Friday, September 8, 2017

Florence G. Smith

Florence G. Smith, daughter of Erastus Smith and Jane Anderson, was born in Apollo, Armstrong County, Pennsylvania on December 2, 1876. She was the third child of four—Elsie Augusta Smith, Mary Jane Smith, Florence G. Smith, and Barton Richard Smith. Florence would be my husband’s 1st cousin 2x removed. Their nearest common relatives are his 2nd great grandparents, John Thompson Smith and Jane Gordon.

Florence lost her status as the baby of the family on September 7, 1879 when her brother Barton was born in Apollo on September 7, 1879.

On June 21, 1880, the Smith family lived in Apollo. Her father was a house painter and her mother a housekeeper. Florence was just nine years old when her 43-year-old father Erastus, a veteran of the Civil War, died in Apollo on April 13, 1886. He was buried at Apollo Cemetery there in Apollo.

On June 11, 1900, Florence lived in the Apollo home of John and Effie Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton was a hardware merchant in the area. A servant for the family, Florence most likely tended to their two young children—Ester (age 6) and Martha (age 3).

On March 30, 1907, Florence’s sister Elsie lost her one-year battle with pulmonary tuberculosis in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. According to Elsie’s death certificate, she was buried at Apollo Cemetery but she has a tombstone at Prospect Cemetery in Apollo. Elsie was just 37 years old and left one known son behind—Harry Anderson Wible. Less than a year later, Florence’s sister Mary died of heart disease in Apollo on January 12, 1908. The “Apollo Sentinel” reported her death on January 17, 1908:
Death of Mary Jane Smith—after a lingering illness Miss Mary Jane Smith died at the home of her mother, Mrs. J. R. Smith, on North Sixth Street, on Sunday, January 12th 1908, aged 33 years, 9 months and 8 days. The deceased was a Presbyterian by faith and was well liked by all who knew her. She is survived by a mother and a brother, Bart Smith, and a sister, Florence Smith. Funeral services were held Wednesday. Interment was made at the Prospect cemetery.
Two of the Smith children were gone now but it didn’t end there. In September 1909, Florence herself contracted pulmonary tuberculosis. She was attended by prominent Apollo physician Dr. T. J. Henry but succumbed to the disease on December 7. Florence was buried at Prospect Cemetery in Apollo. The “Apollo Sentinel” reported her death on December 10, 1909:
Florence Smith, daughter of Mrs. Jane Smith, died at her home on North Sixth Street on Tuesday, December 7th, aged 33 years. Death was caused by tuberculosis. She was a member of the Presbyterian Church. Funeral services were held at her late home Thursday afternoon. Rev. Leon Stewart preached the funeral services. Interment in the Prospect Cemetery.
Florence Smith's death certificate

Her death was also reported by “The Pittsburgh Press” on December 11:
Miss Florence G. Smith, only daughter of Mrs. Jane Smith of Apollo, Pa., was buried from the home of her mother Thursday. She was born in 1876 and was a member of the Presbyterian church. One brother, Barton Smith and the mother survive. The deceased father, Erastus C. Smith served throughout the Civil war and was a member of the 139th regiment Co. E.
Christmas was filled with sorrow that year.

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