Ezra and Beatrice Shideler Family History


“Ezra Edward Shideler married Beatrice Blanche Owen, a girl he met in Huntington, Indiana.  They attended the same church where his father, Rev. Daniel Shideler was one of the ministers of Lancaster Church of the Brethren and was united in marriage by him.

After living on their Stringtown Farm (Pennsylvania) for some time, back in those days Hog colera was a disease that affected a farmer’s hog set-up.  So after much decision, my Dad decided to eliminate the problem and went by train to Marilla, Michigan to check on a farm.  After making a deal on a 102 acre farm, arriving home by train after spending from January 27, 1913 to January 29, 1913 in the process of closing the deal.  He came home and bought 75 sale bills and started putting them up through the entire area February 4, 1913 for sale day was February 10, 1913.  Dad bought a team of mules to take to Michigan on Sale D along with their livestock to start their Michigan farm life.

On February 25, 1913, he put in an order for a train car.  He packed and crated their belongings to move and loaded on the train car.  They were ready to go by March 4, 1913.  On February 26, 1913, neighbors came to pay their visits for their last get-togethers before moving to their new home in Marilla, Michigan.  Dad and the Walter and Orval Harris boys went along to help with livestock.  They left Warren, Indiana at 8:00 am March 5, and arrived in Marilla at 11:00pm March 7th.  Dad traveled in the caboose.”

                  Written by June Shideler Williams, Ezra & Beatrice Shideler’s daughter


“Everyone worked hard in the horse farming days.  Spring and summer brought the usual activities of plowing, harrowing, cultipacking and rolling, preparing the land for planting and cultivating to keep crops free of weeds and then reaping the harvest of oats, wheat, buckwheat, hay, corn, and contracted crops of pickles, and green beans.  Hogs and chickens had to be fed and milked twice a day.  In the fall, the silo was filled with corn ground into encilage and thrown down from an inside door opening to feed cattle all winter long.  If someone entered the barn during morning or evening milking, I would hear the voice of Gabriel Heater, the newscaster coming over the radio.”

                Written by June Shideler Williams, daughter of Ezra & Beatrice Shideler


“We went to Marilla Church of the Brethren on Sunday.  Was not unusual to invite people home for dinner and to be invited to someone’s home.  Our yard was always full of young folks on a Sunday afternoon, in summer playing horse shoes, baseball, and softball, crocket, and stilts.  In the winter time, sleigh riding and skiing parties, and in the homes playing “Bug”, a popular game with dice, carom board, checkers, dominoes, jacks, card games and so many party fun time with the young people of our community.”

                 Written by June Shideler Williams, daughter of Ezra and Beatrice Shideler


 “A very impressive service that will live with me forever was when 18 of our young folks from our Marilla Church of the Brethren were baptized by rev. Forror, July 29, 1934.  One by one we were baptized in the Manistee River at the backwaters of the Hodenpyle Dam.  We were baptized in the Church of the Brethren ritual, 3 times dipped forwards, ‘In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost’.  After the ceremony, we all lined upon the banks of the river, parents and all, and sang “Shall We gather at the River”.

                         Written by June Shideler Williams, daughter of Ezra and Beatrice Shideler


“Our Marilla neighborhood were close neighbors.  Neighbor helping neighbor in whatever the circumstances might be.  We never locked doors at night and in the summer time, everything was open, but the screen doors.  Our parents worked hard on the farm, but many family picnics were enjoyed at favorite swimming areas at Duck Lake, Chief Lake, and favorite fishing areas at Shavenough, Edington, and Hodenpyle Dam.  On the Fourth of July, our entire community packed up picnic dinners and enjoyed a day at Chief Lake swimming and fishing, a yearly event looked forward to and older folks enjoyed a day of visiting.”

                             Written by June Shideler Williams, daughter of Ezra and Beatrice Shideler

A Brief History of Marilla Township & Church of the Brethren

Marilla Township-Lumbering & Farming