeteria. A style show will be held after. The committee will meet at 8pm Friday at the bank community room.

Submitted by Librarian Stephanie Daniels at Hartford Public Library from microfilm copies of the Hartford Day Spring. Hours: Mon., Tues., & Wed., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thurs. & Fri., 10-5 p.m.; and Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Phone: 621-3408

90 years ago – 1928 The Watervliet Board of Education has just voted to include domestic science in the course of study to be taught for the 1929 school year. The new building is provided with a room and suitable equipment will be installed for this subject. This subject will necessitate the hiring of one additional teacher said F.D. Gilchrist, president of the board in making the announcement. Reproductions of works of art will be on display at the WHS gymnasium, Mar. 26 & 27. This collection consists of 150 masterpieces representing the French, Italian, Flemish, English, Dutch, Spanish, German and American Schools of Art. Famous portraits, landscapes, marines and pastoral scenes in the colors of the original canvasses are on display. 60 years ago – 1958 In Feb. 1958, the Watervliet Record was given recognition in the Christian Science Monitor, for celebrating their diamond jubilee. The Record came under the Case family management 67 years ago and has had a very successful operation under it. Mr. and Mrs. George Vos are the proud parents of their baby girl, Kathleen Joyce, born Mar. 6, 1958 and weighed 8 pounds 6 ounces. Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Bultema are the proud parents of their baby boy, Jack Alan born Mar. 9, 1958 and weighed 9 pounds. 30 years ago – 1988 Watervliet’s ‘Employee of the Month’ for March 1988 has been a valuable member of the schools’ staff for many years. The honoree’s contributions to students, parents and staff of this school district have been diverse and outstanding! For those reasons and more, they are proud to name Mr. Don Wilson as ‘Employee of the Month’. His superb performance in less than one year as principal of the Watervliet Junior High, as well as his many years of service to the school and community has earned him this honor. Applauds go to Tammy Skorupa for the ‘Outstanding Art Work’ she has created in the ceramics area at the WHS Art Department. Tammy’s art work, along with several other students’ work will be on display at the Berrien County I.S.D. offices in Berrien Springs.

Submitted by Sally Q. Gonzalez from files at Watervliet District Library from the Watervliet Record newspapers donated by the Tri-City Record. Hours: Mon. & Wed., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tues., Thurs. & Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sat., 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Phone: 463-6382