Berrien County, Michigan

Tidbits & Trivia


Tidbit - a delicious morsel of anything or a small portion.
Just a little bit of trivia found in the old days of Berrien County.
Join in the fun and send us one of your favorite tidbits. We'll add it here. Enjoy!

William Brackett

1901 Sleighing party At Kean’s
Jane, from Three Oaks Library, who sent this, says the folks invited to this party read like a who’s who of the town.
Three Oaks 'Acorn' February 22, 1901 Two sleighloads drove out to the New Troy home of Mr. And Mrs. D.W. Kean last Monday evening Charades were acted, conundrums guessed and a general good time was passed in a social way. Refreshments were served. Those who composed the party were Messrs. Holden, Stevens, Gordon, Sherwood, Helkie, H. C. Crosby, Dollenberg and Ellison and their wives; Rev. C.E. Taggart, and Mr. L. W. Hovey, Mrs. Pardee and Misses Nelle Bommerscheim, Myrta Pardee, Della Warren and May Warren.
A lot of the guests are found in this book: a twentieth century history of berrien county michigan

Guests: Guests:
Jonas H Holden Mary Trask Holden
George L Stevens Harriet E. Beals Stevens
Charles Gordon * Florence Watson Gordon
Alva Sherwood Ada M. Simpson Sherwood
Dr William L Helkie Parla Belle Sheldon Helkie
Hale E. Crosby Mary Crosby
Cornelius Dalenberg Johanna Kemp Dalenberg
Albert Duell Ellison
b 02 Jul 1859
Mina Warren
b 22 Oct 1860
Rev. Charles E Taggert Estelle Taggart
Neighbors of Henry Chamberlain
Lee Webster Hovey
Printer, engaged to
Nellie Bommerscheim
Nellie Bommerscheim,
d/o Mary McKie Bommerscheim
Mrs. Emeline Pardee Mrs. George Sheldon Pardee
Myrta Pardee (Myrtie Pardee)
d/o Mrs. George Sheldon Pardee
Adela Warren b 1861
d/o Horace W Warren,
cousin of E K Warren
May Warren b 1865
d/o Horace W Warren,
cousin of E K Warren

*Charles Gordon-
Register? - Page 107
Watson Florence Opal BA 95 Mrs Charles Gordon Three Oaks Mich
1900 Chas Gordon sec’t of the Three Oaks Masonic Lodge

Michigan conference news, Volumes 12-13 - Page 44
CHARLES E. TAGGART DIES Rev. Charles E. Taggart died at the home of his son in Washington, DC, November 3, 1945.
Mr. Taggart was born near Adrian January 28... Three Oaks - - - - Contributed by: Sue Langley


Telegram to Geo Anstiss concerning his father's death - Dec 2, 1914

The Three Oaks Acorn, January 5, 1905 - Golden Wedding Anniversary - Mrs. and Mrs. Franklin Warren of Marego, Ills, Ce.ebrate the Event Among Three Oaks Friends.
Two Weddings with a week! was the remark of one of the guests at Mrs. A. D. Ellison's on New Year's Evvening when a small company gathered to help celebrate the golden wedding of Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Warren of Marengo, Ill.
   Mrs. and Mrs. Warren had come to Three Oaks to help celbrate the marriage of their granddaughter, Leota, which occurred on the 27th, and remained to celebrate their golden anniversary with their two daughters, Mrs. Ellison of Three Oaks and Mrs. Mount of Ord, Nebraska. Mrs. Ellison had invited for the evening two cousins of her father's and their wives, Mr. Horace Warren and Mr. E. K. Warren, also Mr. and Mrs. J. L. McKie and Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Stevens.
   When supper was announced the guests were pleased to see the table lighted by candles and loaded in the good old style with everything appetizing from baked beans to pumpkin pie. A pleasant evening was passed in reminiscenses and the tellinbg of good stories. All were glad to see a daguerrotype of the bride and groom taken the year of their marriage, and as they turned to the living faces they felt the truth of the poets words__
"Softly, oh softly the years have swept by thee:
Touching thee lightly with tenderest care:
Sorrow and death did they often bring nigh thee,
Yet they have left thee but beauty to wear.
Growing old gracefully,
Gracefully fair."
Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Warren, of Marengo, Ill, recently had a very pleasant visit with their daughter, Mrs. A.D. Ellison and other relatives here. Mr. Franklin Warren is a cousin of Mr. Horace Warren and Mr. Edward K. Warren, old residents of Three Oaks. They represent three different branches of the Warren family; their fathers, Benjamin, Waters, and John having been born in Ludlow, Vermont. Benjamin died in his eight-fifth years, Waters in his eighty-seventh and John in his seventy-sixth.
   The Cousins have had a fine visit recalling their boyhood experiences and noting the great changes that have taken place during their lifetims. They are lookinf forward hopefully t a visit together next summer to their native place in Vermont. As their ages average seventy years they consider themselves middle-aged men at this time. - Contributed by: Sue Langley


