An American Family History

Mary Grace Smith White Hanley

". . . the burden of flesh descended upon her. . ."
from The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
grace & twyla
Grace & Twyla

Chariton is the county seat of Lucas County, Iowa and is in Lincoln Township.

vera grace
Vera and Grace White
vera et al
Vera White Rickard holding Maryon White in back.
In front Perry's niece, Twyla, Augusta Smith Larson, Perry's sister, Grace, and Perry Hanley

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

Mary Grace Smith White Hanley was born in Sunnyside, Lincoln County, Kansas on February 19, 1887. She was the oldest daughter of Josiah Smith and Eliza Fox. The Wind in the Willow, a book of Smith family stories, includes stories about Grace and her daughter, Vera.

She married Charles Walter White (Walt) on May 8, 1907. His parents were Paris M. White and Mary Elizabeth Breckenridge. He was born in January, 1884. Walter's sister Jane married Eliza Fox's brother Bonham Fox and his sister Emma married William Clowser who was Missouri Fox's son. Her parents opposed her marriage and for several years she was not allowed to come home. 

Mr. Charles Walter White and Miss Grace M. Smith sprung a surprise on their many friends in this community by driving to Corydon on Wednesday May 8, 1907, where in the afternoon at four o'clock they were united in marriage at the M. E. parsonage. Rev. Dudley performing the ceremony. The bride wore a dainty becoming gown of white India linen. They returned to Chariton and on Friday evening Mr. White left for Gregory, South Dakota, where he is engaged in business. He will return to this place in a few weeks and take his bride back to Dakota with him. The groom is a son of Mrs. Paris White and is an industrious, energetic young man, of good habits. He was resided in this county from infancy and is highly regarded by all who know him. The bride is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Smith and has resided here for many years. She is a young lady possessing many lovable characteristics and is in every way fitted to preside over a home. The Herald joins their many friends in extending hearty congratulations and wish them a long, happy and prosperous wedding life.

Grace and Walt's daughter,Irene Vera White Rickard was born in 1909 in South Dakota where Walt was an Indian agent for a short time. At the time of the 1910 census they were living in Jordan, Tripp County, South Dakota.

By 1917 they lived in Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa and Walt worked for the Chicago Portrait Company. They were still there at the time of the 1920 census. Walt and Grace eventually divorced. Years later Walt was killed in a barroom brawl in Tacoma, Washington and is body was shipped to Busheyhead, Oklahoma where he wass buried.

Perry Sherman (Peary S.) Hanley was Grace's second husband. They were married and living in Woodbury County, Iowa by the time of the 1925 Iowa census. Perry was born on March 12, 1883 in Indiana. His parents were William Hanley and and Clara A. Minton. Perry ran a small delivery business called I-Go-Express.

Vera married Cliff Rickard and went by the name Irene Pinkham in later years. Grace became a Jehovah's Witness. 

According to Bill Smith, she was "very heavy, but she had a clear resonant voice, a nice smile and was very cheerful and pleasant to us." She died on January 8, 1930 when she was about 43. She is buried in Sioux City and there is no marker there now.

The Chicago Portrait Company (1893-1940) was headquarted in Chicago, but traveling salesmen operated throughout the country. They sold portraits for two or three dollars, but really made their money by delivering them in fancy burled wood frames with curved glass at an additional cost. The frames were not solid wood at all, but painted plaster. The Chicago Portrait Company made a fortune off rural families who had little access to "big city" studios.

Chicago Portrait Crew
Children of Josiah Smith, Jr.
and Eliza Fox
  • Mary Grace Smith White Hanley
  • John Elmer Smith
  • Bertha Edna Smith Kimsey
  • Harry William Smith
  • Ethel Edith Smith Taylor
  • Bryan Sewell Smith
  • Augusta Lena Smith Larson
  • Andrew Jack Smith
  • Twyla May Smith White

    walt & grace
    Charles & Grace White
    Larson's Farm in the summer of 1925
    Perry Hanley, Grace, Vera, unknown, and Maryon
    Cliff Rickard, Vera White Rickard
    and Elmer Kimsey

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




    Mary E. Breckenridge was born in Missouri, Oct. 22, 1847, and died at her home in Chariton Nov. 3, (sic) 1907 at the age of 60 years and 10 days (sic). She was united to Paris M. White Jan. 1, (sic) 1864. To them fourteen (sic) children were born. Her husband and eleven of these children have preceded her to the future land. The following three children survive: Eliza Jane Fox, of McCook, Nebr., Hattie B. Nichols of Lancaster, Mo., and Charles Walter of Gregory, N. Dakota, and one brother, John Breckenridge, of Rock Island, Ill. Mrs. White united with the Christian church in early life of which she remained a consistent member until her death. She was a patient mother, having lived to see the majority of her children buried. She was sorrow stricken in her last years feeling so lonely without those who had preceded her. Brief and simple services were held over her remains at the home on Sunday afternoon at two o'clock, Nov. 10, by Rev. J.G. Yaggy of the United Brethren church. After the services the remains were taken to the Salem cemetery for interment.


    Paris M. White died at his home in this city on Saturday morning, September 23, 1905, at the age of 60 years, 10 months and 11 days, after an illness of only twenty-four hours with bowel trouble. Funeral services conducted by Rev. F. B. Palmer were held at the family home on Monday afternoon at two o'clock after which interment took place in the Salem cemetery.

    Paris M. White, son of John and Sylvia White, was born in Monroe county. He moved to Lucas county, Iowa, when 12 years of age. On Jan. 17, 1864, he was united in marriage to Mary E. Breckenridge of Chariton. To this union were born twelve children, four boys and eight girls, five of whom are still living, Eliza Fox of Nebraska, Hattie Nichols of Missouri, Emma, Edward and Walter of Lucas county. He also leaves a wife, two sisters and two brothers. They moved to Wayne county in 1868 where they resided until the spring of 1896 when the moved to Chariton, where they have since resided. Mr. White possessed a kind, generous disposition and was upright in all his business dealings. He had many warm friends to whom the news of his sudden death brought sadness and regret. The grief stricken relatives have the sympathy of the entire community in their great bereavement.

    Colonial Maryland
    Colonial New England
    Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
    Quakers & Mennonites
    New Jersey Baptists
    German Lutherans
    Watauga Settlement
    Pennsylvania Pioneers
    Midwest Pioneers
    Jewish Immigrants

    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
    An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
    an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
    As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.