November 28, 2014

Eli Thadeus Smith 1891 – 1913

Harvey L. Smith

The Harvey Lawson Smith Family circa 1914

It’s sad when anyone dies young, and quite often even after death their likeness can still be included in family photos as evidenced in the image above.  My grandmother Minnie Caroline Smith (young lady in the middle in white) was just nineteen when her next older brother Eli died of tuberculosis in 1914. Eli T. Smith had died the year before but a skilled photographer was able to insert his image into this family photo for posterity.

Harvey Lawson Smith 1855 – 1899

The father in this family, my Great Grandfather Harvey Lawson Smith, was also deceased, having died in 1899 of spinal meningitis after he spent time nursing a male friend who had been ill with that disease.

The Scourge That Was Tuberculosis

There was no prevention of the TB in those days, and it affected others in my Yates family too, but no others in this family at the time the picture was taken.  Eli had been working at the Pease flour mill in the West Plains, Missouri area when his condition worsened and he was confined to bed at the home of his mother and step-father James William Milburn Yates.  Jim Yates’ own younger sister Myra was a young victim of TB dying at age twenty-two in 1888.

Eli Thadeus Smith Death Certificate Found

Since I began my Yates genealogy the middle name of Eli Smith had just been the middle initial T.  While searching  the Missouri State Archives death records this weekend I was able to obtain a PDF copy of Eli’s death certificate.  The informant on the record was Eli’s mother Mary Elizabeth ( nee Pentecost, Smith) Yates which makes the documentation of his middle name to be accurate.  At last, I was able to fill in his middle name as Thadeus.

Eli Thadeus Smith death certificate (PDF)

Sources:

Missouri State Archives

Yates and Allied Family Tree on Ancestry (free to view)

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