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William Berry Smith and Mary Ella Mason

Returning Home

A New Career

1886 USGS map

1915 tax map

Notes

 

This is part of a series of historic structure reports on the historic architecture of Georgia and the Southeast by Tommy H. Jones. It is posted here for educational purposes only and may not be used or reproduced for commercial purposes or without the express permission of the author.

 

 

 

The Civil War wiped out two thirds of the taxable wealth of Georgia, including one third of the value of real estate and 80% of the value of personal property, most of that in the form of slaves. In 1860, the state’s 465,000 slaves had been valued at $302,694,885, twice the valuation of the state’s agricultural lands.[1] Across Georgia after the Civil War, property values fell sharply, compounded by the effects of "the Long Depression” that began in 1873 and, for much of the agricultural South, lasted until the turn of the century.

Robert H. Smith fared better than most in recovering from the war’s losses; but he, too, lost more than 60% of his personal wealth with the loss of his slaves. Nevertheless, he was enumerated with personal wealth of $4,650 in the 1870 Federal census, which was far more than that claimed by most of his neighbors. In addition, he and the rest of DeKalb County had an advantage that many parts of the state did not. Simply because of proximity to Atlanta and the railroads, DeKalb County was somewhat insulated from the plummeting land values experienced elsewhere in the state. Values in Fulton County increased sharply as would be expected by the tremendous growth of Atlanta during that period. Significantly, however, while land values fell by a third in Campbell County, just southwest of Atlanta, and by over 40% in Henry, Cobb, and Gwinnett Counties, in DeKalb County the valuation of real estate fell less than 5% between 1860 and 1870. While some of the white people may have lost the value of their slaves, the citizens of DeKalb County at least did not also lose the value of their land.[2]

Robert H. Smith even saw the value of his own real estate double during the period, partly through purchase of additional acreage elsewhere in the county. Even in September 1866, Smith was able to pay Samuel Davis $600 for his farm along what is now Dresden Drive east of Brookhaven.[3] How he was able to do this and repair the severe damage that his farm certainly suffered is a clear indication that Smith survived the Civil War in better shape than many of his contemporaries. His older brother William R. Smith died in September 1865, intestate, so we do not know if, once again, Robert H. Smith benefitted, if only indirectly, from his brother’s generosity. The estate was administered by Charles H. “Bill Arp” Smith and William’s widow Annie E. Smith. In addition to twelve land lots on the northeast side of Rome, the estate included forty shares of stock in the Rome Railroad.[4]

By 1867, Robert and Elizabeth Smith’s youngest son, Jasper Newton Smith, was dead, too. The muster rolls indicate that he continued in service throughout the war but that he was “detailed to Georgia” to buy a horse in February 1864. The last entry in his company records, dated 20 September 1864, shows him still on “horse detail” in Georgia. A photograph of him in Confederate uniform has survived, but both the date of Jasper’s death and the place of his burial have been lost. He died intestate and his brother-in-law Michael Steele was appointed executor of his estate in September 1867.[5] Perhaps Jasper Smith was lost in battle and the family waited till 1867 to settle his affairs; one of Robert Medlock's brothers was severely wounded and thought lost for many months. Although he survived a bought of dysentery in 1862, there was a host of other diseases and accidents that could have claimed his life. And as with any war, the Civil War produced its share of veterans who were simply unable to cope with the horrors of war and the return to civilian life. Robert Medlock’s older brother, Thomas, for instance, committed suicide while home on furlough in 1864. wounded and thought lost for months.[6] The circumstances of Jasper’s death remain unknown.[7]

The inventory of Jasper Smith’s estate, taken in November 1867, included his land in Land Lots 107 and 108, his buggy, and crops, but no household goods or farm implements.[8] In the fall of 1868, Jasper’s farm was finally sold, with Henry West buying the land in Land Lot 107 and 108 and James Washington Smith buying back the twenty-five acres in Land Lot 4 that he had sold his brother in 1857. Michael Steele continued to administer Jasper’s estate until it was finally settled in 1870 but, in the meantime, when his and Martha’s fifth child was born in November 1868, they named him in honor of her late brother. Leslie Jasper Steele grew up to become mayor of Decatur and was a U. S. Congressman when he died in 1929.[9]

Figure 1. Rock Spring Presbyterian Church, where many of the Smith family are buried.

