Davis Edwin Smith was born on April 4, 1866 in Adams County, Indiana. He is the son of James Wesley Smith and Hester Ann Odle according to Davis’s death record. His mother, Hester Ann, married James Wesley Smith on July 20 1866 in Adams County, Indiana. It appears that Hester divorced James W Smith or the marriage was annulled. There is a marriage record for Hester Ann Smith to Jacob Richard which shows that they married on June 18, 1868, less than two years later. She took her son, Davis Edwin with her as the 1870 Federal Census indicates. Hester Ann and Edwin D Smith are found in Bluffton, Indiana with Jacob Richards, Jacob’s father, John Richards, his brother James, and Sarah A, who is a baby.
In the 1880 Federal Census, Davis Edwin is living with Frederick Richards and Hannah Richards. They are in Adams County, Indiana. Davis is listed as Frederick’s nephew. There are two nieces listed also, they are Amanda and Martha Richards. There is no sign of Hester Ann , Sarah Ann or Jacob Richards. There is a marriage record for James Richard and Hannah Gilbert and they married in 1874. Hannah lists her marriage status as Widow in the 1880 census. Richard is a widower at the same time as Hannah in the 1880 Federal Census. It is my belief that Amanda and Martha are Hannah’s daughters. There are no death records for Hester, Jacob or James that I have found as of this time. I will continue to research and add them here if I find them. This period of time in Davis ‘s life is full of turmoil. There is too big a story to cover here so I’ll continue to research and it will be published on my other blog and when completed I will put a link here.
Davis Edwin married Amanda Hostettler in 1889. The photo is their Wedding Photo. It was shared publicly on Ancestry.com. Davis and Amanda had thirteen children; Pearl (1890), Homer (1891), Myrtle (1893), Ruth (1895), Mark (1897-1898)Mary (1900), Viola (1902), Clifford (1904), Gay (1907), Hortense (1909), Hester (1910), Hazel (1913), Don (1916).
This photo is from 1895 of Amanda’s family with her parents and all of her siblings and their families taken in Markle, Indiana. ( The family names listed below were noted with the photo on Ancestry.com. This photo is not in my possession and I can not validate the accuracy of the data. I am sharing what was written publicly on Ancestry. )
Seated Row L to R : Isaac Hey holding Jerome, Willmina Hay, Daniel Hostettler, Floyd Hey, Catherine (Crites) Hostettler, Myrtle Smith, Pearl Smith, Davis Edwin holding Vira (likely Ruth), Homer Smith
Standing Back Row L to R : Emma (Hostettler) Hey, ?, Phillip Wise, Mary (Hostettler) Wise, Viola Miller (or Wise?), Lottie Miller (or Wise), Amanda (Hostettler) Smith.
In the 1900 Federal Census, Davis and Amanda have five children living with them; Pearl, Homer, Myrtle, Ruth and Mary. They live in Wells County, Indiana. Davis is a day laborer on the railroad. He would become a section boss for the railroad before he left the work which require the family to move too frequently. In the 1910 Federal Census, Davis and Amanda have nine children living with them; Pearl, Homer, Myrtle, Ruth, Maggie, Viola, Clifford, Gay, and Hortense. They live in Fort Wayne and Davis is a laborer in a Coal Yard.
In the 1920 Federal Census, Davis and Amanda have seven children who remain at home. They are Mary, Clifford, Gay, Hortense, Hester, Hazel and Donald. Davis is working at General Electric. The 1930 Federal Census, shows Davis, Amanda, Hazel and Donald live in Whitley County, Indiana. Davis works as a mechanic for General Electric Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He retired from General Electric after the census data was recorded in 1930 due to ill health.
In the 1940 Federal Census, Davis is living with his daughter, Hazel and her husband Charles Scarlet. Also living with them are Donald Smith, Hazel’s brother and a niece, Betty Dan. Davis is a seventy four year old widower. They are living in Churubusco, Whitley County, Indiana.
Sixty nine year ago, Davis Edwin Smith died on October 29,1950 in Churubusco, Indiana. He was buried in Eel River Cemetery in Allen County, Indiana.
Rest in peace, Davis!
Davis Edwin Smith is the husband of my first cousin four times removed, Amanda Hostettler.