Written by Albert Ernest Smith
and his sisters
Julia M.S. Ereckson, Josephine S. Wagstaff, Kate S. Thomas
and Florence G.S. Jones
Revised by Kenneth R. Allen
This life story of Albert Smith has been written
that his posterity might know of him and realize to some extent the wonderful,
loving father and grandfather that he was. Those who came in contact
with him, from the oldest to the youngest, loved and honored him.
His life as he lived it was the greatest heritage he could have left us.
The example he set, in every act, will be for the betterment of all his
descendants for generations to come. He so loved this following quotation
that he patterned his life after it.
“I shall pass though this world but once. Any good thing, therefore, that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now; let me not defer it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
The love and patience he showed for little children will always be remembered by his children and grandchildren.
Albert Smith was born 28 August 1854 in Harlestone,
Northamptonshire, England. He was the only son of George and Mary
Wadsworth Smith, who also had five daughters. This family lived in
part of the Wadsworth home, a duplex shared with James Wadsworth and his
family called the Pump House. Annie, the first child, who was born
10 January 1850, died when she was four months old. Sarah the second
daughter was 10 January 1852. Then came Albert on 28 August 1854.
The third daughter Alice was born 11 February 1857. She and Albert
grew up very closely associated with each other, insomuch that they chose
the same wedding day. They were both married in the Harlestone Church
of England on 19 May 1879. Alice married Thomas Manning, and Albert
married Mary Ann Storton (who had been born 15 Jan 1856 in Harlestone).
The fifth child Ann, born 20 May 1860, died 19 May 1867. Martha Jane the sixth child was born 25 March 1863, eight months after the death of their father.
Family tradition says that George Smith, father of this family was Game Warden for the Estate of the Earl of Spencer and as part of his duties he was to guard against poachers and trespassers. According to the family story, on the morning of 19 July 1862, as he approached the wall surrounding the estate, he heard prowlers on the other side. As he climbed the high, ivy-covered wall with his gun in hand, he slipped, whereupon the gun discharged, killing him instantly.
However, according to a report published on Saturday July 20 in the Northampton Herald describing the inquest of his death, George Smith had been for some years in the employ of Mr. John Cooper, a farmer. Based on the inquest findings, he died instantly on Thursday evening the 18th between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm as a result of accidental death by discharge of a gun. (Evidently the doctor did not declare him dead until after midnight on July 19.) According to the report, Mr. Smith had a single barrel shotgun with him for the purpose of shooting wood pigeons and was along the right side of the road from Upper Harlestone to Northampton about six o’clock in the evening when he had stopped with his master Mr. Cooper to gather up some recently cut rushes to fodder the pigs. He had put his coat over the barrel of his loaded shotgun and had placed it along a deep dyke with the muzzle resting just above the level of the road, out of the way of passing wagon traffic. His master had cautioned him to be careful before he left him there. About an hour later, two men, Thomas Clarke and John Birt of Harlpole, found him resting on his belly about a yard from the dyke as if he were asleep, and in an attempt to rouse him rolled him on his back and found he was dead with a large amount of blood on his chest. They summoned Mr. Cooper from Harlestone and only then discovered the gun just as it had been previously laid against the dyke. Mr. Cooper then went to Northampton and brought back Mr. Olive a surgeon to the scene. Mr. Olive examined the body and discovered the extent of the wound. Evidently the shotgun had discharged as George Smith had attempted to reach it out of the ditch, killing him instantly. He was 35.
This was a great tragedy to his wife and small family, but they were not left to bear this alone. All Harlestone mourned at the sadness of it. Everyone was very kind to the young widow and her small children. It was reported that Lord Spencer did what he could for the little family, too.
Although not quite eight years old when this accident happened, young Albert accepted the responsibility of helping his mother, and as he grew to manhood he acted as both father and big brother to his sisters.
Albert was blessed with a wonderful mother who came from a line of stalwart, religious people and although she had many trials and hardships, her faith in God and her willingness to accept her lot helped her to teach her children to love each other and to live clean, righteous lives. She died 19 December 1877, one year and five months before Albert Smith and Mary Ann Storton were married.
