Among those at the funeral of Thiddo Smith were his brothers, from left to right, Robert DeWitt, J. D., Henry Amos, and Charles Evan, all now deceased.

Handsome men, sweet women, a little craziness

James Henry "Jim" and Rosa Alice "Rosie" Smith had eight children, only one of whom is still living:

1. Flonnie Belle Smith
was born in 19 January1913 and died on the operating table in a Rome, Georgia hospital on 7 October 1985 at the age of 72. She had a brain tumor and it had affected her sense of balance, such that she would fall unexpectedly. Flonnie also had a severe case of hardening of the arteries and wore wool gloves and socks indoors and out in her old age. The actual cause of death was heart failure.

She had a vision of seeing her mother, holding a child, while she was in the hospital. She is buried in the East View Cemetery in Adairsville next to her husband, Ed Dugger.
Flonnie was a wonderful person to know. She was sweet and kind, and cackled when she laughed. She was also a great cook, like her mother, as I have noted elsewhere. One of my favorite memories is going on a trip with Flonnie and Ed to Cloudland Canyon. Flonnie made a bunch of fried apple pies for the trip and I ate all the fried apple pies I wanted. She also made these magnificent coconut cakes. They would be three to five layers arranged in tiers, with coconut in the icing, and half-slices of cherries spaced out on the tiers.
Flonnie was also a very talented quilter. In 1976, she made several American Flag quilts, which were spectacular. One day I asked her if she had one I could have, and she said no, but she gave me a “morning glory” quilt which is absolutely gorgeous. She is on the far left in the attached photo. She is quilting at the Great Locomotive Festival in Adairsville in April 1976.

She married Edgar Eugene Dugger, who was born 9 February 1914 and who died 17 January 1970
of a heart attack while at work in Brighton Mills in Shannon, Georgia. They had three children. One, Eva Ivanelle, died young, and the other two are still living.

Ed and Flonnie married 20 August 1928 according to the records, but that would make both of them very young. Ed worked for the textile mill in Shannon, Georgia, and for years they lived in the mill village. At the time, I think it was called Brighton Mills, but the village has long been known simply as Shannon Village.

Ed was the son of William Franklin "Frank" Dugger, born July 1873 in Tennessee and died 3 November 1936 in Murray County, Georgia, and Hulda Magnolia Holloway, born 1870 in Georgia and died 22 February 1928 in Murray County. After Magnolia's death, Frank married
Mattie Turner Scott, born 1895, in 1930 in Murray County.
William Franklin and Hulda Magnolia Holloway Dugger’s known children included:
– Joseph H. Dugger, born 7 August 1894, probably in Murray County.
– Annie E. Dugger, born 18 August 1895, probably in Murray County.
– Alice Dugger, born 17 July 1797 in Murray County.
– Dora M. Dugger, 26 March 1906 in Murray County.  
– William Dan Dugger, born 3 September 1908, probably in Murray County.
– Minnie Lou Dugger, born 6 July 1911, probably in Murray County.
– Edgar Eugene.
– Floyd Lee Dugger, born 2 April 1916 in Murray County.
– Emma Dugger, born 1919 in Murray County.
The Dugger line can be traced back to John Dugger, born 1670 in Scotland. His father was Thomas Dujer, of which nothing else is known.

For a time, my sister and I regularly played canasta with Ed and his daughter in 1964. It was a lot of fun because we were all pretty evenly matched.

Edgar was a “Mercury man,” that is, he preferred Mercury automobiles. When we went to Cloudland Canyon, we did it in a 1953-55 Mercury sedan.

Flonnie and Ed also had a dog named Ship that they got sometime when their second daughter was a baby. The dog was a great old long-hair shepherd, black and white, and he lived to be 17 or 18. One day, Ed said he missed him. He went looking for him and found him lying in the woods a short distance behind the house. Ship had gone off to die.

Flonnie Belle Smith Dugger, in the foreground at left, loved to quilt. Here she and some of her friends are putting on a display of quilting at the Great Locomotive Chase Festival in Adairsville, Georgia, in 1976.

2. Robert Dewitt Smith, called Robert. I only met him a few times. He was an imposing man who looked a little like Clark Gable (several of the men in the family favored him, especially Henry Amos below).

