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Various obituaries





Smelser Obituaries

Black Hawk County folks

Laporte City, IA to Joplin, MO
Submitter:  Chris Houghtaling

Burnetta Smeltser was born December 21, 1857, the second of six children born to Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. Smeltser, at Laporte City, Ia.  She was baptized at an early age into the Grace Methodist church, and was a religious worker until her death.  In 1874 she was married to Fred J. Taylor at Laporte City, Iowa, and to this union six children were born.  Mr. and Mrs. Taylor moved to Joplin, Mo., in 1876, and lived there one year, coming to Independence where Mr. Taylor died in 1893.  Mrs. Taylor had lived in Independence 54 years at the time of her death Friday morning, December 23 at 1:30 at the home 301 South Sixteenth.  She died of cancer after an illness of two months her death occuring one day after her 75th birthday.

  Mrs. Taylor was loved by all her neighbors and was known as a very patient and sweet person, always good and kind to everyone.

  Besides her many friends, Mrs. Taylor leaves to mourn her death: three sons, Milton J. Taylor of El Paso, Tex., and Fred Taylor of Oklahoma City; one daughter, Mrs. Otho Anderson of Alberta, Canada; three sisters, Mrs. Grace Overstreet of Hollywood, Calif., Mrs. Alta Wetmore of Springfield, Mo. , and Mrs. Mary Chenoweth of Carthage, Mo., several nieces and nephews 12 great grandchildren and 18 grandchildren.  Two daughters Pearl and Flora, preceded her death.  

Funeral Monday for Mrs. Burnetta Taylor

  Funeral services for Mrs. Burnetta Smeltzer Taylor, 75 will be held Monday afternoon at the Grace Methodist Episcopal church at 3 o'clock with Rev. A. C. Stewart in charge.  Burial will be made in Mount Hope cemetery.

Newspaper Clipping: (Husband of Brunetta Smeltzer)

Fred J. Taylor, the carpenter, who has been sick since his return in January, from work in the Territory, died on Saturday morning, of cancer of the stomach aged about 48 years. He leaves a wife and six children.


Newspaper clipping:

In this city, April 25th, of typhoid fever, Daisy Amelia, daughter of George W. and Sarah Smelser, aged 2 years, 7 months and 1 day.

Elizabeth King Smelser

Newspaper clipping:


Mrs. Elizabeth Smelser, wife of Henry Smelser, died last Sunday morning at 2 o'clock.  She was a venerable old lady 85 years of age, and had been a life-long Christian, having been a member of the Lutheran church for 60 years.  There are five of her children now living, three of them being dead.  Her husband, Henry, is very old, but is in moderate good health.  They have lived together for 60 years, being married in 1822.  Mrs. Smelser was born in Virginia and came to this state in 1859, and is known to nearly all of the old settlers.  She was a kind mother, and a good Christian lady, and always lived a most honorable and upright life.

  The funeral services were conducted by elder Pottle at the M. E. church, at 3 o'clock Sunday afternoon, where a large congregation of friends and relatives had assembled.  Her remains were deposited in West View Cemetery.



From Saturday's Daily.


George W. Smelser
Born in Indiana, moved to Iowa, moved to Independence, Kansas in 1870, moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas about 1885 - 87

  Our former townsman, George W. Smeltser of Eureka, Ark., was here last week visiting his daughter, Mrs. B. Taylor on South Sixteenth, and she enjoyed the home coming of her son, Neal of El Paso, in the auditing department of a big cement company; and son Fred, who is making good in the Oilton oil fields as a tool dresser at $7 per day, and Milton and family, and with Miss Pearl, they visited her daughters, Mrs. Flora Ashley near Elk city, and Alta, Mrs. Otho Anderson in Sycamore.  It was a great reunion for Mrs. Taylor's family.  Mr. Smelser came by wagon from Iowa and located here in June, 1870, and was a carpenter, his wife had a millinery store just south of Haas' clothing store.  Both did stalwart service in town and church building in pioneer days, but in the hard times of 1885-'87 they sold and went to Eureka Springs.  Both are enjoying life, and they have their old friends, Horance T. Mills and wife near them.  

From an Independence, Kansas newspaper

G. W. Smelser the Oldest Pioneer Dead.

  G. W. Smelser the oldest pioneer in Independence, in age 90 years and one of the very oldest settlers of this city, coming here in '69 or early '70, and locating his home just South of the Haas Clothing store where he continued to live for years and where his good wife and Mrs. Dunham carried on a millinery store.  Mr. Smelser was a good Christian and a fine mechanic, and had charge of building the first Methodist church in 1876 and framed the self supporting roof that stood without giving away in any manner until it was torn down a few years ago.

