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David Clark Smelser Biography





History of the David Clark Smelser Family
(1999 Brenda Smelser Hay)

David Clark Smelser was born in Hart co, KY c1821. We are unsure of his father but could be Jacob Smelser who resided in Hart co, KY in 1820. Jacob Smelser moved to Crawford Co, IN before 1830. At this point we lose track of him. He was between 60 and 70 at that time so may have died. David Clark Smelser was an early pioneer of Washington co, Ia.

He was married to Ann Eliza Hawthorn by M. Reynolds on January 20, 1845. He was 22 and she 21. They had 8 children.......

A Cleophas born June 8, 1842 in Iowa Township, Washington Co, Iowa
married 1st Margaret H. McCoy June 18, 1864 by Wm E Hawthorn JP in Washington Co, Iowa
Margaret died June 10, 1877 close to Riverside, Iowa
married 2nd Mary E. Wallace Feb 8, 1880 by Rev E.T. Hicox
Cleophas died Oct 28th 1927 at the ageof 85 in California
B  John R born c1845
married Nancy A. Beasley (Anna) in Washington Co, Iowa
C  Margaret born c1847
married a Cummings
D  Benjamin Frank born July 1850 in Washington Co, Iowa
married Edna Walker December 24, 1876 in Red Cloud, Nebraska
E  Clarissa born c1853
married Marvin Marsh November 5, 1876 in Red Cloud, Nebraska
F  Sarah Eldora born September 26, 1855
married Jeremiah Ornduff Dec 7, 1882 at the residence of Mrs Marsh in Red Cloud, Nebraska
Sarah died June 3, 1935 in Inavale, Nebraska
G  Ellen A. born c1858
married Ai Scribner May 7, 1876 in Red Cloud, Nebraska
H  George Washington Smelser born June 24, 1860
married Maggie E. House June 8, 1885 in Red Cloud, Nebraska
George died March 17, 1921 in Red Cloud, Nebraska

On December 20, 1849, David and Ann Eliza Smelser received 44 and 20/100 acres as a gift from John R. and Rachel Hawthorn (Ann Eliza's parents). Here they farmed and raised their children.

On August 9, 1862, Daivid enlisted in the Union Army. He was mustered into Co G, 22 regiment of the Iowa Infantry at age 42.

His company was engaged in many battles........Port Gibson, Mississippi on May 1, 1863........Champion Hill, Mississippi May 16, 1863, Black River Bridge, Mississippi May 17, 1863 and the Seige of Vicksburg, Miss from May 19, 1863 to surrender on July 4, 1863. David C. Smelser was engaged in all of these battles. From Aug 1864 to June 1865 he was detailed as a company cook to Captain Shockey. (apparently he could cook).

In 1866, John and Rachel Hawthorn once again gave land as a gift.....this time to their grandson...John R. Smelser. All of the land owned by the Smelser and Hawthorn family was situated in Iowa township.

The family resided in Iowa township until sometime after 1870. David, John and another unknown Smelser (Jacob Smelser living next door to David age 65) are all listed on the 1870 Washington county, Iowa census.

Sometime before 1875, this whole family along with several other families from Washington county, Iowa traveled to Nebraska. Some of the families who went to Nebraska are SCRIBNER, CUMMINGS, HOUSE, and MARSH.

David filed a homestead application in 1883 for 160 acres in Webster co, Nebraska. He paid $4 for it! Benjamin Frank Smelser (his son) also filed a homestead application there. This family resided in the area of Red Cloud, Nebraska for many years.

Benjamin Frank Smelser married Edna Walker on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1876 in Red Cloud, NE.  I have a deed of sale for a pool table which I understand he purchased for a saloon in Red Cloud, Nebraska..

Cleophas and his family resided in Jumata Village, Adams county, Nebraska in 1880.

George Washington Smelser married Maggie House on June 8, 1885 in Red Cloud, Nebraska. They stayed in Red Cloud and raised a family.

Their children were;
1. Minnie Lee Smelser born April 2, 1886 in Inavale, Nebraska.
Minnie Lee married Frederick Cleam Taylor Oct 4, 1905 in Red Cloud.
A story from the local Red Cloud, Nebraska newspaper March 14, 1977 quotes Minnie as saying "The first time I ever dated, he took me out in his buggy and we had to stop and let one horse wet and then, after that one was done, the other started.    I was so embarrassed, I thought if dates were all like this I never wanted to go out again.   But dates got better. The best dates, she said, were the ones "who behaved themselves." It made me so mad when they tried to touch me.    I slapped one guy who tried to put his arms around me." she said.
Minnie married a local mortician by the name of Taylor. Mr. Taylor "always treated me well. He knew I was a good girl."
"I didn't dare go out with any boy who wasn't good."  "My father was awfully strict. One day when I was about 12, I did something my father didn't like and he started hauling me down the alley. I asked where he was taking me and he said to jail. I'll never forget that." Minnie (Smelser) Taylor, who grew up near Red Cloud, gave her advice to young marrieds........."Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Minnie Lee Smelser died on Feb 16, 1980 and is buried in Riverton, Nebraska.

George Washington Smelser was a night policeman in Red Cloud NE and was known throughout the county for his physical strength so........I am sure that Minnie was very frightened when he threatened to take her to jail.

2. Estey L. Smelser born May 30, 1887 in Red Cloud, Nebraska.
Estet married Ernestine unknown.

3. Ira Newton Smelser was born in June 1891. he married Nettie Leggett. They had several children. Ira died Sep 21, 1976.

4. Milford George Smelser was born April 28, 1899 in Red Cloud, Nebraska. He married Mary Melissa Smith on September 17, 1921. They had one child Everett Eugene Smelser born Sept 22, 1922.

Milford worked on the railroad and was a trapper. He loved hunting, trapping and fishing and pretty much made his living at that.  While living in Red Cloud, Nebraska, he is said to have preached the sermons at church when the minister was away.    He was divorced from Mary and she remarried Donald Lyddon and had 3 daughters.

Milford George Smelser never remarried and he raised his son to love hunting and fishing too. They moved to Clarinda, Page co, Iowa between 1927 and 1930. This is where my father, Everett Eugene Smelser grew up. As a boy, he went to school in a one room schoolhouse but his grades were terrible as he was always looking out of the window at the countryside and dreaming of fishing and hunting. His father took him out of the country school and put him in school in town and from then on, he made straight A's. He played baseball and was a boxer. He painted houses and other structures for a living. He did quite a bit of painting for the Univerisity of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. He said he used to climb the flag pole and paint it as nobody else would do it. Made quite a pretty penny for it!

This biography has been censored for living persons.