Grant Farrand Diary Notes

     By Mrs. W. H. Judd


     March 7, 1949,Sturgis Journal: ”A peek into the personal diary of Grant

     Farrand of Colon reveals many interesting events that otherwise have

     been long forgotten – or perhaps never known.

This modest gentleman celebrated his 85th birthday anniversary last September, and ever since he could write has kept a daily diary, neatly indexed and filed; not by the years, but by events. There would be but few incidents during the past 80 years that Farrand could not find an account of in his memoranda.

Farrand’s father and grandfather must have had considerable faith in Colon, for in the year 1837, they left their native New York, came to Colon and cleared a section of forest land just northwest of the village limits. This was to become their home and in later years become know familiarly as “Farrand” land.

Ownership of Farrand property gradually expanded through generations and it now extends on both side of the St. Joseph River.


Built Bridge in 1840


One of the interesting events describe in the pages is construction of the “Farrand” bridge, which crosses the St. Joseph River a mile west and a mile north of this village.

But first it should be explained that the present bridge is not the original. After the father and grandfather became settled in their new home they forded the river in 1838 and 1840, and a crude wooden bridge was completed and named “Farrand” bridge.

Set up on piles, it was the first bridge to be built across this river in Colon Township, and was the third bridge to be built across the river. After giving the horse and buggy faithful service for more than 20 years, it collapsed, and it is interesting to know that some of its wood still rests at the bottom of the river. Wood kept under water lasts as long as wood kept entirely free from moisture.




Present Bridge in 1868


In 1868 work was begun on construction of the new Farrand bridge and during its process a ferry boat furnished transportation across the river. Farrand vividly recalls that at the age of five he was old enough to accompany his father Phineas Farrand, a highway commissioner, on his many trips around the county.

The bridge material was purchased from a company in Syracuse, N. Y., and construction was under the direction of Simon DeGraff, also of that place. He roomed and boarded with the Farrands, and employed local help.

First step was the building of a foundation – which consists of two abutments and two piers. The abutments were no problem – but that cannot be said for the piers and in case anyone wonders how the task was accomplished, here is the answer.


Sink Scows For Piers


Workmen first built the abutments on both sides of the river; then measuring 80 feet towards the center of the river, they sank a scow by filling it full of rock and stone. After placing  it in exactly the correct  position, they poured it full of water-lime and quck-lime (cement was unpopular in those days).

The base of the pier was an approximate 20 by 9 feet and was built to graduate to an approximate 16 by 6 foot top. Then another scow was taken another 80 feet into the river, and the same procedure was followed, making a second pier. On this foundation they erected three 80-foot spans of cast-iron bridge, which stands today.

The driveway across the bridge is only about 12 feet wide, since it accommodates only one-way traffic for horse and buggy.

Material Hauled By Team

Completion of the bridge took about eight months, and one of the handicaps was that every piece of material that was used in the bridge had to be shipped to Burr Oak via the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad and then hauled to Colon by team. There was no railroad here at that time.

One year later still under the supervision of DeGraff, the Leland Bridge was built across the river at a point about five miles east of the Farrand bridge. Both bridges were struck by automobiles and collapsed within the last seven years. While the Leland Bridge has never been replaced, the Bennett Bridge is now being rebuilt.

Bulk of traffic from here to M-60 now passes over Farrand bridge and although it has not been officially condemned by the highway department, the increased volume of traffic has forced the department to place a restricted load limit here.


Only One Left


Although another bridge of this type was built at Constantine by DeGraff, it has since collapsed and has been replaced, and as far as can be determined, the Farrand Bridge is the only cast-iron bridge of this kind remaining.

One off the unique chapters of this diary gives an account of a family whose members are buried on the banks of the St. Joe on the back lot of one of the Farrand farms.

One by one, the members of the McAuley family, who rented this farm died and today there are five tombstones bearing the names of John McAuley who died in 1835, Margaret McAuley who died in 1847, John McAuley who died in  1836, Ellen McAuley Wallace who died in 1868, and Eliza McAuley who died in 1878.