  With his family they moved to Eureka Springs and for years resided there, after the death of his wife he has made his home with his daughters in various places for the last few years he has made his home with his daughter Mrs. Fred Taylor of South 16 street, where he died after a short illness on last Thursday.

  Mrs. J. H. Dickens received the following telegram this morning:

  "I will arrive Sunday morning 10 o'clock, with father's body.  Please notify Times-Echo, so friends will know.  Expect we will bury him in the afternoon about 2 o'clock."  signed Mrs. Grace Overstreet.  While Mrs. Overstreet resides in Springfield, Mo., the telegram was sent from Independence, Kans., where Mr. Smelser had been making his home with his oldest daughter, since leaving Eureka Springs a few years ago.  The telegram did not state when Mr. Smelser died.

  Blocksom-Newton received a telegram to meet the body at the train and have the grave dug beside that of his wife who passed away in this city some years ago. 

  Mr. Smelser was an early settler in Eureka Springs and resided here until the death of his wife, when he went to Independence, Kan.  He is survived by several children, among them Mrs. Grace Overstreet, Mrs. Alta Wetmore, Mrs. Chenoweth and John Smelser, who are well known to the residents of this city.  Mr. Smelser, while here, was a regular attendant of the M. E. church, South.  He was highly respected and has many friends in the city who will read of his death with sorrow.

The will of G. W. Smelser, deceased was filed and admitted to the probate and letters of administration were issued to Brunetta Taylor, his daughter, Mr. Smelser during his lifetime had made his home with Mrs. Taylor.

John Smelser, 
La  Porte City, Iowa
Submitter:  Chris Houghtaling

Resident of Community for Nearly 65 Years, Died Tuesday Afternoon.

  At the age of four score and ten years, twenty years more than the allotted span of three score and ten, "Uncle John" Smelser passed peacefully away at his home in this city on Tuesday afternoon.  His death did not come unexpected for he had been confined to his bed for many weeks, the body weakened by the infirmities of advanced age and the vital spark of life flickering feebly until it at last went out.  Mr. Smelser was one among the few remaining of the pioneers of this section of the state, and his death removes one of the oldest men of the vicinity and one among those of the longest residence.  the following obituary notice has been written for the Progress-Review by W. W. Hamilton of this city who knew the deceased and neighbored with him during the pioneer days of this vicinity.

  Died, at his home in this city, Feb. 6th, 1917, Mr. John Smelser, aged 90 years, 3 months and 15 days, after a lingering illness of several months duration.  John A.  Smelser was born in East Tennessee, October 22, 1826, and came with his parents when a child four years old to Boone county, Indiana, in 1830.  Mr. Smelser was married to Miss Mary A. Hogshire in October 1846.  to this union five children were born, two dying in early childhood.  Mr. Smelser moved to Iowa in the fall of 1952.  The following spring he located 3 miles southeast of La Porte City, on Rock Creek.

  At that time there was not a dwelling house in La Porte City, and Mr. Smelser helped to build the first house in La Porte City, and Mr. Smelser helped to build the first house in the town.  He  experienced all of the hardships of the early settler.  Being of a religious bent of mind and desiring a place to meet for religious worship, he, with a few of his neighbors, organized our first Methodist class meeting in this locality at the home of one Stephen Williams, of which he was an active member for several years.  Eventually that class was the means from which the Methodist church at Mt. Auburn was founded.  No one can estimate the good that will result from the organization of that class.  Later on he identified himself with the Methodist church of La Porte City of which he has been a consistent member for 49 years.  Mr. Smelser was not only a Christian by profession but by practice also, which was exemplified in his daily walk and conversation.  Surely his good works will live after him.

  In the fall of 1891 he moved to La Porte City, where he has continued to live.  His wife, Mrs. Mary Smelser, died February 14, 1893.  He was again married to Mrs. Mary a. Dooley in 1898.  There are left to mourn his loss his aged wife, three sons and five grandchildren.  The sons are John Smelser of Sioux Falls, S. Dak., Ernest Smelser, of Hendrick, Minn., and Henry Smelser of this city.