Then, in December 1868, Dr. Nathaniel Smith died in LaGrange, leaving Robert H. Smith the only one of old Robert Smith’s sons still alive. Dr. Smith, too, died without leaving a will, which is somewhat surprising considering his age and circumstances in life. His passing was marked by a lengthy obituary in the LaGrange Reporter on 8 January 1869. He, too, probably left an extensive estate although there is no reason to believe that his brother received any portion of it.

In January 1869, Robert Smith bought another farm, this time from the estate of Robert W. Cobb in south DeKalb County, but he sold it the following year.[10] Two years later, Smith bought more acreage from Roland and Rebecca Hines in eastern DeKalb County.[11] Although Robert Smith, along with everybody else, had lost a significant part of his personal wealth with emancipation of the slaves, he still managed to increase the remainder of his estate through the difficult decade of the 1860s. He continued farming, although not as productively as he had before the war. By 1870, he was sixty-eight years old and probably semi-retired, since he had no working oxen or mules listed in the agricultural census of that year. He, like many former slave owners, probably had replaced his slave labor with tenant or sharecropper arrangements, either with some of his ex-slaves or with other landless neighbors. In return for the use of his land, he received either money or a share of the crop.

It must have been a blow to Robert and Elizabeth Smith when their oldest son, James Washington Smith, died in November 1874 at the age of forty-seven. While Robert and his father had both lived long lives, James was the third of their six children to die prematurely. He, too, died intestate and left seven children, the youngest less than ten years old, and it is likely that Robert and Elizabeth Smith helped his widow Emily considerably in caring for them.[12]

By the following spring, Robert Hiram Smith’s health was failing and on 22 April 1875, he made his last will and testament, appointing his sons-in-law Robert O. Medlock and Michael Steele executors of his estate. A week later, Robert Smith was dead. He was buried at Rock Spring Church next to his son James Washington Smith.

In June 1875, Robert Smith’s will was proven and recorded in DeKalb County Probate Court.[13] The only property specifically mentioned was the “John Shambly old place” in Gwinnett County, which included 270 acres in Land Lot 184 and 185, 6th District. Lying along Beaver Ruin Road where it crosses Beaver Ruin Creek, the land was left as a life estate for his “beloved wife Elizabeth.” His widow also received “one black horse buggy and bridle,” her choice of household furniture, one year’s financial support, and $500. The remainder of his property, Robert Smith directed, was to be sold, his debts paid, and the residue divided “equally with all my heirs.”

An inventory was made of the estate by J. W. F. Tilley, D. Y. Hicks, James Polk, and W. R. Peavy.[14] In addition to a carriage and a wagon, the inventory included a large lot (probably all) of his farming and blacksmith tools, his guns, the small amount of livestock that he owned, two bales of lint cotton and a large lot of corn. No household furniture or other possessions were inventoried since Elizabeth was still living in the house, but the inventory does include twenty-four promissory notes from friends, neighbors, and family that totaled $6,833.35. Although one of the notes was for only $4.92, several were for $500 or more, with one to William Wright for $725. Also inventoried were $1824.50 in silver and gold coins and $1018.25 in United States currency, a significant amount of money in the depressed agricultural economy of the 1870s.

