John M. Smuin, Up-to-date Grocer, died 9 October 1926

Smuin, John M. b. 1852 Obit  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My Great-Grandpa John M. Smuin died on this day.  He lived in Ogden, then later had a grocery and dry goods store in Rexburg, Idaho.  I don’t know much about him yet, and this photo is the only one I have of him.  He’s seated, with his oldest son, John “Leroy” and his baby, also named LeRoy.  The mother’s name is Edith (Duncan) .  John’s son, Franklin, was my Grandpa, number eight of eleven children.

Smuin, John M. b. 1852 with family

Touched up photo:


I went through Rexburg, Idaho in 2003  with the family on our way to Yellowstone and we went to the cemetery to find the headstone for John and his wife Harriet Matilda Barker Smuin.  She is the daughter of Mary Ann Pain Holt.  I had a one-page history about John’s life and the write up below about his funeral.  It mentions several speakers, including Arthur Porter.  When I showed it to the white-haired woman docent working that day at the local museum, she told me she was Arthur Porter’s daughter.  She said she knew all the people mentioned here.  I gave her a hug, knowing she had known my Great Grandpa.  It made me feel one step closer to him.

Smuin, John M. b. 1852 Funeral 001

Here is a picture I took of a newspaper article from a scrapbook found in the Rexburg Museum about the history of Rexburg:


In the book, History of Idaho:  A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People and Its Principal Interests (published in 1914), Volume 3, p. 1206, I found this paragraph on a page about John’s son, William:

Smuin, John M. History of Idaho p. 1206

I’m happy to know what I know, but I sure wish I new more about John and Harriet.

Here is the text from the obituary above:
Utah Digital Newspapers, Ogden Examiner 1926-10-11, p. 11
John Smuin, Sr. Dies in Idaho
Word has been received of the death of John Smuin Sr., pioneer merchant of Ogden. He will be remembered by many old residents as a member of the firm of Smuin and Thomas. Mr. Smuin was born in England, coming to the United States as a child. He was among the first immigrants to arrive in Ogden by rail.
Mr. Smuin was born on March 3, 1852. He died at the home of his son, John L. Smuin, in Downey, Idaho, on October 9, after an illness of several months. He is survived by the following sons and daughters: John L. of Downey, Ida,; William of Ashton, Ida.; Mrs. William James, Newdale, Ida.; Mrs. C. C. Pugmire and Mros C. C. Gaddis of Salt Lake; Frank and Charles of Los Angeles; George, Barstow, Cal.; and Ray Smuin of Idaho Falls, Ida. One son, Thomas, preceded his father in death just three months ago. Mr. Smuin’s wife died in Rexburg, Ida. eight years ago. He is also survived by one sister, Mrs. Jane Thomas of Ogden.
Funeral services will be held in Rexburg on Wednesday, Oct 13, at 2 p.m.


About annlaemmlenlewis

I am member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I am currently serving as a Missionary in the Washington Yakima Mission. Welcome to my personal blog, Ann's Words, and my Mission blog, Our Yakima Mission. If you are interested in family history stories and histories, you can find those posted in Ann's Stories. Thanks for looking in!
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