The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

The Crabbs home 01.03

Written by David Green.

Joyce (Williamson) VanValkenburg offered some information about the home at 120 N. Summit St. in Morenci, and she should know—she used to live there. Joyce adds some facts in addition to what her sister, Janis, recently wrote.

The home was built by W. W. Crabbs, the owner of a drygoods store. His daughter, Hazel, played the organ at the First Congregational Church for many years. When W. W. and his wife passed away, the home went to his son John, a tailor, and wife Susan. 

After the Crabbs, the home became the residence of Herbert Porter (of Porter Lumber Company).  Herbert was the father of Stanley, Roger and Evelyn (Mansfield).

“Mr. Porter had a tin bathtub built in the upstairs bathroom, which was long enough for him to stretch out in,” Joyce wrote. “Their kitchen was also built higher than usual to accommodate taller people.”

When Joyce’s parents, Bernard and Thelma Williamson, purchased the home in 1943, they moved the kitchen back one room to where the previous kitchen had been and turned the Porter kitchen into a dining room.

Mr. Williamson had a law office downtown above Slagel’s Market, but when he purchased the Porter home, two rooms in the basement were converted to a law office and he continued his law practice even after he was appointed Lenawee County Probate Judge by Governor G. Mennen Williams.

“After my father passed away in the fall of 1952, my mother and I went to Tecumseh and interviewed a young attorney by the name of Yale Kerby,” Joyce writes. “He eventually purchased the home from her in the spring of 1953 and continued the law practice.”

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