On 27 July 1875, all of the farm implements and perishable property from the estate were sold at auction. On December 1, the remainder of the personal property was auctioned, including the produce from that year’s fall harvest. None of the Smith family made purchases at this sale, although some of Smith’s neighbors did. It was nearly two years, however, before Robert and Elizabeth Smith’s farm itself was finally sold. Their second son, William Benjamin, died in 1876 in Cherokee County, Alabama, and James’ widow may have had a difficult time financially during that period. By that summer, the family had begun sorting out powers of attorney and individual interests in Robert Smith's estate and, by the end of June 1877, had subdivided it for sale.

The bulk of the property was sold to Robert H. Richards for $3120, with Emily Smith, Thomas Paden, and others buying smaller portions of the land.[15] Included in Richards' purchase were Land Lot 156, including the house and other outbuildings, all of Land Lot 152 except its southeast quarter, and the southwest quarter of Land Lot 157. Richards, a well-known Atlanta attorney, was already familiar with the farm, since he had bought a large lot of fodder, corn, and potatoes at the final auction of Robert Smith’s estate in December 1875. His real interest was speculative, however, and he immediately sold the farm to William G. Herndon for $3500. It is possible that Herndon made improvements to the house during this period since he was able to sell the property again less than a month later for $4500. The new owners, who presumably lived on the premises, were Sarah E. Simmons and her children Brantley, Lewis W., Charles C., and Henry T.[16]

Figure 2. Detail from Rice's map of Fulton County, 1872, showing vicinity of James Washington Smith's property in Land Lots 4, 50, and 55. (Atlanta History Center)

 

William Berry Smith and Mary Ella Mason

The eldest of the seven children of James Washington Smith and Emily Harriet Wynne was William Berry Smith, born in 1857 at their log house on Cheshire Bridge Road. Although he left no reminiscences of his early days nor did Tullie record any, as she did with her mother, William’s childhood was also marked by the trauma of civil war. Like his father’s, James Washington Smith’s farm was in the direct line of march and encampment in the summer of 1864, if it was not torn by actual battle.

There was apparently a school at Rock Springs to which William was probably sent. The school property is noted on early twentieth century plats of the area directly across what is now Piedmont Road from Rock Spring Church and may have been originally established on Smith lands. With his father’s death in the spring of 1875, the 18-year-old William would have certainly had additional responsibilities in helping his mother run the farm. In 1876, the last of his uncles, William Benjamin Smith, died in Cherokee County, Alabama, and by the following spring the family decided to sell the Smith homestead on the old road to Powers Ferry. Considering subsequent events and his probable past associations with the place, the partitioning and sale of his grandfather’s farm must have been a source of some pangs of sentiment to the young William. In August 1878, his mother sold the last of her inherited share of the property, perhaps in part to pay for her son’s education. For the first time since the county was settled, Smiths no longer owned land on Powers Ferry Road.

When William Berry Smith graduated from North Georgia Agricultural College in Dahlonega in 1880, a college education of any sort was still a rare thing except among the most prosperous families. It may have been as early as the spring of 1876 but more probably in the fall of 1878, that he enrolled at the new college in Dahlonega, one of several state-supported “branch colleges” that were organized in the 1870s.[17] Now known as North Georgia College and State University, the college was a two year school that, in the eyes of one pro-ponent of its establishment, provided a much-needed alternative to “that Scotch-Irish preacher’s college of Latin, Greek, &c” in Athens, Georgia.[18]

On 15 January 1879, William Berry Smith married Mary Ella Mason, the little girl who with her mother had walked to his grandfather Smith’s house the night that Sherman burned Atlanta. The daughter of William Pinkney Mason and his wife Mary Ann Amanda Chandler, she had attracted attention as a child for her ability to recite multiplication tables “backwards and forwards,” according to her obituary. By 1870, she was “assisting her teachers with their classes, in order to acquire a better knowledge of grammar and geography and other subjects. By 1874, “she had a school of her own, with thirty-six pupils.”[19]

About 1878, Mary Ella Mason decided to give up teaching and went to Atlanta “with another girl her age” to study “the art of dressmaking from a modiste, Mlle. Labon, who lately had come to this city from New York.” It was during this time that her lifelong friendship with William Berry Smith blossomed into marriage. Whether Mary went back to Dahlonega with William while he finished school is not known, but the couple lived with his widowed mother for the first two years of their marriage. Life could not have been easy for Emily Smith, especially when her youngest son, James Washington Smith Jr., died in December 1879 at the age of ten. In spite of the difficulties, William Berry Smith managed to get a college education, a notable accomplishment for anyone in those days, and he graduated in the spring of 1880.

