I am looking for descendants of Joseph J. Smith Jr. I am hoping to find information about the grandparents of Joseph J. Smith Jr.: Amanda Stephens and Alexander Smith. I am particularly interested in a date of death for Amanda (Stephens) Smith who may have died about 1900 in Birmingham. Does a Family bible exist? According to the following obituary Joseph had a son named Al who resided in Meridian in 1946.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Laurel T. Baty, CG (SM)
Meridian (Mississippi) Star, 9 November 1946, page 1, column 4
DEATH TO BROKER
Joe Smith Suffers Stroke; Former member of Cleveland Team
After an illness of a few hours, Joseph Judson Smith, 69, died in St. Joseph Hospital Friday at 3 p.m. He suffered a stroke Thursday afternoon and was taken immediately to the hospital.
Born in Jackson Tenn., April 1876, Mr. Smith came to Meridian when he was only 28 and had resided here for 41 years where he was connected with the brokerage business.
“Joe Smith” as he was affectionately called by hundreds of friends who knew and loved him well, occupied a unique place in Meridian. He was a business man of remarkable ability, was a great lover of sports, devoted much of his time to helping those less fortunate than himself and was a devout member of the First Baptist church.
Survivors are his wife, Mrs. Emma B. Smith; a daughter, Mrs. J. P. Henry, Ruleville; two sons, Joseph J. Smith, Jr., Washington; Al J. Smith, Meridian; two sisters, Mesdames Nettie Pierce and Latham Gully, Bessemer, Ala., seven grandchildren, several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at the residence, 2432 Poplar Springs Drive, Saturday at 3 p. m. with Dr. Norman W. Cox, pastor of the First Baptist church officiating. Burial will follow in Magnolia cemetery.
Active pallbearers: Dr. J. T. Bailey, J. A. Lacour, A. D. Royals, Joe Street, Harry Causey, David Owen, J. C. Floyd and Tom Elkin. Honorary—Orville Clark, Julian Rush, Arthur Merrell, Norman Cohen, Lamar Lyle, John T. Lyle, M. L. Cook, J. W. Goodwin, Clint Vinson, R. W. Sturges, Adolph Niclon, Ernest Johnson, E. S. Kean, Drs. E. E. Robinson and Lowry Rush.
When he was a lad, Mr. Smith went to work with the Western Union as a messenger boy in Birmingham. Through his interest and alertness in telegraphy he became an operator with the company. Later he became associated with The Associated Press as operator and as such covered many of the leading sports and other events of those days.
Always keenly interested in sports he was once a member of the Cleveland, Ohio baseball team and at one time was recognized as a champion bicycle racer, competing in events all over the United States. Mr. Smith was one of the promoters of the first college football game ever played here.
Liked to Fish
An ardent fisherman, Mr. Smith spent many hours in this recreation. He was a former member of the Rotary Club.
With a deep conviction that he owed much to his fellowman, Mr. Smith went about doing good and served where he found a need. Although his charities were manifold he was always modest and was not one to exploit his kind deeds.
The finest tribute that could be paid one man by another was said of him Saturday by one who was quite close to him, “Joe Smith’s body may die but his influence will live on in the lives and hearts of others.”
Men such as Joe Smith are those who make the communities in which they live better places and make this world a better place in which to live.