Difference between revisions of "CLARK, Ada Rachel - I1510"

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(Smith, Ada Rachel Clark Smith's obituary - AGAIN THE CHURCH MOURNS)
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Just as with <tng i=1465>Bertha</tng>, we can find no personal public statement made by <tng i=1510>Ada</tng>, nor was she quoted in any source I have found.  We learn more about her character from the tender words written in her obituary, and from the tribute by <tng i=25247>Audentia</tng>.<br>
 
Just as with <tng i=1465>Bertha</tng>, we can find no personal public statement made by <tng i=1510>Ada</tng>, nor was she quoted in any source I have found.  We learn more about her character from the tender words written in her obituary, and from the tribute by <tng i=25247>Audentia</tng>.<br>
  
== Smith, Ada Rachel Clark Smith's obituary - AGAIN THE CHURCH MOURNS ==
+
== Smith, Ada Rachel Clark Smith's obituary - Again the Church Mourns ==
 
     It is with deepest regret that we chronicle the sad loss by death of <tng i=1510>Sister Ada R Smith</tng>, so soon after the lamented death of her devoted husband, <tng i=1414>Joseph Smith</tng>, the late President of the Church. She passed away at the Independence Sanitarium about eight o’clock in the evening Wednesday, October 20th, [1915] after an illness of more than two months, having three young sons, <tng i=12998>Richard Clark</tng>, aged seventeen, <tng i=1711>William Wallace</tng>, aged fifteen, and <tng i=32228>Reginald Archer</tng>, aged thirteen, her husband having preceded her only about ten months.<br>
 
     It is with deepest regret that we chronicle the sad loss by death of <tng i=1510>Sister Ada R Smith</tng>, so soon after the lamented death of her devoted husband, <tng i=1414>Joseph Smith</tng>, the late President of the Church. She passed away at the Independence Sanitarium about eight o’clock in the evening Wednesday, October 20th, [1915] after an illness of more than two months, having three young sons, <tng i=12998>Richard Clark</tng>, aged seventeen, <tng i=1711>William Wallace</tng>, aged fifteen, and <tng i=32228>Reginald Archer</tng>, aged thirteen, her husband having preceded her only about ten months.<br>
  

Revision as of 19:41, 4 November 2019

Ada Rachel Clark Smith

Ada Rachel Clark Smith Third Wife of Joseph Smith III

   By Gracia N. Jones
Ada Rachel Clark Smith

Ada Rachel Clark was born 23 July, 1871, near Bellwood, Garafraxa Township, Wellington County, Ontario, Canada to Alexander and Mary Middleton Clark. Her father was from Aberdeen, Scotland and her mother was a native of Ontario. When Ada married Joseph Smith III, 12 January 1898, at Waldemar, Ontario, Canada, she was twenty-six years old; he, president and prophet of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (RLDS), was a sixty-five-year-old-two-time widower with several grown children, two teenagers, and several grandchildren.

Ada and Joseph had met briefly, more than a year-and-a-half earlier, when both were attending an RLDS conference in Kirtland, Ohio. It so happened they met again in Toronto, a year or so after he lost his wife, Bertha. Joseph and Richard Clark, apostle in the Church, had gone to Toronto to attend a Church conference. On 26 October 1897, he wrote to his daughter, Audentia, telling her about his recent encounter with Ada.

“While at supper, yesterday evening, Ada Clark, a still older maid, sister to Mable came in. She [Ada] is employed as a helper in Bellevue Avenue Hospital for women; and having the evening out came to the house to go to prayer meeting to be held in St. Anderson’s Hall. A Sr. Minnie Faulds [a] married woman was also there. When we started for the meeting Sister Faulds, Mable Clark, and Mary Jackson, closed up in rank and left Ada to my care. So, accepting the challenge, I walked with her to Sr. Anderson’s. She is tall; I have to look straight out of my eyes, level headed to look her in the eyes. She is not very broad, but weighs 190 lbs. Her eyes are grey, if I have seen them right. She had a colorful head of hair something the color of your own, is not very handsome as beauty goes, but is good looking, having a bright intelligent countenance.”

