Smart & McArthur Families

McArthur Tartan
McArthur Crest

Written by

Judge Charles A. Smart;

Dec 20, 1920


Edited by Kenneth C. Bower


The brief story that I am about to relate is not written because of anything eventful or out of the ordinary, but because it is believed that as the years go by, it may be interesting to those who live then.  I am persuaded that this may be true because of the fact that I would be glad indeed if I could go back more than two generations and ascertain anything touching my ancestors, but as they were all humble people, very little can be found except perhaps the old church records of Scotland where I might find the names, but they would be names only.


Robert Smart, my father's grandfather, was born about 1743, and probably at or near Little Wood Head, in the parish of Ebdie, in Scotland.  I have seen a book, I think now in the possession of my sister, in which Robert Smart had signed his name in a well Andrew Smart written hand, as follows:  "Robert Smart, Little Wood Head, Parish of Ebdie, December 22, 1784."  This book is a geography, and the fact that his name appears under date December 22, 1784, led me to inquire if the date of his birth, 1743, was not an error, as it will appear from these two dates that he was 41 years old when the latter date was written.  Of course it does not necessarily follow that the name and date were written in the geography during his school days.  My father assured me that 1743 was about the date of his birth.  He died about 1838, and was buried in the parish of Monemeal, Scotland.  He is said to have been a very strong man, both in mind and body.  I never learned his occupation, except he was a land owner.  When quite a young man, he married Jennett Scott, in Auchtermuchty, in Fifeshire.  Of this union there were born three children, Jennett, David and Andrew.  David went into the wars with Spain and was never heard of.  I can learn nothing of the after life of Jennett.  Andrew, the second son was born in 1796 in Fifeshire, Scotland, and in the parish of Auchtermuchty.  He was my father's father, and of him I will write more in detail a little later.


In 1823 Andrew married Ellen Taylor, of the parish of Ebdie.  Of her grandfather a story is told, that a man by the name of Angus was a drover in the Highlands of Scotland.  As he was driving a herd of cattle from the Highlands of Scotland over into England, he found a little boy on the highway crying.  The boy seemed to be in great grief for one so young.  Mr. Angus stopped and made inquiry as to the cause of such grief, and he learned that the boy's mother was dead and that the father had re-married, and that the stepmother was very unkind to him, and at that time had driven him from home.  Mr. Angus, touched by the story of the boy, took him with him to England, and thence to the Lowlands of Scotland, where he reared him as his own.  The boy took the name of the kindhearted drover, and later married and his granddaughter was Ellen Taylor.


Ellen Taylor, wife of Andrew Smart, died in 1847, about January 20th, near Auchtermuchty, where Andrew Smart owned a small farm.  Andrew Smart and Ellen his wife, were born five children who grew to manhood and womanhood, and one other who died in infancy.  Robert Smart, the oldest son, was my father, born at Auchtermuchty in Fifeshire, on November 18th, 1824.  David Smart, was born in 1828; Ellen Smart, who later intermarried with Robert Hodge of Janesville, Wisconsin, born in 1830; Katie Smart, afterwards married to one McLaflin, in 1833, and Jannett Smart, in 1838.


Euphemia Smart Robert Smart Robert Smart, my father, was married to Euphemia McArthur, my mother, at Edinburgh, Scotland, May 2, 1847, and lived in Glasgow, Scotland, until 1849.  To this union were born nine children, eight of whom are still living.  Their names and date and place of births are as follows:  Andrew J., July 9 1848, Perth, Scotland.  Elizabeth, August 6, 1849, Perth, Scotland.  Frank R. July 4, 1852, Janesville, Wisconsin.  James H., June 15, 1855, Edgerton, Wisconsin.  Charles A. January 5, 1858, Edgerton, Wisconsin.  Ellen Taylor, October 19, 1860, Edgerton, Wisconsin.  Arthur Hodge, April 1, 1863, Edgerton, Wisconsin.  Winfield S., 1868, Edgerton, Wisconsin.  Effie Hoy, December 7, 1870, Edgerton, Wisconsin.


Winfield S. or Winnie, as we always called him, died August 8, 1874, on the farm where he was born, near Edgerton, and was buried in the cemetery at Edgerton.  He was a very bright boy as I remember him, and talked upon subjects far beyond his years.  He saw but little of his life, as he was seldom if ever off the farm where he was born.


