in Russell Cemetery. Upon George’s death, the family farm was divided among the four sons and his widow.

Four sons and one daughter were born to George and Harriet. The daughter, Josephine, died in infancy. The oldest son, Alba Fremont (b. 3 Nov 1862) left Winneshiek Co. in 1885 to homestead property in Hay Springs, NE, following his cousin, John Burrows, who had gone to Hay Springs the previous year. Here Alba homesteaded 160 acres just south of the town of Hay Springs. In 1888 he married Helena Kerchberger, who had emigrated with her family from the Ukraine when she was only five. To Alba and Helena (or Lena as she was called) were born two children, George Sherman and Bertha Mae. In 1905 Alba sold his farm in Hay Springs to his brother-in-law, Ed Kerchberger, and moved to Boise, ID. The family only remained there for two years before moving on to Centralia, WA. George and Bertha ultimately settled in Seattle, WA with George marrying the former Lucy Mather Shelton and Bertha marrying George Lisle Hoard. George Smith died 11 Jan 1995 at the age of 105. He had one son, Vernon Fremont, who also lives in Seattle with his wife, the former Jeanne Wells. Bertha and Lisle Hoard had two sons, Donald Ellsworth Hoard who lives in Los Alamos, NM and is married to the former Dorothy Goetz, and Ronald Fremont Hoard who lives in Seattle and is married to the former Emily Rachie. Alba died 5 Apr 1945 and is buried in Centralia, WA.

The second son, Horace Sherman (b. 4 Jan 1865) married Hattie Brickner, daughter of Henry Brickner and Julia Shanks. One son, Louis, was adopted by the couple.

Horace built a two story, frame house for his mother in 1888 with some help from his younger brother Eugene. This house was in the family until it burned about 1949. Eugene owned it at the time of the fire. George Smith is the present owner of the property.

Horace built a barn for Clem Stortz about 1890. Mrs. Stortz told that Horace drove a team the first day to haul his tools; thereafter, he walked about 3 1/2 miles to work each day rather than have a horse standing all day.

In the early 1890’s Horace and Henry Brickner built a “sub soil” plow, forerunner of today’s chisel plow. Henry Brickner did the woodwork, beam and handle and Horace did the blacksmith work on the iron plow. This plow is now owned by Howard Smith.

Hattie died in 1911. On 18 Feb 1920, Horace married Ella Marie Corson. To this marriage a son, Howard, and a daughter, Gertrude, were born. Howard, who never married, still resides on the family farm in Canoe Twp. (west side of Highway 52) originally purchased by his father from Henry I. Brickner, father of his first wife. He owns and operated Smith Electric. Gertrude married John Hendricks and lives in Des Moines. She has two sons, Horace Sherwood, a schoolteacher in the Des Moines area, and Jeffrey, who is stationed with the Air Force in Japan. A third son, Jerry Arthur, died in 1969 of leukemia. Gertrude has one grandson, one granddaughter, and one great-grandson. Horace Sherman Smith died 8 Jan 1948 and his wife, Ella, died 21 Jul 1978.

Arthur Elmer Smith, third son of George and Harriet, was born 14 Jun 1867 and married Clara Fisher. They made their home in Canoe Twp. Twin girls, Ethel and Edith, were born to the couple on 17 May 1911. Ethel died three months later and Edith died 2 Nov 1919 following surgery for appendicitis. The mother, Clara, died 12 Nov 1915 after a four year battle against tuberculosis. Arthur Elmer lived alone until his death 25 Oct 1944. He was found dead in his driveway by a friend who was picking him up to give him a ride into Decorah.

Eugene Letts, youngest son of George and Harriet Smith, is covered in a separate story.

George and Harriet Smith adopted a daughter, Sylvia Mae Skinner. Sylvia was born 14 Apr 1879 to George and Rosetta Smith Skinner. Her mother died when she was only four years old. She later married Edward T Anderson of Pleasant Twp. 15 Jan 1900. One son, Ralph, was adopted by the couple. Sylvia died 12 Nov 1934 at her home in Pleasant Twp.

Smith, Howard Curtis

(Howard Smith)

Bio Photo

Howard Curtis Smith

Howard Curtis Smith was born in Canoe Twp., the son of Horace S. Smith and Ella Marie (Corson) Smith. Howard has a sister, Gertrude, who married John Hendricks of Des Moines. Gertrude has two sons, Horace “Ace", who teaches Environmental Ecology at Des Moines, and Jeffery Arthur, an Air Force Sergeant in Japan.

Howard, who never married, resides on and operates the home farm in Canoe Twp. (a Century Farm) and has also operated Smith Electric since 1953. His hobbies are collecting obsolete and current metallic cartridges and craft work with wood and metal. He has been a life-long member of Decorah Lutheran Church and an usher since 1941.

Howard has continued a practice started by his father of keeping a diary of daily records of temperatures, weather, days activities, sales and purchases. He has diaries for each year from 1893 to date!


Partial OCR transcription, some sensitive personal information such as birth dates of people that maybe living is not included.

See the associated scan to compare with the published information.

Please, contact the County Coordinator to submit additions or corrections.

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this page was last updated on Monday, 29 March 2021