What do you do when you can’t find an obituary for someone important in your family line? One of my 2nd-great grandmothers lived in small communities all across northern Michigan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The family worked in the woods, moving from town to town following the lumber companies. I haven’t discovered an obituary for her – yet. I’ll still look. In the meantime, I thought I’d write one for her with the information I do know. What follows is all true with the exception of her funeral details.



Sarah (Harrison) Meredith

Sarah (Harrison) Meredith

Mrs. Sarah Maria (Harrison) Meredith of Thompsonville, granddaughter of Michigan Pioneer Elias Harrison, died at Charlevoix Hospital on Tuesday, May 9, 1921, after a short illness. The cause of her death was determined to be Chronic Myocarditis. She was 54 years old.

She married Charles Wesley Meredith on September 14, 1880, in Elkland Township, Tuscola County, Michigan. The family worked in the woods during Michigan’s early lumber industry, moving with the company camps from the Thumb area to Houghton Lake, then to Thompsonville in Benzie County in 1894. For work, the family continued to move around northern Michigan living in lumber towns in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Roscommon counties.

Mrs. Meredith was born May 29, 1866, in Kinderhook, Branch County, the second daughter of Wells and Frances Jane (Ball) Harrison. Wells Harrison served in the Civil War with the 1st Michigan Light Artillery, Company D, organized in Branch County in 1861. Mr. Harrison was wounded in Tennessee and was discharged in August 1865. Twelve years after the war ended, he succumbed to his injuries at the age of 42 in 1877. With six young children to care for, Mrs. Jane Harrison married Joseph Playford in Ottawa County in May 1879 and was his wife until he died just five months later in October. Jane met Alpheus Darling and they married at Cass City in 1888. They now reside in Montmorency County.

Sarah M. (Harrison) Meredith is the grand-daughter of Elias Harrison, a veteran of the War of 1812 and an early Michigan Pioneer. Elias was born in 1790 at Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and lived in Groveland, New York, for several years before settling in Lenawee County, Michigan, in 1833.

Besides her husband, Mrs. Meredith is survived by her daughters Mrs. Ada Belle (George) Coon of Roscommon County; and sons Alton (Mabel) Meredith and Verl (Grace) Meredith of Lansing; her mother Frances Jane (Ball) Darling of Montmorency County; her sisters Caroline E. (William) Jones of Montmorency County, Charlotte M. (William) Houghton of Cass City, Almira M. (Charles) Osterle of Ellington Township, and Esther A. (David S.) Culp of Grand Rapids; her brothers William H. (Nora) Harrison of Montmorency County, and James U. (Carrie) Playford of Sheffield, Pennsylvania; seven grandchildren; and a great granddaughter (Lolabelle Bryant) who was born in Wexford County the same day Mrs. Meredith died.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Louise E. (Rhome) Mooneyham of Roscommon Co.; children Clyde, Calvin, Roy and Claudia who died in childhood; and her father Wells Harrison, a veteran of the Civil War.

Funeral services will be held at 4:00 o’clock on Wednesday at the family home in Thompsonville. Private graveside services will be held at Thompsonville Cemetery.