June 27, 2010

The Jefferson R. Smith home: Ferguson, Missouri

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The Jefferson R. Smith III home
Ferguson, Missouri

In with the many photographs family member Mike Moriarty set me is this front view of the house owned by Soapy's son, Jefferson Randolph Smith III. It was not marked when I received it so I had to do some photo comparisons and that's when I found out whose house it was. Mike will be glad to have this little mystery solved.

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Front and rear of the home

I was able to locate the above photos taken of the front and back on May 6, 1934. It was the writing on these two that identified the house and year. It is located at 123 Adelle Avenue. Photographs indicate the Smith's lived here many years. Unfortunately I don't recall many of the conversations about the home my father grew up in but I do recall going back to Ferguson in the 1970s with my parents to visit his old hometown. Amazingly his home was still standing when my father and I took a walk around his old neighborhood. So was his old school. He used to tell me how far he had to walk to school as a kid. You know the old stories, "uphill in both directions." Standing in front of his old house I causally turned my head to the left and could see his school about one block away. I walked 10 times further to school than he did. What was his defense? "I was smaller back then." Lol.


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left: A profitable golf course my father built in the backyard.
right: My father, John Randolph Smith in the same backyard.

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The Smith kids

This is a hard one to identify all the kids correctly as there are only seven of the nine kids here. I'm going to do my best and hope someone in the family will correct me if I'm wrong. The photo was taken in the backyard around 1920-22. I am basing that on the age of my father who looks to be about two (born 1918). (Back row, standing left to right) Joseph Jefferson Smith, (cut out) probably the mother or father, (baby in arms) Justine McGlynn Smith, June Catherine Smith, Joan Wanda Smith. (Front row, seated left to right) John Randolph Smith, Judith Smith, Jane Smith. Joy Roberta Smith (1927) and Jacqueline Alice Smith (1928) were not born yet. The missing face is probably their mother who passed away in 1931 when all the children were still very young. I am guessing the picture was cut out to place in a picture charm.   

I was taken by surprise to learn that the old house is still standing. Check out the Google map below.

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