A Partial Biography of Walter A. Smith
by Odell T. Smith

Walter A. Smith was born in September 23, 1856, and died in June 22, 1938. He was one of the outstanding members of Enon Lutheran Church in his lifetime. His wife was the former Mary Jane Keisler. She was born in October 16, 1853, and died July 7, 1919.

They were both buried at Enon Lutheran Church near Leesville, South Carolina.

Walter was a son of William Alexander Smith and Sarah Ann Lewis Smith.

Children of Alexander and Sarah Ann Smith:

        i.    Nancy Caroline. Born on 4 May 1844. Nancy Caroline died on 8 May 1928, she was 84. Nancy Caroline married Benedict Shealy.

        ii.    Mary Ann (Died as Infant). Born  abt 1846.

        iii.    John Wesley. Born on 10 Nov 1846. John Wesley died on 29 Oct 1928, he was 81. John Wesley married Mary Catherine Smith.

        iv.    Sally Ann. Born on 28 Aug 1847. Sally Ann died on 21 Aug 1926, she was 78. Sally Ann married Emanuel Hallman.

        v.    James Jefferson (1849-1936)

        vi.    Henry R.. Born in 1852. Henry R. died in 1883, he was 31. Henry R. married Victoria Kyzer.

        vii.    Daniel Lemuel. Born in 1854. Daniel Lemuel died on 11 Jul 1894, he was 40. Daniel Lemuel married Victoria Hayes.

        viii.    Walter A. (1856-1938)

        ix.    Susan. Born in 1859. Susan died in 1938, she was 79. Susan married Willie W. Hall.

        x.    Emanuel Levi. Born on 14 May 1861. Emanuel Levi died on 23 Oct 1940, he was 79. Emanuel Levi married Jane Hall.

        xi.    Noah Albert (1864-1939)

        xii.    Mary Catherine. Born in 1866. Mary Catherine died in 1903, she was 37. Mary Catherine married James Smith.

        xiii.    Laura. Born on 8 Jun 1869. Laura died on 17 Aug 1969, she was 100. Laura married William Sherman Hall.

It seemed that Walter had a special appetite for custard and pie on these occasions so much, that someone gave him the nickname "Custard Pie," as some of the older relatives recalled. No doubt he responded with a familiar smile and gesture when called by this name.

The ladies, who prepared the food for the occasion, really knew the art of cooking. When the table became laden with so much food such as pies, puddings, custards, cakes, fried chicken, steak, home-made pork sausage, country cured ham, brown biscuits, mixed bread, iced tea, lemonade- ­well, anyone may truthfully say that cooking in those days was unsurpassed by any culinary art.

The older people of the community tell us that his close friends or relatives gave Walter another nickname back in young manhood. It seems the nickname story originated something like this - "Many years ago when pine timber was aplenty and to waste, the pine trees were cut down and burned where land was to be cleared for cultivation. When the trees were cut into log length for easier handling, the able-bodied men would gather around for a "log rolling". They tell of Walter's endurance and stamina when the men would gather for the log rolling. It seemed that many of the logs were lifted and carried by "hand sticks" which were placed across, underneath the log (possibly two to four sticks depending on the size of the log.) Then the men would grasp each end of the hand sticks, lift the log, and carry it to the heap to be burned.

Logrolling required strenuous work. Walter would be going vigorously when his partner in logrolling was almost exhausted. Due to his ruggedness, toughness, and endurance in logrolling and other work to be done, Walter's friends gave him the nickname "Rawhide."

We must mention also Walter's wife, Mary Jane. Aunt Jane, as she was affectionately called, evidently was a hard working lady. The writer remembers as a boy how Aunt Jane at the age of 60, would pick cotton in the community on at least two or more of the neighbor's farms. There one could see piles of cotton dotted here and there over the field that she had picked.

Walter's children had the experience of hard work, too. They cultivated their farmland altogether with mule and plow, which is rarely done nowadays since the advent of the farm tractor. Let's mention at least one of the other types of work the boys did, that is the job of cutting logs and cutting and pealing pulp-wood, and hauling it to the railroad sidetrack and loading it on freight cars.

Let's not forget Walter's daughter, Sarah who carried on the mule and plow farming personally after the death of her first husband. It sounds almost unbelievable for a woman to run the farm and to take care of small children, too. Nevertheless, with a strong will and determination she accomplished her work under almost impossible conditions.

Surely Walter's children each one had the experience of laboring to the limit of their abilities. Here was a family who labored and enjoyed a good honest living. Some of Uncle Walter's children are still living (1965) and working in their senior years.

Children of Walter and Mary Ann Smith:

        i.    Andrew Lawrence (1876-1945)
        ii.    James Franklin (1879-1954)
        iii.    Sarah Ann Elizabeth (1881-1962)
        iv.    Carrie Mattie (1884-1948)
        v.    Bessie Agnes (1888-1955)
        vi.    Clara Bertha (1890-1973)
        vii.    Henry Alexander (1893-1960)
        viii.    Minnie Beulah (1896-1973)


(Originally compiled in 1965 by Odell T. Smith, revised and submitted by David Smith)

Last updated 30 December 2019