An American Family History

Harry William Smith

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

harry bess
Harry and Bess in front of their home in Wright, Minnesota

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

Harry William Smith was born March 6, 1892 in Chariton, Lucas County, Iowa. His parents were Josiah Smith and Eliza Fox. He was nicknamed Hezekiah and was the rebel of the family. He was a mischievous boy. Maryon White related a story where his mother

Eliza had carefully nurtured some tomato plants (raised from seed) and one day told Harry that he had to set them out before he could go play. In an incredibly short time she spied him running down the road, and when she went out to the garden to check she discovered that he had disposed of the whole bunch of plants by carefully burying them upside down in individual "graves."

This is only one of the stories about Harry that are recorded in the Wind in the Willow.

In July, 1910 his sister, Ethel wrote a note to their brother, Elmer that Harry had been kicked by a horse and his leg was broken.

In February, 1911, his friend, John Farber sent him a postcard.

About 1913, he married Bess Lukehart who was born in July, 1896 in Missouri. She was the daughter of James W. Lukehart and Elva F. Goody. 

Bonnie E. Smith (1914)
Ralph Smith (June 7, 1915),
James Smith (September 8, 1916),
Beulah Bernice Smith (March 30, 1918),
Harold Smith (November 17, 1919),
Mildred Ethel Smith (June 21, 1921),
Mae Louise Smith (May 4, 1923),
Azalia Smith (January 24, 1926, married Jesse L. Steele),
Harry W. Smith (1928),
Jeanette Darlene Smith (1933, married Robert Kenneth Girtz ).

They moved to Rock Springs, Wyoming where Harry got a job as a brakeman on a train. 

Their next move was to Minnesota to help Harry's father, Josiah, cut timber. The family appeared in the 1920 census of Baseman Township, Carlton County, Minnesota. The family consisted of Harry W. age 27, his wife Bessie age 25, Bonnie E. age 6, Ralph age 4, James age three, Beulah age one and Harold who was less than one year. They were living next to Josiah Smith at the time.

They later settled in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska where the youngest two were born. They were there at the time of the 1930 census. The household consisted of Harry age 38, Bessie age 35, Bonnie age 16, Ralph age 14, James age 13, Beulah age 12, Harold age 10, Mildred age 9, May age 6, Azalea age 4, and Harry W. age 2. Harry was working as a house painter. 

The family contacted tuberculosis and Harry and many of the children died from it. Beulah died in 1934 at age 15, Harold in 1934 at age 14 and Mildred in 1939 at age 17. They were buried at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Omaha.

They moved from Omaha to Abilene, Texas in 1936.

May died in 1946 when she was 23 and Azalia died in 1950 when she was 24. They both died in Abilene, Texas.

obit obit

kidsBonnie, Buelah, James and Ralph

Tuberculosis (TB) is a common and often deadly infectious disease. It was called consumption. It usually attacks the lungs and the symptoms are coughing blood, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.

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





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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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