Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County, Michigan



Isaac Hiram Clawson (1855-1936) and Anna Marie Dortea Rollenhagen (1865-1938)

Isaac Hiram Clawson was born 12 November 1855 at Williamsburg, Ohio, son of Hiram Clawson and Perlina Davis. He lived in Van Wert County, Ohio until the summer of 1864 when his family moved to Lisbon, Michigan to be near his grandparents Nathan and Samantha Bates Davis and his two aunts. Isaac's mother remarried in December 1864. Isaac did not like his stepfather, Fuller Porter, and supposedly ran away at age twelve (around 1867). Anna Ransom Feiger said that her grandfather had "stayed in some of the finest beds in southern Michigan" after he ran away.

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Isaac Clawson, seated, ca. 1875 (standing man is unidentified).

Isaac was married on 31 December 1885 at Ravenna, Muskegon County, Michigan by the Reverend Charles D Wood to Anna Marie Dortea Rollenhagen. Charles Smith and Emma Maycroft witnessed the wedding. Anna was born 25 February 1866 at Grand Isle, Erie County, New York the daughter of Christian Friedrich Rollenhagen and Hanna Frederike Theel. The Clawson's lived in Ravenna County where their children Maybelle, Myrtle, and Mildred had been born.


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Anna Maria Dortea Rollenhagen and Isaac Hiram Clawson, circa 1915.

The Clawson's moved first to Grawn, where Isaac's sister lived, and then to Pearl Lake, Benzie County, Michigan between 1895. In Grawn, the twins Maude and Claude, were born. Maude died at eighteen months. Isaac worked as a farmer and part time carpenter. His granddaughter, Anna Ransom Feiger, recalls that he was called upon to make a coffin for a neighbor's child. Once, when he broke his leg, he made a crutch for himself. Anna was a full-time mother. Photographs indicate that she raised chickens on the Pearl lake farm. At Pearl Lake the rest of the children: Lillian, Robert, Arzey, Richard, Fred, Margaret, Ina, Edwin, and Edith were born.

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The Clawson men. Left to right: Edwin, Fred, Arzy, Isaac, Claude, and Robert.   The Clawson women: Ina, Margaret, Mildred, Anna, Maybelle, Edith, Myrtle, and Lillian, ca. 1930.

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Clawson family, ca. 1925. Standing, left to right: Edwin, Claude, Myrtle, Arzy, Maybelle, Robert, Mildred, and Fred. Sitting, left to right: Margaret, Ina, Isaac, Anna, Edith, and Lillian.

Isaac died 2 April 1936 at Pearl Lake, Benzie County, Michigan. The cause of death was a paralytic stroke. His obituary appeared in the Traverse City Record Eagle:


Funeral services for Isaac Clawson of Pearl lake, who passed away Thursday evening at his home following a two years' illness, were conducted Sunday afternoon at the home. Rev. S. Arthur Cook of the local Central Methodist church officiated and burial was made in Green Briar cemetery.

Mr. Clawson was born in Williamsburg, Ohio, Nov. 12, 1855. He came to Lisbon, Mich., in 1865, and was married to Anna Rollenhagen of Ravenna in 1885. They came to Pearl Lake in 1895, where they have since resided. They observed their golden wedding anniversary in Dec. 1935.

Surviving are the widow, five sons, Fred of Pearl Lake, Claud, Robert, Arzy, Edwin, of Detroit; seven daughters, Mildred, Lillian, Mrs. Colonel Ransom of Glen Arbor, Mrs. Thomas harris, Mrs. Clarence Cook, Mrs. Edward Milarch of Traverse City; and Mrs. Basil Charles of Pontiac; two sisters, Mrs. Allie Stone, Mrs. Eliza McIntyre of Grant, Mich.; seventeen grandchildren; four great grandchildren and many otehr relatives and friends."

Anna died 10 March 1938 at Traverse City, Michigan from complications from diabetes. Isaac and Anna are buried at the Green Briar Cemetery, Lake Ann, Michigan.

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Back row: Margaret, Mildred, Mabel, Robert, and Lillian. Front row: Anna, Edwin, and Isaac. Circa. 1915.


Children of Isaac and Anna Rollenhagen Clawson

i. Maybelle Fredericka Clawson was born 31 August 1886 at Ravenna, Muskegon County, Michigan.

ii. Myrtle Elizabeth Clawson was born 3 September 1888 at Ravenna, Muskegon County, Michigan.

iii. Mildred Anna Clawson was born 27 March 1891 at Ravenna, Muskegon County, Michigan.

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Maybelle, Mildred, and Myrtle Clawson, circa 1905.                             Myrtle and Maybelle Clawson.

iv. Maude Clawson was born 6 January 1894 at Grawn, Michigan. She died in 1895 at Grawn.

v Claude Isaac Clawson was born 6 January 1894 at Grawn, Michigan.

vi. Lillian Belle Clawson was born 24 November 1897 at Pearl Lake, Benzie County, Michigan.

vii. Robert Hiram Clawson was born 9 December 1899 at Pearl Lake, Benzie County, Michigan.

viii. Arzey Bernard (Mac) Clawson was born 26 April 1901 at Pearl Lake, Benzie County, Michigan.

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Mac and Fred Clawson

ix. Richard Clawson was born and died in 1902. He is buried in Greenbriar Cemetery, Lake Ann, Benzie County, Michigan.

x. Frederick Sylvernus Clawson was born 18 March 1904 in Almira township, Benzie County, Michigan.

xi. Margaret Marie Clawson was born 5 August 1905 in Almira township, Benzie County, Michigan.

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Margaret Clawson.                                         Margaret and Ina Clawson.

xii. Ina Fredericka Clawson was born 5 March 1907 in Almira township, Benzie County, Michigan.

xiv. Edith Mae Clawson was born 28 July 1913 in Almira township, Benzie County, Michigan.

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Edith Clawson

xv. Edwin Burton Clawson was born on 29 February 1909 in Almira township, Benzie County, Michigan.

Pioneer Families of Grand Traverse County