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 Spencer Thomas Smith

Spencer Thomas Smith

Milner, Twin Falls County, Idaho, USA
Death 5 Feb 1990 (aged 82)
Rossville, Walker County, Georgia, USA
Burial Rossville, Walker County, Georgia, USA
Memorial ID 120998365 · View Source
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Spencer Thomas Smith was born in Milner, Idaho in 1907 to parents Auther Eagleton Smith (1876), a carpenter, and Mintie Florence McCulley (1877), both natives of Tennessee.

He had four brothers, all born in Idaho:

Melvin Smith, born 20 August 1909, Jerome.
Herbert Smith, born 7 May 1912, died 27 Jun 1912, Downey.
Edward L. Smith, born 1915, Jerome.
Baby boy, born 20 Feb 1918, died 25 Feb 1918, Jerome.

From 1930 to 1940, during the Depression, he worked with his father for Imperial County Irrigation District in Holtville, California, helping to construct and maintain the All American Canal.

On May 18, 1940, an earthquake caused major damage in the Valley to homes and businesses. Shortly afterward, Spencer returned to Idaho.

A resident of McCall in the summer of 1940, he met and married the widow, Mrs. Etta May Mitchell, whose husband of 16 years had passed away in February of that year leaving her with six children to feed.

While Etta's oldest daughter remained behind to attend school, Spencer and his new family moved to Emmett, Idaho where the couple's son Lynn was born in 1941. From there it was on to Hermiston, Oregon; then to Weston, where everyone except baby Lynn caught the mumps; then to Pasco, Washington where daughter Grace rejoined them.

They stayed through the summer, then moved to Yakima where they found work in the orchards and hop fields. Those of the family that were able, worked alongside their parents.

At night they stayed with other families inside a huge barn, camping in tents for privacy. Before the school session began, Spencer moved his family to a house on the east side of Yakima where he worked as a carpenter.

In 1942, he secured a job with the Bureau of Reclamation's Sunnyside Canal Division for himself and Etta as a couple, and made one more move to a rental on Fruitvale Blvd. The girls took over caring for baby Lynn when their older sister, Grace, left to earn income for the family as a live-in nanny.

Over the next two years, the couple were inseparable, and were often seen with their young son while on their rounds. On the 13th of April, 1944, Etta and Spencer began their drive from Yakima to Granger in their employer's truck. Not far from home, Spencer attempted to turn onto a bridge spanning an irrigation canal when the steering failed. The vehicle went off the road, and into the water. Etta was trapped and drowned before she could be rescued. It was one of the few times young Lynn was left at home.

After her death, Spencer left Yakima, taking the children to his parents home in Rice, Stevens county, Washington. Etta's son Glenn soon left to join the service and then his brother Jim followed.

Spencer's mother, Mintie, died there in 1945; and in 1948, his father, Auther passed away.

After his father's death, Spencer took Lynn, Dorothy, Jack and Lois to North Bend in Coos County, Oregon. There, Dorothy eloped and got married, taking Jack and Lois with her.

In 1950, Spencer and Lynn moved to Carlton in Yamhill County; and in 1951, to Gold Beach in Curry County. They moved back to Stevens County in Washington, to Kettle Falls in 1952; then to Colville in 1953; and to Marcus in 1954.

In 1955, father and son relocated to Tennessee, the native state of Spencer's parents, and settled in the greater Chattanooga area.

According to SSDI, Spencer died Feb 5, 1990 in Rossville, Walker County, Georgia. According to the Georgia Death Index, he died Feb 5, 1990 in Catoosa County, Georgia. Rossville has some outlying neighborhoods in both counties, and is also a suburb of Chattanooga, Tennessee, which is a few miles north.

Spencer T. Smith was father to one; grandfather to two.

My stepfather, by ~Grace (Mitchell) Fortier ��

Spencer may have had a connection to Gladys Mae Smith (Feb 4, 1913 - Nov 1, 1994) who also lived at his Biscayne Blvd address in Rossville; and to Frances Lucille Ford McCulley (1924 - 1991) of Chattanooga, through her nephew who also lived at that address.

Any information about them will be appreciated.

Family Members





  • Created by: SB°ancestry
  • Added: 30 Nov 2013
  • Find A Grave Memorial 120998365
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Spencer Thomas Smith (10 Nov 1907–5 Feb 1990), Find A Grave Memorial no. 120998365, citing Tennessee Georgia Memorial Park, Rossville, Walker County, Georgia, USA ; Maintained by SB°ancestry (contributor 47325517) .