During the rest of the conference Ada and Joseph were constant companions. A deep friendship was kindled. Years later Joseph confided in his memoirs, that “a warm friendship soon ripened into love.” Joseph wrestled with the question about whether it would be appropriate for him to propose marriage to this lovely woman so much younger than himself. He made it a matter of serious prayer and said he received several significant manifestations indicating the affirmative, so he wrote a letter asking her father’s permission to marry her. The reaction was a hasty message for Ada to go to her father’s home in Waldemar, immediately, which she did.

Rachel’s father, Alexander Clark, and her mother, Mary (Middleton) Clark, were living at their farm near Waldemar, about sixty miles north of Toronto. Joseph had to continue his own business, traveling on to Pittsburgh, then returned back to Toronto where he was invited to the Seaton home to spend Christmas, 1897. There he enjoyed a week of pleasant association with Ada; and having received approval from her family, the wedding date was set for January 12, 1898. On New Years’ Day, Ada and Joseph took the train from Toronto to the RR station at Grand Valley, not far from the Clark’s farm at Waldemar.

News that Miss Ada Rachel Clark was about to marry ‘the Mormon Prophet’ caused very negative reactions in the community of Waldemar. Alexander Clark was of Scotch lineage and her mother was English. When they first moved to Waldemar, they had attended the Presbyterian Church. Rachel was the organist for the congregation. But after Alexander and his family converted to the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and became a teacher in that Church, there was great prejudice against them in the community. The local press became extremely rabid in their criticism of Ada marrying Joseph Smith. Never-the-less the happy couple exchanged vows administered by Richard Charles Evans, at 1:30 p.m. the afternoon of 12 January. After the ceremony, they went to the Clark’s home and enjoyed a sumptuous dinner, then the happy couple left on the train for Toronto where they arrived in time to attend a prayer meeting. The next morning, they took the train to Chicago, arriving there on the 14th, continuing their journey, the next day, they arrived in Lamoni, Iowa, where the ground was covered with a blanket of snow, and the weather was very cold.

A Warm Welcome for the new Bride at Liberty Hall

Joseph Smith III

Of this homecoming, Joseph III wrote that he had not given his new bride any information about the household she would be entering, nor the nature of the personalities with whom she would become so intimately involved for the rest of her life. Joseph had not anticipated any fan-fare, upon their arrival at the home on the outskirts of Lamoni, Iowa. However, his eldest daughter, Audentia Smith Anderson, (only one year younger than the new bride) who had served as housekeeper and hostess for him since Bertha’s passing, had gathered the entire family and many friends to give the new step-mother, a happy welcome. Joseph recorded what happened as they arrived at the front door of Liberty Hall. “There on the steps stood Alexander Hale Smith, my brother, and one or two others. When the door swung open it revealed “old and young, the whole family clan extending smiling greetings, loving hand-clasps and affectionate caresses.”

Ada fitted comfortably into the large and harmonious household, and the couple would enjoy nearly seventeen years together before Joseph III’s death 10 December 1914. In his Memoirs, Joseph left an interesting commentary regarding the three women he had married, becoming the father of seventeen children:

“As I have said, I loved my first wife, [Emmeline Griswold] with that ardent love usually cherished by young and domestically-inclined men for the companionship they have chosen out of the world. In a little over twelve years of married happiness, her life was snuffed out and she was laid to rest near the flowing Mississippi in Nauvoo. My married life with my second companion [Bertha Madison] was a very pleasant, placid and happy one, and continued for twenty-seven years with our mutual regard and esteem undisturbed and unbroken to the last. When her strong and robust life was cut short by an untoward accident, I married this, my third companion, [Ada Rachel Clark] for the purpose of keeping my home intact and preserving that domestic environment which has ever been essential to my happiness. “I do not hesitate to say that I have found in this marriage an element of romance similar that of my first with the added influence of a studious regard coupled with the characteristics of devotion, love, and esteem seldom experienced by a man who marries for a third time. I am safe in saying that few instances of married life under these conditions have been happier than mine. Seldom has a man in public life who has married a third time been more blessed in that later companionship than I have been and it adds to my joy that my children and my children’s children have shown an affectionate and undiminished regard for the woman I shoes, with whom my life is now quietly passing.”

Three sons were born to Ada and Joseph III: Richard Clark (Dick), December 26, 1898, William Wallace, November 18, 1900, and Reginald Archer, January 8, 1903. In 1906, it was decided the family should move to Independence, Missouri. They settled in a spacious home at 1214 West Short Street. There they lived out their last days together in peaceful-happy harmony, as Joseph noted, “a harmonious and harmony loving family.”