In November 1880, Smith sold the fifty acres at Rock Springs that he had inherited from his father as well as a house on Larkin Street in Atlanta. The Rock Springs property was mostly north and east of the intersection of Rock Springs Road and Plaster Bridge Road (now Piedmont Avenue) near the one-acre tract on which the Rock Spring Church had been built ten years before. It was all part of Land Lot 50 that Robert Hiram Smith had bought in 1845, about the time he moved to DeKalb County.[20]

In April 1881, William and Mary Ella Smith’s first child was born. The two-room house that he built about this time, probably on Land Lot 50 near his mother, was no doubt in anticipation of his new family. Joy was short-lived, however, as the baby, named Vinnie Ella, died on 29 July 1881.[21]

 

Returning Home

In November 1881, William Berry Smith realized what was, perhaps, a dream that he had held for several years when he brought back into the family Land Lot 156, the core of his grandfather Smith’s old farm in DeKalb County.[22] He had to pay $4,000 for the land lot even though the family had gotten only $3120 when they sold it and another 200 acres only four years earlier. By the end of the year, he and Mary Ella had moved from their new, but small house on Plaster Bridge Road into his grandfather’s old house in the country.[23]

Atlanta in the 1880s and 1890s was a long way from the backwoods crossroads that it had been when the Smiths first came to DeKalb County in the 1820s. Now it was the state capital and the “Gate City of the South,” with a population that rose from less than 40,000 in 1880 to over 65,000 ten years later. Slowly the area’s old antebellum farmers and their children were beginning to profit from something other than a good crop of cotton. Meredith Collier’s sons, for instance, were still farming along Peachtree Road, but by the end of the nineteenth century, their real estate proved to be their real avenue to prosperity. One by one, the area's antebellum farms disappeared. In 1887, Benjamin Walker, an old neighbor of James Washington Smith, sold all of his 189-acre farm, which was part of the land that his father, Samuel Walker, had bought in 1834, to the newly-formed Gentlemen’s Driving Club. That October, the old Walker house, which was built to replace an older house destroyed during the war, officially opened its doors as the clubhouse for the Piedmont Driving Club. At the same time, the city’s second Piedmont Exposition opened where Sam Walker’s old cornfields had been and where Piedmont Park is today.

The effects of this growth were being felt in DeKalb County, too, when Shole’s Gazetteer of 1886 described Decatur:

[a] suburb of Atlanta, 6 miles northeast of that city. It is celebrated for its healthy and pleasant surroundings, excellent society, and pure water. Many of the business and professional men of Atlanta have their homes here, it being easily accessible by rail . . . . 900 inhabitants, three white churches— Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian— two colored—Baptist and Methodist . . . a weekly paper. . . mail daily.[24]

Whether or not Smith intended to be a farmer, as his ancestors before him had been, is not known. His agricultural college education surely exposed him to the latest in agricultural practices but it is not at all clear that Smith actually farmed himself after the early 1880s. It seems likely that Smith, like so many others during the period, allowed tenant farmers to work his land, leaving him free to pursue other business opportunities.[25]

In March 1883, he paid his neighbor Francis L. Guess, son of the old pioneer and long-time Smith neighbor James Guess, $600 for fifty acres adjoining Smith’s property along the south side of Peachtree Creek, “subject to a right-of-way already granted W. J. Houston and F. L. Guess.” The Houston tract included James Guess’ old mill site, which would have included the old mill itself, if it was still standing.26] Hudgins, in his modern account of DeKalb County mills, credits William Berry Smith and Maj. Washington J. Houston with operating a “corn and wheat mill” there and Tullie’s notes, as quoted by Sparks, indicate that he not only had a grist mill but a cotton gin as well.[27] Major Houston is better-known for the larger mill that he operated, part of which is still standing on Houston Mill Road north of Decatur.

