An American Family History

George Washington Smith


Mt. Carmel United Evangelical Church was in Benton Township, Lucas County, Iowa.

Lucas County is in south central Iowa. It was founded in 1846 and the county seat is Chariton.

Illinois became a state in 1818. A large influx of American settlers came in the 1810s by the Ohio River.

George Washington Smith was born near Peoria, Illinois about 1866. He was the son of Josiah Smith and Sarah Pitts. He was named for his father's brother, George Washington Smith.

About 1868 he moved with his family to Chariton, Iowa.

He was listed in the 1870 census as age five. He was listed in the 1880 census as age thirteen.

He married Rosa Estella (Stella) Arnold when he was 22 years old on November 28, 1888. Rosa Estela Arnold was the sixth child of Edward Arnold and Sophia Barnhart and  was born March 31, 1870, in Dallas Township, Marion County, Iowa. 

On November 28, a very pleasant evening was enjoyed by the relatives and friends of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Arnold, at their residence in Benton Township, upon the occasion of the marriage of their daughter Rosa to Mr. George W. Smith of the same neighborhood. The ceremony was performed by Rev. D.M. Stuart.
The Chariton Patriot, December 5, 1888

George and Rosa had two children. Eva Edna Smith Singleterry was born in October, 1889 and Walter George Smith was born August, 1892.   

George became a widower on March 2, 1898 when Rosa died. Walter W. Singleterry told his daughter, Janet Leslie, about how his grandmother Rosa died. He said

She died from a hemorrhage from a miscarriage.The doctor told her to stay in bed. Her mother (Sophia Arnold) was visiting and told her that was silly and that she could get up and when she did, she started hemorrhaging and died. After they had Walter, she had three miscarriages and the last one killed her. Granddad was very distraught over her death and he never married again. 

The family appeared in the 1900 census in Benton Township, Lucas County, Iowa. George's occupation was farmer. In 1901 and 1902, Walter and Eva attended school with the Josiah A. Smith children at Benton Center No. 4 (Myers School).

George had a farm west of Griswald, Cass County, Iowa. The affidavit for Sarah Pitts Smith's pension states that she was dependent on him for support. She lived with him in Russell, Iowa after Josiah died.

George lost his leg below the knee in a stump puller accident and had an artificial leg. A team of horses with harnesses and cables were used to pull out tree stumps. A cable broke and wrapped around his leg and crushed it. 

Eva married George Elmer Singleterry and they had two sons, Harold and Walter. After Eva died, George married Eva's cousin, Ella Belle Hoops, who was Ida Belle Smith Hoops only daughter.

George went to live with his daughter Eva in about 1919. He had financial problems due to a partnership with Walter Draper. Walter Draper and George Singleterry were partners in buying and selling cattle. Walter bought a herd of cattle that were sick with hoof and mouth disease and all of them had to be destroyed. 

George died in May, 1941 at Walter Draper's farm. George was buried at the Flint cemetery in Waveland Township, Pottawattamie County, Iowa for financial reasons and because he had to be buried quickly. George lived alone, at that time, and he died many days before his son found his body, thus the body needed to be buried quickly and there wasn't time to transport it to Russell, Iowa.

Children of Josiah Smith, Sr.
and Sarah Pitts
  • Elizabeth Jane Smith Frank
  • Allison Woodrow Smith
  • Nancy Ann Smith Wilson
  • Mary Ellen Smith Widaman Dixon
  • David Henry Smith
  • Josiah Allen Smith
  • John Smith
  • George Washington Smith
  • William Smith
  • Ida Belle Smith Hoops
  • Sarah Catherine Smith Hoops
  • Charles Elmer Smith
  • Cora Edna Smith Downard
  • family

    McCurdy Farm

    The McCurdy Farm

    In the 1830s settlers began arriving in Iowa from Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, Kentucky, and Virginia. Iowa became a state in 1846.




    Rosa Estela Arnold, sixth child of Edward and Sophia (Barnhart) Arnold, was born March 31, 1870, in Dallas Township, Marion County, Iowa.

    When she was 2, her family moved to Lucas County, living in Liberty Township until 1875, then they moved to Benton Township, where she grew up and was educated. With her family, she attended Mt. Carmel United Evangelical Church.

    On Nov. 28, 1888, when she was 18, Estela married a neighbor boy, George Washington Smith, age 22, a son of Josiah and Sarah (Pitts) Smith.

    During 10 years of marriage, the Smiths had two children, Eva Edna and Walter George. The family tenant farmed in Benton Township, and was  living on the McCurdy place (later the Irwin and Ethel Myers farm) when Estela died on 2 March 1898, less than a month before her 28th birthday. She was buried in Salem Cemetery.

    In addition to her husband, children and parents, Estela was survived by seven siblings: Mandaville Arnold, Edward Morris Arnold, Mrs. William H. (Phoebe) Holmes. Mrs. George D. (Harriet) Redlingshafer, Mrs. Greer (Fanny) Redlingshafer, Mrs. John F. (Della) Anderson and James Walter Arnold. She was preceded in death by a brother and a sister, Mortimer and Kitty Arnold.

    George and his children later moved to a farm near Griswold in Cass County, Iowa, and George still was living on a farm in that area when he died during May of 1941. He was buried in a nearby cemetery, Flint, located in Pottawattamie County.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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