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William D. Rowland

wd rowland

Photo courtesy of Find A Grave

8 May 1850 – 22 May 1950
Conference Cane: 1949
Age at death: 100 years

William D. Rowland

William D. Rowland had the distinction of being the oldest member of the Michigan Conference for many years. For this honor he was the holder of the Conference Cane, the traditional gift of the Whitworth family of Grand Rapids.

William D. Rowland was born in Amboy Township, Hillsdale County May 8th, 1850. He attended the common schools of his day but for the most part he was self educated, a wide reader and a lover of good literature.

As a young man he met and wooed Miss Helen Green with whom he was united in marriage on February 4, 1871. Together they settled on a farm. Two sons were born of this union, Fred, on the farm in Amboy Township and Maurice in Jackson, Michigan.

In 1885 Mr. Rowland left the farm and began his ministry at Irving. He became a member of the Michigan Conference in 1899 and was ordained an elder in 1891. He served in succession on the Hastings Circuit, Byron Center and Dorr, Cosnovia, Lake City, Harrison, Rushville, Leaton and Indian Mission, Cadillac Circuit, Greenville Circuit, Lakeview, Parkville, Sonoma, Prairieville, Kalamo and Maple Grove, and Goblesville where he retired. After retirement he served one year at Waldron.

From Waldron Mr. and Mrs. Rowland moved in 1920 to Pioneer, Ohio, where they remained the remainder of their lives. Mrs. Rowland preceded Mr. Rowland in death in August 1926. Mr. Rowland answered the final summons on May 22, 1950.

Because of his active life in civic and community affairs the people of Pioneer gave special recognition to Mr. Rowland on the occasion of the centennial in that community.

As a pastor, he was a faithful servant of God and the church giving thirty-five years to the ministry of the Methodist church.

The funeral service was conducted by the pastor of the Pioneer Methodist church, Reverend Mr. Pfeiffer and the sermon was given by Dr. William H. Helrigel. Interment was at Pioneer, Ohio.


- Michigan Annual Conference minutes of 1950, p. 162