Historical Albion Michigan
By Frank Passic

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Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.

NATHAN WOOD

Morning Star, May 13, 2001, pg. 16

These next three weeks we will devote our column to remembering specific war veterans as we approach Memorial Day. I encourage our readerís participation in our annual Memorial Day parade and ceremonies on May 28, and to support those organizations which place flowers and flags on the graves. We should not take them for granted.

In January in this column we featured Dr. Isaac Grant, a Revolutionary War soldier who is buried in Riverside Cemetery. There is another Revolutionary War soldier buried here, however, of whom little has been written. He is Nathan Wood (1760-1846). Wood lived in Chenango County, N.Y., where Dr. Grant had also lived. The scant information regarding his service is recorded in the book "Michigan Military Records," (1920), page 79. It states that Nathan began his service at the age of 12, when he was a body servant to his father Benjamin Wood. He served throughout the Revolution.

Nathan is buried in Albion on account of his son, Martin B. Wood (1807-1887), a very prominent 19th century Albion citizen who came to the area in 1844. Martin was married to Phoebe Cornell (1816-1891), who operated the local telegraph office and was the first woman telegrapher operator in the U.S. Martin helped his brother-in-law Ezra Cornell in the laying of telegraph lines across the midwest and in other enterprises. Martin was Albion village president in 1859. The couple had several children and numerous descendants. Ironically, one reference states that no one joined the local D.A.R. tracing their genealogy via Nathan Wood.

Strangely, Nathan is buried among Civil War veterans in the Grand Army of the Republic lot in Riverside Cemetery on the hill just south of the Monroe Mausoleum. The section he is buried in was not acquired for cemetery land until 1853. This leads to the theory that he was re-interred here later. The Wood family lot, however is located behind (east) the cemetery receiving vault, and once contained a mausoleum. Nathanís wife Lucy (Hammond) is not interred here, and is buried someplace else. At the June 1908 meeting of the local D.A.R., Mrs. Estella Irwin moved that a D.A.R. marker be placed on Nathanís gravesite. This was done on October 17th of that year in a ceremony attended by representatives of the Sons of the Revolution, and the D.A.R.

From our Historical Notebook we present a photograph of the tombstone of Nathan Wood. On the top of the stone is etched 13 stars representing the first states of the Union.


Nathan Wood Tombstone

Next: ALBION'S LITTLE DRUMMER BOY, PART 1


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