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A Family Story from Macedon

Recently, we had a Wayne County story sent to our general inbox, info@waynehistory.org, from a man named Donald Lewis (Lew) Smith, Jr. of Merritt Island, FL. Here's what he has to say:


"Our Smith family of California and Florida enjoy close ties to Wayne County, NY, particularly the West Macedon area. We descend from the Samuel and Lewis Smiths, who owned and farmed the land, over 100 acres during the 1800s and early 1900s, situated along the northwest side of SR31 at Wilson Road, where the large Goodwill store now sits. They lived in, and it’s believed they built the home across the street at 570 SR31. Other of our direct relations include the Laphams, Motts, and Haights of Macedon and the Earls of Pittsford.

After the turn of the 20th century, when not farming, my father, Donald Lewis Smith, with his father Lewis and mother Margaret (Fredenburg) Smith, performed throughout the region as “The Smith Family Entertainers.” My father’s sister, Merle (Smith) Carver, was a music teacher in Macedon.

Soon after my birth in 1947, this Smith family moved to Southern California, where at one time, they drew on their family’s farming/ranching and horsemanship background in Macedon to establish a chicken ranch in Chino, CA, where they sold poultry and eggs and boarded horses.

One weekend our Aunt Merle and her kids Dawn and Kit were visiting the ranch when Kit noticed my dad saddling Sugar, a bay mare whose earlier life had included being ridden in a number of the Rose Bowl parades. Kit approached my dad and asked, “Uncle Don, will you teach me how to ride?” My dad said he would after he rode out the dirt road, about 100 yards, to pick up the mail. Wearing glasses, with the reins in his left hand and a cigarette in the right, he trotted up the road on his mail mission.

On his return, about halfway back to those of waiting, he put Sugar in a full gallop. Just as he reached us, Sugar caught a hoof and went face down in the dirt, as did my father. Sugar got to her feet shaking herself off, her face scratched and bleeding. My father got to his feet, his face scratched and bleeding, and with his glasses askew, the reins in his left hand, and the cigarette and mail in his right, he looked at our cousin Kit and said, “Now that’s how you ride a horse.”

One might suppose our early Smith pioneers of Wayne County would be proud."


Thank you for the story, Donald!


Have a story you'd like to share? Send us an email at info@waynehistory.org, and you might see it here!

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