The little private cemetery is marked off by a arm fence which was built by a group of neighbors in 1889. the project was sponsored by John Bennett, who subscribed funds from those most interested. Incidentally, this John Bennet was the neighbor for whom the Bennett bridge was named.


Recalls 1894 Murder


There were murders in these days, too. Farrand relates the story of one Willard Johnson who resided somewhere between Factoryville and Athens. He was murdered and his body thrown in the river on Farrand property. The body was discovered by Ward E. Farrand on Saturday, October 13, 1894,who called for his brother, Joe Farrand. One of the brothers kept a vigil over the body while the other went to notify authorities.

In 1832 a single acre of ground was purchased from the Farrand family and thus was Lakeside Cemetery established.  In 1838, the cemetery was regularly laid out and an additional piece of land purchased.

In 1876 the cemetery again was enlarged to eight acres and additional purchases have brought to a present 13-acre area, which extends from the shores of Sturgeon Lake to the road. The first body to be buried in this cemetery was that of Mrs. Emily Noyes in 1833.





Ferry On Sturgeon Lake


However, when citizens became dissatisfied with the location of the cemetery in Colon, several bodies were exhumed and transferred to Lakeside Cemetery. In this location now stands the Baptist Church, the Baptist parsonage and the Methodist Church. Farrand is a member of the present cemetery board.

For the convenience of those who wished to visit the cemetery in olden days, A boat furnished transportation from the east to the west shore of Sturgeon Lake, which joins the east section of the cemetery.

The first school in Colon Township was built on the Farrand property, and when the log structure became unusable a more suitable location was found for rebuilding the school which is now known as the Deno School, located about two miles west of Colon.


Records All Fires


Since fires at one time or another destroyed most of Colon’s business district, Farrand has witnessed the construction of every business establishment here with the exception of one – the business block where the Perry hardware store is located.

Farrand has an accurate account of each major fire in his diary, and also remembers the building of five village churches, as well as the Michigan Central Railroad, which was built through here in 1871.

While residents of this community are familiar with some of the homes belonging to the Farrand estate, there is one home that in its day attracted more than an unusual amount of attention.

The home, located just outside of the village limits, is now occupied by a son, Roy Farrand, and his family. The large cement home was built by a family by the name of Kinne in the late 1850’s and purchased later by the Farrand family.


House Said Haunted


Rumors claimed that the place was haunted and that a secret tunnel led from the cellar of the house across to the cemetery. According to other rumors, the cupola built on the second story of the house was to have been for the occupants to get in to shoot at Indians.

Farrand says that there is no passageway to his knowledge and the cupola was built purely for design and sightseeing. He does not know whether or not the place was haunted, leaving that phase entirely to one’s own judgment.

However, he added that a series of weird event there would explain some of the rumors. Colon was once inhabited by a group of spiritualists and on several occasions the group met at this home for their séance and on several occasions the group claimed to have received spiritual communications from the graves of their loved ones. On one occasion one of the members was sure that the arms of a relative were outstretched during one of the sessions.

“Witch” Appears At House

The house also had a freak door, which for no reason at all would open and close, and as it did so a mournful sound escaped from it. Farrand attributes such incidents as this to a draft or breeze that does the same to any swinging door.

But then, there is the true story of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Goodrich who later resided there. One morning while Mrs. Goodrich was preparing breakfast she was summoned to the back door by a rap, only to find standing in front of her a witch like, black-clothed woman.

Raising long bony fingers, the figure asked Mrs. Goodrich needed any help, explaining she had returned to earth good will and assistance where needed.

When the astonished mistress of the house said she needed nothing, the weird creature simply vanished in thin air, according to Mrs. Goodrich, who was horrified. Goodrich lives today to verify the story.


