Thursday, March 10, 2011

Calvin Smith Family and New Vienna Church of Christ

Floyd Haverd "F.H." Smith was the pastor at the New Vienna Church of Christ, the Mt. Olive Church and later the New Antioch Church of Christ.  He and his wife Myrtice Coleman Smith were the parents of H. Owen, born March 29, 1924 (NVHS '42) and Calvin Clifton born June 21, 1926,(NVHS'44).  F.H. died in 1970 and Myrtice a few years later.
Church of Christ New Vienna Ohio c1905 
7/23/10 Hello: They are short on views up at this place. 
 Addressed to Miss Alice Mardis Lebanon Ohio postmarked 3 PM July 23, 1910

From New Vienna Church of Christ [web link is no longer valid] history: In November 1929, Floyd H. Smith came to the church and stayed for 19 years. He preached two Sundays per month until the church employed him full time for a salary of $1,050 per year. In 1938, Brother Floyd planned and did much of the work on the second major addition to the building. This addition consisted of two Sunday school rooms and basement on the west side of the auditorium. A new furnace was also installed at this time. Dedication of the addition and the beginning of a one-week revival were celebrated on November 13, 1938. The church's continued growth was recorded by the "Always Faithful" class at the beginning of a two-week "Homecoming" on October 19, 1941 with an attendance of 198. Attendance during this revival ranged from 77 to over 250.

Calvin and his family lived across Main Street from CJ and GHU's house during part of the time Calvin, Owen and HH were in school.  Her brother and father then built a house on 73 across from the RR tracks.

Calvin delivered the Wilmington News-Journal while HH delivered the Cincinnati Enquirer and the two had a friendly rivalry. The Enquirer at that time cost 28¢/week delivered 7-days, or 10¢/week for the Sunday paper only.

The Smiths were gifted some property by the Britain [Britton?] sisters, two elderly maiden ladies who lived across from the Methodist Church in what is now the Laymon house.  This property was on Mad River Road at the next intersection past Mt. Olive Church.  Owen was a mechanical whiz and both Owen and his father were good at construction, they built the house on Mad River Road also.
Christian Church [Church of Christ] New Vienna Ohio c1925?

Calvin had great intellectual gifts, attending Wilmington College x-44, [he must have attended college while still in HS as that is the same year he graduated from NV], besides graduating from Capitol University in Columbus, he received his PhD from Duke (where his 1957 doctoral dissertation was titled Milton's Satan and the Elizabethan Stage Villain -- available on microfilm at Brandeis, University of Illinois and University of Pennsylvania libraries) and also received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in France where HH & Jean visited him during their trip to Europe in 1954.

Returning from Paris University in October 1954,  Calvin later taught English Literature at Southern Methodist University in Dallas TX and then for most of his career was at the State University of New York at Fredonia.  He died March 12, 1999 in Buffalo NY.

Jean Elizabeth Bankert (b. April 8, 1929, d. August 2, 2000) from Baltimore became Calvin's wife on August 10, 1957.  She received a Masters Degree from Duke after graduating from Mount Holyoke College.  They lost a child and later had a son, John Coleman Smith in December 1961.  He and his wife, Erica Hedreen Smith (b. 1962) currently live in Germantown, Maryland and have two sons, Nicholas Calvin b. 1990 and Patrick Carl b. 1994.

Owen married Mary Evelyn Caplinger of Lees Creek area October 19, 1946 and they lived on Murphy Road, Sabina.  He served in the Navy in World War 2 and retired from General Motors.  Owen died September 9, 2002 and Mary is now in a Care Center.  [Owen and Mary's 50th Wedding Anniversary in 1996 was the last time HH saw Calvin -- he was "wrinkled and thin, and smelled of cigarettes."]

Debbie Smith Woodruff, Owen's daughter, was in the East Clinton Class of 1967 and her brother David was a 1970 EC graduate.  Debbie lives in New Vienna (Henry Road) and David lives in Wilmington.  Debbie said they see John when they attend the Smith family reunion of Smiths from White Sulphur Springs VA every August but they haven't been for a few years.

Debbie and Martin have two children Brad and Meagan.  Brad purchased Marvin Bond's property and lives near his parents.  David and his wife have a daughter, Tracy.

Debbie Woodruff
Owen's obituary
article about Jean Bankert Smith, English teacher
New Vienna Church of Christ history  [web link is no longer valid]
Jean Bankert Genealogy
photos courtesy of Mike Whited and NV Church of Christ history

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