CALVIN SMITH, MISSOURI PIONEER, IS DEAD AT 96. ~ Came to the State With His Father in 1816 -- Gave Smithville Its Name.

October 2, 1909

Came to the State With His Father
in 1816 -- Gave Smithville
Its Name.
Calvin Smith, Whose Father Gave Smithville Its Name, Dead at 96.

Calvin Smith, who was born December 19, 1813, who perhaps was the oldest living Jackson county pioneer in the point of residence, died at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon at his home, 2495 Harrison street.

Besides a widow, Mr. Smith is survived by six children, Henry, James and Evaston Smith, and Mrs. J. S. Setord, Mrs. Anna Goodenough Smith and Mrs. G. McCleary. Henry and James are lawyer practicing in this city. Burial will be Sunday afternoon in Valley Falls, Kas., under direction of the Masons.

Mr. Smith was born at Humphrey Smith's Mills on Buffalo Creek, New York. His father was a farmer. When tales of the rich French province of Missouri were first wafted East he was quick to catch their inspiration and migrate. In his memoirs written for the benefit of relatives a few years ago, Mr. Smith tells the story of the trip.

"On February 29, 1815," he said, "my father prepared for a trip to the West. He had $4,000 in gold which he put in a belt and buckled it around his waist. In an old style two-wheeled ox cart, drawn by a yoke of oxen, he put his famly and started for Missouri. We went to Olean, a point on the Allegheny river. With his wife and four children he embarked there on a canoe At Pittsburgh, Pa., father had to attach the canoe to a flat bottom boat going to New Orleans.


"At Louisville, Ky., we met three or four families who were going to the new territory of Missouri. Father chipped in with them and bought a keep boat and we floated down the Ohio river to its mouth.

At the moth of the Ohio river we turned into the Mississippi and the boat was propelled up that river by men who walked along the shore and drew the boat after them, while a man on the boat with a long pole kept it from running ashore.

In time we reached St. Louis, 190 miles from the mouth of the Ohio river. We stopped there two or three weeks. Then we all boarded the keel boat again for another move.


"Eighteen miles brought us to the Missouri river and we went up that river 300 miles to a place called Cole's fort, now Boonville, Mo. We reached there on the first day of July, 1816, just four months to a day from the time we left New York.

"On the 14th day of July my sister, Missouri, was born and about five weeks later, August, 1816, father and his family crossed the Missouri river and settled eight miles east of Old Franklin, Howard co unty. We moved several times, but stayed in that county until 1819. We then moved to Carroll county, Mo. This was during the 'Missouri question,' whether the new incoming state should be a slave state or a free state. The missouri compromise in 1822 settled in favor of a slave state.

"In 1822 father took another move to Clay county, Mo., and settled at a place now called Smithville, in the northwest part of the county. It was then a wilderness, being ten miles to the nearest neighbor."

Mr. Smith came to Kansas City in 1882. Two years later his wife died adn he married a second time in 1889. The second wife, who was Miss Fannie Burton of Kansas City, is living.

During the civil war Mr. Smith sided with the North.