Didn’t Hurt Renting


Farrand says that the rumor about the house being haunted did not present much difficulty in renting it and recalls on one occasion when a prospective tenant was viewing the surroundings Farrand said, “I think I should tell you that this house has the reputation for being haunted,” to which the man replied, “Good, then it is just the place we want.” That’s the story of Colon’s haunted house.

Every personal diary contains weather reports, and so it is with Farrand’s diary. According to his records, we had the mildest winter in 1894, just 55 years ago.

There was no snow and neither was the any frost in the ground during the months of January and February.

He well remembers that winter too, for the family was preparing to build a new barn from timber that they cut in their own woodlot east of the road. After waiting most of the winter for some snow in order to sled the logs into Colon’s sawmill, they finally had to haul the logs by truck, as the snow did not come.






William Broker

William Broker, St.

COLON – William Broker St., 86, 135 S. St. Joseph St.., Colon,  died November 14, 1966, at the home of his son, William F. Broker , with whom he had made his home for the last three years.

He was born in Meckleaburg, Germany, Apr. 15, 1881, a son of Christian and Helmine (Ahlgrim) Broker. He came to the United States at the age of three months, and had lived in and around this area ever since.

On  Oct. 28, 1915, he was married to Olive E. Sams. She died in August of 1951.

At the age of 13, Mr. Broker was accidently shot by a neighbor, causing him to lose his sight in both eyes. During that year (1894), he entered the Scholl for the Blind, in Lansing.

He left the school in 1906 and went into the music business with a friend, Mr. Sisson, in Imlay City.

Mr. Broker returned to Colon in 1908, and established the William Broker Music House, which he owned, and in later years operated with his son, William F., until retiring 10 years ago. Mr. Broker had been well known for his fine tenor voice and had been asked to sing many solos in the area.

He attended the Assembly of God Church in Colon.

Surviving are four sons, William F., John H., and Lewis J., all of Colon, and Andrew C., of Three Rivers; one daughter, Mrs. Herman (Helmina) Oldenburg, of Colon; a stepson, Harold Dougherty, of Hillsdale; and several nieces and nephews.

Besides his wife, twin daughters, three sisters and three brothers preceded him in death.

Friends may call at the Schipper Funeral Home here until noon Thursday, after which the body of Mr. Broker will bne taken to the First Methodist Church, where services will be held at 2:30 p.m. The Rev. Norman Horton and the Rev. H. C. Mulvaney, pastors of the Colon God Churches,

Interment will take place in Lakeside Cemetery here.

Robert Lamar Bryan

Sergeant E5 Robert Lamarr Bryan was born on October 18, 1949 to Riley and Vera Arlene Bryan. He had two older brothers Larry and Roger, an older sister Ginger and a twin sister Rebecca. When Robert was four weeks old, his parents took the twins to northern Michigan deer hunting for two weeks because they were too young to be left behind. Perhaps this partially explains why Robert grew up adventurous and loving the outdoors. Robert’s parents lived on a farm near Colon, which is a small community of 1,000 people in southwestern Michigan. When each child reached a certain age, they got volunteered to milk the cows and help bale hay. Many a hot summer day ended down at their favorite swimming hole. The family went on numerous camping and fishing trips to northern Michigan and Minnesota. Robert was fortunate to have his Grandma living just next door and she would be the first person packed and ready to go on these family vacations. Robert was a happy, fun loving person and developed a great sense of humor. He attended Colon Community Schools. If you were a blonde, you stood a much better chance of getting a date with Robert. He graduated from Colon High School in 1967 winning the Most Valuable Player trophy for the varsity baseball team. Like his father he was a talented baseball player. Robert met his military obligations head on by enlisting in the Army in January I 968. The family appreciated his bravery in such perilous times. Robert came home for a visit after completing his first tour of combat in Vietnam and informed the family he planned to return for a second tour. Family members couldn’t understand why he would volunteer for another tour, but he said, “They need me” He certainly was a man of dreams, passion, strength and loyalty.

