Jonathan T. Smith was born on January 29, 1839, in Lorain County, Ohio, the son of Peter H. (1810-1872) and Eunice (1814-1881).
New York natives Peter and Eunice were married, probably in New York, sometime before 1827 and they probably resided in New York until sometime between 1836 and 1839 when they settled in Ohio. By 1840 they were back in New York where they remained until sometime between 1845 and 1850 when they were living in Orleans, Ionia County, Michigan where Peter worked a farm and Jonathan attended schools with his siblings. By 1860 Jonathan was a farmer living with his family in Orleans, Ionia County.
Jonathan stood 5’7” with blue eyes, brown hair and a florid complexion and was 22 years old and residing in Ionia County when he enlisted in Company D on May 13, 1861. (Company D was composed largely of men who came from western Ionia County and Eaton County.) He was discharged on January 26, 1862, at Fort Lyon, Virginia, for “scrotal hernia of the right side produced by a strain at the battle of Bull Run” on July 21, 1861, “since become so large as to render him entirely unfit for duty.”
(There was reportedly one Jonathan Smith from Ionia County who enlisted in Company K, Twenty-first Michigan infantry on August 9, 1862, at Portland for 3 years, and was mustered on September 4 at Ionia. The regiment was organized at Ionia and Grand Rapids and mustered into service on September 9, and left Michigan for Louisville, Kentucky, on September 12. It was involved in the battle of Perryville, Kentucky, on October 8 and was moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in early November. Jonathan was reported to have died of disease on November 18, 1862, at Nashville, and was listed as being buried at Nashville National Cemetery. In fact, he was either discharged for disability in 1864 or mustered out in 1865. In any case there is presently no further record.)
Jonathan returned to Michigan, probably to his family’s home in Ionia County.
In 1863 he applied for a pension (no. 16145), but the certificate was never granted.
Jonathan probably died on August 3, 1867, in Eaton County, and was buried on the same lot (no. 70) with Hattie Smith (1842-1866) in either Highland Park cemetery or in Higbee cemetery, Orleans Township, Ionia County (his parents are also buried in Higbee, lot 58). However, neither Jonathan nor his parents are found in Higbee cemetery.
His parents were living in Orleans, Ionia County in 1870. His mother Eunice was living in Orleans with her son Jesse and his family in 1880.