It may be interesting to note how my grandfather Andrew Smart came to leave Scotland and locate in the new State of Wisconsin.  It came about in this way.  He was a landowner, and that made his name on any financial obligation worth par.  In the village of Auchtermuchty a man the name of John White was a cloth manufacturer, employing several people to do weaving.  As I understand it, he not only did weaving on this own account and sold cloth to dealers, but that he wove for those who brought to him the raw material and took his pay in kind, a sort of toll.  White was a dishonest man, and got into difficulty with his creditors I conclude, and was arrested under some proceedings under the laws of that country for imprisoning men of that character.  I think perhaps the proceeding were not unlike the arrest and bail act of Kansas.  Be that as it may, he was released upon a bond signed by my grandfather Andrew Smart, and he at once bade adieu to the hills and heather of his native land, and located in Wisconsin.  My grandfather has to sell his farm to pay this obligation, and concluded that he would take his children, all then unmarried except my father, and follow this man White to the United States and endeavor to collect.


About ten days before my grandfather was to leave Scotland with his family, my father visited him and concluded that the old gentleman was not equal to the task, and he at once made up his mind that he would accompany his father to the new land, which he did, leaving my mother with her sister in the old country.  This was in the spring of 1849, and they landed at Janesville, Wisconsin then a small village, in Rock County.  My grandfather purchased a small farm about nine miles west of Edgerton, Wisconsin, near the little village of Cooksville, where he lived the remainder of his days.  He never collected the obligation from Mr. White, although for many years they were neighbors.  A grandson of White was a classmate of mine in the Academy in 1877.

In the early spring of 1850, my mother with her two children, one about 20 months old, and the other about 7, left Scotland on a sailing vessel for New York.  She was seven weeks on the Atlantic Ocean.  Arriving in New York, she made her way by rail, canal and lake boats, to Milwaukee, 65 miles from Janesville.  It will be remembered there was neither railroad nor stagecoach, nor any other regular method of passenger conveyance between Milwaukee and Janesville at that time.  The country was new.  The roads were mere trails cut through the woods.  There was no telegraphic or other means of communication, so it was quite impossible for my father to know when she would arrive in Milwaukee.  The best she could do was to employ a teamster who had drawn grain from Janesville to Milwaukee and was engaged in taking merchandise back on his return trip, and with him she secured transportation, crude as it was, between these two points.  It took them about two days to make the trip.  My father had erected a small house in the little village of Janesville where he and my mother at once commenced their new home in the new land.


I have omitted to state that my father was a carpenter and builder of high order, and about the time that my mother arrived, together with Robert Hodge, the husband of his sister, opened a small wagon shop in Janesville that has since grown to be the Janesville Carriage Works.  My father remained in that business until 1855, when he purchased the farm of 80 acres, five miles west of Edgerton, Wisconsin, where I was born.  Neither he nor my mother had any knowledge of farming.  While his father had owned a small farm in Scotland, I do not understand that he ever worked upon it, and this venture at farming was indeed a dreary undertaking.  This little eighty-acre tract was reached by a winding trail through the heavy timber, 15 miles from Janesville.  There were practically no improvement on the farm except a little log cabin built in the midst of heavy timber by the side of a little lake.  There was no way of knowing just where the public highways would be located, and when a public highway was located, it proved to be about a quarter of a mile away from this cabin.  It was fifteen years before my mother returned to Janesville.  All of the children except the oldest three were born on this farm.  The farm was a poor one, and my father was a poor farmer.  The net result of this combination was the direst poverty.  The family lived in this log cabin until about 1868, when my father purchased another eighty acres of land, upon which there were some frame buildings that he moved to the site of the old log cabin, and made out of them a reasonably comfortable house.  The long years spent in clearing up his farm, by clearing, I mean grubbing out timber and breaking up the ground, entailed great hardships.


My father was never out of debt until he left and sold that farm.  I can well remember of hearing the word "mortgage" long years before I had the slightest conception of what it was.  I only knew that it was a thing that consumed that net proceeds of the poor farm in the fall.


My father never would have been able to retain the farm had it not been for the fact that his services were in demand as a carpenter, though wages were small.  Both before and after the great fire in Chicago, he spent many months in that city as a contractor, leaving my mother at home with the children on the farm.  She often said later in life, that she never could think of any one moving onto a farm, without a shoulder.


