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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:

1.                   John Wesley

Wife: Mary Catherine Smith

2.                   Nancy Caroline

Husband: Benedict Shealy

3.                   Mary Ann--Some relatives believed she died in infancy.

4.                   Sally Ann

Husband: Emanuel Hallman

5.                   James Jefferson

Wife: Marcellar Keisler

6.                   Henry

Wife: Victoria Kyzer

7.                   Daniel

Wife: Victoria Hayes

8.                   Walter A.

Wife: Mary Jane Keisler

9.                   Susan

Husband: Willie W. Hall

10.                Levi

Wife: Jane Hall

11.                 Noah Albert

Wife: Etta Hall

12.                 Mary Catherine

Husband: James Smith

13.                Laura

Husband: 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.

(Photographs)

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

Last updated 20 October 2018