Robert Bryan commenced his tour in Vietnam on 14 Oct 1968 serving with Co A 4/47th Inf, 9th Inf Div as an indirect fire crewman on an 81mm mortar crew. He then served with HHC 4/47THInf, Co A 3/39th Inf, Co F 2/60th and Co A 2/60th, 9th Inf Div. Having volunteered for Co E (Ranger) 75th Inf 3/9th Inf Div. Robert joined the company of Rangers in Tan An, Long An Province in Nov. 1969 and became a team member on an Airborne Ranger Team engaging in combat operations against hostile forces in the Mekong Delta. Robert came to the Ranger Company with combat experience and skills, having been awarded his Combat Infantryman Badge in 1968. During his time in the Ranger Company Robert exhibited exceptional leadership and was a tenacious Warrior who gained the respect of his comrades. Robert quickly adapted to unconventional warfare tactics and gained a reputation as an aggressive and innovative Team Leader both on land and on water. Having been decorated for bravery on several occasions with the Army Commendation Medal for valor and the Bronze Star Medal for heroism as well as having received the Purple Heart for wounds, he would on the 30th of April receive the Silver Star for Gallantry in action. The circumstances of the action leading to this award are as follows: While serving as Team Leaderl-70n an overnight ambush operation assisted by U.S. Navy Patrol Boats. Sergeant Bryan positioned a three man element of the team about 75 meters from the shore, leaving the remaining members in the boat. Spotting approximately five enemy soldiers 200 meters from his location, Sgt Bryan immediately exposed himself to initiate contact with the enemy, eliminating one instantly. Sergeant Bryan while leading his men through the intense hostile fire heard someone whistle. Again spotting another enemy soldier twenty meters from his position, he exposed himself to hurl a grenade at the insurgent, eliminating him. Sergeant Bryan then directed his team back to the boat. Upon reaching the craft, two enemy sampans were observed on the river coming toward them. As the insurgents initiated contact, Sergeant Bryan once again exposed himself to the enemy fusillade to direct the fire of his team.

The four enemy personnel aboard the sampans were eliminated. Later, while sweeping the contact area, the team again received intense fire from an enemy soldier concealed in the nipe palm within ten meters of the ranger team. Reacting instantly to the critical danger, Sergeant Bryan charged forward and eliminated the insurgent at point blank range with rifle fire. Sergeant Bryan’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.

On 11 June 1970 Sergeant Bryan was again to be honored with a second Silver Star for Gallantry. in action. The details of this action are as follows: Sergeant Bryan distinguished himself by heroism in connection with ground operations against a hostile force while serving as a Team Leader with Co E (Ranger) 75th Inf3/9th Inf Div in RVN. While his element was proceeding along a river bank, Sergeant Bryan observed an enemy soldier to his front. The enemy attempted to react, but Sgt Bryan immediately eliminated him. As the team moved further along, Sgt Bryan observed two more enemy soldiers on the opposite shore. Without regard for his personal safety, he immediately moved to an exposed position and eliminated one while another team member fatally wounded the other. Shortly thereafter, the team encountered three more enemy soldiers about fifteen meters to their front. Sgt Bryan and other team members immediately rushed the enemy, eliminating them before they could fire back. When a bobby trap detonated, causing several members of the team to receive fragmentation wounds, Sergeant Bryan, without hesitation, applied first aid, then directed a helicopter to pick up the wounded. Sergeant Bryan’s actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army. Sergeant Bryan continued to lead his Ranger Team 1-7 in the warrior tradition, leading by example, encouraging and inspiring his fellow rangers to give 100% and then some. His dedication to his fellow Rangers, duty and mission directly contributed to the high rate of efficiency and success of the Ranger Operations conducted against enemy forces by Echo Rangers.

On 13 July 1970, just 24 days away from Robert’s departure from Vietnam, he was killed in action by enemy ground fire, while conducting a visual reconnaissance from a light observation helicopter preparing for yet another mission.