Robert owned his own manufacturing plant. I think it was a carpet plant. He was known for his greed when it came to money.

Robert was born 21 June 1916 in Adairsville, Georgia, and died 26 November 2002 in Dalton, Georgia, at the age of 86. His wife was Wynelle Aaron, born 1 August 1920 in Adairsville and died 20 July 2005 in Plainville, Georgia, at the age of 84. Wynelle was the daughter of Bright Monroe Aaron and Ella Moss.

Bright Monroe Aaron was born about 1883 and Ella Moss in 1885. Both were born in Georgia of parents born in Georgia. In 1920, they are living on Hotel Street in Adairsville. They are living near Factory Street, but there is no street of that name in Adairsville today. It could be another name for Railroad Street. Bright is a salesman in a retail grocery, and their neighbors include other retail employees, a druggist, and various workers for the railroad, a planing mill, and “cotton and grain.” Hotel Street is a residential street that dead-ends into Railroad Street downtown.

In 1930, he is a farmer and they are living on the “Rome and Adairsville Road” (Highway 140) very close to the Dixie Highway (U. S. 41).

Bright and Ella had four other children: Daisy born 1906, who married a Cochran, Leon born 1907, Waldo born 1909,  and R. T. born 1912, all in Georgia.
Robert DeWitt and Wynelle Aaron had two children, both of whom are still living.

Charles Evan Smith and Ellie Fair Howell. This photo was taken at the time they wed in 1941.

3. Charles Evan Smith, called Evan. He was a tall, fair-haired and robust looking man, but I don’t know quite how to describe his personality. He had this quality about him of intensity and anxiety, with penetrating eyes, and even when he laughed it was like he was under some kind of pressure. His voice had a whine to it, not a dialect, but a sort of overtone.

He joined the military during World War II, but got “turned out” according to his sister, still living, for having a “one-track mind.” His military records said, “monomania.”

A Charles E. Smith, 24, was among those in the New Orleans Passenger Lists arriving 11 August 1941 from Cristobal, Canal Zone, in New Orleans on a ship named the Cefalu. T(905_178) is the National Archives Series Number for this record. I don’t know if this is Evan or not, but the name and age match.

Evan worked for a cabinet company in Rome about all his life. I think it was Fox Manufacturing. When he retired – after 25 years – they said thanks and gave him a gold watch. Hoorah!

His wife, Ellie Fair Howell, was a short, stocky woman, and affable, but she had a sort of doll-like face that seemed a little scrunched up all the time. My recollection is that she was pretty religious; I remember her dressed up to go to church. She and Evan were members of the Beech Creek Church of God.

Evan was born 8 July 1917 in Adairsville, and died 1 April 1988 in Rome at the age of 70, of a heart attack while driving. Ellie was injured in the subsequent wreck but recovered. She was born 27 June 1915 and died 1 December 2002 at the age of 86. Evan and Ellie are buried in the Oaknoll Memorial Gardens on Shorter Avenue in Rome.

Evan and Ellie, who were married in 1941, had one son, Charles Derrick Smith, born in 1944 and died 16 October 1998 in Birmingham, Alabama. He was a tool and die man, and lived in Centre, Alabama. He died of a lung ailment.

The last time I saw them, they were living west of Rome in the Coosa area off Alabama Highway. Charles, who was much like his daddy and shared his intensity, was drag-racing with stock Corvettes. He told me he had been challenged after winning one race, which required the challenger to put up $100 to pay for Charles pulling one of the heads on his 327 cu. in. engine. When he did, Charles said that the pistons were clearly marked STD, meaning standard, but that the tolerances were so close that the mark was burned into the indentation in the head above the piston. In other words, the engine was stock (that is, factory equivalent), but right on the edge. Charles’s victory stood.

4. Henry Amos Smith, or Henry. He was a remarkable man in many ways and, when young, looked a little like Clark Gable, too.

He bought some land south of Rome about 1970, I think, that was mostly mountain ridge. He and two of his nephews carried enough rocks down the ridges to build a house and a beer joint out of it, by hand.
He also told me about how he had planted watermelons one year and someone stole one. Then they stole another, and another. So Henry put up a sign that said: “One of these watermelons is poisoned.” He thought that ought to do it, but the next day he discovered that the “one” had been crossed out and “two” written over it.

