Since subscribing to Newspapers.com recently, I have found an absolutely unexpected amount of information about my Smith ancestors that surely would have been lost to time had it not been recorded in those pages so long ago.
One of the major events in my Smith history was the migration from Salt Creek Township in Jackson County, Indiana to the area known as “Little Egypt” in southern Illinois. This is where my grandpa was born. I’ll try to trace the people and places back from Carmi, IL to Salt Creek on this page.
My grandpa’s father was Vernon S. Smith. He was married three times, twice torn from wives by their premature passing. Vernon was a school teacher during The Great Depression and taught in a one room schoolhouse. He had an Associates Degree. He later went on to champion the causes of better pay for teachers and to fight waste within the school system.
Here is Vernon’s obituary. A lot had happened before this time one can be certain of.
Here is an article I found that details Vernon’s birthday gathering at his home. My dad and uncle are mentioned.
One of the defining celebrations that Vernon regularly participated in was the Isaac Smith and Alvin Wheeler Family Reunions. I will try to find articles that chronicle these gatherings. I have seen two but I am unable to find them on my computer at the moment.
Vernon was the father of 5 sons, one who died very young and two whom went on to have productive and loving lives but no children. The other two, my grandpa and his brother, would find themselves dedicated to fighting in the USMC and US Army during their formative years.
Here is a story about Vernon B. Smith, my great-grand uncle.
Vernon S. Smith’s dad died when he was very young. Daniel Rice Smith was his name and he was killed by a train in Carmi, IL around 1889. Vernon would have only been about 3 years old.
I believe that this is a photo of Daniel R. Smith. It was found among the belongings of Isaac “Ike” S. Smith of Freetown, IN and has “Smith Carmi, IL” written on the back. Dan was born in 1859 the second youngest of his 7 brothers (8 of them total). There was James, Alvin, Isaac, William, Louis, Orral, Daniel, and Hiram.
This next newspaper article shows the marriage announcement of Daniel R. Smith and Nancy J. Acton. They were affectionately referred to as “Dan and Nancy”. The “Uncle Dick” the author refers to is Richard Acton, Nancy’s father. This article was likely authored by Robert M. Smith as he refers to Richard Acton in his book The Salt Creek Colony of Little Egypt the same way.
The “Ike” the following article refers to was Isaac S. Smith, one of Daniel’s older brothers.
This clipping records (towards the bottom) Dan’s attempt to travel to southern Illinois. Looks like the waters were high that time of year. The rivers in that area were known to flood and produce very fertile farmland.
This next article records Dan and Nancy’s return from their first trip to Danville.
This is a partial re-print of the above article in a newspaper that was published 50 years after Dan’s trip.
Dan’s father was the Rev. Samuel Rice Smith, Esq., if we are to believe the credentialing afforded Sam by the newspapers. Here is his obituary.
Another shorter notice:
As I wind this page up, I’ll be sure to point you to Samuel R. Smith’s father, Isaac Smith, Sr.
This page is only about some of The Salt Creekers.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed!