Here is a tidbit of family history which you may find of interest one day because there is now a family heirloom which should be passed down through the succeeding generations of Smyths for hundreds of years to come or rather that would be my hope and expectations.
The heirloom is a 24 X 30 oil painting of the Smyth Family Crest, painted by your Great Aunt, Eileen Beatrice "Smyth" Fillipp sometime in the 1980's as a gift to your GranPa.
The history behind the crest is something you should put in your memory bank and always remember for your own kids and the grandkids to come because the painting my sister did was copied from one my Uncle John Hale Smyth painted in the 1930's.
Here is the history behind the Smyth Family Crest which as of 2007 hangs in the living room of GranMa and GranPa's home in Titusville, Florida.
For some background let me tell you that the Smyths come from a Scotch Irish blood line.
Our Smyth clan came over to American in the late 1700's or early 1800's. We know this because your Great Great Great Grand Father, Henry Smyth was born in Butler County Pennsylvania in 1822 and the 1900 U.S. census tells us that his father was born in Ireland.
Your Great Great Grandfather, William Stanton was also born in Butler county Pennsylvania in 1865. This was around the ending of the civil war and shortly afterwards the entire family moved to Crawford County Missouri.
After a few years in Missouri the entire family again picked up stakes and moved to Jefferson, Kansas which is in the southern part of Kansas which lies immediately north of the state of Oklahoma.
I'll explain a few things so you can get the mental picture of past events.
The Land Rushes in Oklahoma first started in 1889 and in 1893 they started opening up the Cherokee Strip part of Oklahoma to settlers and held a land rush near what became Ponca City, Oklahoma.
So happens this area is just across the border from Jefferson, Kansas were the Smyth Clan now lived.
That made it convenient for your Great Great Uncle John Hale Smyth, who was an older brother of your Great Great Grand Father William Stanton to participate in that land rush and he did and obtained 160 acres of farm land.
To see photos of the 1893 Land Rush, Click:.. HERE
Then came 1901 and the opening of land around Fort Sill Oklahoma which incidentally is where the Trail of Tears ended when the government moved all the Cherokee Indians out of the Carolinians.
Your Great Great Grand Father was now 36 years old and he participated in the 1901 land rush except it was not a land rush.
By 1901 the government decided that racing to the land wasn't working too good and in 1901 the land was selected by holding a Lottery type drawing to see who got what land.
The name "Oklahoma Sooners" came about because of the problems they had racing to the land. In the land rush, people were slipping out and staking their claim in the middle of the night and claiming they were in the race. These people were called sooners because they got there sooner then they were suppose too and thus was born the "Oklahoma Sooners"
Keep in mind that in 1901 your Great Grand Father Everett Ralph (ER as he was known) was 1 year old and had been born in Jefferson Kansas.
In 1903 your Great Grandfather's brother Henry was born and then in 1905 his brother John Hale Smyth 2nd was born. They would have been your Great uncles.
Now remember this, You had a Great Great Uncle John Hale Smyth in the Land Rush of 1893 at Ponca City Oklahoma.
Then in 1901 your Great Great Grand Father was in the Land Rush (Drawing) at Lawton Oklahoma where Fort Sill is located.
Your Great Grand Father grew up on the 160 acre Homesteaded land. Unfortunately your Great Great Grandfather died a young man at age 55 in 1921 so that means they had the Homestead for 20 years.
Your Great Grandfather E.R. had left home and went to work in the Texas oil fields in 1918 at the age of 18.
After his father died in 1921, he came back home and farmed the homestead for 1 season but, then they sold the place and the family who purchased the homestead around 1922 still owned it as of 1985 when your GranPa visited the place.
At this time, your Great Grandfather was 22 years old and able to make it on his own.
Your Great Uncle John Hale 2nd who was only 15 or 16 was taken in and raised by his name sake uncle, John Hale Smyth.
Poor old Henry was only 18 or 19 and had to learn how to make it on his own. I've heard him talk about how he was thrown to the wolves and abandoned.
Your Great Great Grandmother was in real bad health due to having two other children in 1912 one of which a girl died the 2nd day and the other a boy had been starved of oxygen and became pretty much a vegetable.
After all that and then your Great Great Grand Father dying unexpectedly, left your Great Great Grandmother in a terrible mental state and she ended up being placed in a home in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
She died in November of 1950 when I was 16 years old and my Father and I went to her burial in Lawton, Oklahoma at a cemetery just outside the fence of Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Now get this mental picture:..........
Your, Great Grandfather E.R. was off on his own working in the oil fields.
Your Great Uncle Henry was shuffling for him self driving trucks.
Your Great Uncle John Hale 2nd was living the good life with his Uncle John Hale 1st who also put him through college.
