MYSTIC NUMBER 5
I must go on and tell you a little more about “The Lone Smith Family” of whom I am the youngest.
As you will see, I came here on the eleventh of April, 1846 and I have been here ever since. I came very early in the morning at 1:15 a.m. and I have been getting up very early every morning ever since and hustling all the time as you all know. Now that I am here, you will not be any longer looking through a glass dimly with me; for now I am glad I can see you all face to face and talk to you. For it has been a task for me in my old age to decipher these old manuscripts that I have kept so long to tell you what I have told in the previous pages. All who have the name of Smith, please look over what I have written and find that FIVE sons are recorded thus: - first, FIVE brothers in King William’s arm; then FIVE sons of Colonel James Smith, one of whom, James Smith, is my grandfather who was born in Scotland, May 11, 1733. He had only one son, my father, James Smith, born April 5, 1792. And looking over our birth record, you will see that he had FIVE sons. Then count for yourselves my nephews and you will see that he has FIVE grandsons only, by name of Smith. These are brother Alexander’s three sons, Frank A. Smith, William Smith and Malcolm Smith. Then brother Joseph’s sons, Dr. Arthur Howard Smith an Omie Frank Smith.
Here we are back to the fact that in the sixth generation we find but one son, as only one of my father’s grandsons by name of Smith is married. This one is Dr. A. Howard Smith of Marietta, Ohio. He married Eda Smith of Cincinnati, and they have one son, Lawrence Willis Smith, about ten years of age. And observe, he is a Smith indeed, as his mother all her life was borne this beautiful name. How lucky she is, never to give it up!
A few words now to you, my four unmarried nephews by name of Smith, of whom Omie Frank is the youngest - and he is not very young! Do not tremble, for I will not give your ages although I know each one’s age correctly. Before I say what I have to tell you, I draw your attention to the fact that our grandmother, Jane Alexander, had FIVE brothers. See how often number FIVE comes in, in this history; also the name James, for great grandfather’s name are James Alexander.
I will call my handsome nephew, James P. Roe, the son of my beloved sister Lucinda. Here you are, James, - with your four cousins by name of Smith - and none of you FIVE are married! James, you are more Smith than any of them, - except the name. Please look over the description of your great grandfather, James Smith, and find it is your description exactly, - only you weigh more.
Here you are now, my FIVE unmarried nephews. Hurrah for number FIVE again, as I am so glad to greet you all once more! Hear ye what I have to say to these noble FIVE Smith descendents who all look and act like your great grandfather, James Smith! I will call you FIVE up again soon. I have to greet number Five a few times more before telling you all I wish to say to you...
I observe that grandmother Morrison had the mystic number of FIVE sons. I am getting very nervous recording number FIVE, but suppose I must keep right on at it, as here come my FIVE unmarried nieces; and one of you is a beautiful heiress who has a very high-sounding name - as all our great American heiresses are expected to inherit. These are all ideal types of our true, noble, refined and educated American girls. They are a fine looking lot, every one of them! And all are so kind and amiable and sweet tempered that their presence rings sunshine and flowers wherever they go. And they all inherit from their grandparents, English pride, Scotch industry and Irish wit enough to take care of themselves.
Here I will record their names: - Lucy Margaret Hibbard, Annie Smith, Jeannette Lenore Burke, Helen Margaret Roe and Priscilla Roe. I tell you, here I have recorded the names of some of our great American women! All of them have too much Irish sense to let any European titled duke, count or ex-king come over here to claim their fortune and take them to wife long enough to spend it and then show their pictures in the newspapers while their divorce proceedings are going on. I am proud of them for this! And I am quite sure “the heiress” will keep her high and right royal name of Smith while she lives, and I am proud of her for this! She has a beautiful, slender form, and the description of my beautiful grandmother, Jane Alexander, will answer for hers exactly.
My beloved nieces, I must leave you and welcome number FIVE once more. For here come my FIVE married nephews and nieces. These are:
Dr. A. Howard Smith and wife, Eda
Martyn S. Hibbard and wife, Eva
Henry Sheets and wife, Mary Roe
Rev. John J. Handsaker and wife, Alice
Fred H. Edmonds and wife, Grace
All of these have very pleasant and beautiful homes, and all seem to enjoy life greatly. And after them comes a fine troupe of babies. Hurrah for the babies! I suppose I must record number FIVE again! Let me count you. But here they come!
“Just look at us, dear Aunt Frances, for we are a fine lot of sweet little girls! But we bring you number FIVE, plus one! Just look at us and see if you can keep us quiet long enough to record our names; for we are Smith descendents and we are constantly busy. We will sit down and smile very sweetly while you record our names.” They are: -
Luis Mae Handsaker, Margaret Elaine Handsaker, Lucile E. Hibbard, Grace Sylvania Edmonds, Roberta Sheets and Henrietta Sheets.
