Jurika and related families




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SMITH


We knew virtually nothing about this family until some digging in Santa Rosa and reconnecting with Jim and Jean Upton in 2003-04, and more research is needed on Jacob’s origins. A narrative written by his great-granddaughter Kathleen Lockhart Manning describes the Smiths as “Hollanders.”


Finding a lot of Smiths buried in the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery yielded lots of information about Jacob’s family. Another important source for Robert E. Smith’s family is his wife Mary A. Martin Smith’s Bible, now owned by Bunnie Rice Elker. Given to Mary in Dec. 1863, after her husband died, it records the dates of her marriages, her children’s births and marriages, and various family deaths.131


I. Jacob E. Smith, b. 16 Jan 1795 in Jefferson Co., KY,132 our ancestor, married Eliza Elliott, 4 Oct 1821, in Fayette Co., IN. In the 1830 and 1840 censuses, the couple appears in Quincy, Adams Co., IL. They have three sons in 1830, and another two sons and two daughters by 1840:133


  • Robert Elliott, b. 31 Oct 1822, Fayette Co., IN

  • Mary Ann, b.c. 1823-24, d. before 1873, lived in Columbus, Adams Co., OH.

m. William Linn. 1 daughter.

  • George W.,134 b.c. 1825, IN; d. 27 Sept 1896, Santa Rosa.

m. Martha A. 8 kids.

  • William Ray, b. 28 May 1828, IL; d. 4 May 1915, Santa Rosa, SRRC.

m. Minerva Jane Howard. 7-9 kids.

  • John Kinder, b.c. 1830 IL; d. before 1915

m. Teresa M. Banks. 7 kids.

  • Caroline E., b.c. 1836; d. after 1915; m. Thomas B. Hood, lived Santa Rosa, SRRC.

  • Thomas Jefferson, b. 8 May 1838, lived Santa Rosa; d. 25 Mar 1917

m. Ellen McLaughlin. 4 kids.

  • Eliza Elliott, b. 20 Feb. 1841 IL, d. 25 Jun 1915 (unmarried), Santa Rosa, SRRC.

  • James Monroe, b. 28 May 1844; d. 11 Nov. 1912, bur SRRC

m. Melvina J. (Crane?). 1-2 daughters.


Eliza must have died soon after bearing her ninth child, for Jacob remarried a woman named Margaret Ann (b. 12 Oct. 1817, Jefferson Co., KY; d. 18 Jul 1895, Santa Rosa, Rural Cemetery). They had two more children:


  • Olivia Jane, b. 1 May 1851; d. 26 May 1888, after 10-day illness. Buried Rural Cemetery.135

  • Sarah E., b. 29 Oct 1852; d. 16 Sept 1868


Sons Robert and John went West around 1848-50 and appear on Sonoma Co. tax rolls for 1851. They purchased acreage that was part of the original Rancho Llano de Santa Rosa, owned by Joaquin and Guadalupe Carillo, who began selling 640 acre (square-mile) plots that year. Deeds show that Robert and John Smith, together with Horace B. Martin (Robert’s brother-in-law), purchased a lot from Carillo – and that the Smiths bought H.B. Martin’s share from him in Dec. 1854. Two years later, the Smith brothers divide their land, each settling on 160 acres (half of the original square-mile purchase).

By 1855, Robert’s father Jacob is also in Sonoma County, and several brothers appear in the next 10 years. Horace Martin’s letters sent Jacob Smith greetings, and Jacob took on the role of executor when his eldest son, Robert E., died in 1863 (see below). Jacob, still considering himself a farmer, did well in California, acquiring several parcels of lands with his sons, George W. and John K. Among these was 1000 acres of the Bodega Ranch, with “all the redwood and other timber and rights of pasturage,” which they bought in Sept. 1868.

In 1870, the 75-year-old patriarch appears in the Santa Rosa census heading a household that included his second wife, Mary [sic; Margaret] A. (age 52-3, b. KY). At home are: Eliza E. (b.1841, IL); James M., farmhand (b. 1843-4, IL), James’s wife, Melvina J. (b.1851, IL), and daughter, Stella (b. 1869, CA); and Olivia J. (b.c.1851, IL). Charles Hill (b.c. 1854, CA), “of the family,” is also there.


Having lived for over 15 years in California and become a well-to-do man, Jacob died 24 Oct 1873 and was buried in the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery. His estate was worth roughly $40,000, enough to leave his wife $10,000 in gold coins once the real estate was sold and to provide for each of his children. His will does not mention daughter-in-law Mary and explicitly excludes her children, for whom Jacob said he had already provided. When Margaret died (18 Jul 1895), her will provided for the construction of a Smith family monument in the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery – which remains there in 2004.


II. Robert Elliott was born in Fayette Co., KY, 31 Oct 1822, a year after his parents married. By the time he was seven or eight, the family was living in Quincy, Adams Co., IL, where Robert married Mary Augusta Martin on 21 Jun 1843, thanks to a preacher visiting from Columbus, OH.136 Mary was born in New York 10 Oct 1821 (children’s census reports: MO, OH).