Robert was killed within three weeks of completing his second tour in Vietnam. He was so close to coming home again. The American Flag that covered his casket was flown for one year over Colon Elementary School, where Robert had attended and where his two nephews were attending. Robert took time to visit this school when he was home on leave and talked with the children. The students in turn wrote letters to Robert while he was serving his country. Memorial contributions were used to purchase equipment for Colon Elementary and Colon High School.

No one who is remembered is ever truly gone. Robert will live on in the hearts of many who will never forget. Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because dawn has come. His Warrior Spirit lives on!! RANGERS LEAD THE WAY!!!!



Betty Lowther Weds Kieth Drake 1949

Betty Lowther and Keith Drake Married

The Colon Express, August 11, 1949: “Miss Betty Lowther, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Grover Lowther of Leonidas, and Keith Drake, son of Mrs. Viola Harding of Colon, were united in marriage Saturday, Aug. 6, at 4 o’clock in the home of the bride’s parents. The double ring ceremony was read by Rev. Burnson of Leonidas, in the presence of the immediate family.

The bride was attired in seamoss satin and wore a corsage of yellow roses. Her diamond set gold locket was a gift of the groom. The groom wore a dark business suit, with a white carnation boutonniere.

Their only attendants were Mrs. Harold Phelps of Colon and James Lowther of Dearborn, sister and brother of the bride. A reception followed the ceremony.

Mr. and Mrs. Drake left on a short motor trip through Michigan. For going away, the new Mrs. Drake changed to a blue and gray sport suit. Upon their return they will reside in their newly furnished home on Palmer Lake in Colon.

The bride was graduated from Colon high school with the class of 1942 and from Argubright’s Business college of Battle Creek in 1945. for the past 2 years she has been bookkeeper for the Preston Shoe Company in Battle
Creek and will continue with her work. The groom graduated from Colon high school in 1940. He served in the U. S. Navy thirty-four months, twenty-two of which were in the South Pacific. He too, attended Argubright’s Business College and graduated in 1949 and at the present is employed as bookkeeper for the A. H. Perfect Company in Battle Creek.”



Midlakes Owner Dorothy Cook Obituary


Dorothy A. Cook


Obituary for Dorothy A. Cook, (from the February issue of TOPS Magazine). “Mrs. Dorothy A. Cook, 74, of Colon, died January 17, 1991, in Borgess Medical Center, Kalamazoo, MI. She was born November 30, 1916 in Webster City, IA., the daughter of Walter E. and Alice (Burton) Ambrose. She graduated from the Dayton, OH. school system in 1936.

On May 19, 1946 she married James W. Cook, in Montgomery, AL. He died January 23, 1978. Mrs. Cook and her husband owned and operated Midlakes Tavern in Colon for several years. She was a member of the Colon United Methodist Church; Order of the Eastern Star; and the Colon American Legion Auxiliary. She also worked for many years in the accounting department of the Abbott Magic Company.

Survivors: a sister, Mrs. Gladys C. Williams of Delton, MI. Mrs. Cook was preceded in death by her brother Walter E. Ambrose.

Services were held at Schipper Funeral Home, with Rev. Larry Hubley officiating. The Eastern Star memorial services followed. Internment was made in Woodlawn Cemetery in Dayton, OH.

Leslie Hartman by Monk Watson

     Leslie “Peeny” Hartman!


Newspaper clipping from March 17, 1965: “Dear Monk;

Speaking of entertainers of yesterday, I wish you would put in a word for “Peeny” (not sure of the spelling) Hartman. I believe his name is Leslie. There were many, including myself, who thought he was the greatest on the saxophone. I have never heard anyone who could compare with him and those magical notes he produced.”

Answer by Monk Watson: “I never called Leslie “Peeny” that I can remember, and I never heard him call me “Monk”. Funny, but that was the way it was, perhaps because we grew up together in the days of going to Sunday School, making music together in the front room of his home (the red brick house where the former policeman lives on South Blackstone). Leslie’s father played string bass, and his brother played piano. Leslie played clarinet at that time and so did I.