In 1886, a second child was born to the Smiths, and for her they chose the unusual name of Tullie Vilenah. The middle name, which has often been misspelled, is certainly in honor of Mary Ella’s oldest sister, Vilenah Antoinette Mason, who had died earlier that year. The first name is an old Irish name, made famous by Tully Castle in County Fermanagh, the scene of a notorious massacre of Protestants on Christmas Day, 1641, during an uprising that began the Irish Confederate Wars. It was not a common first name, but at least ten girls and fifteen boys who were born in Georgia in the 1870s were named "Tullie" or "Tully." Her name might have honored Tully Choice, who with his brother Ezrus Choice was among the early pioneers in Gwinnett County. They operated a store on Peachtree Road just across the county line and in the 1820s, moved to Decatur and opened another store. Tully Choice served as state senator from DeKalb County in 1826-1827. In the end, the name was not as odd as it might appear today.[28]

William and Mary Smith must have seen a certain amount of prosperity during this period, which enabled them to buy additional land adjacent to Land Lot 156 and perhaps to start other business ventures. In November 1888, they bought 84½ acres from their neighbor John T. Tuggle, whose father Ludowick Tuggle had helped pioneer DeKalb County in the 1820s. The Tuggles continued to operate their dairy at the corner of N. Druid Hills and Briarcliff Roads until well into the twentieth century.

The land Smith bought lay south of the parcel that he bought from Frank Guess in 1883 and, with an additional purchase from Guess of six acres “along the public wagon road” in 1890, brought the Smith farm to a total of about 350 acres.[29] That same year, 1890, the Smiths’ second child, Ralph Washington Smith was born and, two years later, their third child, Ethel Gertrude Smith. Two more children followed: Mary Willie in 1895 and Edward Mason, in 1899.[30]

Figure 3. Detail from U.S.G.S. map, 1886-1887, annotated with an arrow to indicate location of Robert Smith's old farm. (Author's Collection)

 

A New Career

By that time, Smith was clearly no longer farming himself but had gone into partnership with Henry T. Head and opened a coal yard on Edgewood Avenue. Located between Bell and Fort Streets, Smith operated the yard until about 1900. Tullie also wrote that he “had a brick yard near Decatur on the Powell’s place,” which would have been somewhere near what is now Clairmont and N. Decatur roads.[31] No other details of these business ventures have been documented.

During that period, the Smiths began to live, at least some of the time, nearer Atlanta. In 1890, they were listed in the Atlanta city directory as living in the “county” and, in 1899, in the “country," which could have been anywhere outside the city limits. In 1900, the Federal census enumerated them in Copenhill, one of the city’s first “street-car suburbs” and not yet part of the city proper.[32]

In 1889, Joel Hurt’s suburban development Inman Park, serviced by the city’s first electric street car line, opened on the antebellum farm of his cousin Troup Hurt on the Decatur Road two miles east of Five Points. The next year, on cousin Augustus Hurt’s farm to the north, rival developers began development of Copenhill and opened the “Nine Mile Circle,” the city’s second electric car line. In the 1890s, the real estate market boomed across the northeast side of Atlanta.