Back in the 1950's, your Great Uncle John Hale 2nd painted a picture of the 1901 homestead and gave it to my Dad. It hung over the fire place in the house in Lueders and then when mother moved to Florida She gave me the picture and as of 2007 it is hanging in our dinning room in Titusville, Florida.
Uncle John has told me it was painted as the place was around 1918.
Many years ago, I had 8 X 10 professional pictures made of the oil painting and gave every one in the family a copy.
To see photos of how the Lawton Homestead appeared in 1918, Click:.. HERE
After the death of your Great Great Grandfather, your Great Uncle John Hale 2nd from age 16 lived with the uncle he was named after and by the time this happened in 1921/22 John Hale Smyth 1st had been on his 160 acre homestead for nearly 30 years except it was no longer much of a farm.
By this time the town of Ponca City had grown out past his 160 acres and he had cut his farm up into city lots which he sold and evidently made a lot of money. Your Great Great Uncle John Hale 1st was a carpenter by trade anyway and more on the side of a cabinet maker because I've seen some of the furniture he made for their house. And I have read the church history telling of him building the first Presbyterian Church building in Ponca City. So, if you have any carpenter skills you now know where they came from. Of course that skill came through me too because if your not aware I also built a lot of our house furniture.
John Hale the 1st had 2 girls, Ethel born in 1887 and Myrtle born in 1890 and 1 boy Cyril who was born in 1892 and who had already fought in World War I and was at the age of 20 by the time your Great Uncle John Hale 2nd went to live with them.
So, not having any other children now at home it is apparent that your Great Uncle John became very close to his uncle and aunt as well as his cousins.
In other words it became his home and they became his parents. So, even after he went to college and was an adult Ponca City was a place he hung out and went back to as being home.
In the 1930's when he was about 30 years old, your Great Uncle John Hale became interested in his heritage.
At this time, he said he did some research on the Smyth Family and even paid a genealogy research firm to do some research.
I forget exactly what he told me about the family crest or coat of arms, but he never was satisfied with what he was being told or what he obtained in the way of a Smyth Family Crest.
Your GranPa later came to understand his feeling after some of my experiences but, more on that later.
Both your Great Uncle John Hale 2nd and Great Uncle Henry lived most their of adult lives in Houston, Texas having moved there in the early 40's.
I came to know both Uncle John and Uncle Henry fairly well because on my trips home from Florida and while we lived in New Orleans I would go through Houston and visit with them. It was on one of these visit that I obtained the research records which Uncle John had kept from his family research back in the thirties. Not that much however, about one large brown envelop full.
Uncle John even came to Florida one year and I got him a visitors pass and gave him a one man personal tour of Kennedy Space Center and even let him sit in the drivers seat of the big crawler which took the moon rocket out to the pad and now takes the shuttle. Carried him up and showed him around the launch control center. At the time he would have been in his late sixties and he really enjoyed getting to go places the average person never gets too see. We spent the complete full day at KSC.
In the summer of 1977, his wife which was my Aunt Velma died of cancer and I flew out to Tulsa Oklahoma where she was buried to attend her funeral.
She was buried in Tulsa because in his early years Uncle John and Aunt Velma had lived in Tulsa and Velma's family had a large family plot in Tulsa and it was her wish that she be buried there with the rest of her family. Uncle John's only child a daughter named Betty also happened to be living in Tulsa at the time.
Aunt Velma was not the mother of Betty because Uncle John had been married once before Velma.
You might like to know that your Great Uncle John Hale 2nd was the architect on a couple of very large churches there in Tulsa.
After moving to Houston and in his later years, he designed mostly large shopping centers around the Houston area.
After Velma's funeral Uncle John now 72 years old wasn't much in the mood to return to Houston and face going into a house which no longer contained Velma so he decided to stay in Tulsa a couple of weeks and wanted me to stay over and keep him company.
He said while there he wanted to go visit his cousin Myrtle in Ponca City who was now 87 years old. Everybody else in her family was now dead and none of John Hale's kids had any children of their own. Myrtle had been an old maid all her life never having been married.
At the time I was able to stay with Uncle John and was willing to do so and try to give him some comfort so we went over to Ponca City one day and I got to see E. W. Marland's Mansion and the Pioneer Women Statue which was a gift to the City of Ponca City from E. W. Marland and was dedicated by Will Rogers.
E. W. Marland started the Conoco Oil Company and became a very wealthy man and was governor of Oklahoma and then died broke living in the maids quarters outside the mansion because he couldn't pay the $900.00 a month light bill the mansion created. Conoco had been taken away from him by J. P. Morgan, the New York Banker. I mention this because the Pioneer Women is a pretty famous land mark and very much a part of the history of Ponca City.
Myrtle lived in the family home John Hale 1st had built on one corner of the original 160 acres he obtained in the 1893 Land Rush. It is on 4th street in Ponca City. And near by on the outskirts of town is a Conoco Refinery once owned by E. W. Marland.
To see photos of the home, Click:.. HERE
To see photos of your Great Great Uncle John Hale Smyth and his wife, Click:.. HERE
As I looked over this old family home place which is a real nice home for the times, I noticed on the wall an 8 X 10 framed picture of a Smyth Family Crest or Coat of Arms and I asked where did that come from and Myrtle and John 2nd explained it had been hanging there a long long time because your Great Uncle John Hale 2nd had painted it back in the 1930's when he was doing the family research which was a few years after getting out of college and was still spending a lot of time in Ponca City and he had painted the crest from his own head based on the family research he had did. He then gave the painting to his uncle.
It was not very large and was on some weird sort of 8 X 10 paper and was kind of small maybe 4 inches tall and 3 inches wide because it had lots of border on the sides of the 8 X 10.
I told Uncle John I had to have a copy of that family crest so we arranged to take the picture back to Tulsa which is about 95 miles and an hour and half drive from Ponca City but, I was determined to have a copy and Myrtle was not about to give it to me.
We took it back to Tulsa and next day I took it to a photograph place and had 10ea 8 X 10 copies made in color and had them blow the crest itself up as big as possible for an 8 X 10 and to were there was as little margin as feasible on the sides.
After getting the copies made the 3rd day we had to drive the 200 miles round trip back to Ponca City to return the original painting back to Myrtle.
I gave all the family members a copy of the family crest photograph.
To see a photograph of the original Smyth Family Crest as Uncle John Hale Smyth the 2nd conceived and painted, Click:.. HERE
As you can see, there is a history behind the WHAT - WHEN - WHERE - WHO - WHY of the Family Crest.
It is hard to believe that as of 2007, it has now been 30 years since I had the photos made. Yet, I was able to reach in the file cabinet and pull the extra copies out. I'll admit I was surprised I found my copies so easy but, darn there they were in a brown envelop among the genealogy stuff in the file cabinet and it has been years since I was last in those folders.
Now I hope you grand kids understand why I wanted to take you on a journey so you could understand the history and background of the Smyth Family Crest because it has a history all it's own and was created by a member of your very own Smyth Family.
It was painted in the 30's, hung in a house in Ponca City, Oklahoma for 50 years, I discovered it in the 70's and got copies made. In 1981 Myrtle died and I was able to get my hands on the original copy which Uncle John painted.
I was able to do that because I had stayed in touch with Myrtle after returning to Florida and would call her on occasions.
On one of my phone calls I learned her phone was disconnected, I chased her down through a local funeral home who told me she was still alive but, no longer had a phone and I should contact her attorney.
I did and discovered she was still living in the homestead but, was loosing her mind and becoming difficult in her old age and would not pay any of her utility bills.
So her church members were looking after her and I was told she had a will which ordered all her assets including the homestead be sold and the funds given to the church to provide music scholarships for young people of the church. I understood the funds were not all that much but, did amount to about $65,000.00
I ask the attorney to notify me when she died so I could attend her funeral but, as it turned out I was not able too do so.
I did ask that I be sent all the family photos found in the house and a bonnet if it could be located which she was wearing when Uncle John and I visited her in 1977.
Myrtle died in 1981 and the church did send me 4 boxes of family pictures and the very first box I opened a picture fell out and it was one of my own father when he was 1 year old.
Up to then the oldest picture we had of my father was when he was 18. There was a few other pictures of my dad when he was a small boy.
Also in one of the boxes was the original painting of the family crest which Uncle John had painted in the thirties.
After my sister, Eileen had painted the family crest from the photographs of this original picture, I felt she deserved to have the original painting Uncle John did so I gave it to her and it is now in her procession.
In 1986, GranPa, GranMa and Becky went to California on vacation and at the Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco I ran across a genealogy shop selling family crest so, I ordered one of the Smyth Family and a copy of what they sent me can be seen by Clicking:.. HERE
I was not at all impressed by what they sent and very skeptical of the accuracies of what they provide. Besides that, it was not nearly so neat or impressive as the one conceived by my Uncle John Hale Smyth.
So, as the oldest living male member of this here Smyth Clan I do hereby decree that the painting by John Hale Smyth the 2nd is the official Smyth Family Crest.
I had the 24 X 30 inch oil painting my sister did framed in a rather expenses and appropriate large frame and as of 2007 it hangs in our living room in Titusville, Florida.
To see the official Smyth Family Crest hanging in our living room, Click:.. HERE
It is my wish that, this oil painting with it's frame be passed on to my son, E. Ray Smyth Jr.
What he does with it is at his discretion but, I will expect it to be passed on to one of his sons who proves to be the one most responsible for preserving and caring for such a priceless Smyth Family Heirloom.
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