Smith Family History & Information
John "Peter" Smith (aka Schmitt, Schmit, Schmidt) preferred to go by the name of Peter Smith. He was born on 22 July 1849 in Ohio, maybe Cincinnati, Ohio. His parents were a Anthony Smith and Kate Nickley. They were both born in Germany. There is a good chance that Peter did have siblings but I haven't been able to identify any.
Peter married a Catherine Josephine Botz on April 23, 1874, at St. Augustine Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Catherine Josephine Botz was born February 1855 in Sardinia, Brown County, Ohio. She was baptized March 22 1855 at St. Mary's Church, Arnheim, Ohio. Her parents were Frederick Botz and Margaret Rehler/Reihle. Both were born in Germany. She had four older brothers John (1844); Joseph (1846); Lewis (1849); and George (1852). She was raised on her parent farm and did receive some schooling. When Catherine was about 15 years old, she gave birth (February 1871) to Wilhelmina Botz "Minnie" out of wedlock. As the results of this event, Minnie would stay with her grandparents in Sardinia and Catherine departed. Catherine moved to Cincinnati maybe living with family. In 1873/74, she lived and worked as a servant for the Henry Winkler Family at 965 Central Ave. This is where she met her future husband "Peter Smith" who was employee by Henry Winkler.
At least by the age of 18, Peter had established residence and employment in Cincinnati. His place of employment would normally be near or with a slaughter house, working in the stock yards. His occupation was a bristlecomber. A bristlecomber's job was to scrape the bristle hairs off of mainly the hogs. The bristle hairs were used for making brushes, stuffing for furniture, and for numerous other products of the time. This was Peter's occupation for most of his time when living in Cincinnati. Peter worked for a Henry Winkler, at 965 Central Ave. The Bristle Manufacturing Company, in the years of 1868 thur 1874, and probably for several more years after that. Also, he worked in Camp Washington at 2851 Massachusetts Ave., around the turn of the century for several years. He did have another occupation in his later years when in Cincinnati and that was as a butcher.
Their first residence was at the North West corner of Ernst and Turner, rear of 77 Harrison Ave. This is where their first child was born. Margaret Mary was born April 1875 but unfortunately she passed away August 1876. In March of 1877, while living at 84 Mohawk St., their second child was born. Her name was Catherine Margaret.
In late 1877 or early 1878, Peter and Catherine and their daughter Katey moved to New Baltimore Pike (today Western Ave.) bordering South and North Fairmont. They became members of St. Bonaventure Church on Lick Run Rd. (today Queen City Ave.) South Fairmont. Here they had the majority of their children: George Nicholas (August 1878); Flora Elizabeth (February 1880); Rosa Elizabeth (January 1882); Marian Selm (April 1884); Peter (January 1886) and passed away April 1886); Louis William Gaberial (March 1887); and Mathilda Louisa (March 1889). George through Mathilda were baptized at St. Bonaventure Church and their last name was entered as Schmitt.
Peter became the legal guardian of his step-daughter Minnie Botz on November 29, 1884. His guardianship was suspended on May 22, 1888, when Minnie became the legal age of 18 years.
After Mathilda was born in 1889, the family moved to Sardinia, Brown County, Ohio to establish residence on Frederick Botz old farm (Catherine's father). After Frederick Botz passed away in 1884, the farm was willed to his granddaughter Minnie Botz (Catherine daughter). The transfer of the farm officially took place on December 20, 1888. Minnie was the sole owner of the farm in Sardinia.
Their next child Frederick Jacob was born May 1892 and passed away October 1892. Believe he was born in Sardinia. Unable to find any information on where he was born or pasted away. Then in September 1893, Charles Joseph Leo was born in Sardinia.
Their last child was born in South Fairmont on Lick Run Rd. His name was Henry "Harry" John Smith (my Grandfather) in March 1895. I was told that when my Grandfather was born, Peter and Catherine and some of their older daughters were in Cincinnati. They were working to earn enough money to support the family through another year. It was too late in Catherine's pregnancy to travel back to the farm in Sardinia. So, Harry was born in Cincinnati. He was baptized on March 24, 1895 at St. Bonaventure Church with the recorded name of Henry John Smith. Also, reviewing the birth and death records for Brown County, Ohio, I found his birth posted on June 1895. This happen because the method for reporting births and deaths in Brown County. In June of every year a individual would physically go door to door and ask a member of the household for this information.
In 1897, Catherine Smith became Minnie's legal guardian. Also, on May 29, 1897, the farm was transferred over to Catherine's name. Believe the reason for this action was because it had become apparent that as long as the farm was in Minnie's name the farm was in threat of someone taking it away from her. By the age of 27 and through her whole life, Minnie was considered to be mentally incompetent.
The years between 1898 and 1904, besides having themselves established on the farm in Sardinia, they also had a residence in Cincinnati at 2803 W. McMicken Ave. After 1904, Peter and Catherine would stay on the farm while their older children were starting to established themselves in Cincinnati.
Catherine Josephine (Botz) Smith passed away on September 16, 1909 at the age of 54 years and 7 months. Believe she passed away on the farm in Sardinia. I was unable to find a death certificate in either Brown County or Hamilton County (Cincinnati). On September 18, 1909, Catherine was buried in St. Mary's Cemetery, Arnheim, Ohio.
Catherine's Last Will and Testament left everything to her husband Peter. She gave her boys the first opportunity of buying the farm from the others. Also, she requested that her daughter Minnie be provided with a home by the other children.
Peter and the younger children would remain on the farm until 1912 when his boys Louis, Charles and Harry all departed for Cincinnati to live. This left Peter on the farm with his stepdaughter Minnie and his grandson Herbert Miller (Mary Smith Taeuber son). Over the next five years he would commute back in forth from the farm and Cincinnati. About 1917, Peter, Minnie and Herbert left the farm for good and moved to Cincinnati. Peter would stay with one of his sons or daughters families or nearby and would visit the others who were living nearby. His children were all living in the Mohawk area.
On July 14, 1923, at the age of 74 years and 11 months, John "Peter" Smith passed away. He was living with his daughter and son-in-law Flora and Christopher Weber at 3235 Madison Rd. Cincinnati. Busse and Borgmann Funeral Home handled the funeral and burial service. On July 16, 1923, they shipped his body to St. Mary's Cemetery in Arnhein, Ohio. On July 17, 1923, Peter was buried next to his wife Catherine.
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This page last updated 1 Jan 2007
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