Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hiram Smith (1868-1929)

     All I ever knew about my great grandfather, Hiram Smith (1868  -1929) was that he died from being kicked by a horse and that his body was laid out in the living room of Great Grandma Smith's house.  As a little girl, I found this to be very spooky.  I spent a great amount of time at my great grandmother's house in that very room practicing my piano lessons.
     I had found some family notes that said he came from Oklahoma Indian Country. This was also what my mother told me. Official records show he was born in Clark County, Missouri.
     In the winter of 2007-08 (or maybe the winter before), I found Hiram's name on a family tree on  I communicated the dates and facts which I had and discovered that I'd connected to a great granddaughter of Hiram Smith's sister.

     Since then I have found out a little more.

     1868 May 26. Hiram Lee Smith was born to George Merroll (1842-1932) and Mary Agnes Ford (1847-1924) in Missouri.  He was their second child.  His older brother was named James W. and was about a year older than Hiram.
     1870  Hiram was age 2 at the time of the 1870 census. The family lived in Hurricane, Carroll County, Missouri. George was a farmer.
     1880  Now age 12, Hiram and family live in Keota, Keokuk County, Iowa.  Brother James is 13 and his sister, Melissa, is 7.

     1884  The census of 1920 indicates that Jesse, the fourth child of George and Mary, was born in South Dakota in 1884. I knew about Missouri, Iowa, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. But South Dakota?  Wow! New information. Hiram would have been about 16 at this time. He was probably still with his family.  His obituary indicates that he came to Greene County around 1893.  He would have been around 25 at that time.

George, Jesse, Mary Smith

     1900 This census indicates Hiram's parents and younger brother, Jesse, were living in South Creek, Lincoln County, Oklahoma.  Now I see why my mom thought Great Grandpa might have come from Oklahoma Territory.
      1920 The 1920 census shows that George, age 76, and Mary, age 73, lived in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Their son, Jesse, was married with three children. It appears they all lived at the same residence. Jesse-36, Rosa-29, Beulah-13, John-10, and Carl-4.

     1924 I found this newpaper article from April 3, 1924.

              " Hiram L. Smith was called to New Mexico by telegram last Friday, the message announcing the very serious illness of his mother.  He left at once, but found the good mother dead upon his arrival.  Mr. Smith attended the funeral and arrived home Tuesday night."

     1929  Hiram died March 19

     1930  Mary has now been gone about 6 years and George is still living in the home of his son, Jesse. Jesse's son,Carl, is now age 14, but also living in the Smith household was their son,  John, age 20 and his wife, Viola.

      1932 George, Hiram's father, died in July about 90 years of age.

                   Fast forward about 80 years.

      2013 When driving to Arizona in January of 2013, we tried to find the cemetery in Tucumcari, New Mexico.  Find a Grave does not show George and Mary buried there, but I thought they must be. However, we could not find their graves because we couldn't even find the cemetery.

     2014 In January we drove right by Tucumcari, New Mexico. Rats, I really had hoped we could stop.

     2014 Finally, success. December 29, 2014, we found the grave of my great great grandparents, George and Mary Smith.  Only a few years ago, I didn't even know their names.  As I stood there looking at their stone, I suddenly wondered if my mother, Mary, had been named for this ancestor, her great grandmother.





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