Ada traveled with Joseph many Church events easing the stress such trips would cause one who was aging. In the last four years of his life Joseph III became totally blind and nearly stone deaf. Through their years together Ada was his faithful and beloved attendant, and she did not faulter when darkness descended on him.

Audentia, who compiled her father’s Memoirs, and an extensive genealogical record published in 1929, “Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale,” wrote these words in tribute:

“While much younger than her husband, she [Ada] gave him close and sympathetic companionship through the declining years of his life, bore him three splendid sons, and presided over his home with gracious dignity and hospitality. Trained as a nurse, with wide experience in that profession, she tenderly cared for him during the four years of darkness which closed down upon him ere he was called home. Always cheerful, appreciative, encouraging, her life was filled with kindly ministrations, and when, within so short a time, she followed her beloved and honored husband into the dark valley of death, she left many aching hearts behind.”

Just as with Bertha, we can find no personal public statement made by Ada, nor was she quoted in any source I have found. We learn more about her character from the tender words written in her obituary, and from the tribute by Audentia.

Smith, Ada Rachel Clark Smith's obituary - Again the Church Mourns

   It is with deepest regret that we chronicle the sad loss by death of Sister Ada R Smith, so soon after the lamented death of her devoted husband, Joseph Smith, the late President of the Church. She passed away at the Independence Sanitarium about eight o’clock in the evening Wednesday, October 20th, [1915] after an illness of more than two months, having three young sons, Richard Clark, aged seventeen, William Wallace, aged fifteen, and Reginald Archer, aged thirteen, her husband having preceded her only about ten months.
   Sister Smith was one of the Church’s noblest women, not by virtue of her position in life, but by the strength and constancy of her character, which, without design or ostentation, shone through every word and act of her daily life. She was quiet, patient, forbearing, manifesting kindness and giving a cheerful word to all. Search as we may, there could be found no higher type of wife and mother, her devotion to her companion and children being shown in her faithful service.  She was devoted to the cause of the gospel, to the truth of which her life was the strongest testimony. Strong in personality as also in physique, she nevertheless did not seek to serve in any public capacity, preferring to do her part where she would be less observed, yet her influence was a tower of strength to others by the power of example rather than by precept.
   In sustaining by her influence and help her companion, the President of the Church, during his advancing years, and in his severer infirmities of blindness, and partial deafness during the last illness, she rendered great service to the Church, sacrificing all else for that service. She gave to the Church and to the world three sons, the value of which gift future years alone will reveal. May the strength and nobility of her character be perpetuated in them that the blessing which she gave to the world in life may be continued now that she has gone.
   We have lost a mother in Israel, and the Church has great cause for mourning. But her rest is glorious. She gave all to the Church of Jesus Christ for the glory of God and her reward is sure. What more glorious hope than to die in assurance of eternal life in the kingdom of God?”

Ada Rachel Clark Smith and Joseph Smith III are buried in Mound Grove Cemetery, Independence, Missouri. With Ada’s passing, her three sons, Richard Clark, 17, William Wallace, 15, and Reginald Archer, 13, were left orphaned. Due to circumstances of ability, and affinity, they would become wards of their half-brother, thirty-nine-year old Israel A. Smith, the fifth child of Joseph III and Bertha. Wife of Israel A. Smith, helped raise Ada’s orphaned sons to manhood. Israel was twenty-two, when his father married Ada. As a young man, Israel had gone to work out of state, but whenever he could get back to Lamoni he enjoyed visiting his father and Ada at Liberty Hall. Family members recalled that ‘The Hall,’ as the family referred to the place, looked different after Ada and Joseph settled in, having been painted yellow, green, cream, and red on the outside.

As always, everyone who came to the house was welcomed. Israel liked going there and he liked Ada. “She was quiet and serene and seemed devoted to his father, and, unexpectedly he found himself very fond of their three young sons.” During Israel’s visits, he had bonded with those young boys, teaching them to play ball, showing them ‘magic’ tricks, and playing hide and seek in the barn and around the big yard of Liberty Hall. After Joseph and Ada moved to Independence in 1906, Israel didn’t get to spend much time with them. He and long-time friend, Nina Marie Grenawalt, were married in 1908, in Lamoni, and they lived there while Israel finished his studies to become an attorney. He passed the bar in Iowa in 1912.