According to family tradition, the Smith heritage was of very religious, God-fearing people who were lovers of nature. George and his brothers were farmers, overseers of estates and game wardens. They were large in stature, intelligent and kind-hearted, which they demonstrated in their daily life.
After the death of his father, young Albert had no further opportunity for formal schooling and was obliged to find work to help support his family. Mr. Cooper, the village butcher and probably also his father’s former employer as well as a kind friend of the family, took young Albert into his shop as an apprentice where he learned the trade which he followed the rest of his life.
Albert was quick at learning the trade and became a very skilled butcher. His trade brought him into contact with many influential people, who because of his pleasing personality became his close friends. His business took him frequently to the Estate and Manor House of the Earl of Spencer, where he became quite friendly with Lord Spencer’s entire household.
According to family tradition, Lord Spencer took quite a liking to this young bright boy and tried to help the family all he could. He soon took Sarah, Albert’s oldest sister, into his household, where she was educated and became a Lady in Waiting to Lady Spencer. There she became acquainted with Frederick Turner, who was Overseer of the Spencer Estate. This acquaintance resulted in their marriage. A few years later, this couple with their two children Dorothy and Maurice moved to Gilbert Plains, Manitoba, Canada. Sarah died their 3 August 1918. Dorothy married Jack Campbell and as of 1960 lived in Victoria, British Columbia. Maurice married and moved to New Zealand.
It was while visiting the Spencer Manor House that Albert met Mary Ann Storton, who was working there in charge of the department of linen and household goods. A friendship grew into a romance.
Albert and Mary Ann were married on May 19, 1879 in the parish church of St. Albert the Great in Harlestone, Northamptonshire in a ceremony solemnized according to the rites of the Church of England. Since both of their fathers were dead, Thomas Manning, Sr., stepfather of Mary Ann Storton, and Sarah Smith, oldest sister of Albert Smith, stood as witnesses to the marriage. It was a double wedding. Alice Smith, Albert’s younger sister, was married the same day to Thomas Manning, Jr., Mary Ann Storton’s stepbrother. The brides wore like wedding dresses, both hand-made blue taffeta. Mary Ann’s dress was made by her mother, and Alice made her own dress. Mary Ann’s dress is still intact and was cared for by her daughter Florence.
Albert and Mary Ann lived in Harlestone for three years. On 27 Feb 1880, their first child, a son, was born. They named him George Storton Smith. On 19 May 1882, their second child, a daughter, was born. They named her Edith Mary.
In the fall of the year following their marriage, this young couple heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ brought to them by two young Elders, Joseph S. Tingey and Joseph Orton. They were laboring in Harlestone as missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Albert was baptized on 22 February 1881 by Joseph Orton and confirmed a member of the Church the same day by David Spillsbury. On 4 October 1881, Joseph Orton ordained Albert a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. On 22 January 1882 Albert was ordained an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood by William Butler. Mary Ann was baptized a few months later on 21 July 1882 by Joseph S. Tingey, who confirmed her a member of the Church the next day.
As was the case with so many converts to the Church in those days, many of their relatives and friends turned against them. This proved a great trial to them. Because of this, they soon became anxious to go to Utah and join the body of Saints. Their families and friends could not understand why they had joined those terrible Mormons. On the advice of some of the Elders, they sold most of their household goods and some of their personal belongings at a public auction. This was on Albert’s 28th birthday. Two days later they left for Liverpool and on September 2, 1882, they sailed for New York City on the ship Wyoming. It was a long, hard journey for this young couple and their two babies. Albert was 28, Mary Ann was 26 and their children were 2-1/2 years and 3 months old. Riding the train from New York City to Ogden, Utah, they arrived September 19, 1882.
When they arrived, they were welcomed into the home of William Butler who had just returned from a mission to England. He had become acquainted with this young couple and had enjoyed the hospitality of their home. They lived with the Butlers for about three weeks.