When I returned from France he had taken up the sax and was making real great music with it. When I say music I mean the kind you could sing to and remember overnight. He could fake anything that people asked for, as well as read any music put in front of him. He didn’t get away from the melody, but played it from his heart. I’m sorry that the kids coming up are not hearing much of that kind of music these days. Leslie, known as Peeny, played at the Mid Lakes for years and people danced to his music. That’s another thing to remember; when they went to a dance they knew whom they were dancing with.

Back to the Sunday School days. I remember when I was 15 years old, and my mother gave me 15 cents for my birthday box. I stopped at Hartman’s store and gave Leslie one cent and he gave me gumdrops and jawbreakers that would cost half a bank today. I didn’t think that his father minded one bit. Leslie and I would walk off to church and all was right with the world. Sure he made mistakes, and during his last four years he didn’t seem to care much about anything. I’d look at him and remember the best-dressed young man in Colon, bringing joy to everyone with his horn. If all the people had asked him to work into the night on their radios or motors had attended his funeral, the room couldn’t have held them. Maybe we forget too soon. I made him happy in the hospital when I took our lovely singer, Kathy Walters, over to sing for his friends. I did my full act, too. Peeny was too tired to stay for the whole show, but excused himself with, “Don, please tell the girl I’m real sick and had to leave.” A real nice guy, Peeny, in my book.”


Bernard Pooler Obituary


Obituary from 1963, (Exact date unknown): Bernard E. Pooler – Death struck suddenly, to claim the life of Bernard Pooler, age 59, one of Colon’s most prominent citizens. Mr. Pooler was formerly the editor and publisher of The Colon Express and many magicians will remember the excellent coverage he gave the Abbott Magic Get-Togethers each year. He sold the newspaper last year to Mr. and Mrs. Mel Plath, and went into semi-retirement. Since October 1962 he was employed by Abbott Magic Co. as our Linotype operator, setting up the TOPS magazine. He had a keen interest in magic and liked magicians. His comments while setting the columns each month, were most interesting and it didn’t take him long to pick up the magicians’ lingo” ‘gimmick’, ‘fekes’, ‘servants’, etc. We miss his winning smile and courteous manner.”

Inez Blackstone & Marquis Troupe 1930

Inez Blackstone Will Pilot Marquis Troupe


From The Colon Express Newspaper, September 11, 1930, courtesy of the Colon Community Historical Society:

“Marquis, the Magician, will commence his new season the second week in September, with the opening spot not yet selected. He is at present busy framing a new line of illusions and magical novelties.

Inez Blackstone will have full charge of the advance department this year, and Samuel Goldman will handle the publicity and exploitation 10 days of the show. Paul Irving Masters will be company manager, and Fye Fayre will be principal illusion assistant. Featured among Marquis’ illusions this year will be “The Phantom Mermaid.”  Other illusions include “Funny Paper Fantasy,” “The Enchanted Bathhouse,” “The Morocco,” “Flight of the Ghosts” and 20 other illusions programmed on the two-hour program.

After closing his road show season last May, Marquis spent nine weeks with Rajah Raboid, presenting in conjunction with the well-known mentalist a “ghost show” in RKO houses through the east.” Marquis, the Magician was George Marquis. Touted at one time as the handpicked successor to the famous Harry Blackstone, Marquis toured actively with his magic act from the 1920s through the 1970s.

In 1974, RING 81, Sarasota, Florida, honored Inez Blackstone Kitchen in recognition of her service as Ring President for 25 years.

It all began in the Fall of 1916 when Inez Nourse joined the Harry Blackstone Show to play the banjo. It ended in 1930, 11 years after they had married and 14 years after they had first met. A few years later she married Robert Kitchen, the brother of Maurice Kitchen. Maurice Kitchen trouped under the name of Rajah Raboid. Embracing the crystal gazer’s stance on stage and off, “Raboid” was famous for his mentalism, fortune-telling and second sight successes. Inez never forgot Blackstone or magic and she often said the worst thing she did was divorce Harry and leave the show. She remained close to the people she met in Show Business and in 1949, living in Sarasota, Florida she was the force behind the founding of Ring 81.