  The funeral services were held this afternoon at 2 o'clock from the Methodist church.  The services were conducted by Rev. A. W. Henke, pastor of the church, and the body was laid to rest in West View cemetery.  Many of the old friends and neighbors who had known and respected "Uncle John Smelser" were present to pay a last

Margaret Cotton Smelser

Buried at West View Cemetery

Newspaper clippings:

La porte City, Feb 26. ---In the death of Mrs. John Cotton, age 78 years, which occurred Wednesday night at 11:10 o'clock at her home on Main street, La Porte City loses another of her oldest pioneer residents.  Death followed a prolonged illness,  culminating in a general breakdown.  She had always been strong and healthy and she retained much of her strength and mental faculties until nearly three weeks ago.  At that time blood pressure on the brain effected the optic nerve, causing a total loss of sight.  This continued up to a week ago when it caused paralysis of the right side, During all these long weeks of sickness she made a heroic fight, never complaining or bemoaning her fate.  Coming to this locality more than fifty years ago, where she had resided continuously, she formed a wide acquaintance.  Only fragrant memories of a long and loving life remain for the bereaved family, all of whom have been untiring in their devotion to the little mother.

  Mrs. Cotton had a strong personality and the influence exerted by this noble woman was a power for good for more than two generations.  Her home has been truly hospitable thruout all these years.  Mrs.  Cotton, whose maiden name was Margaret Hackett, was born near Ada, Hardin county, Ohio, August 11, 1838.  When a girl in her teens she came with her parents to Iowa, where they settled on a farm south of town.  On Feb. 10,  1859, she was united in marriage to William Smelser, who, when the Civil war broke out, answered his country's call and went to the front.  At the close of the war he returned to his family, but was so broken in health that he lived but four months.  Two children were born to them, Mrs. A. A. Hudson of this city and George Smelser of Waterloo.  In May, 1865 she was again married to John Cotton, who, with one daughter, Mrs. John O. Reilley, of Waterloo survives.  In 1887, Mr. and Mrs. Cotton retired from the active duties of farm life and came to this city to enjoy the fruits of their toll, residing in their home  on Main street.

  There is also left to mourn her loss two step-children, Judge Eber Cotton of Lawton, Okla., and Mrs. C. E. Young of Waterloo: two brothers and two sisters, William and George Hackett and Mrs. Joseph Human, all of this place, and Mrs. William Bobst of Giltner, Neb.; four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.  The funeral was conducted this afternoon (Saturday) at 2:30 from the late home, in charge of Rev. E. S. Genung, pastor of the Presbyterian church, of which deceased had been a member for twenty-six years.  Burial was in West View cemetery.

Mary A. Smelser
La Porte City, Iowa

 The death of Mrs. Mary A. Smelser occured last Tuesday morning, Feb. 14, 1893, at 1:45 a.m., at her residence in La Porte City.  Since November last she has been failing, but was not entirely helpless until a few days before her demise.

  The deceased, whose maiden name was Hogshire, was born in Ohio, Aug. 6, 1830.  In 1832 she removed with her parents to Indiana and went through the hardships and trials of pioneer life.  She was married to John Smelser Oct. 8, 1846, and in 1852 emigrated to Benton county, Iowa, where neighbors were then 6 and 7 miles from her, and her second pioneer life was filled with hardships.  Here she lived until three years since, when she and her husband retired from active farm life and came to La Porte City.  She became a member of the Methodist church in her youth and was faithful to her church vows until her departure.  She was the mother of five children, three of whom survive her and were with her in her last hours, together with her only living brother and sister.

  Funeral services were held in the M. E. church Feb. 16, by the pastor, Rev. I. C. Lusk and her former pastor, Rev. R. Swearingen, of Mt. Auburn, assisted by Rev's. Koons and Mell of this city.  Her remains were laid to rest in West View cemetery.  



Where is my mother? She is gone,
  The road we all must go,
It has pleased our Blessed Lord
  To call her from below.
Where is my mother? gone but not forgotten
  By loved ones, friends or neighbors,
She's gone to reap the benefit,
  Of all her earthly labor.
And precious mother, truest friend,
  I know God will, reward thee,
With all the gifts, He's promised in
  His blessed book, to you and me.
Where is my mother? She's in Heaven,
  There sitting at God's right hand,
And there to join the happy choir,
  Who sing at his command.
While here on earth she lived a life
  Of purity and fame,
Tough, now she's gone, but still with us
  Her name will long remain.
'Tis hard for me to think upon
  My precious mother, dead and gone,
But it won't be long, till we will meet
  To part no more at Jesus' feet.
Then all our troubles will be o'er,
  Then from all sin and cure set free,
We will sit and sing for ever more
  The endless song of Jubilee.
Oh, my mother, had I known
  That your race was so near run.
But precious mother God's will be done,
  In our Father's house are mansions fair.
Many mansions, almost your dying words,
  And we hope e'er long to meet you there.
But endless strain dear mother mine,
  My thoughts of thee could tell
Of deeds of kindness and of love
  So precious mother, fare the well.