In October, Albert accompanied Elder Butler to Salt Lake City to attend the General Conference of the Church. While there he located work in the butcher department of the Church Tithing Office and rented two rooms at the home of David Fullmer in the Sixth Ward near Pioneer Park. After attending Conference, he returned with Elder Butler to Ogden and then moved his little family to Salt Lake City.
Soon after arriving in Salt Lake, Albert began his work in the meat marker in the Church Tithing Office Building located just north of the present Church Office Building. While employed there, he established a modest home, building it himself on Third West between Third and Fourth South Street in the Sixth Ward. It was here on July 28, 1884 that their daughter Ada Jane was born. Their little baby girl Edith Mary had died a few months earlier, on 15 October 1883, of what was then called Summer Complaint, probably attributable poorly-refrigerated milk.
Shortly after Ada’s birth, Albert was appointed Superintendent of the Church Farm located near 27th South and Third and Fourth West, in recognition of his natural talent for leadership and ability to organize. They then sold their home in the Sixth Ward and established a new home on the Church Farm. It was there that the following children were born: Annie May, Alice, Julia Margaret and Albert Ernest.
Their home was located in Farmer’s Ward, and the family soon became engaged in Church activities. They had to travel by horse and buggy to church or horseback to school, since both were held in the same one-room log building on State Street at about 1800 South. The Church Farm activities included a slaughterhouse located on Second West and Twenty-first South, which Albert supervised for several years. About this time, he purchased a farm in East Millcreek on which he planted in fruit trees and vegetables. However, his health proved such that his doctor advised him against farming, it being too heavy or strenuous for him. So he sold his fruit farm. It was hard for him to give up because he so loved gardening of any kind. Unable to farm, he bought a home at 1848 South on Third East. He and Mary Ann lived in this home for the rest of their lives and there raised their family.
The rest of their children were born in this home. They were the twin boys Robert Franklin and Samuel, Josephine, Kate Ellen, Edwin Woodruff, Raymond Warren and Florence Gertrude.
In this large family there was bound to be some sickness and death. Alice, the fourth daughter, died of spinal meningitis when she was nearly six years old. Robert and Samuel died in infancy. Raymond died of pneumonia following a severe case of diphtheria at age five. The rest of the children grew to maturity and were a blessing to their parents.
Albert Smith and Mary Ann Storton were endowed and then sealed as husband and wife for time and eternity in the Endowment House in Salt Lake City on August 2, 1883. In 1886 they went to Logan and had their first two children sealed to them in the newly completed Logan Temple. They also did similar temple work for many of their ancestors. They followed up on this work with more temple work in the Salt Lake Temple after its completion and dedication, continuing until their health did not permit them to carry on.
Shortly after their arrival in Zion, Albert, being very religious and conscientious in following the admonition of the General Authorities of the Church, gave prayerful thought to the law of Celestial Marriage and the principal of plural wives.
While living at the home of Brother and Sister William Butler, they became acquainted with their daughter. After a few years, and with the consent of his first wife Mary Ann, Albert returned to the Butler home in Ogden and proposed marriage to this fine young woman. She was serious minded and deeply religious and accepted the proposal. They were married in the Logan Temple on November 4, 1886. She was 21 years old.
Over the next several years the following children were born to Emma Jane and Albert: William Henry, Pearl Elizabeth, Joseph Alma, Lewis Frederick, Leona Mabel, Hyrum Butler, Elizabeth Emma, Lillie Sarah and Lawrence Stephen Smith.
Both families grew up in harmony, sharing the trials and hardships that came along from time to time. Emma’s trials were noteworthy. During the early life of her family, they were forced to move often to protect their father and themselves from persecution by Federal Authorities bent on destroying the Church and using polygamy as the excuse to do so. After the Manifesto of 1890, the families were able to settle down in a permanent home and live normal lives. The Smith/Butler home was located on Vidas Avenue between State Street and Third East at 2600 South in the same ward and community as Albert’s other family. Growing up together allowed all the children to build more firmly the love of family.