Now I know why I haven't been hearing from you!!!! Ya got busy!!!! Isn't it a sign of a "glutton for punishment" to take on TWO Michigan County GenWebs??? :-D Interesting tidbit - My family used to live in the old log cabin in Berrien Springs, when it was still out in the cornfield on Kephart Lane. That was long before all the houses were put there, though. My dad rented the house for us, with part of the rent offset by taking down the huge old barn on the property - and he did it all by himself!! We had a milking cow named Flossy who lived below the main floor for a year or so. The house was covered in yellow board siding, and the only way we knew it was actually a log cabin was when my dad began drilling a hold in the wall to put in some electrical outlets, and had to by a bit extension for his drill to get through the 18" thick walls. We lived there from the summer of 1951, until the winter break between 1955 and 1956. Lots of good memories about that place. My bedroom was on the second floor, on the side of the house towards the Benton Harbor-St Joseph road (old US 31) - maybe the Andrews University side would be a better description. Graduated from the Berrien Springs High School in 1956.
From Doc Ball at


News-Palladium, Benton Harbor 1 January 1926 -
Mrs. V. M. Urbanek and John Kuchera, of New Buffalo, are instanly killed Jan. 27, 1925 by a Pennsylvania train Whiting, Ind., three others were injured. |


Dies of Gun Wounds
Joseph Polak, 63, New Buffalo, dies Jan 19 of gun wounds inflicted Jan 17, 1925 when the trigger of his gun catches in a barb wire and his gun explodes.


                                                   Tiscornia Park named after ------- Waldo V. Tiscornia - - Dies At Age 76 Former St. Joseph Mayor Succumbs in Tucson - (South Bend Tribune: May 16, 1968) -  
                                                   He was elected mayor in 1942 and held that office continuously for 14 years.  Tiscornia Park is a 16 acre park on the  lake in St. Joseph, Michigan.  See 

                                       Southwestern Michigan Parks - St. Joseph's Tiscornia Park


The Weekly Press - St. Joseph Michigan 1906 -  If you know of anyone that has cows or calves for sale, especially "blind calves" send them to Charlie Smith, he deals in that kind of stock.
Same paper and issue - Four of our Lady Macabees went to Galien last Wednesday evening on the 5:25 train. The were Mrs. Carrie Smith, Mrs. Ella Blackman, Mrs. E. A. Ives and Mrs. Lou Smith. They attended the meeting of the L.O.T.M.M. and report a jolly good time.


January Newspaper, 1886 , St. Joseph Herald
Mr. Carter Sr., who was thrown from a tram, Kankakee, Ill, while returning from New Orleans is much better. His thigh bone was broken and his shoulder dislocated. Being a very old man doubts were felt to his recovery, but his Physician, Dr. Berringer, now pronounces him on the road to recovery.
     Dan Woodard had his pockets picked while in Chicago. He is now $150 poorer than he was.


Miss Orilla, daughter of Lyman Brunson, died Sunday of consumption, age 31 years. She was buried Tuesday from the M.E.Church. Rev. M. N. Lord conducting the services. - April 20, 1889


While working about a car near Glenlord Station, on Friday afternoon of last week, H. T. Dean, son in law to Wm. Beyea, of St. Joseph, fell and struck his arm in such a manner as to break two bones at the wrist. He was brought home by A. B. Chyvis, who happened near there at the time and Dr. Scott was called to attend the injured man.  - St.  Joseph newspaper April of 1886


16 acre farm in Roylaton twp, only 6 miles from St. Joseph and close to riversteamer, May Graham's boat landing is offered for sale cheap. Apples, pears, strawberries, rasberries, blackberries and grapes, all in bearing on the place. Good comfortable house on premises: also barn and living spring.
St. Joseph newpaper October 1885


C.H. Johnson of Stevensville, got knocked down and injured by a grip-car in Chicago last Saturday, he was taken to the hospital for treatment.June 1887 newspaper


Erharts bathing houses, on the beach are again open to the public for the Season.
June 1887 newspaper.