At the February meeting, in 1974 with 29 members present, William Preston, I.B.M.’s Ring Coordinator presented Inez a beautiful plaque, engraved as follows:

“This plaque is presented to our own Inez Blackstone Kitchen in appreciation of her services as president for a quarter of a century. Her dedication and devotion has been greatly responsible for the success and growth we have achieved. With this presentation, we are pleased to approve her as president Emeritus of Ring No. 81 as a token of our high esteem for her.” “We hereby declare that henceforth this organization shall be known as “The Inez Black stone Kitchen Ring No. 81″ International Brotherhood of Magicians”.

Inez Blackstone Kitchen died at the age of 94 in 1983. She is interred at Manasota Cemetery, near Sarasota. The tombstone at Lakeside Cemetery, here in Colon, is a memorial stone. Her husband Bob Kitchen, passed away in the 1960’s and for years afterward she lived in a mobile home park in Sarasota and went north during the hot summers to visit with magic friends and to attend the Abbott’s Magic Get-Together in Colon, Michigan.


Henry Hulbert Obituary 1901

Sudden Death For Henry Hulbert


From the Colon Express, November 1901: “Veteran Solicitor for the L. K. G. Company was stricken Sunday with Heart Disease. Suddenly, without warning, Henry Hulbert the popular L. K. G. salesman, entered his last repose from an effection of the heart as he was walking near Dickinson’s Market about one o’clock Sunday afternoon after he had eaten dinner. Several friends saw him fall backwards to the ground as he was crossing the street but efforts at resuscitation were unavailing. He was carried to the home and word telephoned to his daughter, Miss Berenice who arrived shortly from Coldwater. The shock to her and Mrs. Hulbert was very great but they endured the trying ordeal with great fortitude.

Henry Roberts Hulbert was born at Grafton, Ohio, May 8, 1835, and was 66 years of age. His father, Wm. Hulbert, was a newspaper writer of distinction at Pittsfield, Mass., and at Grafton. His only brother died in infancy.

With his mother Henry came to Matteson from Ohio in 1844, and early developed a taste for commercial life. Being proficient in mathematics in school and expert in the use of the science in practical business. After three years residence at Matteson, with his mother and grandmother he came to Colon and at the age of fourteen entered the employ of his uncle Thomas Bargour, who later enlisted in the Union cause and died in the service with measles. He thoroughly mastered the art in three years and at the age of seventeen engaged in the business of making and repairing harness on his own responsibility, turning out excellent work.

In 1866 he sold out and with Dr. Reynolds engaged in handling general merchandise and drugs in the Born block. Nine months later he opened a general store in the Wonsey block continuing it for twelve years. Eight years later he engaged in the grocery trade in the Clement building which burned down twelve years ago with considerable loss to himself, where the Frary market now stands.

Two years later or about eleven years ago, he entered the employ of the Lamb Knit Goods Co. as solicitor through southern Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky, his sales reaching $20,000 a year and in Michigan $13,000 this year.

January 29, 1861, he was united in marriage at Burr Oak to Miss Hannah M. Cline, daughter of Ephraim Cline, of Sherwood township. Four children were born to them, John H. who died in infancy, Jennie B., wife of L. L. Tallman, who died at Walla Walla, Wash., about three years ago at the age of 26, Fred O. who died on his return from Chicago in 1896, consumption being the cause in both cases, and Miss Bernice, formerly the efficient librarian of the public library at Three Rivers, and now in the employ of the Southern Michigan National bank at Coldwater as assistant bookkeeper.

Mr. Hulbert was a man of integrity, generous and obliging to friends, faithful to his employers and honorable in dealing, as well as devoted to his family.

Funeral services were held at the home Tuesday, Rev. Aunks officiating. Interment at Lakeside.”

