Born: c. 1833, son of Eliza Richards, the daughter of John Richards of Johnsburg, and Rev. Samuel Smith
Died: November 23, c. 1910
Married: Eleanor Ward from Johnsburg
Robert Samuel Smith was the son of Rev. Samuel Smith. A descendant of the Rev. Smith writes that "Robert S. Smith purchased 5 Jun 1872 the Smith Homestead and all of Great Lot #9 from his father, the Reverend Samuel Smith for the sum of $100.00. (deed 142/535). Robert did not inherit the property. Robert had previously purchased all of Great Lot #10 in 1870 from Chapman Biddle of Philadelphia, PA. (deed 117/534)."
The descendant, who has clearly done extensive deed research, further states: "In 1875 Robert sold 14 3/4 acres to Sarah Manning. Robert did not buy property from Manning. (deed 74/159) Manning sold her holdings to Trudeau." This contradicts the previous statement on this site that "In the early 1870s, Robert S. bought land from Mrs. Gabriel Lathrop Manning for his farm."
When he later sold land to Dr. E. L. Trudeau for the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium, the deed referenced "Preacher Smith's pasture." A clause in the deed required that the gate be kept closed to keep his livestock in.
Adirondack Enterprise, December 1, 1910.
ROBERT S. SMITH
Pioneer Laid to Rest on Saturday Afternoon.
SEVENTY-ONE YEARS HERE
Well Known as Proprietor of One of the Largest Farms in the Vicinity of Saranac Lake—Death Follows Paralytic Stroke—Sold Sanitorium Site to Dr. E. L. Trudeau.
Robert Smith, one of the pioneers of the Saranac Lake region, died at his home on the Sanitarium Road on Wednesday night, November 23. The funeral was held from the family home Saturday afternoon at 1 o'clock, and was one of the most largely attended of recent years in [illegible] was made in the village cemetery.
The death was sudden and unexpected, following a week's illness. On Wednesday, Nov. 16, Mr. Smith suffered a paralytic stroke, from which his advanced age made a recovery problematical. The news of his death was a shock to his many friends. He was 78 years, five months and five days old.
Robert Samuel Smith was born in the town of Chester, Warren County 78 years ago. He came, with his parents, to Harrietstown, when he was seven years old, and has lived here continuously ever since. He became well known to a large number of people living in this section of the Adirondacks, and invariably made friends of his acquaintances.
A farmer by occupation, Mr. Smith acquired several hundred acres of land on the side of Pisgah Mountain. All that tract now owned and occupied by the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium was at one time the property of Robert Smith, and it was he who sold the site of the present sanitarium to Dr. E. L. Trudeau, the founder.
He saw the county round about him grow from a wilderness into one of the greatest health and pleasure resorts in America. When his parents came to Harrietstown the village of Saranac Lake did not yet exist. Land values were low, and the most valuable property in the village could then have been bought at a nominal price.
A large family of children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith and of them six are living. They are Sanford, Frederick [sic: James F.?], Edward and Robert of Saranac Lake, James of New York and Miss Mary Smith, of this place. All are well known. Sanford is the proprietor of a large garage and automobile business in Saranac Lake, and James has a responsible position with the police department of [New Y]ork City.
On page 746 in the St. Armand section of biographies of History of Essex County appears the following:
"Smith, R. S., p. o. Saranac Lake, was born in Warren county in 1832, and came to Harrietstown in 1839 and into St. Armand in 1850; is a farmer; has held the offices of supervisor, assessor and commissioner of highways. Was married in 1859 to Ellen Nord [sic: Eleanor Ward], a native of Warren county, and they have six children."
[No mention is made of any religious affiliation or activity. R. S. Smith is the son of Samuel Smith. "Ellen Nord" must have been a misunderstanding of the name "Eleanor Ward" by the writer of the History.]
Robert S. and Eleanor Ward-Smith are buried at Pine Ridge cemetery. Their children are buried there also.
2012-04-29 12:49:27 Eleanor Ward. JR —188.8.131.52
2012-04-29 17:15:02 JR: I have made the changes that I believe you indicated. Please email me if they are not correct. Thanks! —MaryHotaling
2012-11-23 21:14:36 In 1875, in the deed No. 74/159, Robert S. Smith sold 14 3/4 acres to Sarah Manning. Mrs. Manning later sold the property to the Trudeau Institute. Robert sold 16 acres for $50.00 per acre for a total of $800.00 of which Anson Phelps Stokes contributed $500.00. The balance was made up by the Guides. (deeds 91-110. #5—98/430) JR—2012.
2012-11-30 15:40:35 Robert S. Smith purchased 5 Jun 1872 the Homestead and all of Great Lot #9 from his father, the Reverend Samuel Smith for the sum of $100.00. (deed 142/535). Robert did not inherit the property. Robert had previously purchased all of Great Lot #10 in 1870 from Chapman Biddle of Philadelphia, PA. (deed 117/534) In 1875 Robert sold 14 3/4 acres to Sarah Manning. Robert did not buy property from Manning. (deed 74/159) Manning sold her holdings to Trudeau. —184.108.40.206