In 1913, Israel moved his family to a house not far from his father, in Independence. This move was made so he could help with Joseph’s care and to finished the oft interrupted project of writing the Joseph’s dictated memoirs. Israel passed the bar in Missouri, in 1914, and began trying to build a law practice. After his father died, Israel and Nina gave Ada and the boys their ongoing support and love. A series of caretakers and housekeepers for the boys did not work out, so Israel and Nina moved into the home on Short Street. They had a three-year old son, Joseph Perrine, born 7 September 1912 in Lamoni, and added another son, Donald Carlos, 4 March 1916, Independence.

In spite of financial challenges, the combined families seemed to blend well and the boys grew to maturity with fond memories of their years in Israel and Nina’s care. Nina was a trained musician and encouraged Dick to develop his fine singing voice. After graduating from High School in Independence, he went to Graceland where he sang in the glee club.

All three boys received encouragement and support in pursuit of higher education, from Israel and Nina. From a long-time friend, we learn that Richard, W. Wallace and Reginald likewise attended Graceland. “All the Smith boys had physiques that inclined them toward athletic activities. Wallace, Richard C., and Reginald (Babe) all played football at Graceland. After one year at Graceland, Babe transferred to Kansas University where he became captain of the K.U. football team. Wallace transferred to the University of Missouri after two years at Graceland and made the varsity teams in both basketball and football.” (Wallace was six feet tall and generally weighed 200 pounds.)

Israel and Nina were hard pressed to meet their financial needs in a time when the whole country was undergoing financial distress. During the hard times Nina was able to supplement the income by giving elocution and private voice lessons. Israel dabbled in state and local politics, worked at his law practice but his kindly nature caused him to do more legal work for free than for pay. Eventually, Israel obtained employment in the RLDS church, serving for several years as Bishop to the Church. Additionally, he was called to serve as a counselor to his older brother Frederick M. Smith in the Church presidency. After his brother Frederick died, Israel became president of the RLDS Church in 1949. He served in that position until his untimely death in a car crash which occurred 4 June, 1958 at Pattonsville, Missouri, when he was driving alone on U. S. Highway 69, between Independence and Lamoni. His wife, Nina had preceded him in death, 8 Oct 1950. They are buried side by side in Mound Grove Cemetery, Independence.

After Israel’s death, the First Presidency continued to function, composed of the two counselors W. Wallace Smith and F. Henry Edwards until a World Conference of the church confirmed W. Wallace Smith as his brother's successor later that fall.

Ada and Joseph III’s grandson, W. Wallace Smith served as President until 1976, when he stepped down to emeritus status, making way for his son, Wallace B. Smith to take over the Church President’s office. In the 1912 photograph of Joseph and Ada, with many family members gathered around, on the porch of the home on Short Street, W. Wallace, age twelve at the time, is conspicuously missing. He is quoted as saying that he “went fishing” and missed that photo op. W. Wallace died 4 Aug 1989.

Ada’s great grandson Wallace B. Smith, 

Wallace B. Smith served as president from 1976, until 5 April 1996, when, like his father, he chose to retire. By appointing Grant McMurray to take his place, Wallace B. Smith affectively ended the tradition of a descendant of the prophet Joseph Smith holding the position of President and Prophet of the RLDS now Community of Christ Church. Liberty Hall still stands in Lamoni, Iowa. It is an interesting museum, restored and preserved, a very interesting place to visit. Rose Hill Cemetery lies just east of ‘the Hall,’ –in this peaceful old cemetery many dozens of the Smith family were laid to rest over the more than 30 years Lamoni was their Center Place, before the headquarters were moved to Independence. (it would be nice to have a picture of Liberty Hall as it is now—showing the colors)

Let us not forget the legacy of Ada Rachel Clark Smith—Joseph Smith III’s Third Wife—while her voice is stilled, her influence lingers.  May she rest in peace until one day we shall greet her in that happy day, somewhere in the Great Beyond, where there will be one great family reunion.


Photo 1912 Joseph III’s home in Independence: Joseph Smith III and his family at the home on Short Street, Independence, MO., in 1912


Subject: Emailing: Joseph III and family in 1912. See names on next page.


