HELP!! Who is Pleasant Smith?

There is always at least one Ancestor who has hidden themselves so well that it seems impossible to find them. This is the case of my Great Grandfather, Pleasant Smith.

Lafayette County, MissouriWhat I do know about him is he was born February 14, 1853. This information came from my baby book. All the other names and dates in the book are correct so I believe this one is too. In the book it says he was born in Hazel Hill, Missouri. However in all the US Census’ my Grandfather participated in it states that his father was born in Texas. I know his name is Pleasant as he named one of his sons Pleasant and the other John Pleasant. Also this is the name listed on my Grandfathers Social Security Application. The spelling on this application is different. It is spelled Plesent.

I know he lived in and around Dover, Lafayette County, Missouri. He married my Great Grandmother, Sarah Jane Page on April 13, 1882 in Lafayette County, Missouri. The marriage license says he was living in Mayview, Lafayette, Missouri. They had one son, my Grandfather John Pleasant Smith.

I know he was married once before Sarah but I don’t know who it was. They had one son (that I Marriage Licenseknow of) named Pleasant Smith.

Sarah got remarried in 1894. This leads me to believe that Pleasant must have died sometime before this.

Growing up, my Mother told us this story about Pleasant. “He was a Creek Indian Chief who deserted his tribe. Someone murdered him and chopped him into pieces leaving the pieces on the railroad tracks. Whoever it was figured a train would come along and everyone would think he got hit by the train. Before the train came someone found his body and reported it to the police. His murderer was never found. A few months after his death a letter came to Sarah’s home addressed to Chief (Unknown). Since she didn’t recognize the name it was returned to sender unopened.” Considering this tale came from my Mother who had a mental breakdown when I was 12 I have a lot of doubts about it. She never gave a place or a time frame for this incidence. I have searched newspapers in the area that he lived for any train accidents from 1882 to 1894 with no luck.

I hope someday to find that one crucial piece of this puzzle that will complete the story. After 20 years this happened with Sarah and it was an exciting day. Does anyone have any suggestions on where else I should search for Pleasant?

I appreciate any hints, tips or suggestions!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.


12 thoughts on “HELP!! Who is Pleasant Smith?

  1. In The Sedalia Weekly Bazoo newspaper, Sedalia, Missouri, there is an article about Lafayette County, Missouri, dated March 18, 1890, page 8, which states that a man named Pleasant Smith, along with three other men, were sent to the penitentiary for a robbery. Here is a brief of the article: “Bound For The Pen. Sheriff C.S. Mitchell of Lafayette County, accompanied by Circuit Clerk Frank Trigg….came on the Lexington train last night with 9 prisoners in custody bound for the pen. Their names, offenses and sentences are as follows: Pleasant Smith, three years; Frank Rose, five years; John Page, three years. These three were all conceived in the same burglary and larceny.” Could this be your guy, or maybe his son?

  2. I don’t want to send you info you already have, but I also found a newspaper article about the final settlement of the estate of Pleasant Smith which was to be held on the 2nd Monday in February 1903 at Keytesville, MO. This was in the Chariton Courier, Missouri. There is another article in a different issue dated “first Monday, November 1902,” listing probates filed, including Pleasant Smith, deceased, with Spencer Dean named as administrator of the estate. You can e-mail me if I can help you.l

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