Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Joseph L. Smith, Marble Works Proprietor

The first time I encountered a reference to Joseph L. Smith was on the inscription above, found on the Scheufler monument at Sandusky's Oakland Cemetery. I decided to do some digging, and see if I could learn more about J. L. Smith, who created this majestic monument, to honor the memory of two well respected railroad employees who died tragically in 1870.

J.L. Smith is listed on page 119 of the 1867 McKelvey's Sandusky City Directory. He had a marble works business at 26 Wayne Street in Sandusky, and he resided at 66 Market Street. In the 1870 U.S. Census, Joseph Smith is listed as age 34, and occupation: marble cutter. He was married to Mary, age 20. Youngsters named Libbie, age 5, and George, age 16, also resided in the Joseph Smith household. The birthplace of Joseph Smith, marble cutter, was listed as Germany, though other sources indicate he was born in Ohio.

By 1880, Joseph L. Smith, marble dealer, was residing in Massillon, Stark County, Ohio, with his wife Mary and daughter Elizabeth. Moving ahead twenty years to the 1900 U.S. Census, Joseph L. Smith, marble cutter, is still residing in Massillon, Ohio. He is aged 60 at this time, but in 1900 his household consisted of himself, a wife named Susan, and a daughter named Mary. In 1910, Joseph L. Smith of Massillon, Ohio stated he was in the granite work profession. He gave his age as 68. Other members of the household in 1910 were: his wife Susana, age 41; and daughters, Mary, age 11; Henrietta, age 9; Frances, age 7; and Amelia, age 5.

On November 10, 1911, Joseph L. Smith died in Massillon, Ohio, from intestinal problems. His death certificate, a portion of which is pictured below, indicated that he was the son of Nicholas Smith, a native of Germany. Joseph L. Smith was aged 71 years, 5 months, and 2 days at the time of his death.

An obituary which appeared in the Fremont Daily News on November 11, 1911, reported that Joseph L. Smith, the Massillon marble works proprietor, had died suddenly on November 10. His remains were brought to Fremont on the train, and Joseph L. Smith was buried in the St. Joseph's Cemetery in Fremont. The article stated that Mrs. Helen Blosier of Fremont was the sister of Joseph L. Smith. Mr. Smith was buried in the St. Mary portion of St. Joseph's Cemetery, but today no stone remains. Mr. Smith worked diligently through the years, and though he had lived and worked in both Erie and Stark Counties, Ohio, he was buried in Sandusky County, Ohio.

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