Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Smith Family from Georgia

Malinda Jane (Turner) Smith

About 1866, the William Riley Smith family arrived in Big Fork.   They were from Lumpkin County, Georgia.  William Riley Smith married Malinda Jane Turner about 1848 in Georgia.  She was a younger sister to Lucretia E. (Turner) Goss, wife of Elijah B. Goss of Big Fork.   After leaving Georgia, Riley and Malinda went to Izzard County, Arkansas to visit Riley's brother.  The 1880 Izzard County Census showed a Jasper Smith and family.  Some in the Smith family think Riley's father's name was Jasper.  In Riley's granddaughter's Bible are the names: Jasper Smith and Sarah, Jasper, William Riley, Green, Mary and Artemissie.

Sometime between 1866 and 1870.  Riley and Jane M. Smith are listed with four children in the 1870 Polk County, Arkansas, Big Fork Township Census.    The four children were:  Washington, Frances M., Berriman J. and Sarah E.    Their close neighbors were the William and Sam Crawford families and the William and John Heath families.  Other neighbors included the Benson Goss family,  Stephen C. and Sarah Bates family, Thompson Shed family,  and the Thomas and Mary Edwards family.

In 1894, Riley Smith died.  Malinda later lived with her son, Washington H.  and his wife, Sarah (Bates) Smith. 
Sarah Jane (Bates) and Washington H. Smith

During the Civil War, in Georgia, Wash burned his arm while fighting fires.  So his parents sent him to school to get a little more education so he could make a living without depending entirely on his physical abilities.    About 1872 he married Sarah Jane Bates, the daughter of George V. and Tenny Bates.    They had ten children:
   1.  Amanda Elizabeth "Mandy" Smith, born 1873; married James B. Liles
   2.  Melinda Lucretia Smith,  born 1875.  She never married; ran the Post Office for awhile.
   3.  Luvina Smith who died at six weeks old.
   4.  Mary Artemissia "Artie" Smith, born 1879; married Moses Benjamin Fried
   5.  Alice Safronia Smith, born 1881; married Robert "Bob" Putman
   6.  Nancy Louella Bathsheba "Nan" Smith, born 1883; married Aaron Boston Michigan   
           "Boss" Dilbeck
   7.  Rhoda Florence Smith, born 1885;  married James Maddox
   8.  Susie Ovie Smith, born 1888, married George Hooper
   9.  Nina Varina Smith, born 1891; married Freeman Edwards
  10. Orland Jefferson Smith, born 1893; married Bessie Lee White

Four generations of the Smith Family

In this photo, left to right, front row, Jim and Mandy Liles with Elfie and Elsie;  Ovie Smith;
grandmother Malinda J. (Turner) Smith; Wash and Sally Smith with Orland Smith and Nina Smith.
Left to right, on the porch, Nan Smith, Artie Smith, Alice Smith, Florence Smith, Lucretia Smith.

Malinda Jane used to tell these grandchildren her "Old Georgia Tales" about the time when she and Riley lived in Georgia during the Civil War.   One of these that was told to me by her great-granddaughter included the account of when Riley was injured in the War and was laid up in South Carolina.   Malinda was determined to go get him and bring him home.   She put hay in the bed of the wagon and took the youngest child with her.   The other children were left for Wash, the oldest, to care for.   She drove to the Savannah River but had to stop because the water was up.   People there told her that she could not cross it.  But she drove her wagon into the river, the horses swam and she made it to the other side.   Riley's leg was injured and he always limped after that.   They experienced some hard times during the war and perhaps that was the reason they wanted to leave for Arkansas after it was over.


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  2. The original photo of Washington Himer Smith (?) about 20x30 hung in my bedroom at Big Fork for many years. I have no idea where the photo is now. The frame alone would be worth a lot of money. In that original photo, no matter where you stood in that bedroom he was looking directly at you. School teacher eyes? Jerry Hamby

  3. The old home place (featured in the "Fried" photo) has a rose bush out front by the well. That bush was brought form GA to AR in the trip mentioned above. According to Dr. David Fried.

  4. Artie Mae HarlowMay 26, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    I am Artie Mae Bates Harlow. My mother was Margaret Malinda Fried Bates who married Homer Mare Bates in Big Fork, Arkansas. I appreciate all of the comments about Big Fork. My grandmother Mary Artemissia Smith married Moses Benjamin Fried in Big Fork, Arkansas. My Grandmother Artie died before I was born. I was born in Moses & Arte Fried's old house.We lived lived in that house with my Grandfather Moses Fried for a long time until my parents built a home nearby, and then they moved to Northern California and then on to Springfield, Oregon. We live in an area almost as beautiful as Polk County, Arkansas. A large number of my relatives moved to Springfield, Oregon. My mother's brother "Benjamin Fried" brought to Oregon (for my mother Margaret) a "start" of the Grandma Artie's old rose bush that was by the well in their front yard. Mother gave me a start, and it is now in my back yard. There are a lot of prior Big Fork prior residents who live here. So many have made the trip to visit Big Fork relatives, and some still do.