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William Bertis Smith

William Bertis Smith

Male 1868 - 1940  (71 years)

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  • Name William Bertis Smith  [1, 2
    Born 20 Jun 1868  Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3
    Gender Male 
    Died 24 May 1940  Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Buried Lakeside Cemetery, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • According to Avis Smith Benkelman, her father, "William Bert Smith left the Catholic Church when he married. He attended Michigan State University, where he took agricultural courses. He worked as a dairyman in Odessa Township, Michigan. He later owned and operated "Farmer Smith's Dry Goods" in Grand Ledge."

      Bert's residence at the time of this death was 501 Taylor in Grand Ledge.

      The May 31, 1940 edition of the GRAND LEDGE INDEPENDENT printed the following obituary:

      W.B. Smith, One-time Merchant Here, Dies

      William Bert Smith passed away at the family home on Taylor Street, Friday morning after a week's illness. He lacked a month of being 72 years of age, having been born in Odessa Township, near Lake Odessa, June 20, 1868. Surviving are the widow, Ida, and two daughters, Mrs. Ben Benkelman of Cass City and Miss Ilo Smith of Lansing. The body was taken to Peters & Otto Funeral Home where services were held Sunday afternoon at 2 o'clock, Rev. A.R. Gold officiating. Interment was made in the Lake Odessa Cemetery. Mr. Smith was well and favorably known in the city, where he had lived for a long time. He conducted a General Store in Grand Ledge for 22 years and was known as "Farmer Smith." After selling that out, he was employed in the highway department of the state for 15 years. He was affiliated with the Odd Fellow and Rebakah organizations and had been active in both for many years.

      And in the June 6, 1940 edition of THE LAKE ODESSA WAVE-TIMES a similar item ran:

      BERT SMITH DIES

      William Bert Smith, a resident of Lake Odessa about 40 years ago, died at his home in Grand Ledge on May 24. He was born in Odessa township on June 20, 1868. He is survived by the widow, Ida, and two daughters, Mrs. Ben Benkelman of Cass City and Miss Ilo Smith in Lansing. The funeral was held on the Sunday following, and interment ws made in Lakeside cemetery here. During the last few years of his residence in Lake Odessa he was in the retail milk business. He conducted a general store in Grand Ledge for 22 years and was known as "Farmer Smith." After selling that business, he was employed in the highway department of the state for 15 years. He was affiliated with the Odd Fellow and Rebekah organizations and had been active in both for many years.

      (Both copies are courtesy of LaVonne Bennett)

      The following Indenture was "made this fifteenth day of December in the year of our Lord 1937 between Avis A. Benkelman and Ilo C. Smith, as their sole and seperate estate of the first part, and William B. Smith and Ida A. Smith, husband and wife of the second part, Witnesseth, That the said parties of the first part, for and in consideration of the sum of One and More Dollars to them in hand paid by the said parties of the second part, the receipt of whereof is hereby confessed and acknowledged, do by these presents grant, bargain, sell, remise, release, and forever Quit-Claim unto the said parties of the second part, and to their heirs and assigns, Forever, all that certain piece or parcel of land situate in the City of Grand Ledge in Ingham County and State of Michigan, known and described as follows: Lot Two (2) of Block Fifty Eight (58) on Lamson's Addition to the City of Grand Ledge, Michigan according to the recorded plat thereof. Together with all and singular the hereditaments and appurtenances thereunto belonging or in anywise appertaining: to have and to hold the said above described premises to the said parties of the second part, and to their heirs and assigns, to the sole and only proper use, benefit, and behoof, of the said parties of the second part, their heirs and assigns, Forever. In Witness Whereof, the said parties of the first part, have hereunto set their hands and seals the day and year first written above. Signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence of Mrs. Carl Plato, J.M. Hoag." It appears that although Bert and Ida transferred their home jointly to their daughters, they continued to live in it, at least until Bert's death in 1940. It is assumed that Avis and Ilo eventually sold their parents home, as neither returned to live in Grand Ledge after graduating from college.
    • (Research):

      Census Listings:

      1900 Census Michigan, Ionia County, Odessa Twp 5 June 1900
      #48/50
      Smith, Bert W Head W M June 1868 M 2 yrs Born Mi, Parents born NY MI Dairyman Rents farm
      Smith, Ida Wife W F Dec 1867 M 2 years, Mother of 0 children born Ohio, parents VA, PA

      1910 Michigan Census, Eaton County, Oneida Township
      Taylor Street
      #154-160
      Elliott, Agustus Head M W 70 M1 49 years Born VA Parents born GB/Irish Occupation Real Estate
      Elliott, Sarah Wife F W 74 M1 49 years Mother of 7 children, 4 living Born PA, both parents PA
      Elliott, Charles M W 41 single Does not read or write
      -161 Smith, William Head M W 42 M1 12 years Born Mi, both parents MI Occupation: Merchant
      Smith, Ida Alice wife F W 43 M1 12 years, Mother of 2 children
      Smith, Avis A D F W 9 years born MI
      Smith, Ilo D F W 3 years born MI

      1920 Census Michigan, Eaton County, Oneida Township 15 Jan 1920
      501 Taylor Street
      #357-366 Elliott, Augustus E Head M W 81 M Born VA Parents born Ireland (Irish)
      Elliott, Sarah A Wife F W 86 M Born PA, both parents PA
      #358-367 Smith, William B Son in law M W M Born MI, Father born NY, Mother Canada/English Occupation: Merchant, General Store
      Smith, Ida Alice Dtr F W 53 M
      Smith, Avis A G/D F W 18 years born MI
      Smith, Ilo G/D F W 13 years born MI

