John M. Smuin was my Great-grandfather. Above is the only photo I know of him, seated with his son, John “LeRoy,” Edith (Duncan) Smuin, and their son, LeRoy Duncan Smuin.
The following was taken from the notes of Andrea Kay Smuin Storm.
John married Harriet Matilda Barker on 25 June 1878 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah. Harriet was born 23 September 1859 in Moundfort, Salt Lake County, Utah. Harriet was the daughter of William Barker and Mary Ann Holt. Harriet died 7 December 1918 in Rexburg, Madison County, Idaho at 59 years of age. She is buried in Rexburg.
In the 1902 Ogden City Directory it states: “Smuin Harriet B., moved to Rexburg, Idaho.”
In a letter from Harriet Larsen dated January 1995 she states the following:“I don’t know very much about my grandfather. He was born in London and was an apprentice in the linen trade as a young boy. At age 13 he came with his parents to New York. [Which would be 1866.] The parents remained in Jefferson County, New York, but John and his sister, Martha Smuin [McFarlene] came on to Ogden, Utah on the first train that ran as far as Ogden.” If John came on the first train to Ogden, he didn’t come until after 10 May 1896 when the east & west lines met at Promontory Summit, Utah. If this was the case, I think it is interesting that they lived in the same county as the Barkers in New York. In the article below it gives his arrival date of 1870. If John traveled to Utah with his sister Martha then the 1866 date is more plausable because we know that Martha married James McFarlane in Salt Lake on 5 October 1867. In the McFarlane history it states that Martha and another young girl walked along the wagon of James McFarlane who offered the girls a ride in his wagon.
“History of Idaho” page 1206 – Book found at Oregon Historical Society… “John Smuin came to America in 1870 and settled at Ogden, Utah, where he became a prosperous merchant and where he continued to reside until 1901, when he came to Fremont County, Idaho and located in the thriving little town of Rexburg, where he has since been successfully engaged in the mercantile business, as a dealer in groceries, crockery and enameled ware. The enterprise is conducted under the firm name of Smuin & Son…, which is one of substantial order. John Smuin and his wife are zealous adherents of the Church of Latter Day Saints, which has a large representation in Fremont County, and their eleven children, seven son and four daughters are now living.” [Refer to William Smuin bio for the complete article.]
John Smuin was on the Poll Tax Register of 1886 in Ogden, Utah. He paid $3.00 on 23 September 1886 to vote. In the 1890 city directory he is listed as Smuin John, Sumin & Thomas, res Monroe Ave. bet Twenty-second and Twenty-thrid. The store was general merchandise and at 2469 Washington Ave. In the 1900 census, John and wife Harriett, were living next to his parents, John & Jane (Honey) Smuin, on Monroe Avenue, Ogden, Utah. John Jr. is listed as a merchant. He and his wife had 10 children living with them. In the 1902 City Directory of Odgen, Utah it states “Smuin John Jr, moved to Rexburg, Idaho.” In the 1910 census of Rexburg, Idaho, John is listed as a salesman and that he owns a home. In the 1920 census of Rexburg, Idaho, John is listed as a proprietor of a grocery store and as a widower. He states that he came to this country in 1873 and was naturalized in 1888. This is a bit later than what we have been told before but it fits. A person had to be in this country for five years before they could be naturlized, which is the time period between 1873 and 1888. Living at home with him were Charles 31, Frank 26, Ethel M. 20, George 24, and Raymond 18.
FUNERAL SERVICES FOR JOHN SMUIN
John Smuin died Saturday evening at Downey at the home of his son John L. Smuin. He was 74 years of age. The body was shipped to Rexburg where funeral services were held Wednesday afternoon at the First Ward Chapel under direction of Bishop Hugh A. Wright. The opening prayer was offered by Fred Smight. The speakers were H. J. Flamm, George W. McKinlay, George A. Pincock, Bishop Alonzo Pond of Pocatello, Arthur Porter and Bishop Wright. The benediction was offered by L. Y. Waldram. Excellent music was provided by a double mixed quartet under direction of Jack Redford, and Leo Jacobs and daughter sang a very pleasing duet. Mrs. P. C. Winter sang a solo. There were many beautiful floral offerings.
John Smuin is well known in this city and community where he was engaged in merchandising for many years. He came here from Ogden in 1901 and with his brother-in-law opened a general merchandise store under the firm name of Smuin & Thomas which did a flourishing business for a number of years. Later he accepted a position as head of the dry goods department of the J. Flamm Co., which he conducted very efficiently for a number of years. In 1913 with his sons he opened a grocery store, Smuin and Sons, continuing in this until three years ago. Thoughout his business career he held a high place among business men and the community for honesty and fair dealing.
Mr. Smuin came originally from London, England, emigrating when about 14 years of age. He located in Ogden where he was employed as a clerk and later entered business himself. He is survived by six sons and four daughters. His wife died eight years ago and his son Thomas 3 months ago. The names of his surviving children are: John L. Smuin of Downey, William Smuin of Ashton, Mrs. William James of Newdale, Mrs. C. C. R. Pugmire and Mrs. C. C. Gaddie of Salt Lake, Charles and Frank Smuin of Los Angeles, Mrs. Gilbert Francis of Morgan, Utah; George Smuin of Barstow, Calif., and Ray Smuin of Idaho Falls. He is also survived by one sister, Mrs. Jane Thomas of Ogden, Utah.