Dr. John C. Smith

    The Smith brothers’ father was Nathan (1790-1863), a native of Virginia (pictured). Their m
other was Margaret “Patty” Amonett (1794-1840). Married in 1813, the couple had six children.  Nathan served under Andrew Jackson in the Creek and Cherokee War and represented Madison County, Alabama, in the state legislature (1828 and ‘30). Moving to Marshall, Texas, in 1848, his first purchase of land there was 1,280 acres. Still active in politics, he was a member of the “Know Nothing” party and served in the Texas legislature in 1856. Although Nathan opposed Texas’ secession from the Union, he later “supported the cause of the South with his means and personal example.”

    One son was Gideon. Of another,  John C. Smith, Judge Evans wrote in 1909:

    He was a fine physician. He would visit those who were unable to pay and gave them the same care that he did the rich and prosperous. He often had patients from whom he would receive no compensation for his service to whom he gave not only his services as a physician but also would furnish medicine and often food, while his good wife [Nancy] would give the family every attention necessary, carrying them food and clothing. When the poor women were sick she would wait on them and see that they did not suffer for want of attention or for food or clothes. She never tired of going around doing deeds of kindness and giving words of comfort and assistance. She was a grand woman and much loved by all who had an acquaintance with her.

    Dr. Smith was an elegant Christian gentleman, a devout member of the Baptist church. He was a good citizen and one of the best of neighbors. He died on the 29th day of January, 1884. There survived him his wife, daughters, Mrs. Howard Sawyer, Misses Jenie and Mattie Smith, and two sons Dupree and Lewis Smith....

    Then the Masons of Constantine Lodge (1917):

    Dr. Smith was born in Madison County, Alabama, on November 27, 1823, and was married to Nancy C. Dupree, in Macon, Mississippi, on October 19, 1848. He came to Texas in 1848 and settled in Harrison County, and lived there until 1853, when he moved to Fannin County. He purchased a plantation on Red River near his brother, Col. Gid Smith’s farm, and engaged in the practice of medicine and farming until after the war. In the latter years of his life he did not engage regularly in the practice of his profession, but treated only the poor and a few of his old friends and patients.... He was a consecrated and devoted Christian, a zealous member of the Baptist church....

    It is said that if one wished to enjoy true Southern hospitality, especially before the war, all he had to do was to visit Dr. Smith’s home and family on Red River. He owned a large plantation and a good many slaves, and lived in antebellum Southern style.... No one perhaps ever lived a purer, more upright, consistent life, in this county, than Dr. Smith. His home was one of purity, culture and refinement.... 

The Smith Brothers in Tax Rolls

    [Some background]  The year 1860 found...a prosperous and growing condition. Texas had 604,251 people, by the Federal census, an increase of 391,623 during the previous decade, or 184.2 per cent. The increase during the war decade, or from 1860-1870, dropped to 35 per cent. Of the population in 1860, 136,853 were negro slaves, who had been “rendered for taxation” the previous year at a total valuation of $85,630,748, average value “per head” of $625.54.  [from Texas Almanac, 1860]

     The slave wealth of the state overtopped that from any other source, even exceeding the value of land rendered for taxation, and being two and one-half times the value of all the horses and cattle put together.  These figures are of interest as pointing to the sacrifice of wealth which the war was to entail upon Texas alone.  And it is little wonder that, with so much property at stake, short work was made of all “abolition” crusades, whether political or ecclesiastical.  [from Macum Phelan, History of Early Methodism in Texas, 1817-1866)