A Tribute to Alice Grimes

A Tribute to Miss Grimes


The 1968 colon High School Alumni Association Tribute To Miss Alice Grimes   by Abraham Jaffe


Alice is a graduate of Colon high school, and after giving 51 years of your good life to helping boys and girls, we are happy to honor you this evening. Fifty-one years of teaching service is a remarkable accomplishment.

A summary of your teaching service includes: 34 years in Colon and in nearby rural schools; 10 years in England; four years in India; three years on the Hawaiian islands.

Would you believe that while in all these foreign lands, Alice was looking for or seeking that near perfect husband? Some man lost a good wife when she declined that proposal on the island of Hawaii. However, all turned out well for the Colon area. Upon returning to the United States she accepted a teaching school in the nearby Babcock rural school.

In 1943, Alice accepted a teaching position in Colon school under my supervision. I left the Colon school in 1961. Alice remained on for a total service in Colon for 25 years.

Alice was the kind of teacher that every principal, superintendent, and school board seeks. I do not need to tell those of you who had Alice as a teacher that she is gifted with a discipline of par excellence. Still with this discipline she loved her boys and girls. Her goal was to be of service to them. She insisted that 1. They give her their complete attention. 2. That they master, all fundamentals: 3. That they study the subjects she taught.

Alice had another quality that school administrators appreciate. She always enjoyed helping and counseling that new teacher in the next classroom who was just starting a shaky and trying teaching career.

I recall visiting Alice in her classrooms where, as I have mentioned, she had the complete attention of every pupil. She did not accomplish this by threatening to send the to the principal. She took care of her own discipline problems. She always personally corrected every written lesson or examination. She did not throw them in the waste paper basket without correction as I have heard has been done by some other teachers. Returning the papers to the students, she attempted in class discussion and personal conference in order to help the student correct his errors.

Her teaching and travel experiences in foreign lands gave her a wonderful background for her teaching of geography,
English, history, government, and all subjects.

You might be interested in an incident that took place while I was in the school here. You may know that we were privileged to have the present great stage and television star and magician, Harry Blackstone Jr. as a pupil in our Colon school. Harry junior and his dad lived on the lower lake on what we called Blackstone’s island. Harry junior was considered a problem child. He did not like to study, spending most of his time cutting up in the classroom and pulling the pigtails of the girl sitting in front of him. In Alice’s room he spent most of his time reading everything he could find dealing with magic. Alice went to see Harry Blackstone senior, telling his that if Harry junior id not get down to business in her subjects that he would fail to pass the sixth grade. The outcome was that Harry junior failed to pass the sixth grade. Today, when Harry junior comes to Colon to visit his dear friends, he always includes Alice and mentions this incident in his life.

I will close with this, my personal tribute to Alice:


An Orchid for Miss Alice P. Grimes


An orchid is the most exquisite thing Nature has provided for mankind, so it has become the symbol of appreciation for good work or outstanding merit. Who in our American life deserves orchids more than Alice?

Alice you deserve an orchid for your faithfulness. Day in and day out, month in and month out, you worked, never complaining about your lot, seldom receiving the credit you deserved. Here’s an orchid for your faithfulness.

You deserve an orchid for your patience. The work that you did tries patience. Those who sometimes criticized you, how long would they have had the patience to have done your work? Here is an orchid for your patience. You deserve an orchid for your vision. It’s sometime easy, unless you have vision, to wonder whether teaching after all is worthwhile. The work is hard; rewards have been small. But you saw more than a room full of faces when you taught; you saw tomorrow’s generation. Here’s an orchid for your vision. You deserve an orchid for your fortitude. It takes courage to withstand criticism, the trials, and the changing world. You have had it. So you deserve an orchid for your courage.

Finally, you deserve an orchid for your contribution to civilization. Often you were not appreciated. Often the results of your work were not apparent. But somewhere this evening in the world and within this room there is a former pupil of yours who is doing a little better work, living a little better life, because of what you and your personality meant to him. And for this, you deserve your bigger orchid.