April 25, 2012

More on Peter Francisco Smith

Peter Francisco Smith
August 19, 1840  -  March 9, 1913
(Photo: Coweta County Chronicles)

ack on April 18, 2012 I published a post about Peter Francisco Smith, the Civil War veteran. With the aid of my genealogist friend, Gay Mathis, I found some more information about him that family members might find useful.

Peter is a son of John Hardaway Smith (1809-1874) and Mary Martha Weaver (1820-?). In 1861 he was a member of the junior class at Emory College. In the spring of that year he joined the Confederate Army of the Seventh Georgia regiment. At the close of the war he entered the University of Virginia and studied law. He was one of the founders of the fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega. After the war the Emory College gave the class of 1862, of which Peter was a student, their degrees, by action of the school board.

Peter became a very successful attorney at law and died a wealthy man having invested in real estate in Atlanta where he moved to from Newnan, Georgia in 1890. His obituary said he was one of the most educated men in the state. He read the bible in English, Greek, Latin, and French. He was noted for his philanthropic work. During his life he taught 21 men and one woman to pass the law exams and become attorneys, including Frank Clark, the future Florida congressman. These were students who could not afford an education and he donated his time. The woman he taught was Mrs. C. L. Bovard. Georgia law prevented her from entering the practice so she remained in Peter’s office as a law clerk for many years.

Peter's obituary states that he ran for congress, in which he tied with his opponent. After several counts he dropped out of the race and later said he never regretted the decision as he would have not been able to help so many people as he did.

I am having some identity problems with his wives and children. When I was forced to switch to Family Tree Maker 2012 I lost a lot of information and notes so I no longer know my sources on the tree (Thanks Ancestry.com). With that said, my tree lists the following

Wife #1: Lizziemac Hill (no other information)
  • Daughter: Lizziemac Smith.
Wife #2: Nancy Ruth "Nannie" Hobbs (born 07/03/1855 - died 08/25/1938)
  • Lillian Smith (born 09/20/1882)
  • Marguerite Owen Smith (born 04/18/1912)
However, Peter's obituary names the daughters by the husbands names, and there are three. 
  • Daughter: Mrs. J. L. Williford
  • Daughter: Mrs. Lodlow Jordan
  • Daughter: Mrs. W. B. Snelling

Peter died March 9, 1913 of paralysis in Atlanta. He is interred in Palmetto, Georgia.

Gay Mathis - genealogical superhero.
Atlanta Constitution, March 10, 1013
Coweta County Chronicles, Jones and Reynolds, 1928. page 403-04.
Family Tree Maker

Peter Francisco Smith
April 18, 2012

1831: The New York and Harlem Railway is incorporated in New York City. 
1846: The Mexican-American War ignites as a result of disputes over claims to Texas boundaries. The outcome of the war fixed Texas' southern boundary at the Rio Grande River. 
1860: The first Japanese diplomats to visit a foreign power reach Washington, DC. They remain in the U.S. capital for several weeks while discussing expansion of trade with the United States. 
1862: Union Admiral Farragut occupies New Orleans, Louisiana. 
1864: After facing defeat in the Red River Campaign, Union General Nathaniel Bank returns to Alexandria, Louisiana. 
1889: Jim McCarthy robs the Collins and Sons Bank in Ventura, California. Jim leaves the bank with the money, only to discover that his horse, tied to a wagon wheel, has taken some steps and wedged its reins under the wheel. McCarthy is unable to free the reins as Sheriff John Snodgrass approached him. With a sign McCarthy writes, “I give up.” 
1890: Blackfoot Crossing Alberta - Indian leader Crowfoot dies on the Blackfoot reserve. He was the head Chief during signing of Treaty Seven. 
1898: The Wild Bunch: Butch Cassidy, Harvey "Kid Curry" Logan, William Ellsworth "Elza" Lay, George "Flat Nose" Curry, and Ben “The Tall Texan” Kilpatrick stopped and robbed the Union Pacific's Overland flyer. The gang blew up the express car with dynamite and made off with more than $30,000. 
1898: The U.S. declares war on Spain and then backdate it two days so that it appears that the U.S. declared war on Spain first.

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