Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University

Finding aid for
Levi Smith Family papers

Finding aid created by
Marian Matyn

Summary Information
Title: Levi Smith Family papers
Creator: Smith, Levi, 1915-
Inclusive dates: 1851, 1903, and undated
Extent: .25 cubic feet (in 1 box)
Family papers include: biographical materials and correspondence (transcripts).

Call number: MSS.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University
250 East Preston Street
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: 989-774-3352
Fax: 989-774-2160

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Acc# 66274

Access Restrictions:

Levi Smith Family papers are open for research.


Copyright belongs to the Clarke Historical Library.

Preferred Citation:

Levi Smith Family papers, Folder #, Box #, Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University


The collection is in alphabetical and then chronological order.



Levi Smith (1832-March 10, 1865) was the son of Hester and Isaac Smith. He had a brother, George W. Smith. Levi was a farmer. In 1855, Levi lived in Penfield (Ohio). He moved to Elba Township (Laper County, Michigan) before 1860. By 1860 he was married to Lib (Elizabeth, b. 1840-), with whom he had a daughter, Flora B., or Florabel.

Levi enlisted in Company I, First Michigan Engineers and Mechanics in Oregon Township (Lapeer County, Michigan) on December 23, 1862. He served as an artificer (defined as “In the U.S Army, a private detailed to work as a mechanic, farrier or carpenter, etc., for the unit to which he belongs,” in Webster’s New International Dictionary, 2nd ed., unabridged). On March 10, 1865, Levi died of disease at Detroit. He was later buried in Detroit.

Levi’s widow, Lib, apparently married another man named Smith with two daughters by October 8, 1865. With her second husband, Lib had three more children: George L. Smith, Arthur G. Smith, and Mrs. Carrie Sampson.

Levi’s daughter, Flora, born on February 26, 1859, married Charles Frederick Fowler on Jan. 15, 1880. With Charles, Flora had three sons: Guy, Claud, and Clyde. They lived on a farm in Elba Township. Flora died on October 2, 1931 at age 72.

Other relatives who are represented in the correspondence include:

Levi’s brother, George W. Smith, who married “Frank” (Frances) and had two children: Antoinette and Oscar. Levi’s cousin, Henry D. Smith, who enlisted in Company C, 10th Michigan Calvary as a Commissary Sergeant at age 17 on October 23, 1863. He was promoted to Quartermaster sergeant and mustered out at Memphis (Tennessee) on November 11, 1865. Charles F. Fowler’s brother was H. S. Fowler of Kansas City (Missouri) is also found in the correspondence. H. S. was married to Emma (died February 27, 1899). (This information is from the collection and the 1860 Federal Census for Michigan.)

Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection includes (copies) of Correspondence to/from Levi, Lib, and the Fowler brothers, some Transcriptions of Correspondence, and Biographical Materials. The Correspondence mainly discusses Levi’s and other soldiers’ experiences marching, camping, fighting, illness, and people of the south, 1862-1865, undated. One letter written to Lib after Levi died (letter dated April 20, 1865) notes the death of President Lincoln. Later correspondence is mostly between the Fowler brothers discussing family news, 1898, 1900, 1903, and undated. Earlier Correspondence, 1851, and 1855 is between Levi, his father, and brother. Two copies of the same photograph are included in the folders.

Subject Terms

    • Smith, Levi, 1915-
    • Smith, George W.
    • Smith, Henry D.
    • Fowler, Flora B. Smith.
    • Fowler, Charles F.
    • Fowler, H. S.
    • Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865--Assassination.
    • Smith family.
    • Fowler family.
    • United States. Army. Michigan Engineers and Mechanics Regiment, 1st (1861-1865) Company I.
    • United States. Army. Michigan Cavalry Regiment, 10th (1862-1865) Company C.
    • Genealogy--Michigan--Lapeer County.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.
    • Elba (Lapeer County, Mich. : Township)--History.
    • Elba (Lapeer County, Mich. : Township)--Genealogy.
    • Lapeer County (Mich.)--History.
    • Lapeer County (Mich.)--Genealogy.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Levi Smith Family papers. [series]:
    Box   1 F   1
    Biographical Materials (copies), undated
    Box   1 F   2
    Correspondence (Transcripts), 1851, 1855, 1862-1865, 1898, 1900, 1903?, undated