The oldest section of Greenwood Historic Cemetery comprises land purchased from the federal government by Dr. Ziba Swan of Albany, New York, in 1821. The first interments on this one-half-acre parcel, set aside by Swan for a cemetery, occurred in 1825, when Polly Utter and her daughter Cynthia were murdered.
Twenty–one years later, twenty–one local citizens, including Dr. Ebenezer Raynale, a member of Michigan’s first senate, purchased the cemetery property and an additional one and one–half acres from Swan. Martha Baldwin organized local women into a group that, in 1885, incorporated as the Greenwood Cemetery Association. Between 1846 and 1904, the cemetery was enlarged three times, increasing in size to eight acres. In 1946, the City of Birmingham took over operation of the cemetery.
Greenwood Historic Cemetery contains the remains of some of Oakland County’s earliest pioneers and most prominent citizens. Birmingham’s only Revolutionary War veteran, John Daniels, was buried here in 1832. Dr. Swan was interred in 1847.
Additional interments include Michigan State Senator Ebenezer Raynale (1881); Martha Baldwin, for whom the Birmingham library is named (1913); Birmingham Eccentric publishers George Mitchell (1929) and Almeron Whitehead (1926); U.S. Congressman Roland Trowbridge (1881); George Gough Booth (1949) and Ellen Scripps Booth (1948), who established the Cranbrook Educational Community; and Pewabic Pottery founder Mary Chase Stratton (1961) and her husband William Buck Stratton (1938).