Read Part 2
William Custer Smith found a second wife. At this time, I need to address "family lore." Within my family tree was a lovely lady who was the granddaughter of William & Mary Ann's son Harland - the guy who lived on the family farm with his wife and raced horses. She wrote an extensive letter full of her "memories," many of which were factually not true. You can read a bit about her reminisces here.
Her primary assertion was the woman W.C. married was previously married and had children. It was alluded the new wife was greedy and vengeful, casting out Harland and Fannie from the family farm. We'll get back to this lore as the story continues.
W.C.'s new wife was found in the family tree of his wife. His new wife was an unmarried "spinster" woman of 30 who was his wife's cousin. Specifically, she was the granddaughter of Mary Ann's sister Henrietta Munson Vaughn. Daughter of Sarah Jane Vaughn Simmons. The Vaughn/Simmons families had settled in Fayette County in NE Iowa. Just a few hours' buggy ride from the Smith farm in Fremont Township.
W.C. and Alice Simmons hopped on a train from Plainfield to Charles City and married March 20, 1893. They returned to the Smith farm and their lives went on.
In the meantime, the rest of the kids grew up and married.
Edwin Smith married Kate Smull on 11 Jun 1890. The couple would fairly soon settle in Plainfield. Edwin was a laborer. They had 12 children. Wife Kate was known throughout the area for her expertise in wallpapering.
Parker Smith, a struggling Baptist preacher, married Estella Irene "Stella" Pierson on 20 Nov 1896. After the turn of the century, they would spend the rest of their lives moving from church to church and into various leadership positions within the Baptist faith. They would adopt one of Stella's nieces.
|Young Mirt Smith|
Mirt Smith married Emma Haehlen Schafstall on 22 Jun 1898 in Mower, Minnesota. Mirt was a barber. The couple would have three children. Mirt was known in the region for his award-winning chickens. They lived in Waterloo for most of their marriage.
Mr & Mrs W. C. Smith did not have a long marriage. A massive stroke took W.C. on 16 Nov 1895 while going between the house and barn. According to the obituary, the turnout to say goodbye was a large one.
According to "family lore" as described by Harland's granddaughter, the widow stole the farm after W.C.'s death so she could leave it to her children. As I mentioned, not true. In fact I was able to find the documents that were with the courthouse and the current owner of the property. Alice, within a week of the death, sold the farm to the children for $2,040 on 22 Nov 1895. Each child owned an equal share. Son Parker managed the farm during this period at the behest of the family; my guess is Harland's departure had been caused by a similar family decision.
Alice returned to her family and married a single Englishman named Arthur Sinderson 16 Aug 1898. She never had any children during her lifetime.
On 08 Mar 1897, Eva Smith Bryce sold her share to her siblings for $600. Finally, on 08 Dec 1898, the farm was sold to the Diedrich Dieke family for $5,040.
This would be the end of the direct William Custer Smith-Mary Ann Munson story, but they would live on through the stories of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren's and great-great grandchildren's lives.