Berrien County, Michigan
In The News

Hunting Accident
Niles Weekly 3/9/1887

Frank,son of John Snorf,was out fox hunting yesterday,near J. Barnhart's in Berrien Twp.,and he had the muzzle of his gun towards him when he was about to get up on a log and the hammer hit against the log so strong that the gun was discharged and the contents went across his bowels,tearing the flesh in a shocking manner.A piece of flesh was torn out as large as a man's hand.Dick Taylor and John Taylor were with him.They carried him to Mrs. Barnhart's house on a board,that was not far distance,and Drs. Lacrone and Mason were called.The wound is a severe one but the surgeons think it did not go deep enough to cause death.He is now at Mrs.Barnhart's about three miles from his home.
Submitted By John Walker

Businesses, Houses and barn fires:

St. Joseph Traveler Herald, St. Joseph, MI - June 14, 1884
James Bradford lost his house and barn in Benton Harbor by a fire early Monday morning. Loss about $2000. Insurance $800. We understand that there was considerable cash, which was in the house, which also burned,

St. Joseph Traveler Herald, St. Joseph, MI - Feb 28, 1885
The Wolcott house was burned to the ground last Friday night, between 12 and 1 o'clock. The fire originated in the garret near the chimney. Insurance on the house and contents, $1,500; contents mostly saved.
The hired girl came close to losing her life, as her bed and bed-room were all on fire when she awoke. She was the first to give the alarm.

St. Joseph Traveler Herald, St. Joseph, MI - April 18, 1885 - The office and store of H. W. Williams Novelty Works, Benton Harbor, was burned early Wednesday morning. Loss on building and contents between $2000 and $3000. No insurance. The cause of the fire is a mystery.

Birthday Gal Turns 100
Thursday, June 5, 2008 10:47 AM EDT

NILES - Niles native, Ruth June (Walker) Greene is celebrating her 100th birthday today. And it would seem that her life so far is filled with as much warmth and energy as her smile - which still catches the eye.
Ruth currently resides at Vineyard's Adult Foster Care in Galien. She still enjoys getting out and takes great pleasure in visiting with friends and her extensive extended family which includes her two children, five grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, six nieces and nephews, and numerous grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.
The eldest child of William H. and Julia A. (White) Walker; Greene, with her brother and three sisters grew up on their family farm just five miles north of Niles, which has now been in the same family for more than 100 years.
The family attended church at Morris Chapel, a short distance from their home on Pucker Street and the first eight years of Ruth's education took place in the one-room Pucker Street School. She graduated from Niles High School in 1927.
Her dream of becoming a nurse came before the days of financial aid so, to earn tuition, she worked in an office in Chicago for a short time before returning to Florida - a place she'd fallen in love with on a visit as a child.
In late fall of 1925, her parents hired a family to care for their farm over the winter, William modified a Model-T into a traveling home and the Walkers packed up their five children and made the big trip to Florida. The trip took more than three weeks. They slept in their car-house on the side of the road. Julia prepared all their meals on a portable cook-stove they took with them. The trip was stalled in Tennessee when the crank on the Model-T recoiled, breaking William's hand.
In Florida, they wintered in Orlando in the Lorna Dune Camp, one of several such sites erected by Florida cities in the 1920s, specifically for these snow birds from the North. In the same camp were an aunt and uncle with their children, wintering in the south from Iowa and another aunt and uncle lived in Orlando. So the winter was quite an extensive family occasion.
She stayed in Florida for two years and with her money saved, she was able to attend St. Joseph Nursing School in South Bend, Ind., graduated in 1932.
In 1931, Ruth married Ray von Steinen and they had two children, Raymond Earle, now of South Lyon and Ina Sue Nairn, now of Hamtramck.
She worked in Berrien County as a special duty nurse.
After her husband died in 1951, she returned to her nursing career, eventually with Michigan Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Retirement in 1973 allowed Ruth to return to Florida. She moved there and shortly thereafter, married M. B. Greene.
In 1997, at age 89, she returned to Michigan to be closer to family. Though Ruth had an apartment in nearby Buchanan, she resided primarily with her sister, Maxine, in the home in which they grew up on Pucker Street. Ruth's centennial celebration will be followed in 2010 with the centennial celebration of her closest sister, Edna Vite, of Niles.
Submitted By John Walker

In The News Main Page
Back To The Berrien County Home Page