I well remember as a boy, of thinking as I observed my mother from day to day, and more especially on Sundays, that I could observe in her demeanor a longing to return to the hills of Scotland, and to the place where as a girl she had been tenderly and happily reared, and as I have grown older, I believe my thoughts of her were correct, although as the years passed by and old age commenced to creep over her, she frequently said that she had no desire to return to Scotland.  I have never quite understood why she did not keep up a correspondence with her people there.  My father frequently wrote letters to her people and received letters from them, but I don't remember of my mother writing to them at all.  This is the more strange to me when I reflect that in her later years, even after she had passed the eighty mark, she was a voluminous writer, and had the ability to concentrate.  That is, to say much in few words.


It may be interesting to those who read this little story, to have explained a little more in detail, the log cabin in which we lived.  It was a very crude structure, about 20 feet square, built of rough logs of different lengths.  That is to say, at the corners on the outside the logs would protrudes some three feet, some four, leaving a very convenient stairway for the boys to climb to the loft.  The roof was made of what they call in the back woods of Wisconsin, shakes, which were imitation shingles, split out of rough timber.  The floors, both the lower and upper one, were of rough boards.  The chamber, or rather the garret, was reached at one time I remember, by a crude ladder, but when the ladder gave way by reason of the assaults upon it by a crowd of healthy, vigorous boys, it was never replaced, and those of us who used the garret as sleeping quarters, reached that apartment by climbing the logs, and we became experts.  Of course my mother couldn't get up there, and so we boys were the only clamber maids that ever visited that particular locality.  There was but one door and no porch.  There were three windows, as I remember, and screens were unknown at the time, even in houses of greater pretensions.  On extra special occasions, when the meals were spread, some one of the children was delegated to stand by the table with a small branch of tree and "shoo" the flies.


Depressing as the situation was, our lives in the log cabin were not entirely without fun.  One incident will suffice.  Some kind neighbor gave to one of the boys a little lamb.  It was the first of it's kind that we ever had, and it was a great pet.  We named it Nellie, and Nellie grew with the same rapidity that the boys did, and we shared each other's joys and sorrows.  When Nellie was about a year old, my father commenced to talk about shearing her.  We boys had no knowledge of just what that meant, or what the operation would be.  Neither did Nellie.  And I am persuaded that my father was about as ignorant touching the situation as we were.  But the time came when Nellie was to be shorn, and my father undertook the job about sundown one summer night.  He undertook to do the work with a pair of dull scissors, and instead of keeping the fleeces as a unit, as is the custom with sheep shearers, he took each separate look when clipped and laid it aside.  Poor Nellie was forced into some diverse and sundry positions during the hours that were consumed in de-fleecing her.  Sometimes she would sit upright and make a bold attempt to assume an appearance of contentment.  Then again she would be placed prone upon her back with a child holding each foot, while my father proceeded to pluck the wool, more after the style of picking a chicken than shearing a sheep.  Sometimes the dull scissors would get too close and take the wool a piece of mutton that Nellie objected strenuously to part with.  Then it was that she manifested her displeasure by vigorous gestures, so fat as she was able, with all four feet.  I don't know just how long this process continued, because one by one the children grew sleepy and retired.  Now to retire frequently meant to curl up in one corner on the floor and go to sleep.  When morning came, Nellie was a sorry sight.  Had she passed through a Kansas cyclone, her personality could not have been more disfigured.  While she lived many years after that and was the mother of many kids, I always thought that she never possessed the same degree of self-respect that she had before that awful night.


My Mother - (Euphemia McArthur Smart)

           At this point I will give a brief sketch of the life of my mother.  Her early life illy fitted her for the hardships she encountered in the new land.  Although her parents were poor people in Scotland, she was tenderly reared.  My mother's grandfather Francis McArther, was born at Strathmenglo, Scotland.  His wife was Jannett Mathew, and there was born to them two children, a boy and a girl, Francis McArther, and Betsey.  Francis McArther Jr., was my mother's father, and was married to Effie Hoy, to whom were born seven children.  Four only grew to maturity.  Elizabeth intermarried with William Veatch, and came to Wisconsin and died.  She was buried near Madison, Wis.



