John Henry Smith

John Henry Smith
b. 16 June 1864, Marion, Grant County, Indiana, to Waddy Thompson and Louiza Jane (Marks) Smith
d. 29 November 1955, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

m/1. 3 September 1905, St. Joseph, Berrien County, Michigan
Lillie May Jones
b. September 1873, Bunker Hill, Miami County, Indiana, to William H. “Seneke” and Ella E. (Fike) Jones
d. 1915, Bunker Hill, Miami County, Indiana

Lucy Ellen Harrington
b. 6 May 1862, Dorchester, Alamakee County, Iowa, to Philander James & Ellen B. (Payne) Harrington
d. 15 January 1941, Sundre, Alberta, Canada

Children with Lillie May Jones:

  • Wilma Linetta (1907-1992) married Henry Irving Vanderburgh

When John was only nine years old, his father was crushed to death in a grist mill. John ran away to travel with a circus but later returned to the family farm. In 1905, he married Lillie May (Jones) Hurley, the widow of Clarence Hurley.

John, Lillie, and their daughter, Wilma, left Indiana in 1909, farmed in North Dakota for a year, and then continued on to Canada to homestead in the badlands of the Red Deer River. Lillie left, taking with Wilma with her, after only two months. Within five years, John had proved up his quarter-section homestead and bought a second quarter. He raised horses, cattle, and grain and was respected by all.

When Lillie died of cancer in 1915, John got his daughter back. He married another widow, Lucy Ellen (Harrington) Loveland. The Smiths struggled through drought and hardship in Alberta’s “dry belt,” leasing large tracts of land to pasture their cattle. In 1935, they sold the ranch and bought a 320-acre farm in Sundre, Alberta. John moved to Calgary to live with his daughter and her family after Lucy died in 1941.

John was a strong, healthy man who lived to be 91 with very few grey hairs and all his own teeth. He finally died in his sleep in November 1955.

Submitted by:
Wilma Sorensen
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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