Archived Story

Let’s set the record straight

Published 7:28pm Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When writing for this column, I often consult local history experts — people who have lived here longer than I have or who know much more then I do.  But last week, I did not consult the experts and so I made some big mistakes. Two of those experts took me to task: Mary Montgomery and Marge Federowski.
There are no more knowledgeable history experts in Edwardsburg than those two women. Their combined knowledge would fill an encyclopedia. Mary Montgomery knows the Edwardsburg history and Marge Federowski not only knows Edwardsburg history but Cass County history as well.
Now let me get this in print and on the record for all time. (I hope I get this right!)
There were two Bacon brothers, David and Guernsey. David was married to Henrietta and had three daughters. (Give me credit; I did get the three right.) But the daughters were Berniece, Eleanor and Virginia.
Guernsey Bacon was married to Lula Hawkins and they had two daughters, Thelma and Carrie Dot. Later, Lula married Ben Silver and had three children: Marjory, Francis and Albert. These are all descendants of Cyrus Bacon, who was married to Melinda Guernsey  (That’s where the Guernsey name came from.)
The Thelma Bacon Bittenbender that I quoted last week is Marjory Federowski’s half-sister. Marge Federowski, Virginia Purdee and Berniece are all living.
Now I hope this is the true story. If not, my two faithful readers will no doubt call me again and try to straighten me out.
While I was on the phone trying get this all down on my notes, my daughter Janet was here visiting from Arizona and she over heard the conversation and told me two stories that her grandmother, Mildred Boepple, told her.
The Boepples lived down the road from the Bacon farm on Redfield. The Boepple farm was east of M-62 and the Bacon farm is west of M-62. Each spring, the Bacon girls would walk their cows down to the woods across from the Boepple farm, where Redfield Woods is now located, and in the fall they would walk the cows back across M-62 to their own farm. These were teenage girls who all attended Western Michigan University.
The other story told was about the birthday club. Once a month, the neighbor ladies would walk to each other’s homes to celebrate one of their birthdays. The ladies in the neighborhood were Esther Beckman, who lived on M-62; Minnie Haggaman, who lived on the corner of Conrad Road and Redfield; Mrs. Hoffman, who lived across the street from the Bacon farm; Mildred Boepple, on Redfield; Henrietta Bacon and Lula Bacon Silver. Lula had to drive to the farm because she did not live near the others. The neighborhood was probably two miles square and these women walked to each other’s homes.
Now, I am sure that if this is not the true story the two expert readers of this column will be calling me by Friday or even Thursday night to set me straight again.

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