Probably because he was now operating a business, in 1891, William Berry Smith transferred title to the farm to his wife, who subsequently seems to have held title to all of the family’s property. In 1892, Mary Ella Smith sold sixty-eight acres of their land in Land Lot 155 to John W. Englett for $4500, a considerable profit for an investment of less than $1000 ten years earlier. She still owned the eastern half of Land Lot 4, 17th District, that William R. Smith had given to Robert Hiram Smith in the 1840s and his sons had farmed in the 1850s and 1860s, as well as parts of the adjacent Land Lots 50 and 5, most of which was still undeveloped farm and wood land. [33]

William Berry Smith may have worked as a carpenter around 1892, if the 1893 city directory listing is correct. His father was a carpenter, according to family tradition, and it would not be surprising that William tried his hand at that as well. However, William’s listings in the Atlanta City Directories in the 1890s vary as to occupation and include that of railroad conductor. Out of this variety of experience grew a career as a general contractor, which was his given occupation in the 1900 Federal census. Later, his contract work focused on what is now called “site preparation” but then was called simply “grading.”

Figure 4. Detail from 1900 Federal census of Fulton County, annotated with an arrow to locate "Tula V. Smith."

 

Figure 5. Detail from 1920 Federal census of Yadkin County, North Carolina, annotated with an arrow to locate William B. and Mary Ella Smith and their two sons Ralph and Ed. Tullie has not been located in the 1920 census.

By the time city directory information was compiled in 1908, the Smiths were residing on N. Highland Avenue just north of North Avenue. According to Tullie’s notes, her father built an eleven-room house where they lived “after Mrs. Mason died,” which was in 1894. The city directory listings from 1891 until 1908 are erratic since that section of Highland Avenue, which was then only beginning to develop, but Tullie wrote that it was “on Highland and Blue Ridge.” In the city directories, it appears as old 740 Highland Avenue in the years just before World War I. According to Tullie’s family, the Smiths ultimately treated the old farm house as country or weekend retreat, since the Highland Avenue location would have been more convenient not only for William’s work but also for the children’s schooling.[34]

Smith was active in the development of several Atlanta neighborhoods, including Ansley Park, development of which began in 1904 on part of George Washington Collier’s old farm on Clear Creek, and perhaps Peachtree Heights Park, which began development four years later on Wesley Gray Collier’s several hundred acres on Peachtree Road north of Peachtree Creek. The subdivision of the Smiths’ old lands in Land Lots 4 and 50 was also underway by that time, including the opening of what is now Lenox Road between Rock Springs and Cheshire Bridge roads through the property around 1914.[35]

After a hiatus during World War I but fueled by the great increase in automobile ownership in the 1920s, suburban development mushroomed in that decade. Ansley Park was built out in that decade along with much of Morningside and the beginnings of Johnson Estates. The old farm houses, some of them antebellum, fell one by one; and the Johnsons, the Walkers, and the Todds all had their old family cemeteries exhumed and relocated.[36]

About 1915, the Smiths “broke up house-keeping,” as Tullie wrote, at the Highland Avenue house and returned to the country house. She said nothing of Ben Mitchell's death that same year. They apparently kept the in-town house but did not rent it, and it burned, along with “things” they had stored there, sometime before 1920. By that time, Smith’s grading business had taken him to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lived at least part of the time and had the headquarters for his business. In 1920, the Federal census enumerated him with his wife and two sons in residence in Yadkin County, North Carolina, twenty or thirty miles east of Winston-Salem, apparently in a boarding house that housed his road crew. Although this portion of his career has not been thoroughly researched, this may have been the period when he contracted for grading the Daniel Boone Highway, one of a series of early Federal highway projects.[37]

In 1924, William Berry Smith was taken ill and, on August 24, died in “a private sanitarium” in Charlotte. The body was[38] transported back to Atlanta where H. M. Patterson’s handled the funeral. With Reverend Russell K. Smith officiating, William was buried in Decatur Cemetery next to his wife’s parents.

