William G. Brewbaker was born December 28, 1896, to Ely and Geneieve Brewbaker of Alma, Michigan. William, or “Tad” as he was known to many in Alma, was an only child. He attended Alma public schools and Alma College. During World War I, William was sent to places like Columbus Barracks, where he enlisted on May 24, 1918, and others like Camp Meigs in Washington, D.C. He ended up at Camp Humphreys in Virginia as a member of Company D of the 5th Regimental Engineers. While at Camp Humphreys, he became a Sergeant 1st Class and remained there until being discharged on February 24, 1919.
At the start of the Great Depression, he was living in Detroit with his wife and son as an auditor for the Chrysler Motor Company. It was there on one day in 1932 when William went to work on his car inside of his garage that he became an accidental victim of carbon monoxide poisoning. A tragic and early death, the town of Alma was shocked by his passing. The funeral was held at his parents’ home to a packed house. William was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Alma and a member of the Masons. William was also a great grandson of Alma’s founder, Colonel Ralph Ely.
William T. Brewbaker is one of many men and women who served Gratiot County during a time of war.