About the time that Albert and Mary Ann moved their family into their home on Third East, Albert entered a new venture. He secured a corner lot with a small store on it at State Street and 1700 South. Purchasing the building from Thomas Twigs, he opened up a meat market and grocery store. With the help of his eldest son George, he began a business that continued with outstanding success throughout the rest of his life, providing a livelihood for both of his large and growing families.
Albert worked hard, putting in long hours at the store and more hours at home with Mary Ann and her children, planting a garden with vegetables and fruit trees. He had barns and sheds and a nice pasture in the rear of the lot, where he kept several cows and horses. At the same time he also provided a home for Emma Jane and her children.
Pearl Smith Kimball recounted the lives and trials of the family in a story of her mother Emma Jane.
As George grew older and was able to give his father more help, the store progressed and expanded. Albert’s reputation as a merchant grew, and his store, known as ALBERT SMITH – MEATS AND GROCERIES was recognized as the leading store between Ninth South and the City of Murray and as one of the leading stores in Salt Lake Valley outside of Salt Lake City. Later, as George took a more active part in the management of the store, the name was changed to ALBERT SMITH & SON and was incorporated under this name. Other members of his family were taken into the store and taught the fundamentals of merchandising—and shown how to work for a living. At its height, the store had regular customers from the Salt Lake City limits on the north to the Murray City limits on the south and from Sugar House on the east to the Jordan River on the west. These customers were served by daily delivery service using three covered wagons and smaller single carts or two buggies. During all this time, Ada the eldest daughter was their faithful bookkeeper. The training the boys received here during their younger years helped them in later years when they were on their own.
While Albert operated his store he developed into one of the outstanding merchants in the community, he never forgot his duties and obligations to the Church. His whole life was governed by his religious convictions and his firm belief and faith in the Restored Gospel. He continued actively in Church assignments as they were given him by his Bishop and other Church Authorities, and he saw to it that his children were taught the Gospel in the home as well as the various organizations. He did considerable temple work for his ancestors through the years and kept a complete family record of this work, which has been continued in the family since he passed on.
In July 1910, Albert received and accepted a call from President Joseph F. Smith to serve as a missionary in England, his native land. Elder J. Golden Kimball set him apart and gave him a wonderful blessing. The promises were fulfilled as he served his mission.
His daughter Julia Margaret has written a very clear and comprehensive account, which is included here.
On July 12, 1910 a Farewell Testimonial
was given in his honor. As a special request he had the Farmers Ward
Juvenile Brass Band, fourteen performers on the direction of Brother Chisholm,
an elderly member of the ward, rendered a few numbers. Julia his
daughter gave a piano selection. Eight other of his favorite performers
rendered numbers. This was followed by an evening of dancing.
The following day, July 13, 1910, he left for his mission thus fulfilling a desire he had had since joining the Church twenty-nine years before.
Albert had passage on board the S.S. Meganitic of the White Star Line from Montreal, Canada. His letter of July 23, 1910 written on board the ship and mailed at Quebec told of the beautiful ride down the St. Lawrence River. The Meganitic and her sister ship The Lawrentic were the largest steamers at that time. He enjoyed meals and was a good sailor until they were in mid ocean. He welcomed land when they arrived in Liverpool, England.
Elder Albert Smith’s first assignment was to the Birmingham Conference with Elder Hansen his companion. Here he commenced his tracting and visiting with the Saints and investigators. After two months he was transferred to Northampton where he labored from September 28, 1910 to August 14, 1911. Elder James Wiggle, of Kaysville, Utah, was his Senior Companion. To be able to labor here was an answer to his greatest desire. This was the locality where a number of his relatives lived and also not for from Harlestone, the village where he was born and lived until leaving for Utah. His friends and relatives gladly welcomed him and he made many new friends among the Latter-day Saint converts. He spent many wonderful evenings with his relatives explaining the Gospel and getting information from their family records. They were all very fine religious people, but not quite ready to accept all the principles pertaining to the Restored Gospel.
About this time he bought a bicycle, thus enabling him to make short trips to visit his sisters and cousins in nearby villages and also Mary Ann’s two sisters and brother. He had such a lovable personality that he was always welcome wherever he went.
