George Washington Smith Jr.

George Washington Smith Jr.

West Virginia, USA
Death 6 Apr 1940 (aged 79)
Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA
Burial Abraham, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 21382210 · View Source
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George Washington Smith Jr. (June 30, 1860, Meadow Creek, W.Va./April 6, 1940, Raleigh County, W.Va.) was a son of George Sr. (Dec. 12, 1826/ Jan. 19, 1862) and Catherine (Kate) Bennett (November 1825, Greenbrier County, W.Va./Nov. 7, 1904, Raleigh County).

George had 16 children. He and first wife Emily Alice Vandall had nine children: Bertha Jane Smith Surbaugh, Bessie Smith Arthur, Glenville E. Smith, Wayne Smith, Arthur Jackson Smith, Ada Smith Martin, Ola Ernest "Oley" Smith, Charles Ota (C.O. "Smitty") Smith Sr., and Emily Mae Smith Hutchinson. He and second wife Emma Catherine Biars had seven children: Kay Golda Smith Fox, Pearl Lora Smith Gwinn, Eda Flora "Edie" Smith Ellison, Earl George Smith, Everett Abraham Smith, Carl Eugene Smith and Ernest Sidney Smith.

Mr. Smith was the first postmaster of Abraham, Raleigh County, when the post office was organized in 1907. He was the postmaster for 35 years until he turned it over to his daughter Golda Fox. Mrs. Fox, George's last surviving child, died at age 99 in June 2009.

George Jr. and his brothers Ervin and General Marion Smith operated Smith Brothers, a large general merchandise store. The family also operated a grist mill and a sawmill. (Abraham Post Office Once Site of Booming Business, Beckley Post-Herald, Aug. 9, 1974, Page 13.)

"People came (from) far away to the store. He kept about anything people needed," said his daughter Eda Smith Ellison.

Nina Vest, then married to Percy Bennett, was a neighbor to George and wife Emma in Abraham, W.Va. Nina's sister Golda was married to their son Earl George.

In March 1992, Nina wrote a letter to niece Eva Smith that contained family history including the following:

"Mr. Smith (George Washington Smith Jr.) bought a truck (pickup) before he died say 3 yrs. Every time (his son) Earl and Golda used it to go home in he would tell them to take Nina. I thought a lot of him, I often think about getting to go home because of him. I guess that (is) where your dad (Earl) got his good deeds from. Mrs. Smith (Emma Biars Smith) liked me and after he (her husband George) died she was so lonely about 3 or 4 times a week she came down to my house and (ate) the evening meal with me. I have often wondered why she would eat at my home. I wasn't a good cook, didn't have much to eat like she did, nevertheless she was a faithful visitor and I really loved her. What she thought she said and lots of people didn't like it but she wouldn't lie so they couldn't stay angry long. Ha. Mr. Smith had a mill (grind corn..) he had a grocery store and was postmaster. So they had plenty. No one could really say anything mean about them. Your Aunt Pearl (Pearl Smith Gwinn), I dearly loved and she was beautiful, kept an immaculate house…Mr. Smith was the one who would always do things for people – just like your daddy. That could have been the reason he was so prosperous. You children lacked for nothing."

Photos and more information on the Smith and Biars families are online at


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  • Maintained by: E.M. Smith
  • Originally Created by: Barb
  • Added: 5 Sep 2007
  • Find a Grave Memorial 21382210
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Washington Smith Jr. (30 Jun 1860–6 Apr 1940), Find a Grave Memorial no. 21382210, citing New Salem Baptist Church Cemetery, Abraham, Raleigh County, West Virginia, USA ; Maintained by E.M. Smith (contributor 47134804) .