Beaverton Historical Society
Gladwin County Obituary/Death Notice
Rev. Isaac C. Smallwood



   At the ripe age of 85 years, Rev. Isaac C. Smallwood passed away Tuesday at his home in Billings, the immediate cause of his death being an attack of bronchitis. During the last years of his life he had retained full possession of his mental faculities, and to a remarkable degree his bodily vigor. Mr. Smallwood was a native of Rockingham county, Virginia, where he was born Aug 13, 1826. When 10 years old his parents attracted by the reparts of the western Eldorado removed with him to the Hocking valley in Ohio. Here he grew to manhood. The pioneers of that locality found themselves unable to provide educational facilities for their children, and his schooling was limited to 30 days, received after he was 21 years of age. In 1850 he married Nancy Edgel, with whom he lived for more than 50 years. She died in November, 1902.

   In 1860 he enlisted in the war of rebellion at Newark, Lincoln county, Ohio. He was a resident of Nelsonville situated in a secession sympathizing district. He induced 30 others ot enlist with him. He held the rank of color sergeant, participated in 22 battles, and was with Sherman 33 days in his famous march to the sea, as a member of the second brigade, Kilpatricks cavalry. During the taking of Fort McAllister he was 4 1/2 days without rations.

   At the close of the war he returned to Ohio, where he was ordained to preach the gospel by the Free Will Baptists. He came to Gladwin county in 1875, where he purchased 10 acres of land, which upon investigation he found to be state land. He then settled at Bear Creek in Tobacco township, which was at that time a part of Billings township.

   He was elected treasurer of the township, and on account of the difficulty in keeping clear of trouble with the famous Billings bond issued at that time he resigned. For eight years he lived on a homestead on section 18, in Buckeye township. In 1883 he moved to Sacarappa in T. 19 1 W., form there to Sage township and again a resident of Buckeye township, then to Billings. For 24 years he held the office of justice of the peace in the various townships in which he has lived.

   Few men are better known in the county than Elder Smallwood. He has held religous services in nearly every schoolhouse in the county. The pioneers of the county remember him as the one on whom they called in the early days to assist them in burying the dead. It was he whom performed the marriage ceremony of their children. It is not given to any to get closer than the pioneer minister ot the people among whom he lives.

   "Man's life's a book of history; The leaves thereof are days; The letters, mercies closely joined; The title is God's praise."

   As a pioneer preacher, Mr. Smallwood conducted the first religious services in the city of Gladwin, then known as the village of Cedar, on March 31, 1878. The services were held in the Record printing office, which had just been built on a site west of the abstract office. The building burned a few years ago. Baptismal services followed the meeting in the Cedar river, just north of the bridge on West Cedar avenue.

   To the first marriage eleven children were born, of whom five sons and four daughters are living, as follows: George of Saginaw, Ells and John of Hay township, Matt of Sage, Perrel of Hay, Elizabeth, wife of J. T. Robinson of Sage, Jane, wife of Archie Boals of Tobacco, Mary, now Mrs. Hardy of Ohio, and Lucy, wife of B. F. Dumont of Billings. To a second marriage one son was born, who survives with the widow. Funeral services will be held Friday at the Presbyterian church in this city. Interment at Highland cemetery.
Personal Information
Death Date
Burial/Final Location
Highland Cemetery
Publication Information
Pub. Date
Pub. Page
Gladwin County Record, Gladwin, MI
P:1 C:4
Transcription Information
Transcribed by
Source Media
Summer 2005
Tom Ladner
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