On September 28, 1911 he was transferred to Nuneaton with Elder H.W. Noble as companion. Here he and his companion had very good success with their missionary labors, also making many close and endearing friends. Yet it was here they had their greatest opposition. The main occupations in this town were coal mining and blacksmithing. Many chains and anchors for the large steamship companies were made here.
During the winter of 1911 and spring of 1912, he coal mines had closed on account of strikes among the miners. There were so many men out of work and having nothing to do, they were easily led to some excitement by leaders who liked to cause trouble.
An ex-mormon, William Jarman of My. Pleasant, Utah, was distributing tracts full of lies about the Mormons regarding young girls being sent to Utah as white slaves or polygamous wives. He was trying to anger the people to say this had been done in Nuneaton. He thought he could claim a reward of 200 Pounds, or US$1,000.00, which a Mr. Peet, a non-mormon from Salt Lake City and editor of an anti-mormon Salt Lake newspaper, had offered on arriving in Liverpool to anyone who could arrest and convict some Mormon stealing or enticing girls to Utah for plural wives or immoral purposes. Mr. Jarman’s only foundation for this was that a Mrs. Wheatly with her children had gone to Utah with a Utahn who was in no way connected with the Mission. The mobs had succeeded in keeping missionaries out of Nuneaton for some time until Father and Elder Noble went there. Later Elder J.M. Jones was his companion. Father was not afraid of the mobs or their threats. One newspaper gives the following description of him and his companion Elder Jones:
Elder Albert Smith appears to be a man past middle age. He wears a beard and has merry gray eyes which occasionally become stern and piercing. At the first glance, he seems rather too frail for the strenuous propaganda upon which he is engaged but when he speaks this impression fades. The other Elder, J.M. Jones, is a big beefy young man, stolid and phlegmatic, with very little personal magnetism about him.”
Father did not let the mobs discourage him in his work. He went on visiting the non-members and Saints, distributing L.D. S. tracts. Elder Jones faithfully accompanying him, following his advice, holding their different meetings, held cottage meetings in the homes of Saints. Often when the mobs would gather, shouting and throwing stores at the homes where the elders were, they would call for them to come out, and when Father would stop out and speak to them, not one would throw a stone but would walk away. This was a fulfillment of one of the promises given him in his blessing by J. Golden Kimball.
Richard H. Smith, a prominent figure in the local Baptist Church, a building contractor and leader of the mobs said, “I will rid Nuneaton of the Mormon Spiders.” He even tried stirring up the little children of the Baptist Church by having them carry a square cardboard affixed to a pole upon which was written, “For the honor of womanhood let us rid this place of the Mormon Pest,” when they were marching in a procession to their annual retreat.
In order to keep the mob element out of the meetings, special tickets signed by Father had been given to members and friends who might like to attend the Sunday morning service at the Gate Hotel assembly hall on May 26, 1912. The streets were crowded with people trying to get into the building. Mr. Holbrook, a Latter-day Saint, and Elder Jones left to join Father, who was conducting the service. There was a great of jostling outside. As some were forcing their way through the crowd, Brother Holbrook’s little boy became frightened, and as he turned to the child, the crowd pushed into the room. The three policeman who were trying to hold back the crowd were unable to do so. Father then appealed for order, but there were more noise and cries from the anti-mormons. It was decided to discontinue the meeting. Elder Jones first ventured forth into the street in search of the police. He found Sergeant Molloy who went up to the Assembly Room. Elder Jones then went to the police station followed by the crowd booing him. The police said that it was not a public worship place, so they would not give any assistance. Elder Jones then went home without being molested. Father was not so fortunate. He had his silk hat, walking cane and gloves in his hand prepared for leaving the building. His exit was barred until a well-known anti-mormon, Richard H. Smith, made his exit to the top of the landing
The following is a copy of Father’s account of what followed, as written in his diary beginning the following day, May 27, 1912.
Mr. Smith and Mr. Roberts
again tried to prevent me from going out, but Sisters Nettie Horne and
Sarah Ann Bates fought the men back and I went out through the doors.
