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  • Writer's pictureChristina Grosshans

SPY's Newsletter 2/26/22

SPY’s Community Newsletter #180


· The next meeting of the Sunfield Area Sponsors of Programs for Youth (SPY’s) will be held on Tuesday, March 8th. starting at 6:30 PM, at the Best Tax Service building on M-43. Please note the starting time change and location. Guests are always welcome!

· Kay Jones is a retired Elementary School teacher. She lives on Washington Street in Sunfield. Her phone number is 517-648-5363. She is offering---



For Personalized Instruction she charges $20 per hour.

Note To Children:

I will teach you here and there.

I will teach you because I care.

So just do your very best.

And do not worry about the rest.

News From The Sunfield Summer Athletic Association

The Sunfield Summer Athletic Association is happy to report that sign-ups for community T-ball; Baseball; and Softball are now available!

To register online, visit:

Alternatively, you can visit the Sunfield Library on Saturday, March 12th for in person sign ups from 10 AM - 12 PM.

Practices will begin the week after Spring Break and games start in May and run through mid-June.

Questions? Email: or find them on Facebook!

Scholarships Deadline Nears!

Attention High School Seniors! Don’t forget the deadline for the submission of applications for any of the SPY’s Community Foundation scholarships is Tuesday, March 15th. Applications and detailed information about all of the scholarship opportunities is available on-line at

Special Annual Contribution Report

For anyone that is interested, attached at the bottom of this Newsletter is the Sunfield Area Sponsors of Programs for Youth (the SPY's) Community Foundation Scholarship and Youth Activities Trust Funds Combined Annual Report. This is a complete list of all contributors to those funds as of 2/20/22. It is on a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Or, you can go on-line to see it at:

Parting Comments

· Deep Thought of the Week: Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.

· Notable Quote: "Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”---Abraham Lincoln

· That’s Puny Department: Geology rocks, but Geography is where it’s at

· Did You Know Section: If you were in the market for a watch in 1880 would you know where to get one? You would go to a store, right? Well of course you could do that, but if you wanted one that was cheaper and a bit better than most of the store watches, you went to the train station! Sound a bit funny? Well, for about 500 towns across the northern United States, that's where the best watches were found.

Why were the best watches found at the train station? The railroad company wasn't selling the watches, not at all. The telegraph operator was. Most of the time the telegraph operator was located in the railroad station because the telegraph lines followed the railroad tracks from town to town. It was usually the shortest distance and the right-of-way had already been secured for the rail line.

Most of the station agents were also skilled telegraph operators and it was the primary way they communicated with the railroad. They would know when trains left the previous station and when they were due at their next station. And it was the telegraph operator who had the watches. As a matter of fact, they sold more of them than almost all the stores combined for a period of about 9 years.

This was all arranged by "Richard", who was a telegraph operator himself. He was on duty in the North Redwood, Minnesota train station one day when a load of watches arrived from the East. It was a huge crate of pocket watches. No one ever came to claim them. So Richard sent a telegram to the manufacturer and asked them what they wanted to do with the watches. The manufacturer didn't want to pay the freight back, so they wired Richard to see if he could sell them. So Richard did. He sent a wire to every agent in the system asking them if they wanted a cheap, but good, pocket watch. He sold the entire case in less than two days and at a handsome profit. That started it all.

He ordered more watches from the watch company and encouraged the telegraph operators to set up a display case in the station offering high quality watches for a cheap price to all the travelers. It worked! It didn't take long for the word to spread and, before long, people other than travelers came to the train station to buy watches. Richard became so busy that he had to hire a professional watchmaker to help him with the orders. That was Alvah. And the rest is history as they say. The business took off and soon expanded to many other lines of dry goods. Richard and Alvah left the train station and moved their company to Chicago.

YES, IT'S A LITTLE KNOWN FACT that for a while in the 1880's, the biggest watch retailer in the country was at the train station. It all started with a telegraph operator: Richard Sears and partner Alvah Roebuck!


1. If there is any organization or business out there that has something they would like to advertise or promote, please feel free to submit it to this Newsletter and we will help publicize it. There is no charge. We are glad to provide this means as a public service to help keep the community informed.

2. If you are looking for further information about the SPY’s events---Corporate or Platinum Sponsorship information---

scholarship forms---youth sports reimbursement forms---past SPY newsletters---etc.---just go to the SPY website at

3. NOTE: If you know of anyone who would like to receive these SPY’s Newsletters, just send me an email at with their email address and we will add them to the distribution list.

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