Saturday, October 15, 2011

Who were the Smiths?

George and Mary Dornberg bought the property from Levi and Hugh Smith. So logically I wanted to know, who were the Smiths? The property is identified as a lot of "Levi R. and Hugh E. Smith's Woodland Park Addition"

I believe both men were descendants of James A. Smith of Pennsylvania, a Berkshire Township, Delaware County, merchant/dry goods grocer. James was first married to Melinda Black and had two sons, Marshall and George W. Levi R. Smith was the son of James A. and his second wife, Elizabeth or "Betsy" and was born January 19, 1858 in Sunbury.

Hugh E. Smith was the son of Marshall Black Smith (November 5, 1837- October 8, 1900) and Elvira Abbie Thrall. He was born on August 6, 1863 in Berkshire Township. So the relationship between Levi and Hugh was cousins, not brothers, as I first suspected.

Another Berkshire Township connection is James A. Gaston, a carpenter who came to work in Columbus at least as early as 1897. Gaston was born in Berkshire Township in 1862 and died in Columbus in 1934. Gaston's name appears on a few Woodland Park deeds, which leads me to believe that he worked with or in conjunction with the Smiths and was more than likely, a builder of one or more of the homes on the street and in Woodland Park. In the 1920 Census, James' occupation (and that of his son, William E.) is listed as house builder.

The first Columbus City Directory listing I can find for Levi is 1888. His occupation is real estate and he was a boarder at 59 Greenwood Avenue.
1662 Neil Avenue

Levi married Emma S. Gaston in Delaware County on March 1, 1882, they had no children. In 1910 they resided at 1662 Neil Avenue. Levi's occupation at this time is listed as real estate. The Neil Avenue house is still standing and is probably familiar to anyone who has spent time on the OSU campus as it is on the SE corner of Neil and 11th Avenues. Levi died of pneumonia January 5, 1913 in Columbus and is buried at Greenlawn Cemetery. At the time of his death his occupation was auto merchant. After Levi's death Emma lived at 1544 Hawthorne Avenue in Woodland Park.

The first listing for Hugh in the Columbus City Directory is in 1891. He is listed as a contractor, residing at 1224 N. High Street.

Checking the 1900 Census, I find Hugh E. Smith, builder, living at 1112 Madison Avenue in Columbus with his wife Ina Z. (nee Gunter) and three children: Lois E., Paul A., and Lloyd Orvil.. That house would have been South of Broad between 21st and S. Ohio Avenue. The family also had a servant, Emma Sensenbrenner.

By 1910, Hugh had relocated to Denver, Colorado and his occupation is "land agent." In 1911, Hugh described his occupation as real estate dealer. That year, he became a member of The Sons of the American Revolution as a descendant of William Cooley of Granville, Massachusetts. More than likely, this was the inspiration for the naming of Granville Street. Next I found Hugh and Ina on the 1914 Colorado Federal Income Tax list.

On October 14, 1919, Hugh married Elizabeth M. Kincaid in Franklin County, Ohio. The 1920 Census shows Hugh living in St. Petersburg, Florida with Elizabeth, Hugh's son Paul and Hugh's mother, Elvira. In 1930 Hugh and Elizabeth have relocated to Phoenix, Arizona and Elizabeth's widowed sister, Nellie Hawkins is living with them.

The Hugh E. Smith Block building, 162 Third Street N
Circa 1904
Hugh and other Columbus men were also investors and directors of the Beaumont, Sour Lake and Western Railway in Texas. The goal was to build an electric traction line, but a steam powered railroad was constructed in 1904. After several mergers, it became part of the Missouri Pacific system in 1924.

From the Old Northwest Genealogical Quarterly, July 1909:
So, that's a little more interesting. The Marshall Black Smith and his son Marshall Alexander owned Smith Agricultural Chemical Company, founded in 1895 as Ohio Farmers Fertilizer Company (making over 50,000 tons of fertilizer per year). And they had a new plant on Leonard Avenue in 1903. The original location of the plant is now directly under the I-670 highway.
Smith Agricultural Chemical Company, 1903.
Located where Joyce Avenue would have dead-ended into Old Leonard Avenue
on the South side of the railroad tracks. Just north of the current Saunders Park.

No comments:

Post a Comment