      1930 Census Michigan, Eaton, Grand Ledge, ED 16
      501 Taylor Street
      Smith, William B Head O 4500 M W 62 M@31 Mich Mich Mich Sign Dept Mich State Highway Employed Not a Veteran (Owns Radio, Not living on a Farm)
      Smith, Ida A Wife H F W 64 M@32 Ohio Va Pa No Occupation
      Elliot, Charles W Brother in Law M W 62 S Ohio Va Pa No occupation
    Person ID I132  Strong Family Tree
    Last Modified 17 Aug 2014 

    Father Benjamin Franklin Smith,   b. Abt 1833, Monroe County, New York Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 6 Jul 1869, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 36 years) 
    Mother Mary Ann Welch,   b. 28 Dec 1840, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jul 1921, Lake Odessa, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years) 
    Married Bef 1866 
    Family ID F129  Group Sheet,  Family chart

    Family Ida Alice Elliott,   b. 13 Dec 1866, Seneca County, Ohio Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Jan 1946, Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 79 years) 
    Married 11 May 1898  Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 6
    Children 
     1. Avis Augusta Smith,   b. 4 Apr 1901, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Nov 1981, St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 80 years)
     2. Ilo Katherine Smith,   b. 30 Apr 1906, Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Michigan Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 9 Mar 1974, Tuscon, Pima County, Arizona Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years)
    Documents
    Smith, Avis Augusta Bible Records, p 2 of 4
    Smith, Avis Augusta Bible Records, p 2 of 4
    Family Register page listing her parents, William Bert Smith and Ida Alice Elliott
    Last Modified 9 Dec 2006 
    Family ID F17  Group Sheet,  Family chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsDied - 24 May 1940 - Grand Ledge, Eaton County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Lakeside Cemetery, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Photos
    Smith, William Bertis
    Smith, William Bertis
    Husband of Ida Alice Elliott
    B. 1868 Michigan D. 1940 Michigan
    Bert Smith was a dairyman in Lake Odessa, Michigan, later owning and operating a General Store in Grand Ledge, Michigan that was known as "Farmer Smiths."
    _Smith, William Bertis
    _Smith, William Bertis
    Husband of Ida Alice Elliott
    B. 1868 Michigan D. 1940 Michigan
    Elliott Home
    Elliott Home
    Labelled simply as "Elliott Home," this was first assumed to be the home that Augustus & Sarah Elliott shared with their daughter and son-in-law, Ida & Bert Smith. The two families shared a home from about 1910 to 1940, which was located at 501 Taylor Street, in Grand Ledge, Mich. The home that was originally at 501 Taylor has since been torn down, but photos of a home that appeared to be at that location in the 1930's differed significantly. Possibly this was their home in Lake Odessa, Michigan? ANY ASSISTANCE IN PINPOINTING THE LOCATION OF THIS HOME, WHICH IS CURRENTLY UNKNOWN, WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED.
    Smith, William Bert Dry Goods Store interior ca 1915
    Smith, William Bert Dry Goods Store interior ca 1915
    Bert Smith was well and favorably known in the city of Grand Ledge, Michigan, where he had lived for a long time. He conducted a General Store for 22 years and was known as "Farmer Smith." He is the gentleman, in the bow tie, standing in the foreground of the picture, on the far left hand side.
    Smith, William Bert Dry Goods Store exterior ca 1915
    Smith, William Bert Dry Goods Store exterior ca 1915
    Located in Grand Ledge, Michigan

    Documents
    Smith, W.B. Dry Goods Store Advertisement, 1907
    Smith, W.B. Dry Goods Store Advertisement, 1907
    Cash Bargain Store! It grows, it doesn't boom. The growth of this store reads like a fairy tale. Perhaps you were a little skeptical at first, but come in and look around. Observe the marvelous activity of this store; see what it offers you and your family; see how it differs from other stores and why it is easily the most money saving store in the city. Remember we save you twenty (20) per cent on all school supplies. And keep it fresh on your mind, that a five cent article sold for four, will save you many a dime. Dry goods, carpets, Ladies' and Gents' Furnishings, Hosiery, Shoes, and Hdw. W. B. SMITH

    Ad published in the 1907 Grand Ledge High School Annual, courtesy of Suzanne Schramski
    Smith, William Bert
    Smith, William Bert
    Eaton County, Michigan Death Certificate. His mother's maiden name is shown on this certificate, in error, as Elvert. She was actually born Mary Ann Welch, Elvert being her stepfather's last name.

    Headstones
    Smith Family Plot Marker, Lakeside Cemetery, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan
    Smith Family Plot Marker, Lakeside Cemetery, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan
    Smith, William B. and Ida Alice (Elliott)
    Smith, William B. and Ida Alice (Elliott)

  • Sources 
    1. [S331] Benkelman, Avis Smith-Interview by Granddaughter Melinda McLemore Strong ca 1976.

    2. [S81] Family Register, The Holy Bible, National Bible Press, Philadelphia, Pa. Presented to Avis Smith by her parents, December 25, 1920.

    3. [S170] Lakeside (Lakewood) Cemetery transcription, Lake Odessa, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan; http://ionia.migenweb.net/cem.htm#Odessa, This transcription showed him age 71 yrs, making his DOB ap proximately 1869 (Reliability: 3).

    4. [S170] Lakeside (Lakewood) Cemetery transcription, Lake Odessa, Odessa Township, Ionia County, Michigan; http://ionia.migenweb.net/cem.htm#Odessa, Shows DOD as May 25, 1940 (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S29] State of Michigan, Department of State, Division of Vital Records, Death Certificate, Liber D State File No. Page 121, Local File No. 10 (Reliability: 3).

    6. [S149] Bennett, Lavonne (lib@iserv.net)-Ionia County, Mich. Genealogist and Researcher, Supplied by LaVonne Bennett (Reliability: 3).