Figure 6. Detail from the DeKalb County tax map in 1915, showing the vicinity of the old Smith farm in DeKalb County. Note the route of the high-tension electrical lines traversing the Smiths' Land Lot 156. (Atlanta History Center)

 

 

Notes

1. Compare 1860 and 1870 census summaries.

2. See census summaries.

3. DeKalb County, Deed Book P, p. 487.

4. Aycock, p. 470.

5. DeKalb County, Estate #3234; Minute Book B, p. 383 & 398.

6. McCabe, p. 341.

7. The cemetery at Rock Spring Church is thought by some to have had its beginnings in the 1860s before the church was founded. Perhaps Jasper Newton Smith was buried there, raising the intriguing possibility of the present Rock Spring Cemetery having its beginnings in a Smith family cemetery.

8. DeKalb County, Inventory and Appraisements, Book D, p. 436, Book E, p. 45, 47, 63, 75; Returns, Book E, p. 31, 133, 169.

9. U. S. Government Printing Office, “Memorial Services Held in the House of Representatives . . . Leslie J. Steele,” 1930, DeKalb Historical Society archives.

10. DeKalb County, Deed Book G(Q), p. 344, 426.

11. DeKalb County, Deed Book R, p. 154.

12. 99, 497, 590.

13. DeKalb County, Estate #3252, Will Book B, p. 51-53.

14. DeKalb County, Inventory and Appraisements, Book E, p. 314-315.

15. DeKalb County, Deed Book U, p. 332; W, p. 383-384; V, p. 577.

16. DeKalb County, Deed Book T, p. 518. The Eleanor Simmons listed in the 1850 census, Town District #54 near the Smiths, might be related to these Simmons.

17. According to the college’s Alumni Office, the date of beginning classes may be the result of an automatic entry when the historic data was computerized and can, therefore, not be considered absolutely reliable.

18. William Ivy Hair, A Centennial History of Georgia College (Milledgeville, 1979), p. 6.

19. "Mrs. Mary Ella Smith Dies at ‘House on the Hill,” Atlanta Journal, October 29, 1935.

20. Fulton County, Deed Book FF, p. 435, 567.

21. See Sparks, Atlanta Journal and Constitution Magazine, November 8, 1969, p. 22.

22. DeKalb County, Deed Book X, p. 7-8.

23. Sparks, p. 22.

24. Shole’s Gazetteer, 1886-1887, p. 476.

25. The 1926 plat of the property shows two houses on the property marked “tenant houses.”

26. Sherman’s orders to destroy mills, etc., specifically excluded the many small mills, like Guess’, that were primarily for local consumption.

27. DeKalb County, Deed Book X, p. 10; Plat Book 15, p. 139; Hudgins, p. 14.

28. Willard, p. 27. A Tully Choice, probably father or uncle of the Decatur storekeeper, was one of the first nine militia district captains in Hancock County, in 1793. Also interesting is the notation in Battey, p. 257: “William R. Smith’s ‘Continental Shop’ was on the corner above the Choice House” in Rome, Georgia. A search of the 1880 Federal census was used to identify the children within five years of Tullie's birth who shared her first name.

29. DeKalb County, Deed Books Land Lot, p. 155; BB, p. 268; and 227, p. 269.

30. Continued contact with Ed Smith, Jr., and his sister Jean Smith Holman may eventually produce some of the documentation that Andrew Sparks’ quoted in his 1969 newspaper article as well as more information about the families of her brothers and sisters.

31. Sparks, p. 22.

32. See Atlanta City Directories. Note the presence of another William B. Smith in the directories from the 1890s.

33. DeKalb County, Deed Book DD, p. 497-8; FF, p. 747.

34. Interview with Edward M. Smith, Jr., in November 1996. The block is not included on the 1911 Sanborn.

35ton County Plat Book 6, p. 38-39, “Proposed Road from Highland Avenue to Cheshire Bridge Road,” filed 1913.

36. William Berry Smith’s nephew Edward M. Smith, Jr., state involvement with Ansley Park and Morningside.

37. See obituary, Atlanta Constitution and Atlanta Journal, August 25, 1924.

38. Ibid.

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