Germaine's Marriage - Harrison B. Smith

Harrison B. Smith

Biography

Harrison B. Smith (1866-1942)

Harrison Brooks Smith, son of Isaac Noyes Smith and Caroline Quarrier, was born on 7 September 1866. He married Katharine Bowne on 12 May 1896. They had three children: Harrison Bowne (b.abt. 1898), Helen Dana (b.abt. 1900) and Alexander (b.abt. 1908).

Harrison attended Princeton University and then followed up at law school at the University of Virginia. He became a City Solicitor for Charleston, West Virginia, and was an elder in his local Presbyterian Church. He was also the President of the Southern States Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Harrison was a lawyer, but he was also a noted musician, playing the cello and singing. He also enjoyed tennis and was an avid golf player. The 3 June 1927, Princeton Alumni Weekly, (Vol.27, no.33), sheds a bit of light on Harrison's character and the jests of his classmates:

Smith, Harrison B., Jopa, has been off on quite a trip which depleted his stock of bread and butter for his dependent family, so he is unable to spare the time and give a stroke a hole to the other '86 golfers on May 19. Jopa has the psychic advantage as an opponent of golf almost as effectual as Cory Fleming's alarm watch, commemorated in the Class History, which, by a ventrical contortion he makes go off in his fob just as his opponent draws back to drive on the tee. Jopa's advantage lies in the common knowledge of his classmates, that he is a cellist and they are always conscious in memory of the sounds, -I do not say noises,- that used to be emitted in that second-story room opposite Pop Newton's where Smith used to practise with his bow, and harrow the souls of his auditors.

Later in 1927 (16 December), the Princeton Alumni Weekly makes mention that Jopa Smith had written a Princeton song and he is urged to send the song to the leader of the Glee Club. All the '86 men in Charleston W.Va., are lawyers. One half of them are expert musicians and the other half are expert congressmen. Both of them love the Class of '86- more than they do the Democratic Party, which is saying a great deal.

Two years later, the 18 October 1929 Princeton Alumni Weekly tells us of an impressive golf partnership between Jopa and H.R.H The Prince of Wales (later known as King Edward VIII):

Jopa was golfing in England this summer with two friends when the hon. secretary of the club came to them saying there was a player at loose ends, having no partner. “Sure," genially replied Harrison Smith of West Virginia. The Prince of Wales- no less- thereupon joined them. Jopa refuses to say how much H.R.H. took out of him. But the secretary ventures to say that, if Jopa fixed the odds, the flow of gold was towards the U.S.

Harrison died on 18 October 1942. His death was noted in the 8 Dec 1944 edition of the Princeton Alumni Weekly:

Harrison B. Smith, known to us as Jopah, died on October 18, 1942, at the age of 77. His widow survived him but a few months. They had three children, one son dying only recently in a tragic accident.

The tragic accident occurred on a return trip from his mother's funeral in Charleston W., VA. On Alexander's way to the Salt Lake City, he stopped in Chicago. He fell off the 14th floor of the Chicagoan hotel. Cpl Smith had been in the Army a year and was enroute to the Air Corps base at Salt Lake City. He left behind a widow, Margaret Shawkey Deisher.

Harrison Brooks Smith and his wife Katherine had five grandchildren: Harrison Bowne Smith III, Dorothy Bowne Smith, Katharine Bowne Fox, John Dana Fox, and Helen Quarrier Fox.

UPEI Provenance Collection

Sands, George. Germaine's marriage: a tale of peasant life in France. New York: Richmond Croscup, 1892. [Bookplate with Harrison Brooks, and Katharine Bowne Smith].

Sources:

1900 United States Federal Census. Census Place: Charleston Ward 6, Kanawha, West Virginia; Roll: 1762; Page: 2B; Enumeration District: 0048; FHL microfilm: 1241762.

Evans, Frederick. After twenty-five years, class record of 1886 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1911), 164-165.

New York, New York, Marriage Index 1866-1937.

Various editions of the Princeton Alumni Weekly cited within the text.

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