Gideon Smith:  3,000 acres/$6,000; 22 Negroes/ $10,850; 40 horses, 40 cattle

Total:  $19,050


John C. Smith:  1,918 acres/$8,940; 19 Negroes/$14,000; 37 horses, 35 cattle

Total:  $23,500


Gideon Smith:  1,400 acres/$7,000; 30 Negroes/$15,000; 50 horses, 50 cattle

Total:  $23,950

John C. Smith:  1,918 acres/$8,940; 30 Negroes/$15,000; 50 horses, 35 cattle

Total:  $27,115


Gideon Smith:  1,932/$13,000; 40 Negroes/$20,000; Livestock/$4,550

Total:  $37,550

John C. Smith:  2,460 acres/$17,000; 32 Negroes/$16,000; Livestock/$6,800

Total:  $39,800


Gideon Smith:  1,300 acres/$5,350; 15 horses, 50 cattle, 40 sheep

Total:  $8,735

John C. Smith:  1,761 acres/$3,525; 25 horses, 100 cattle, 40 sheep

Total:  $9,675


Gideon Smith:  1,320 acres/$6,070; 25 horses, 75 cattle, 25 sheep

Total:  $8,075

John C. Smith:  1,769 acres/$7,893; 25 horses, 75 cattle, 25 sheep

Total:  $13,018


Gideon Smith:  1,000 acres/$5,000; 20 horses, 100 cattle

Total:  $6,700

John C. Smith:  1,779 acres/$6,187; 10 horses, 100 cattle, 30 sheep

Total:  $6,632


Gideon Smith:  1,620 acres/$9,400; 10 horses, 75 cattle, 8 mules

Total:  $11,025

John C. Smith:  1,961 acres/$8,371; 4 horses, 200 cattle, 6 mules

Total:  $12,621


[Gideon Smith not found]

John C. Smith:  361 acres/$3,646

Total:  $5,646   

    1884 December 18: Nancy Smith, recently the widow of Dr. John C. Smith, made an “Agreement and Contract” with her brother-in-law, Gideon, recalling 1855 when her husband bought the “east half” of a certain tract “and paid for the same with the separate property of his wife, N. C. Smith.”

    ...whereas a difference has arisen between the said Gideon Smith and the said N. C. Smith wherein said Gideon Smith charges that said line of partition was run at too great a variation of the compass Westward...to compromise and settle...agree that we will employ... County Surveyor to run and locate on the ground and estimate the number of acres... received by each of us in said partition....

    Her obituary in 1906 by J. W. Connolly:

    Mrs. Nancy [Cox] Smith, nee Deupree, was born in Oglethorp county, Ga., April 20, 1830. Her father, [Daniel] Deupree, moved to Pickens county, Alabama, about the year 1832, thence to Noxubee county, Miss., in 1840, where he lived until a few years before his death when he moved to Sherman, Texas, and died while attending the Southern Baptist convention at Columbus, Miss. in 1881.

    Sister Smith was educated at Judson Institute, Marion, Alabama, from which she graduated with honors in 1847. On Oct. 19, 1849, she was united in marriage to Dr. J. C. Smith and moved to Harrison county, Tex., the same year. In 1854, they came to Fannin County and settled on Red River where Dr. Smith engaged in agricultural pursuits and the practice of his profession. His wife was in full sympathy with all his arts of usefulness, and in every way aided him to the extent of her power in all his undertakings. She aided him in his toils, counseled him in his trials, and rejoiced in his success; and when the dark cloud of misfortune settled down upon their home at the close of the civil war, and he felt crushed under the burden of life, she soothed him on with soft words of hope and courage. She professed faith in the Redeemer at the age of fourteen and was baptized into the fellowship of Shorim Baptist church in Miss., by Dr. J. W. Devotie. Through all the years she lived, her life shone brightly with Christian graces, and never was her seat in her church vacant except when she was providentially hindered from attending. Her life was spent in earnest Christian efforts to do all the good within her power, and to make all about her happy....

    She accompanied her husband on his professional visits to the poor families, carrying food, clothes or whatever was needful for the relief and comfort of the sick. The religion which she had so beautifully illustrated in her life, was her chief support in its closing scene. She spoke of death with remarkable calmness and with a foretaste of the brightness and glory of the land of the blest. “Death is nothing,” she would say to her children, “the main thing is to live right and you will die right, and live through the ages amid scenes of unfading joys.”

    She passed away in Christian triumph...May 25, 1906.

    And Joseph Dupree grew up in her home, as explained in the following one page summary in files of the Dupree family: “History of John Calvin Smith and Nancy C. Dupree”:

    The first record of John Calvin Smith was found in a book on the University of Alabama where he was in the third year of school. It also shows a classmate of his, a Louis J. Dupree. Since he [John] later married his sister, Nancy C. Dupree, it is assumed that this was the way they met.... Nancy’s parents were Daniel Dupree and Francina Cox. They [John and Nancy] must have soon moved to Marshall, Texas as they were charter members of the Bathesda Baptist Church, now Woodlawn Baptist Church, along with John’s brother, Gideon. The church was formed July 21, 1850.... Nathan Smith and all his family must have moved to Texas about this time.  They brought with them two orphan children, Joseph and Arabella Dupree, the children of Elizabeth and William Dupree. It is supposed that William was a brother of Nancy. Joseph grew up in John and Nancy’s home....