Designed and created by
Emma Thornburg Sefcik, owner
of Competent Secretarial
and Poster Pics of Hartford, MI.
From the HHS Class of 1966.
This web site is donated for the
preservation of historic gems about a place called Hartford, Michigan.
Many, many hours are spent collecting information, scanning old photos,
restoration of old photos, sifting through old newspaper articles and
books, hearing interesting stories from local residents, and designing
the site. It’s been a real learning experience I shall treasure
forever. The bond grows stronger every day between our Hartford
folks from around the world….many now realize how much living in
Hartford really does and did mean. The Lord created us with fantastic
photographic minds and warm memories that we can relive at any
time….sometimes, it only takes a little nudge from someone else to
help process them.
Meet my family….
My wonderful husband, Ron
and faithful friend, Ali.
Our youngest son,
HHS Class of 1993
Our oldest son,
HHS Class of 1990
Mary and George
Mary is from HHS Class of 1982
|Special Thanks to:
you to all who contributed stories, photos, tales, etc. It has been a
memorable experience meeting wonderful people while working on this
site! I only regret not seeking Hartford’s history earlier in
my life and not being taught about the important people and events of our
community during school. Many documents and stories are yet to be uncovered and shared
with the future children and families of Hartford, Michigan.
If you have information to contribute, corrections to the
questions or comments about the site, or to report any broken links,
please send an email and share it
Irene and George Swift
for the beautiful photos and historic notes
the years. Many photos
used on this site are from George’s
you captured with your camera.
And Irene for your notes and
keeping George organized.
Photo taken March, 2001
George completed his journey of life on May 21, 2005
Irene complete her journey on December 7, 2008
for sharing old photos to spark my interest in Hartford History and "got me moving".
Photo taken at Strawberry Festival
Irene and Ed Ison
Irene passed away 9-1-2005
at 92 years of age.
Ed passed away 3-28-2006
at 96 years of age.
Thanks for sharing the
Lightner family album
Photo taken at Strawberry Festival
for starting Cyber
Solutions Internet Service. This site would not have
been possible without
an internet service in our tiny town.
Photo taken at Gala-T-Inn in Hartford
Roy (Bud) and
for sharing your personal library of military photos and documents, as
well as of your own
It’s a privilege to
work with such great
historians of the History of Hartford. How can we ever thank you
both enough for all the hard work in recording your knowledge?
Photo taken at Memorial Day Service
in Ely Park, Hartford MI
Jean and Bick Beckwith
Thanks for the many
historic Hartford photos and emails about the people who have lived in
Hartford. Although Bick finished his Senior Year in 1943 at
Watervliet High School, his lifetime remains loyal to Hartford friends and
preserving the History of Hartford. Bick’s faithfulness in updating everyone
on his ever-expanding email list about Hartford grads who have passed
away – a commendable feat, especially when residing in California.
Jean, thanks for helping Bick remember all those facts! A graduate
of Watervliet High School (1943), Jean is from
the Simpson family-line
mentioned throughout early Hartford history.
Photo taken at Christmas, 2001
Jean passed away
May 5, 2010
at 84 years of age.
Jean Estes Burlingham
Special thanks for many hours of tracking down Miss Hartford photos and
contest programs for the website. It takes time and legwork to
pictures. With the passing of Bill Dyer in November
2005, Jean filled a real void with her commitment toward preserving
the History of Hartford.
Thank you, Jean!
It’s a pleasure working with you.
Photo taken July 2006
Larry and Lois Blyly
Many thanks to Larry and Lois for all their work in preserving
Hartford History. Compiling graduate names for the HHS Alumni
Reunions was a monumental task they undertook several years ago.
Most any time when I need Hartford "trivia" solved (and sometimes
created), Larry Blyly is the one I call. If he doesn’t know the
answer right off the cuff – he searches until he finds the answer – phone
calls, letters, emails – whatever it takes. The gleam in Larry’s eye
is evident when solving Hartford mysteries, especially tracking
down names of people in old photographs. You both have
certainly earned a place in
Hartford’s Hall of Fame. How can we ever thank
you both for helping to make the History of Hartford more personable
for us all?
Photo taken 4-1-2006 during the
final hour of their long-time Hartford business, Riverview Equipment &
Memorial Day at Keeler
Cemetery – 2002
L-R back row:
Bill and Virginia Dyer, Nancy Dyer Huffman,
Front: Brianna Huffman
Thanks, Bill, for helping so
much in gathering military documents
and photos from local people.
Much of the information shown on this website would not have been
available so quickly (or at all) without his persistence and legwork.
Bill passed from his earthly life on 11-26-2005.
Because he made
it a priority to find and share valuable history, Bill Dyer earned a place
in our hearts and I am honored to reserve this small cyber-space in
gratitude of his loyalty in preserving our history. The treasures
and friendship he shared are
priceless and he is a genuine
in our History of Hartford.
Emma Thornburg Sefcik
History of Hartford
The following obituary was written by James Keech
William Norton Dyer, lifelong Hartford
resident, succumbed to a yearlong battle with leukemia on November 26,
2005. Bill, born to Raymond and Myrtle Dyer on March 22, 1928, passed
away at his home on Pinery Road in Hartford Township. Virginia (Steinhauser),
his wife of 54 years, was at his side. They were married in Mishawaka,
Indiana, on October 16, 1951.
established himself as an individual with a wide variety of interests
beginning with his school years at Hartford High School. He not only
excelled as a multi-sport athlete but entered a lifetime avocation as a
talented musician, a drummer, graduating from HHS in 1946. Before and
after a two year stint in the
U.S. Army during the Korean War, he became associated with several
area musical groups – the Melville Brothers Band, the Four Sharps Dance
Band, the Aristocrats, the Blue Aces, to mention a few. Bill was also an
important member of the Hartford Alumni Band in recent years.
returning from his military assignment as a supply sergeant at Camp Haugan
in Japan, he entered a lifetime employment with the U.S. Postal Service.
Bill eventually rose to the position of Postmaster in Hartford and retired
from that office in 1983.
and Virginia enjoyed traveling during their vacation times, journeying to
such faraway destinations as Mexico, Alaska, and Las Vegas. During the
last few years, the Dyers particularly enjoyed the company of their
beloved granddaughter, Krystal, on these trips. Another aspect of their
travels were memorable camping trips to Mackinaw, Pennsylvania, and other
locales. The Dyers were particularly interested in searching for covered
bridges and other historical locations.
served the Hartford community as a member of the school board, the
Hartford Township Zoning Board, Fruitbelt Credit Union Board, Cub
Scoutmaster, and Little League coach highlighting his colorful career.
One aspect of his talents were his donations of group and individual
photographs for various Hartford groups. Most recently, he has provided
assistance to Emma Thornburg Sefcik and her work with the Hartford Web
Site. Privately, he enjoyed working on the Dyer family genealogy and
collecting stamps and antiques.
addition to his wife, Virginia, Bill is survived by a son, Jamie John
Dyer, his daughter-in-law, Carol (Whiteman), and granddaughter, Krystal
Marie, of Portage, Michigan. He is also survived by a brother, Robert,
and sister-in-law, Eleanor, of St. Joseph, and a sister, Nancy, and
brother-in-law, George Huffman, of Hartford. He is also survived by
numerous nieces and nephews. Special mention is made of the two family
pets and companions; Shelby, a Lab-Chow mix, and Jack, a Jack Russell
parents have both passed away.