October 26, 2021

Artifact #87 Soapy Smith's sister, Emmie Lu Gardner writes to her brother's son.

Artifact #87
Letter side A
Jeff Smith collection

(Click image to enlarge)





 
 
 
t is quite interesting to know you are living in a haunted house."
 
Artifact #87 is a response letter from aunt Emmie Lu Gardner, (Soapy Smith's sister), age 45 to Jefferson Randolph Smith III, (Soapy's son), age 25. It's a typical "keeping up with the family" type letter. Below is the transcribed text. 

Waco Texas
Dec 11th. 1912

Dear Jeff:
 
     Your most welcome letter was received a few days ago was very glad to hear from you. It is quite interesting to know you are living in a haunted house, and yet there's lots of people who firmly believe in ghosts. I received a long letter from cousin Nellie Kate Smith of Newnan Ga they are all well. The weather is very bad has been raining for about 4 weeks and still raining. I hope it will clear up. Received a card from Temple They are all well. I hope you will be able to secure a good position your chances seem very favorable at present. I am glad to know that you all well and enjoying yourselves. With love and best wishes to all. your Loving Aunt.

Emmie Lu Gardner
927 Franklin St.

     This is the only mention that the Smith home in 1912 was haunted. Being an adamant historian I am not really one who trusts most ghost stories, but if any household could be haunted, I would guess that the family of Soapy Smith would be one of them.
       Nellie Kate Smith (1868-1950) of Newnan, Georgia was the daughter of Ira Ellis Caspar Wistar Smith and Caqtherine Romanze "Kate" Edmundson. Newnan (Coweta County) is where Soapy Smith was born and raised until 1876-77.
     Temple, Texas is where Soapy's surviving family members lived, his father, Jefferson Randolph Smith II having died there in 1902.
 

Artifact #87
Letter side B
Jeff Smith collection

(Click image to enlarge)

The envelope below is addressed to "Mr. Jeff Smith, St. Louis, Mo." At the lower left is "C" (care of) "St. Louis Times, Editorial Department." Jeff worked as a newspaper editor for much of his adult life.
 
Artifact #87
Envelope
Jeff Smith collection

(Click image to enlarge)




Emmie Lu Gardner
1867-1913


Jefferson R. Smith III
age 25

(Click image to enlarge)
 
 
Nellie Kate Smith
1868-1950

 
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Jefferson Randolph Smith III: pages 7, 107-08, 167, 417-18, 546, 584, 587-89.





"I bet on a horse at ten-to-one. It didn't come in until half-past five."
—Henny Youngman












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