|Amanda Larimer Horne Smith|
On June 11, 1860, one year old Amanda lived with her family in the Peebles Township of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Her 70 year old widowed grandmother, Mary (Brown) Horne, lived with them. Amanda’s father was a carpenter.
I haven’t been able to find the Horne family in the 1870 census records. Amanda’s brother George was born in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania on December 1, 1869 so I expected to find them there. I ran a search on ancestry.com and found nothing. Since that didn’t work I manually checked the 20 pages of Apollo census records and still found nothing. Disappointing to say the least since you never know what piece of information you might find. I'll keep looking.
Amanda was received by probation at the Apollo United Methodist Church on October 25, 1874.
|Dress Amanda made for her|
oldest son Benjamin in 1884
Amanda married John Milton Smith, son of John Thompson Smith and Jane Gordon, on January 19, 1882 in Apollo. The marriage ceremony took place at the Apollo United Methodist Church. Together they had seven children—Benjamin Gordon Smith, George Nelson Smith, Edith McCrum Smith, Howard Stanley Smith, Helen Margaret Smith, Bertha Edna Smith, and John Thompson Smith. Amanda honored several family members by naming her children for them—Benjamin’s middle name was Gordon, Amanda’s mother’s maiden name; George was named for Amanda’s brother, George R. Horne; Bertha was named for Amanda’s sister, Ollie Bertha Horne; Amanda’s youngest son was named John Thompson Smith, the same name as her father-in-law. Helen’s middle name may be a nod to an aunt, Margaret McIlwain, her father’s stepsister.
|Amanda and her son Benjamin|
On October 24, 1906, Amanda’s 18 year old daughter Edith, blind as the result of measles, died of typhoid fever at Mercy Hospital. Edith had been a resident of the West Pennsylvania Institute for the Blind for 16 days prior to her death. Edith was buried at Riverview Cemetery in Apollo.
On April 26, 1910, Amanda, John, and five of their children lived in Paulton, Washington Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. The census enumerator recorded Amanda as the mother of seven children, six of which were living. Her husband John was a roller helper in a sheet mill. Both Ben and George worked in the sheet mill as a doubler. Her son Howard no longer lived at home.
|Amanda with grandsons|
Howard and John Athya
|Bertha Smith Athya, Amanda holding|
Mary Athya, Electra Smith Jack,
John Athya, and Howard Athya
Amanda’s sister Lydia died in Pittsburgh on October 2, 1923. She was buried at Vandergrift Cemetery.
Bertha finally left the home when she married a Scot, George Durie Athya, son of James Athya and Jemima Durie on June 14, 1924 in Pittsburgh. Bertha and George gave Amanda four grandchildren—John Thompson Athya, Howard George Athya, Mary Margaret Athya, and James Jem Athya.
In late 1926 or early 1927, Amanda, wanting to help her daughter Bertha with her growing family, took her two year old grandson John Athya home to stay with her and Benjamin. They planned to keep John there until Bertha got back on her feet after giving birth to her second son Howard. However, as young as John was, he decided he wanted to stay with his grandmother and uncle. He’d only been staying with them a few weeks but he had visited often so was comfortable with them. It hurt Bertha’s feelings but she realized it was best for her as living on the second floor with two children, having to carry laundry, groceries, etc. would be hard so she allowed him to stay with his grandmother and uncle.
|Amanda at the far right (in apron) with the church ladies|
On April 8, 1930, Amanda, Benjamin, and John lived in the Washington Township of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. Benjamin was a laborer in the steel mill.
On April 5, 1940, Amanda, Benjamin, and John lived in Paulton, Washington Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
Amanda’s daughter Bertha and son-in-law George Athya moved in with Amanda in the early 1940s after they lost two houses—one to taxes and one when the Kiskiminetas River flooded in Apollo. Amanda was bedridden from a stroke and died of cardiac insufficiency in Washington Township on January 11, 1943. She was buried in the family plot with her husband John and daughters Edith and Helen at Riverview Cemetery in Apollo. Bertha and George moved their family to Warren, Ohio after Amanda’s death, however, John chose to continue living with Benjamin. He finally joined his family in Warren after he graduated from high school.