According to the book: Kansas: a Cyclopedia of State History, EmbracingEevents, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities,Towns, Prominent Persons, etc.  by Carolyn Ward

Charles A. Smart Charles A. Smart of Ottawa is one of the ablest lawyers and jurists of Kansas. He began the practice of law at Ottawa, coming to that city from Wisconsin, his native state, in 1883, in which year he was admitted to the bar. He had read law in the office of A. A. Jackson of Janesville, Wisconsin. He was born in Rock county, Wisconsin, Jan. 5, 1858. His parents were Robert and Euphemia (McArthur) Smart, both of whom were born in Scotland, where they were reared and married, and whence they came with their two eldest children to America in 1849, settling in Janesville, Wis. The father first engaged in carpentering, then farmed successfully for thirty years. His later years were spent in a deserved retirement from active business cares at Milton, Wis. His death occurred in 1903 while visiting his son in Ottawa. His father, Andrew Smart, also born in Scotland, emigrated to America, settled in Wisconsin, there farmed and resided till his death which occurred in 1880. The maternal grandfather of Judge Smart was Franklin McArthur, a cooper by trade, who was born and reared in Scotland, where he also spent his life.  His mother, now past eighty-five years of age, lives in his home at Ottawa.  She and her husband were reared in the faith of the established church of Scotland, but in America they were members of the Methodist Episcopal church.  They had nine children as follows: Elizabeth (now Mrs. Page); Andrew, of Portland, Ore.; Frank R.; James H.; Charles A.; Ella (now Mrs. Plumb); Effie (now Mrs. Von Poole) and Winfield Scott Smart. The last named died in infancy.

Charles A. Smart first attended the common schools, and then the academy at Milton, Wis., from 1877 to 1882, during which period he also taught eight terms of school.  Thus attending and teaching school alternately he was enabled to obtain literary education.  He became a lawyer from choice and has been eminently successful. Soon after beginning the practice of his profession at Ottawa he became prominently identified with the Republican party, and in 1885 was elected to his first public office—that of city attorney for Ottawa, a position held for three consecutive terms. In 1888 he was elected county attorney, but failed of reelection in 1890 through the strength of the Populist party.  In 1896 he was nominated by the Republican party as its candidate for judge of the district court, and on the face of the returns he was declared elected over the Populist party candidate, S. A. Riggs, who contested Judge Smart's election and in whose favor a Populist senate decided the contest, removed Judge Smart, who had already qualified in the office and had served as judge of the court for three months. In 1900, when the next election for the district court judgeship came about, Judge Smart was given the nomination for the office by the Republican party, and he was successful of election at the polls. In 1904, and 1908 he was reelected to the office. The judicial district is composed of Franklin, Anderson and Douglas counties and known as the Fourth judicial district. Over the courts of this district Judge Smart has presided with a pleasing dignity and fairness, which together with his exceptionally able ruling and decisions, have won for him the distinction of being one of the ablest district court judges in Kansas.  An examination of the supreme court reports in cases which have been carried up from the district courts, show that less than fifteen per cent of Judge Smart's rulings and decisions has been reversed, a percentage which is far below the average number of reversals.  Judge Smart's decisions have been characteristic of a profound knowledge of the law, an analytic
mind, a broad grasp ofLola S. Bedford the principle of law involved, and in addition thereto, unbiased judgment.  He is held in highest esteem by the legal profession, and likewise by the populace, who respect him for his strict regard for the rights and privileges of others, for his fairness, kindness and keen sense of duty and honor as a public official and as a citizen.

In 1885 was solemnized the marriage of Judge Smart, Miss Lola S. Bedford of Wisconsin becoming his wife. Her father, James Bedford, was a native of England, whence he came to America, settling in Wisconsin.  Unto Judge Smart and wife five children have been born as follows: Georgia and Lola, graduates of the 1909 class, University of Kansas; Euphemia; Charlotte, and Carolee.  The family are communicants of the Congregational church. Fraternally Judge Smart is a Knight Templar Mason, Transced Commandery No. 11, at Ottawa.  He holds a financial interest in the First National Bank of Ottawa, and is a director in the Ottawa Mutual Loan & Savings Association.

Smart Family Photos

Smart Family in 1903
About 1903
Carolee, C. A. Smart, Lola, Charlotte, Georgia, Euphemia, Lola S. Bedford (wife)
Four Smart Girls
Carolee, Charlotte, Euphemia & Lola in 1946

Links to McArthur History:
Edited and updated 5/8/2010
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