As soon as I stepped on the stairs to go down, I felt feathers falling
all over me. The next moment, I felt something warm and runny falling
on my head which I soon realized was gas tar that Mr. Richard Smith was
pouring on my head out of a can he had concealed under his coat.
He rushed by me and ran away, but no one chased him. This is police
protection in Nuneaton. Three police officers called there for the
sole purpose of keeping those men out, had allowed 30 or 40 of them to
come into our Assembly Room. They stood back about three or four
yards from the door. As soon as I reached the door, the tar began
to get into my eyes and I saw no more but was led to our ledge by two sisters,
Nettie Horne and Sarah Ann Bates. They covered my head over with
a coat, took hold of my arms and led me through the streets. The
mob followed and the police also followed to see, what well might be, that
we had police protection. Sister Hartoff, at whose home were boarding,
and her daughters Lucy and Elsie worked hard with warm water, consecrated
oil and carbolic soap until they got all the tar off my head and face.
When I could open my eyes, I looked in the glass and said, “I wish I could
have had my picture taken before they had cleaned me up so I could see
just how I looked.” Everything but my socks were gas tarred.
Mr. Richard Smith did his work well and mad a good job of his diabolic
“christian” act, he a Sunday School Teacher of a Bible Class at the Manor
Court Baptist Church of Nuneaton.
I was told tonight the same Mr. Smith was at the Sunday School Service at the Primitive Methodist Church as this is the day for special Sunday School Services. I am also told that he is so religious that he will not allow the family to read a letter or to wash up the dishes used to cook with on Sunday.
This is Monday morning May 27, 1912 that I am writing this and I feel fine, no worse for the experience, only my face is sore from the burns of the tar and my eyes are swollen and a little sore, and “oh” the looks of my whole Sunday. suit and silk hat!! President Albert T. Smith came to see me and Elder Jones today. We went back to Birmingham with him to attend a farewell social for Sister Champain. When I entered the room, they started clapping their hands for joy to see I was able to be there. For a number of days I was busy with newspaper reporters but did not make any difference to my missionary work. There were court proceedings, solicitors and lawyers to contact. The account of the mob violence was in all the English newspapers. I took time off to visit my relatives in Long Buckby, Northampton, Harlestone and Stowe. I also had my eyes examined and purchased some new glasses. My relatives were glad to hear the account from me in person and to learn that I was well.
At court on May 29, I asked if the hearing of my case could be postponed. It was Granted. On June 6, 1912 the case was taken to court. Mr. Willson was my attorney. President Rudger Clawson, President of the British Mission, and President Albert T. Smith, President of the Birmingham Conference, and a few of the Elders from the Branch were in attendance. Mr. Richard H. Smith was sentenced to two months in jail and was to pay four guineas for the cost of the clothing, three guineas for the assault and damage to his person. This was a total of seven guineas or $36.75 in U.S. coin. This was not nearly enough to purchase the same kind of clothes or to pay for the new glasses. The proprietors of the Gate Assembly Hall sued Richard H. Smith for damage to property by pouring tar on the stairway, eight Pounds, ten shillings or US$42.00 and if not paid in one week, he was to go to jail for six weeks.
President Clawson related that
the tar and feathering of Albert Smith and the mob uprisings in Nuneaton
were the strongest sieges of persecution Great Britain had known regarding
the Mormon Missionaries.
Soon after this case was closed the British Government issued a statement declaring that after a thorough investigation, no cause was found to interfere with the Latter-day Saints missionary work in England. If anything unlawful had existed they said it would have been discovered long before.
Through Father’s perseverance and his not being afraid of mobs, the missionary work continued in Nuneaton.
An excerpt from a letter written sometime later by President Albert T. Smith follows:
Things are, I think, on the improve in Nuneaton and I understand that the anti-mormons and William Jarman are having a lawsuit today over the spoils and they have been informed the Elders “That we are not so black as we were painted.” I think we are going to come out in the end all right. Give my kindest regards to your wife and daughters, and accept the same for yourself and may be blessings of God attend you at all times.