Margaret E. Handsaker says to me, “Dear Grandaunt Frances, please excuse me for spoiling your Mystic Number Five On the sixth of last October, because I could not help it, as I wanted to come too, and get I close by my little cousins, Grace Sylvania Edmonds and Henrietta Sheets” ( all of whom came here in 1911).
“I will gladly pardon you, dear little one, and I am so glad you came, as you are my dear brother John’s fourth great grandchild.”
Now babies, just please be very quiet, every sweet little one of you; for here comes a troop of sweet little boys who are calling me their sweet old grandaunt. But every one is wearing a sad, sad face!
“Dear boys, why are you all so sad? You are all so young and sweet and manly!
“Listen to us, dear Aunt Frances! We have lost one of our number, or we would ring you the Mystic Number Five again. Our beautiful little cousin, Robert Sheets, died years ago, when he was eight years old, and we all miss him, as he was the best one among us, and physically and mentally a very type of human perfection. He had such beautiful, mild, bright, black eyes and soft, black hair. He loved you so well, dear Aunt Frances! You also loved him and praised him so to all of us. What shall we do, for he can never come to see us again?”
“Listen to me, dear boys, and cheer up! We can all go to him where he now is - over on the Golden Shore. And listen, dear ones! I am expecting to go there before long, and I want you all to try to meet me there where we will find him in real perfection, and many more of our loved ones whom I have mentioned in this history of the Lone Smith Family. Dear boys, are you ready for me to record your names?”
“Yes, dear Aunt Frances; but we are only FOUR. But call us FIVE, as we still feel that we are FIVE - as the first one mentioned is in Heaven. See how beautiful your names will look with the pure ONE to begin with.” Here you are: -
ROBERT SHEETS, James Arthur sheets, Lawrence W. Smith, Charles M. Hibbard and John Morrison Handsaker.
I tell you that you are a fine looking lot of little boys, and I have seen every one of you; and I never could tell which is the finest boy, for you are all the very types of perfection to me. You are undoubtedly the coming men of this great and good nation, as you are all descendents of this good “Lone Smith Family”, and your good and kind parents are giving you all a good chance to be well educated. And o course you will all succeed, for with these opportunities and the qualities inherited from your ancestors, how can you fail? These are the qualities men are made of, viz: - English Statesmanship, Scotch Industry and real, genuine Irish Mother Wit. And I am very sure you possess all of these. Now go away and see that you use all these just right.
Here comes one more of you to claim honorable mention. This is my beloved nephew, William K. Roe, who is a good fellow all by himself and one of the best types of mental and physical big boyhood anyone could wish to see. I assure you all that he will succeed in life, for he is even now succeeding and learning the machinist’s trade. It is hard work, and you should see his strong arms and muscles, strengthened and developed y this hard labor, which he says he truly likes. He is a fine looking, big fellow with dark hazel eyes and good features, smooth complexion, and very full of fun. All are mentioned now.
I wish to show you the most interesting part of this history. The “Lone Smith Family” are today only twenty-nine persons, and these are all direct descendents from Colonel James Smith who lived hundred and fifteen years ago. Three of us are in the fourth generation from him; sixteen in the fifth generation. Ten are in the sixth generation. And of these ten, there is but one by the name of Smith. This one is Lawrence W. Smith. He is today the “One Lone Smith.” and I am beginning to fear that in the seventh generation someone will be obliged to write the history of “the Lost Name of Smith.” My father told me some interesting facts about his parents and grandparents, which I here relate.
Colonel James Smith was a person of exalted rand and he lived in England quite awhile. He was also there with his Regiment and became acquainted with those whom England termed great people in those days. There he married a great English lady and went to Scotland to live on his estate there, where his five sons were born. I have told you about his son, James Smith, who is my grandfather.
I will tell you about my father’s maternal ancestors. James Alexander was born of noble English parents in England, and he inherited their estates which were both in England and Scotland. And while living in Scotland, he became acquainted with a Scotch lady y name of Hannah Reiney, who was years younger than himself. She was a bright girl and always had a quick answer for any joke that came at her; in fact she was very witty, and their courtship began in fun and was very short. She proved to be a good business woman and a grand hostess to so many distinguished guests who were constantly in his fine Castle Landeck in Ireland.
Jane Alexander was all and more than I have told you in the “love story.” Her parents idolized her and she was the joy of her father’s life. He would not consent for her to leave his home where she was an ornament and help for her mother in entertaining those great people. She wore the finest of clothes, and she had a mistress of her roes, and dressing maids. All the time I have been writing this history, I have been sitting in a chair that has been in the possession of some member of the “Lone Smith Family” for ninety years. Many of your good ancestors and sat in their chair, and this gives me inspiration to do them justice.