Robert presumably helped his father farm, and quickly started a family with Mary:


  • Mary Emma, b. Apr. 8, 1844, Quincy, IL; d. Jan. 8, 1849.

  • William Adolphus (Billy),137 b. Jun. 16, 1845, IL; m. Salinas, CA, Mar. 16, 1870 Ida Amelia E. Branstetter (b. 1854-55). They had:

    1. Dora Altha, b. Nov. 23, 1871; evidently lived Castroville, Monterrey Co., divorced; d. after 1920

    2. Mora Elliott, b. Sept. 12, 1873; m. Sep. 5, 1912 Estelle Summers;

d. Jan. 27, 1915; no kids

3. Carlyle Henry, b. Dec. 6, 1875

  • Horace Elliott, b. Oct. 8, 1846; d. Nov. 16, 1848

  • Eliza Elliott, b. Nov. 10, 1847; d. Sept. 19, 1849


With news of gold discovered in California in Jan-March 1848, the promise of fortunes to be made must have tempted Robert to head West,138 along with his brother, John. Mary’s brother, Horace B. Martin (married to Ellen Gird), was also prospecting in Sacramento Co. by December 1850. A brief statement written by Robert and Mary’s granddaughter, Kathleen Lockhart Manning, suggests that Robert went first, perhaps as early as late 1848, leaving Mary behind with “three small mouths to feed.” If so, then two years passed, and Mary suffered alone the deaths of two of their three surviving children in the first year after Robert left. The worldwide epidemic of flu in 1847-48, the 1848-49 cholera epidemic in North America, or the malaria epidemic that swept the Midwest at this time may have caused the childrens’ deaths. Mary resolved to join her husband:


[She] spent the summer of 1851 stringing beads into trifles of delight, trinkets of all kinds, and in all the colors of the rainbow. In the early autumn she bought a covered wagon, piled it high with her few possessions and with the one remaining boy that she had been able to save from the plague, she joined a caravan and started west, in quest of her missing husband.


For weeks and weeks she rode alongside the guide who led the caravan, making peace with the Indian they encountered by means of the trinkets she had made. She let them take their choice. Mary had a lovely voice and sang hymns all the way.


One night, their first on the California desert, she heard a rider say as he approached the caravan, “Might I share the night with your encampment? It is a long trek for a man along, and I’m heading for New York, to get my wife and boys [sic].” Mary knew that voice, and in the dark her heart collapsed with joy…


The trip was arduous – six months of living in ox-carts, starting through Missouri, then crossing the plains, joining the Santa Fe Trail, and finally making their way through the Sierras. As another child was born to Robert and Mary in August 1853 in Missouri, they must have met up somewhat before the “California desert” their granddaughter recalled.


Robert had already assessed land and opportunity in the West. Beyond the tantalizing possibility of finding gold, the Sonoma area was renowned for its fertile soils and rich stands of timber and Robert had obtained property there by 1851. The homestead land that he and Mary settled on was in the llano, or plain, of Santa Rosa, very flat, with rolling hills and scattered groves of live oak and redwood in the distance.139 Robert loved Sonoma, and wrote Mary that he intended to leave his remains there.140 Their farm was off the road going west to Sebastopol and Bodega.


Between 1852 and 1860, Sonoma/Santa Rosa wheat production, followed by corn, oats, and barley, made a quantum leap. Then in 1854, Santa Rosa won a contest to become the Sonoma county seat. By 1857, the town had 100 buildings and was surrounded by productive farms. The Smiths’ farm by now had a house, “near the school,” where more children were raised:


  • Birdenia Augusta, b. 6 Aug 1853, MO; d. 8 Jun 1874

m. 16 Nov 1868 James Milton Hand (b. c. 1837 TN; d. 22 May 1901; m. 2) 1874/5 Elizabeth). They had:141

1. May Violet b. 1 May 1871, d.c. 1945; m James Allison Barnett

had Catherine Birdenia, b. 2 Jul 1902, lived Pasadena

2. Mary Adelia (Mamie), b. 8 Oct 1873, d. 1909 of TB

  • Frank Montgomery, b. 15 Sept 1855, d. 8 Apr 1858, Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

  • Lucia Adelia, b. 28 Dec 1857, d. after 1920 in LA142

m. 25 Dec 1884 William Lewis Sheldon (d. 6 Apr 1913); no kids

  • Florence Elizabeth, b. Apr. 9, 1860, m. Thomas E. Walker

  • Cora Anne (Mamie), b. 22 Mar 1862

m. 6 Jul 1887 Otis Henry Lockhart (1880 census, LA; b.c. 1859 IN). They had:

1. Lucia Ethel, b. 22 Jun 1888, m. 22 Mar 1911 Harry Edwards Chapman

(b. 12 Aug 1887 IN; d. 30 Mar 1962, Riverside, CA); no kids

2. Kathleen, b. 24 Oct 1890; m. Edward E. Manning (b. 1889; d. 30 Nov

1951, SF?); d. 20 Mar 1951; no kids


Robert was at home enough to keep the family growing, but the household was struggling and he continued to consider himself a “miner” and prospect for gold. He left on a trip to New Mexico in March 1863 with a friend from Healdsburg, Thomas Bidwell; Robert Smith may also have known Richard Gird, who ranched in the Russian River Valley near Santa Rosa in the early 1850s and was back in Arizona by 1861. The Arizona Territory was at this time full of hostile Indians, and prospecting there was hazardous. Traveling via San Bernardino and Olive City, Smith and Bidwell reached a point on the Colorado River 80 miles below Fort Mohave and 60 miles above Olivia.