Your Brother in the Gospel
Albert T. Smith
The missionaries of the Birmingham
Branch presented Father with a lovely gold ring at his farewell social
on August 3, 1912, and he was honorably released from his mission to Great
When Father received his call to serve in the British Mission he was very happy that his great desire to return to his native land to preach the Gospel would be fulfilled. Another great desire was to have his wife, Mary Ann, meet him in England at the conclusion of his labors. This dream she had also shared with him. She was happy to be able to accomplish this by taking their daughter Julia as a companion. They arrived in England in June 1912. Thus they had time to visit with relatives and become acquainted with Father’s many mission friends. They enjoyed a month together visiting relatives and friends of their youth.
They set sail on the S.S. Scandinavian of the
Allen Line. They landed at Montreal, Canada. They visited places
of historical interest, both church and national, and arrived at their
home September 13, 1912.
The affairs at the store and with his two families were in good shape. George and Ada had taken good care of the store operation while he was away. After he was settled, he again took up work in the temple and devoted much of his time doing research work for both his and Mary Ann’s ancestors. While in England he had been able to record many names and information about their relatives. The research work he started inspired his family to continue the work. During these years he was active in his ward as Ward Teacher Supervisor and Chairman of the Genealogical Committee, positions he held until his health failed.
Returning home from the Salt Lake Temple on the afternoon of December 17, 1925, he stopped at the store, as was his daily custom. As he sat by the stove warming his hands, he was stricken with a cerebral hemmorrhage, leaving him paralyzed. He lost his speech and the use of his limbs. He was confined to bed for a considerable time. Later, he was able to get about in a wheelchair. The chair was rigged up so it could be carried on the back of the family auto, enabling him, with the help of his daughter Kate, to enjoy visiting and riding through the countryside that he so loved.
Although Albert never regained his speech, his mind remained clear and alert. He was always cheerful and took an interest in whatever was happening around him. His eyesight was not impaired, which was a great blessing to him. He was able to enjoy a little reading and many pleasant hours riding. Since he was able to ride, it was possible for him to visit his daughters who lived out of town. He made many trips to Kamas where Julia and Josephine lived, to Bountiful where Elizabeth (Beth) lived, to Brigham City where lived and even to Montpelier, Idaho, and Star Valley, Wyoming, where his eldest daughter Ada lived and where he sometimes stayed a week at a time.
His hearing was not impaired either, which was also a blessing, since he could understand what people said to him even though he could not converse. The radio was just coming into use then, and he enjoyed listening to radio programs.
During these long trying years, he never lost his patience or complained. At the time of Albert’s paralytic stroke, his wife Mary Ann was in such poor health that she was not able to take care of him, leaving Kate the only one left at home. Florence and her husband Nat offered to give up their home and move home to help Kate care for their parents. This was indeed a comfort to Kate and her parents.
Two years after Albert’s stroke, 21 February 1927, his wife Emma Jane passed away following a long illness.
With Florence and Nat moving home and fixing an apartment upstairs, they were both able to help. Florence relieved Kate so she didn’t need to devote her whole time to their parents. Nat helped with their father at night, who frequently needed help by administration of a blessing when he was in pain. He also kept a vegetable garden and took care of the cow. All these things created interest for their father and allowed him to continue in the home surroundings that he had enjoyed building through the years.
After five years, with Albert and Mary Ann feeling much healthier, the parents both felt that Kate could not take care of them and that Florence and Nat should start a home of their own. In June 1930, they purchased a home in Butlerville, where they lived for the rest of their lives.
They following January, Mary Ann fell in her home injuring her leg. She was never able to walk again. She passed away 27 June 1931 at the age of 75.
Albert remained very calm throughout this time. However, after Mary Ann’s death, he seemed to lose all interest in life as though as just waiting to join his two beloved wives. On October 25, 1931, four months following the death of his beloved Mary Ann, at his home on Third East, Albert Smith passed away at the age of 77.
Many wonderful tributes have been paid to this fine man who believed in God and lived according to His laws and commandments, who loved his fellow men and lived a life of service to his Church, his community and to all who knew him.
Albert Smith left a heritage to his large family and descendants that all can be proud to follow.