-Published by request of her eldest son, J. F. Smelser

Oura I. Smelser

Oura I., infant son of Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Smeltzer, aged 17 months, died on Tuesday, Sept 29, 1874.

Sarah Smelser Barry

   Mrs.  Sarah Barry died at 2 p. m., yesterday at teh home of her daughter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. O. B. Wood, near Bluff Park.  She has been sick over a year and underwent a severe surgical operation five days ago.  She was the daughter of Wm. and Mahala Smelser, was born in Boone Co., Indiana, Jan 1, 1833.  Came with her parents to Linn Co., Iowa in 1852.  One or two years later they came to Black Hawk Co., about this time she was married to Wm. Barry, who died in 1863.  Three children were born to them,  Mrs. Wood, Mrs. Fegles, of La Porte, and Mrs. Jas. Hatfield, of Neb. The two former were present at her death and Mrs. Hatfield is expected at the funeral, also her sister Mrs. Jos. Cowan and Mrs. D. L. Dunham, of Minn, are expected.  There are also numerous relatives here.

   About the time of their marriage she and her husband were converted and united with the Baptist church here.  She has remained a faithful and exemplary Christian and member of the denomination since.  Some six or seven years ago she removed to Eureka Springs, Ark., and finally returned to her daughters this spring.

   Her's has been a patient waiting in the midst of great suffering, for the final summons home.  The funeral will  be conducted  by Rev. R. A. Smith, of the Baptist church, to-morrow at 10 a.m., at Mr. Wood's residence.

Sarah E. Smelser (wife of George W. Smelser)

   Sarah E. Tondro was born August 12, 1837; departed this life January 27, 1918; age 80 years, 5 months and 13 days; converted and united with the Baptist church at age of 12, and lived a consistent Christian life.  She would make any sacrifice for the Lord's work.  She was married to G. W. Smelser August 14, 1862, who survives, having walked together for more than 55 years.

   To this union four children were born, two dying infancy.  Those who survive are Mrs. Alta Wetmore and Mrs. Grace Overstreet; also three step-children, Mrs. Etta Chenoweth, of Carthage, Mo., Mrs. F. J. Taylor, of Independence, Kas., and John Smelser, of Boonville, Mo..  She leaves three sisters and two brothers, all of California.

   The funeral service was held at the Calvary  Baptist church, where she was a member, conducted by the Rev. W. W. Lewis.

   Mrs. Smelser had lived in Eureka Springs 31 years.


   We are pained to receive the news of the death on Jan. 25th of Mrs. Sarah E. Smelser, wife of Mr. G. W. Smelser, of Eureka Springs, Ark.  For years Mr. and Mrs. Smelser have been good friends of the Christian Home and have aided in the work by their contributions and by their personal influence.

   Our sympathy goes out to the bereaved husband and children, and is extended to her many old friends.  The following is taken from the daily Times-Echo of Eureka Springs:

    Another one of Eureka Springs' old pioneers, who has lived in the city more than thirty years, passed away this morning at 8 o'clock, in the person of Mrs. Sarah E. Smelser, wife of Mr. G. W. Smelser, and mother of Mrs. Frank Overstgreet, Mrs. Wetmore and John Smelser of this citry and Mrs. Cheneworth of Carthage, Mo.

Mrs. Smelser was stricken with paralysis about two weeks ago and owing to her advanced age, eighty, was not able to valiantly fight the battle for live.

     Mrs. Smelser, with her husband, had long been a resident of Eureka Springs, and none were held in higher estimation than Mrs. Smelser, "By their fruit ye shall know them."  This Bible quotation fully demonstrates Mrs. Smelser's Christian character in those of her daughters, Mrs. Overstreet, Mrs. Cheneworth and Mrs. Wetmore, who are loved by everyone in this, their home town.

     Mrs. Cheneworth arrived several days ago to assist her father and sisters in caring for her mother.  Mr. Frank Overstreet, a son-in-law, of deceased, arrived the first of the week.

William Smelser

William Smelser  was born 1809.  He married MAHALA KING. 

