Catalog Number
Image of Arvilla Almira Smith, born November 27, 1808 and died April 15, 1895. She was the wife of Rev. George N. Smith. 
Smith, Arvilla Almira (Powers) Born November 27, 1808, and died April 15, 1895. Arvilla was married to Reverend George Nelson Smith (October 25, 1807, to April 5, 1881) who was the first Congregational minister to be ordained in the State of Michigan. Arvilla was born in St. Albans, Vermont and married George N. Smith in 1830. The couple moved to Michigan in 1833 from Albans, Vermont, and were employed by the Home Missionary society in Kalamazoo County. Life was very difficult but with much hard work and extreme hardships their family survived and thrived. The couple began to hold council with the Ottawa band of Native Americans in 1837. Shortly after this they moved to Allegan County. From there they moved to the Holland area to start and run the Old Wing Mission. Nine years later, the Ottawa band became dissatisfied with the Holland area and with the Smith family moved to Grand Traverse Bay. Arvilla wrote in her diary about her family, “They lived in incredible hardship but labored faithfully with the heathen flock”. In 1849 the groups moved north.