The Smith Family

Compiled with the help of Don Neeld and George C. Smith

George Cunningham Smith

Nancy A. (McRoberts) Smith

Robert Smith Sr. came to the United States from Ireland as a teenager-stowing away of a ship-in 1736. Sometime about 1772, he came to Allegheny County and raised five children on a farm located at the present day intersection of Library and Conner roads. His son Robert inherited the farm and had 11 children. Of those children, William, would purchased 77 acres in the Castle Shannon area-later expanded to 197 acres-where Mt. Lebanon Golf Course is now located (the land included a sawmill where Hamilton School later stood). William married Sarah H. (Cunningham) in 1840 and they had 11 children, of whom only four reached maturity. Their son George C. Smith (1841-1906) married Nancy Ann McRoberts (1840-1928) of Mifflin Township on Oct. 6, 1864.

George, a Republican, and Nancy set up housekeeping in a log house near the present day intersection of Chestnut Street and Poplar Avenue. In 1872, William sold the farm to the Pittsburgh & Castle Shannon Railroad Company and the entire family moved to Washington County. But in 1879, after the railroad failed to make payments, William repossessed the farm at sheriffs’ sale and, a year later, George and his family moved back to the farm, settling in the house on Pine Avenue originally occupied by William (William stayed in Bulger). George farmed his land and eventually became the director of the Castle Shannon Savings and Trust Company.

Ida, Sarah and Nancy (sitting) Smith
From left: William, John Franklin, Richard Lesnett Smith

Nancy and George’s six children thrived-sons Richard Lesnett and John Franklin (who died in the 1900 typhoid epidemic at age 30) both graduated from Western University (now University of Pittsburgh) in civil engineering; William graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in biology; daughters Ida (1872-1960) and Sarah Hays Smith (1868-1943) lived at the family home until their deaths. George and Nancy’s daughter Eleanor Jane married Lewis E. Neeld in 1898.

In the mid-1940s, the Smiths sold 107 acres of their land; it eventually became the Mt. Lebanon Golf Course.

In the church’s death records, the words “Strong Christian” are written by George’s name.

The Smith’s Pine Avenue house

The Smith family gather for the golden wedding anniversary of William and
Sarah Cunningham Smith (seated center) at their home in Bugler, Washington
County, April 16, 1890. George Cunningham and Nancy Smith are standing at
upper right.

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