John Edwin Smith is my gr-gr-grandfather. He was the son of Samuel E. Smith and Nancy Cusick, born March 30, 1830, in Marion County, Kentucky.
He first married Ellen Lyons, daughter of Augustine Lyons. The marriage probably took place in Marion County, before December of 1850, when their first child, Melvina Ann Smith, my great-grandmother, was born. The Marion County Courthouse was burned in 1863 when John Hunt Morgan came through the area. All records before that date were destroyed.
John and Ellen had four more children, Mary Isabella, Thomas Henry, John Richard and Mary Ellen Smith. Baby Mary Ellen was born in 1859, Ellen died September 5, 1859, possibly due to childbirth or complications thereof. Ellen Lyons Smith was buried in St. Charles Catholic Cemetery in Marion County. Unfortunately her stone was destroyed during a storm when trees fell and crushed it.
John Smith married Frances Harriett Carrico October 2, 1860, in Washington County, Kentucky. She was a daughter of Pius M. Carrico and Mary Magdalene Spalding. The couple had seven children: James, Mary Catherine, Ann Elizabeth, George Robert, Cecilia Jane, George Washington and Victoria Mary Jane Smith. Harriet Carrico Smith died October 20, 1898.
After burying two wives John Smith lived another nine years, dying February 17, 1907. His obituary in The Springfield Sun, Washington County, names him as one of the ‘county’s best known citizens.’ It also said he was ‘born in Marion County March 10, 1830, and at one time owned a distillery in that county, and made considerable money while engaged in that business. In this connection it might be well to say that Mr. Smith was a remarkably temperate man. At the age of seventeen he signed a pledge to never again touch intoxicating beverages of any kind, and we are informed that this pledge was never broken.’ And finally the obituary ended with, ‘The deceased at one time was an extensive land owner in this county, owning 500 or 600 acres of good land, but this he divided among his children when he became incapacitated for business. Mr. Smith was a liberal and kind-hearted man; he was a good neighbor and a kind and considerate father.’
The children surviving their father were Mrs. J. B. Carrico (my great-grandmother), J. Richard Smith, Mrs. F. M. Carrico, James E. Smith, Mrs. Barton Mattingly and G W. Smith. Besides his children he left sixty-three grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren. What a legacy!