William Smith


In the 1850 census, his real estate was listed as worth $4,000, so it was a good-sized farm--and also presumably a large house, since at that precise moment all ten children (ages 17 to 2) lived at home.  By the 1870 census, all except Albert, the youngest, have moved out, though some certainly farmed or had related businesses in the area, and George subsequently bought the family farm from his father.

Both William and Harriet are buried at Mt. Horeb Methodist Church, though their families of origin were close enough that there was a Smith-Coddington-Van Tuyl family graveyard. This is or was located "in a clump of trees" on the boundary line between farms once owned by Bill H. Coddington (d. 1932) and Harmon Tunison, one quarter mile north of the church. This description was made in 1935.

William's will (with codicil and inventory), reveals a relatively prosperous farmer who made numerous loans to his children and kept strict account of every penny, carefully deducting unpaid amounts from the even tenth-share of the estate which each child would otherwise have received. A newspaper account of his and Harriet's fiftieth wedding anniversary in 1879, while vague on details, seems to indicate a rather prominent, healthy (all ten children do appear to have survived their parents), multiplying, and well-traveled family.  The article is mostly the directly quoted florid speech of the family's minister, and it is curiously devoid of any truly personal reference (somewhat like the funeral eulogies ministers give over "parishioners" whom they've never met)--but whether this is due to the style of the Victorian age, the ineptness of the speaker, or a true lack of genuine feeling for the subjects, is impossible to say.  It may be worth noting that the will makes no charitable gifts, the $100 to the church being clearly intended to make sure the grave is well maintained!