An American Family History

Samuel Rhea Smith

Learn more about Piney Flats.

During the Civil war many citizens of East Tennessee opposed secession, but the area was under Confederate control from 1861 to 1863. Some citizens engaged in guerrilla warfare against state authorities and joined the Union army, while others were loyal to the confederacy. It was a heartbreaking case of neighbor against neighbor and brother against brother.

Samuel Rhea Smith was born December 13, 1822 in Piney Flats, Sullivan County, Tennessee. His parents were John Smith and Catharine Humphreys.

Samuel married Martha Jane Cross about 1842.

Samuel and Jane's children included:
George Washington Smith (1842, married Amanda Boyd),
David Simon Smith (1845, married Sarah Fina Goodman and Darcadia Boyd),
Eliza Ann Smith (1847, married James Polk Vernon),
Margaret J. Smith (1849, married Elbert J. Smith),
Martha Catherine Smith Clinkenbeard (1858, married Robert Tolliver Clinkenbeard), and
William Charles (Charley) Smith (1865, married Sarah Matilda (Tilda) Benton).

In 1850 the Samuel Smith household was in Division 1 of Sullivan County, Tennessee. The household consisted of Saml age 27, Martha age 24, George age 7, Simon age 6, Eliza age 4, and Margaret age 1.

During the Civil War, their son, David Simon, enlisted in the Union army.

Samuel and Martha moved to Lebanon, Spring Hollow Township, Laclede County, Missouri. They were there in 1870. The household included Samuel R. age 48, Martha J. age 45, David S. age 25, Margaret J. age 20, Martha C. age 14, and Charles C. age 5.

Jane died on January 20, 1908 and Samuel died May 3, 1909 in Lebanon.

Samuel and Martha were laid to rest in theBlackfoot-Atchley Cemetery.

Children of John Smith
and Catherine Humphries
  • MaryAnn Smith
  • George Washington Smith
  • Elizabeth (Bettie) Smith Deck
  • John Humphreys Smith
  • King Henry Smith
  • Polly Eliza Smith Webb
  • Prince David Smith.
  • Nancy Ann Cross Smith Massengill
  • Samuel Rhea Smith
  • Josiah Smith
  • William Hart Smith
  • Sullivan County is in far northeast corner of Tennessee between North Carolina and Virginia and was originally part of those states. It was formed in 1779 when it was divided from Washington County.

    George Washington Smith

    The American folk hero, David "Davy" Crockett (1786 – 1836), grew up in East Tennessee.




    from The Massengills, Massengales and Variants, 1472-1931 by Samuel Evans Massengill, M.D. The King Printing Company, Bristol, Tennessee, 1931.

    Samuel Rhea Smith m. Jane Cross, a daughter of David and Polly Cross a sister of Marshall, Sam and Elkanah Cross, and a sister of Jacob Slaughter's wife. They located at Lebanon, MO, and he died only a few years prior to 1913 when he was about 90 years old.


    The 1890 census materials was lost in a 1921 fire.

    David Simon Smith enlisted as a private in the Federal (Union) Army at Springfield, Missouri on 12 Jun 1864. He was assigned to Battery "B", 2nd Regiment Light Artillery, Missouri Volunteers. Per his Civil War Pension Application, applied for on 5 Jul 1890.

    David never saw combat. He contracted typhoid fever and spent an unknown amount of time in hospitals in Franklin Co, Missouri and Kearney Co, Nebraska. The typhoid caused his left leg to be diseased to the point he had ulcerations and open sores, causing one witness to state it emitted a bad odor in warm weather. The leg caused him such pain that he could not walk or ride a horse for more than 15 minutes at a time. Additionally, he had a "catarrah" of the head which left him with a permanently runny nose. He mustered out as a private at Benton Barracks on 20 Dec 1865.

    Typhoid fever is transmitted by the eating or drinking feces contaminated food or drink. Symptons include fever, profuse sweating, gastroenteritis and diarrhea.
    Typhomalarial fever has symptoms of malaria and typhoid fever.
    Typhus is a completely different disease and is spread by lice or fleas. The patient has fever, joint pain, cough and headache.

    Tennessee was admitted to the Union on June 1, 1796. It was initially part of North Carolina.

    East Tennessee is part of Appalachia. At the end of the French and Indian War, colonists began drifting into the area. In 1769, they first settled along the Watauga River. During the Revolution, the Overmountain Men defeated British loyalists at the Battle of Kings Mountain. The State of Franklin was formed in the 1780s, but never admitted to the Union.

    George W. Smith, 84 died Monday at his home at Chetopa, Kan., and the body was brought overland, to Springdale, funeral services being held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock at Friendship, east of Springdale, conducted by Rev. J. W. Umphres, pastor First christian church with burial in Friendship cemetery.

    Mr. Smith was a native of Knoxville, Tenn., but most of his life was spent in the vicinity east of Springdale, where his family was reared. January 29, 1865, at Fayettville, this county, he was united in marriage to Miss Amanda Boyd, who died April 27, 1912.

    Thirteen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, nine of whom survive; Mrs. Kate Higgins, San Diego, Calif.; Willis Smith, Redland, Calif., Mrs. Alma Eidson, Denver, Colo., Mrs. Mary Haughey and Mrs. Lydia Plummer, both of Springdale; Calvin, Lee and Alex Smith and Mrs. Frankie Winters, Chetopa, Kan.

    He was an old Federal soldier having served three years in the Civil war, and had been a member of the Christian church for many years.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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