Henry was born 17 November 1919, probably in Ward 6, Rome, Georgia, and died 19  January 2001 at the age of 81. He is buried near the entrance of a big cemetery on Highway 27 south of Rome, on the right. I'm sorry I can't recall the name of it and haven't been in that area in quite some time. He married a woman named Annie, who I could not find in the records, and they had three boys.

The oldest, James Eugene, was born 6 October 1942, and died 13 December 2002. James was something of a celebrity in the family. He used to sing at everyone’s funeral. His voice had a little tremble in it, somewhat like Aaron Neville. He died of lung cancer brought on by Bondo dust. He was a “paint and body man,” who repaired and repainted automobiles.

5. Dorothy Magdalene Smith, who was always called Magdalene, is the sibling I know least about. She was born either in 1916 (family) or 1921 (the 1930 census says she is 9), probably in Ward 6, Rome, Georgia. She died at 48 (about 1969?) in, I believe, Lafayette, Indiana, where she lived most of her life. She married Charles Ferguson, and they had two children, all of whom are dead, and Cleo Hicks, also deceased.

There is a Charles Ferguson in the 1930 census for the Riverside District, Floyd County. He was born in 1925, the son of William and Dovie Ferguson, possibly a Clark. He had a brother named Calvin Ferguson, born in 1926, and in the household is Vesta Clark, 19.
6. Joseph Dallas or David Smith, or J. D.,
was born on 1 April 1921, in either Ward 6, Rome, Georgia, or the Watters District, Floyd County, and died in Adairsville in September 1980 at the age of 59. His sister, still living, said his middle name was Dallas, but I also heard that his middle name was David. The, I also heard when I was young that he had no names, only initials. According to family history, he served in World War II in the Italian campaign, in the artillery.He suffered severe hearing loss and was disabled. I know he had PTSD, and he spent time in VA hospitals. He was a little thin man, and always seemed in need of a shave. He was his father Jim's favorite child, perhaps because they looked somewhat alike.

I don’t know that he ever held a job after World War II, because all I ever knew was that he was disabled. As a result, the family was very poor. I remember as a child going to their house, near Smyrna, Georgia, and they had plain oatmeal for breakfast, no butter, no sugar, no nothing. I couldn’t believe they could eat it that way.
The most memorable thing I know about J. D. is that he once got banned from Floyd County. He was living next door to his sister, still living, and her husband. Henry, his brother, had turned a rooster loose on her place and J. D., not long home from a stay in the veterans hospital in Murphysboro, Tennessee, threatened to kill it. There is much more to this story, which I cannot relate because some of the participants are living, but combined, the incidents led his sister and her husband to file a complaint against J. D. with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office.

I remember going to the hearing, although I sat outside in a waiting area. It seems like it was in the 1960s. The judge gave J. D. and his wife 30 days to get out of the county.

He married Mildred Hite, who I think was of French descent. I believe her mother was Rossie Mae, who was born 3 January 1906 and died 16 January 1989. Rossie is buried in the East View Cemetery in Adairsville, but I don’t know where Mildred is buried.

Mildred was a remarkably dark-haired, coarse woman. I say she was French because she blew her nose in the French manner, by pressing one nostril and letting the snot drop to the ground (not “treasuring it” by wrapping it up in a cloth and putting it in a pocket the way the English do). She also kept a night pot in the kitchen. I saw her once use it while cooking dinner. She stopped what she was doing at the stove, walked over to the night pot, spread her long skirt and sat down, peed, then got back up and went on about her cooking. I was about 11 and I had never seen anything like it.

Mildred was a friend and rival of Gladys Hall's mother Pearl as a child, but they were friends all their lives, as far as I know. At one point, after Thiddo's death, Gladys lived in a travel trailer at J. D. and Mildred’s house south of Adairsville on Old Highway 41.

J. D. and Mildred had three children, all of whom are still living.

7. Bethel Theodore Smith or Thiddo, husband of Gladys Hall. For more on him, see this webpage.

8. Living Smith.


Family history sources, especially Gladys Hall Smith and the Living Smith noted above.

On the Duggers:

I had another source on the Dugger family, which supplied the names of Frank and Magnolia's kids, but I have lost it.

Last updated 26 October 2011.

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