Newspaper clipping:

DEATH OF WM. SMELCER.-- Wm. Smelcer died last Sunday after a brief illness. Funeral services were conducted from the Baptist church yesterday.  He was born in Tennessee in 1809; came to this city in '54, and has lived just west of this city till two years since he moved to this place. He leaves three sons and six daughters. Was an honored and respected citizen

Milton Chenoweth (husband of Mary Etta Smelser)

Newspaper clipping:
Aged Contractor Came to Carthage 41 years Ago--Funeral Will Be Monday

  Milton Chenoweth, 85, resident of Carthage 41 years and a civil war veteran, died at 12:40 o'clock this morning at the Chenoweth home, 1115 James street.

  Mr. Chenoweth came to Carthage from Independence, Kans., and was engaged as a carpenter and contractor here for many years.  He was born November 18, 1845, in Henry county, Indiana.  Mr.  Chenoweth enlisted in the Eleventh Missouri Cavalry during the civil war in which he served  22 months. He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic.

  He was married August 3, 1873, in Independence, Kans., to Miss Mary Etta Smelser, who survives him.  Other surviving relatives are three sons, R. S. Chenoweth and Con C. Chenoweth of Carthage and George Chenoweth of St. Louis; a daughter, Mrs. D. M. Cary of Kansas City; two brothers, Eli and David Chenoweth of Fallon, Neb., and seven grandchildren.

  Mr.  Chenoweth had been ill serveral weeks.  His condition became critical last Sunday and his son, George Chenoweth, of St. Louis, and daughter, Mrs. Cary, of Kansas City, were called to his bedside.  They will remain until after the funeral.  The two brothers will be unable to attend the services.

  Funeral services will be held at 2 o'clock Monday afternoon at the Ulmer-Drake funeral home.  The Rev. H. A. Woolman, pastor of the Church of God of which Mr. Chenoweth was a member, will be in charge.  Burial will be in the G. A. R. plot in Park cemetery.

Newspaper clipping:  

Mr. and Mrs. Milton Chenoweth burried their infant child on the 29th of June.  

A Card.  

We would return our heart felt thanks to the many friends who were with us, in our very great trouble, through the long, weary hours and days that our darling, little Otto, lay on his death bed, and continued their helping hands and sympathetic hearts until we laid him in his little grave.  Again we say: "Receive the gratitude of our bleeding and sorrow stricken hearts:  


Lois Overstreet Allen 
(daughter of Grace Charlotte Smelser and Frank L. Overstreet)

From Newspaper Clipping:

Mrs. Allen Dies Here Wednesday Night

   Quite a number of friends of the late Mrs. Lois Overstreet Allen, wife of K. I. Allen, of Amory, and mother of Leut. K. I. Allen Jr., assembled at the Baptist Church Thursday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock,, to pay the last respects to the memory of this beloved and greatly admired woman, who fell asleep in death at her home on Seventh Street, S., about 12:30 o'clock Wednesday morning.

   The rites at the church were preceded by a brief funeral service in the home, as due to the illness of the devoted husband, he could not go to the church where he and Mrs. Allen had worshipped together for the past 22 years.  The parents of an only child, Mr. And Mrs. F. L. Overstreet, mourned the loss of their daughter in their home in far away South Gate, Calif., since they only left Amory after a two months visit to her in early Fall and could not return.

   The service at the church was conducted by the Rev. J. F. Measells.  With Mrs.  Measells at the piano, Mrs. N.  L. Lawson, Mrs. Earl Tubb, Mrs. L. W. Greene and Miss Mary Rowan sang two of the deceased's favorite songs, "God Will Take Care of You," and "Abide With Me."  A special pew was provided for members of the Timothy Sunday School Class, of which she was a member.  With the class was her Sunday School teacher, W. R. Smith.  Another special pew was occupied by Frisco Railroad friends of Mr. Allen, members of the Rotary Club and the American Legion who served as honorary pallbearers.  Burial was in the Masonic Cemetery.

   Lois, as she was lovingly called by scores of friends, was a faithful member of the Church, Missionary Society, Sunday School, and was active in all departments of church work.  She was in her pew many times when she was not physically able to be there,  but she insisted upon going even after she became confined to her home.  Lois' cheerful disposition together with her spirit of humor made her friends always glad to see her on any and all occasions.  She never complained of not feeling well, and although she knew she was fighting against odds, she would not acknowledge it even to herself.  Her cheerful attitude has helped many over the rough road of sorrow, and they felt better after she met them with a smile.  The author of this article greatly admired Lois for her excellent traits of character, and for her ability to smile through it all.

   Lois Overstreet Allen reminded one of the quotation from Aldrich: "I'll not confer with sorrow until tomorrow--- But joy shall have her way this very day."