Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas) Page: 37
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
SMITH BEND COMMUNITY
Original house built in 1868 by Jefferson Smith
The Smith Bend community in Bosque
County was named after John J. Smith (1799-
1867), who came to Texas from Scott County,
Mississippi, in the mid 1850s and settled
He and his wife, Margaret Butler Smith,
had ten children, seven of whom came to
Bosque County: Ann Smith McCabe (1824-
1898); Seaborn J. Smith (1826-1867); Burton
Smith (1832-1856); Jeff Smith (1834-1882);
Emily Smith Burks (1837-1914); M.V. (Doc)
Smith (1839-1908); Gip Smith (1844-1912).
They lived in a double log house located
near where R.C. and Camille Womack now
live. His home was not far from his gin, that
was built to take care of the cotton raised on
several hundred acres in the bend of the
Thomas Jefferson (Jeff) Smith, third son
of John J. and Margaret Smith, married Jane
Burns. They had four daughters: Laura
Smith Hays, Cora Lane Smith, Emma Smith
Boyd, and Ella S. Simmiler. Cora died during
her teen years. After losing his first wife,
Thomas Jefferson Smith married Lodemia
Herring. They had three sons: Albert (1861-
1922), Jay (1863-1907), and Seaborn
"Leaffy" (1869-1919). Idella was born in 1866
and died in her early twenties. There were
twins, Dick and Leta, born in 1871. The little
girl died when she was eight years old; Dick
died in 1946.
Jeff fought in the Civil War and wrote
many letters to his wife that family descen-
dants still have.
In 1868 Jeff built his house from lumber
hauled by wagon from East Texas. The house
had two fireplaces made of rock and had a dog
trot. He raised fine race horses and had races
around the country and at Waco.
The children's first school was in a log
school house with split log benches. Later
Jeff's youngest brother, Gip, gave the land
and built the first school house and church
of lumber, about a quarter mile from Jeff's
After his death, his three youngest sons and
their mother went to Coke County to settle
on land and make their home in the 1880's.
The oldest son, Albert, remained in Bosque
County and married Laura Ann Vaughn. To
this union ten children lived to be grown:
Leta Smith Hix (1891-1970); Lydia S. Rose
(1893-1960); Hiram Smith (1896-1959);
Leonard Smith (1900-1976); Belle S. Meador
(1903-1974); Lois S. Smith (1907-?); Colquitt
Smith (1909-1974); Lorella S. Day (1911-?);
Annie Laura S. Forehand (1914-?); Florrie
Smith Burrus (1918-?).
At the turn of the century, Gip Smith built
houses, a general store, and a new modern gin;
he drilled three artesian wells and the town
of Roswell became the post office of the
community. Sam Neil was the owner of the
first blacksmith shop at Roswell, which was
a great gathering place for the men of the
community to play dominoes and games of
chance on Saturdays. Dan Beteto was the
The barber shop was run by Jim Kellum
in 1906. At this place of business he also sold
honey from the hives he had at his home.
Ed Hill carried the mail from Clifton to
Roswell from 1912 until 1915. Tom Meador
carried mail from Roswell to Smith Bend
during the same period and after. There were
several others who followed these.
The Woodman's Hall was built there and
was later used for the church in 1924. The
women of the community met once a week at
the hall to roll bandages during World War
In 1918 the Red Cross had an auction at the
hall offering anything the farmers had to give
to make money for the organization to buy
books, writing materials, and other supplies
for the soldiers. One incident remembered
was the airplane from Waco that landed
there, later had trouble and had to stay a few
days. Cavalry from Camp McArthur at Waco
rode up on horseback and spent the day.
Lunch was spread outside for all. Nurses were
represented that day. The Red Cross emblem
was outstanding on white uniforms and
The first ferry crossing was the McCabe
crossing at Coon Creek on the Brazos River.
Will Lacey, whose wife was a Hays, owned the
first ferry around 1913.
We remember going to Whitney with our
parents in the wagon and crossing on the
ferry boat. Before we left Whitney to come
home, Bill Hix asked my brother Leonard, a
teenager at the time, to ride his grey mare
home as he was going to Waco by train.