Livingston, Michigan ? Mrs. William Baldwin was suddenly called to the bedside of her brother, Mr. William Mead of Buchanan, who was thought to be dying, but glad to say, he is a little better. Newspaper ? April, 1906


Silver Beach, St. Joseph Michigan ? The skating rink at Silver Beach will be open on Wednesday and Saturday evenings, until the opening of the season. Mid-December 1909 newspaper.


Moses Balcomb of East Saginaw attempted to light a fire with kerosene the other day. An undertaker was called in shortly afterward..
Mrs. Burnside, of Burr Oak, was rubbing her boys head with kerosene, which accidently caught fire. The boy was burned to death. St. Joseph newspaper ? Feb. 1871


Niles Daily Star - Niles, Michigan dtd 28 May 1930
Self-Inflicted Wound - George Sterner, who resides at Barron lake in a cottage next to that of Paul Hass, is in the Pawating hospital suffering from a self-inflicted bullet wound.  The bullet entered his head back of the right temple and came out of his forehead.  Mr. Sterner, who is in the seventies, was found at his home by a neighbor, E.C. Henry, who brought some shortcake to him about 6 p.m.  The wounded man was conscious and is stated to have told Henry he had a nose bleed.  It is said at the hospital that he will recover if no complications develop.  He lived alone at Barron lake, his wife having died last summer.  Despondency is believed the cause of his act.  He was shot with a .32 calibre revolver.
Submitted by Marilyn Lane


The Herald-Palladium, - Occurred - June 25, 1950: A fateful day on Lake Huron for area residents
   At 6:10 A.M. on June 25, 1950, the cruise ship City of Cleveland III, enveloped in a dense fog as it moved through the waters of Lake Huron, was rammed by the Norwegian freighter Ravnefjeel, slicing open its port quarters.

The boat was three miles off Harbor Beach, 56 miles north of Port Huron and bound for Detroit and a Tigers' doubleheader baseball game when the collision occurred.

The luxurious 44,000-ton side-wheeler, one of the last to sail the Great Lakes, was carrying 90 local residents, including members of the Benton Harbor Chamber of Commerce and other Twin Cities residents. The chamber had been offering the annual cruise since the end of World War II, and though the weather had been bad, prompting two people to leave the ship the day before, no one expected anything like this.

The impact tore apart several staterooms, killing four people and seriously injuring three. The dead included former Benton Harbor Mayor Mervyn Stouck, 64; Benton Harbor Police Chief Alvin Boyd, 53; Benton Harbor auto dealer Fred Skelley, 43; and Louis Patitucci, 40, a frozen food dealer who lived in South Bend.

Another survivor, Talma "Tom" Spooner, who was seriously injured in the collision, was interviewed while he was en route from the ship to a Coast Guard station.

"I got up once when I heard the fog signals sounding," said Spooner, an accountant at Pyramid Oil. "I looked out the window of my stateroom but could see nothing and returned to my bunk. Then I heard an awful crash and more crashes and a crunching sound. The next thing I knew I was in the water.

"There was debris all over me, and Mervyn Stouck was on top of me. We were all mixed up in the wreckage and we couldn't move. We continued to yell and could see nothing. Then a member of the Norwegian ship's crew answered us. I think we were in the water 10 minutes when the crew in the lifeboat reached us.

"They had to pull wreckage off us with the pike poles before they could lift us into the lifeboat.

"First they took us over to the Norwegian ship, and there was some kind of an argument among the Norwegians about whether we should be taken aboard their boat or back to our boat. Dewhirst said he didn't want to be taken back to our boat because of the hole in it. We couldn't see the big boat because of the fog."


The Traveler-Herald was destroyed by fire just three years ago today. We are pleased in the paper and its publisher have been of some benefit to St. Joseph and its citizens since that time.  - June 26, 1880 – St. Joseph Herald


Edmond, a 12 year old son of Mrs. Morrison of Stevensville; got his foot caught and badly jammed between the "bumpers: of two cars on Tuesday. Dr. Webster attended the little fellow, who bears his injury quite pluckily.
ref: St. Joseph Herald 14 June 1879.


Just For Fun

The good old days that bring back memories and a smile to your face.
Send us a scan of your old adds for Berrien County, or just type them up and we will add them to the page.
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At the Movies

State Theatre

The News - Palladium
6 September 1949


Drive - In
The News - Palladium
6 September 1949


Shopping for Kidz

Rowley's Shoes
The News - Palladium
6 September 1949

This page was last modified <9 October 2006>
copyright This website is created and copyrighted 2006 by Bev Edwards & Dea West

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copyright This website is created and copyrighted 2006 by Bev Edwards & 2009 by Deanna West