Having written home to Mary on July 5, Robert died just five days later.143 His prospecting companion described the accident:


[R.E. Smith] died from the effects of a gun shot wound, by his own hand, on the tenth day of July… at a spot about three miles and a half from the Colorado River up Williams Fork, Territory of Arizona. His death was the result of an accident in placing his gun from his shoulder to the ground, having the muzzle in his hand, and striking the butt with sufficient force to explode the charge, which entered his breast, and he fell dead, having only exclaimed “My God.” I was within two feet of him at the time of the accident... [signed] Thomas J. Bidwell.144


Whether Robert’s death was truly an accident or perhaps “engineered” in this lonely spot by Bidwell will never be known. But her husband’s untimely death left Mary in a major predicament, struggling to make ends meet.

Father-in-law Jacob stepped in to administer the estate, because Robert had died without a will and left considerable debts. Mary petitioned the court for a monthly allowance of $75 to support her children, and the use of some of the horses, cows, and farm equipment, and filed a homestead declaration (Apr. 2, 1864) for the “southern half of the east half” of the square mile bought by her late husband, his brother and her brother in 1854.


Jacob was a strict administrator, and although Mary hired a lawyer and the court appointed a guardian to represent the interests of her five children, the court ruled largely against her. She got the personal property she asked for and the livestock, but the court determined that the “homestead” land had to be sold to cover Robert’s debts. There is no record that Mary’s request for an increased allowance of $125/month was granted.


Jacob advanced Mary money – based on his will, probably $5000, in the form of “early inheritance” for his grandchildren - to purchase another home for her family. In December 1865, after her late husband’s estate was settled, she bought half of the homestead of R.G. Baber for $3600. Granddaughter Kathleen Manning wrote:


She ran the ranch alone, and all the countryside. She would lock her family in at night, and ride for miles to aid a neighbor in distress. She laid them out for burial, or aided wives in childbirth. Was doctor, lawyer, helper, and friend. They knew her far and wide and loved her.


At the slightest sound of lifting bars, Mary would bound out of her warm bed, light her lantern, taken her gun from under the pillow and head for the corrals, along under the stars. She would inspect every corner, count the stock, replace the bars where the intruder had entered, fire a shot or two into the night, and then crawl back into her winter’s bed and shiver with the cold.


Mary remarried in Santa Rosa, on 12 Aug1866, to Darius W. Woodworth, surely hoping for protection and support for her family.145 In Nov. 1868, daughter Birdinia married James Hand and moved to Salinas, Monterey Co. Surely due to financial hardship, Mary sent her youngest child, Cora, to live with the Hands’ neighbors there, the MacDougalls.146


Though no divorce record has been found, Mary’s second marriage did not last long. Kathleen Manning wrote that “she drove the lazy good-for-nothing from the farm” – and decided to leave the place filled with memories of her first husband. There were still only 900 people in Santa Rosa, her former father-in-law and brothers-in-law were nearby, and perhaps the town was too small. Again, in Manning’s words, “Finally, one night, sinking to her tired knees, [Mary] looked up into the sky and said, ‘Dear God, forgive me, but I’m more of a man than they are.’”


By 1870, Mary headed a household in Salinas that included her three youngest daughters. Son Billy, newly married to Ida Branstetter, and the James H. MacDougalls are neighbors. Mary and her children were still living there in 1873,147 and a Mrs. Mary A. Smith bought two lots on Capitol Street in downtown Salinas in 1876.148

While the chronology of the next 14 years of Mary’s life is murky, she did remarry once more, on 9 Jan 1879, to Andrew E. Anderson. 149 Mary was 57, her third husband, 65. Anderson lived down the road from Salinas City in Soledad, where the couple appears in the 1880 census. Other than one record of Anderson selling 320 acres in Soledad in Sept 1881, we know nothing of their life together.150


We do know that daughter Flo married Tom Walker in 1880 in San Francisco. That same year, daughter Cora was in San Jose, getting an education and on her way to becoming a teacher. Her uncle, J.K. Smith wrote to her, “I often think of your poor Father, and the lonely grave he occupies in this out of the way place, and promise myself that if I live will visit the place where he died, and see that a suitable monument is erected to mark the last resting place of one of the best men that ever lived.”


Daughter Lucia married in 1884 and was living in Los Angeles with her husband, William L. Sheldon, by 1888. It seems likely that Andrew Anderson died, and that Mary took Cora to live with Lu and Will Sheldon in Los Angeles. Mary (d. 24 Feb 1887) is buried there in Evergreen Cemetery in a plot that also holds Lu and Will’s ashes, though only Mary’s stone. Cora married a Los Angeles man, Otis Lockhart, just a few months later.


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