Leonard did so, and upon arriving at the
ferry, was afraid to ride the horse onto the
boat. He tied it to the wagon and stood beside
the wagon to cross the river. He was afraid
that old "Roxie" might jump off the boat into
The second ferry was built by Charlie
Overton and was used at Burks crossing in
the Smith Bend Community, when the river
was high. It was used until 1922 when the
river got on a big rise and it broke loose and
washed downstream. After the boats were
gone, most people began to get cars. They
then went to Whitney by way of the bridge
near the Jim Greenwade home, although
some still forded the river at Burks Crossing
when the river was low.
There were the country peddlers who made
their rounds calling on families. The Raleigh
man and the Watkins peddler in their hacks
and buggies were eagerly awaited by children
and grownups alike.
In the 1920's there were the country stores
to serve the community after the Roswell
store closed. Some of the storekeepers were
Jack and Miss Annie Smith, Jim Hulme,
Charlie Duke, Leta Smith Hix, Ethel Smith
Chappel and Rich Womack.
One of the early preachers was Ike Spivey.
Smith Bend was his home, as he was one of
the early settlers. Some other preachers were
Robert Jones and A.S. Gafford, who also
taught school at Smith Bend. There were ice
cream suppers, box suppers, summer revivals
and brush arbor meetings at the church.
The school had an enrollment of around
one hundred pupils. Some of the teachers
from about 1913 through the 1920s were
Katie Richards, Lily Richards, Tracey Cun-
ningham, T.P. Warnick, G.E. Veteto, Mr.
Lindsey, Tom Hays, Virgie Alexander, Brit-
tie Hix, Loucille Bond, Mable Jones, Lorene
Hanna, Mr. Huggins, Mrs. Elder, A.G.
Gafford, Loucille Pettijohn, J.T. Pelham and
There were both girls' and boys' basketball
teams and the last day of school was always
a big event. A picnic and a school play ended
the school term.
During the summer, there were baseball
games and play parties on Saturday nights
with ring plays and games. There were
Fourth of July picnics with iced tubs of
drinks, watermelons, red soda pop and
Musicals were often held at someone's
house who had a piano to aid the fiddles and
guitars. Many families had members who
could play different instruments.
There were "all day singings and dinner on
the ground," usually on Sundays. There were
many families who had good singers as well
as out of county visitors who came to sing.
In 1931 the last four unmarried children of
Albert and Laura Ann Smith were at home
when their mother passed away in March. In
December of the same year, Lois Smith, the
fourth daughter, and Hansel Kellum Hill
were married in the Methodist parsonage by
Rev. A.S. Gafford at Valley Mills. They have
lived in Waco most of their married life, but
still retain the inherited land in Smith Bend,
that part which had the original house built
in 1868 by her grandfather, Jeff Smith. They
had two daughters, Billie Hill Tiernan (1933)
and Nelda Lois Hill (1938).
Lorella Smith, the next youngest daughter,
married Alvis Day of Smith Bend in 1932.
They had one son, D. Smith Day (1938). They
later moved to New Mexico.
The last two daughters, Annie Laura and
Florrie, went to Coke County to live with
their Uncle Dick Smith in 1933. They
married and had children. Annie Laura
Forehand had four, one boy and three girls.
Florrie Burrus had two boys.
After Gip Smith's death in 1912, the
Roswell ranch land began to change owner-
ship. In the late 1930s, the farming land in
Smith Bend was divided into smaller places
and has changed hands often. The Hiram and
Leonard Smith heirs and Colquitt Smith's
wife and children and Lois Smith Hill still
own some of the original Smith land.
The Hills have added other Smith land to
the inherited land and they, their children
and grandchildren, who live out of the
county, enjoy spending time on the place.
The grandchildren, especially, like the hunt-
ing and fishing.
by Lois Smith Hill
Here’s what’s next.
This book can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Matching Search ResultsView 28 pages within this book that match your search.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Book.
Bosque County History Book Committee. Bosque County: Land and People (A History of Bosque County, Texas), book, 1985; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth91038/m1/53/?q=campbell: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Denton Public Library.