Joseph Smith (the Third) and family, November 6, 1912 Standing on porch, left to Right: 1 Corlie (Montfort) McCallum (Mrs. J. Alma). 1. Rogene (Munsell) Smith (Mrs. Hale W.), holding Daughter Bertha Aldine. 2. Emma Rebecca Weld. 4. Doris Zuleika Anderson. 5. Bertha Audentia Anderson. 6. Ruth (Cobb) Smith (Mrs. Frederick M.) 7. Roger alexander Kennedy. 8. Emma Belle (Smith) Kennedy (Mrs. William F.) (Daughter of Alexander H. Smith.)

Standing on steps of porch: 1. Richard Savery Salyards. 2. Benjamin M. Anderson. 2. Alice Myrmida Smith.

Sintting on steps of porch: 1. Glenna Marie Kennedy. 2. Corlie Corrinne McCallum. 3. Robert Montfort McCallum.

Standing on ground: 1. Reginald Archer Smith 2. Israel Alexander Smith. 3. Mary Audentia (Smith) Anderson (Mrs. Benjamin M.) 4. Hale Washington Smith. 5. Lucy Yeteve (Smith) Lysinger (Mrs. Jesse M.) 6. Frederick Madison Smith. 7. Richard Clark Smith. 8. Duane Smith Anderson.

Sitting, adults: 1. Carrie Lucinda (Smith) Weld (Mrs. Francis M.) 2. Emma Josepha (Smith) McCallum (Mrs. Alexander) 3. Joseph Smtih (III) 4. Ada Rachel (Clark) Smith (Mrs. Joseph).

Sitting, children: 1. Joseph Arthur McCallum. 2. Homer Alexander McCallum. 3. Carol Rogene Smith. 4. Lois Audentia Smith. 5. Lucy Rogene Anderson. 6. Smith DeWalt Lysinger. 7. Philip Eugene Lysinger.


Birth Records for Waldemar, Ontario, Canada 1871

 Memoirs of Joseph Smith III, 1832-1914
Joseph Smith to Audentia Smith Anderson, 28 October 1897, Miscellaneous letters and Papers. RLDS Archives.
 Memoirs, p. 60.
 Joseph Smith III Memoirs of
 Audentia and her husband Benjamin M. Anderson had been hostess for her father since Bertha died of injuries, she sustained from a tragic accident early in October 1896.
 Memoirs of Joseph Smith III, 1832-1914, p. 61.
 Ibid, p. 61
 Ibid p. 61c
 “Ancestry and Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale,” get page 575.
 Zion’s Ensign / 1910-1919 / Volume 26, 1915 / 1915 October 28 (No. 43) Editorial
 Ancestry and Posterity, p. 175-176.
 Norma Derry Hiles, Gentle Monarch: The Presidency of Israel A. Smith, Herald Publishing House, 1991, p. 45, reporting on an interview with W. Wallace Smith who told her this. Note: Norma Hiles was curator for RLDS Historic sites, operated by the Restoration Trail Foundation. Her work to help preserve Liberty Hall is greatly appreciated.
 Ibid.
 Israel A. Smith was married 14 March 1904, in Lamoni to Marie Grenawalt, b. 6 August 1886, to John and Fannie (Robinson) Grenawalt, in Harrison County, Missouri. He was 32 and she 22 when they married.
 Norma Derry Hiles, Gentle Monarch: The Presidency of Israel A. Smith, Herald Publishing House, 1991, p.  182.
 Ibid., p. 54.
 Wikipedia story about Israel A. Smith.
 Wikipedia files: Smith designated his son, Wallace B. Smith as his successor in 1976, and on April 5, 1978 he became the first president of the church to retire to "emeritus" status — all previous presidents had served until their deaths.[2] To ensure a smooth transition, W.W. Smith read a letter of resignation shortly before his son was ordained.
 Wallace Bunnell Anthony Smith (born July 29, 1929) was Prophet-President of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints(RLDS) (now Community of Christ), from April 5, 1978 through April 15, 1996. Son of W. Wallace Smith, he was designated as his father's successor in 1976, and ordained church president in 1978 when his father retired to emeritus status. Wallace B. Smith is a great-grandson of Joseph Smith (the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement), and was a practicing ophthalmologist in the Independence, Missouri area before accepting ordination to RLDS leadership.

Smith's presidency was notable for authorizing construction of the church's temple in Independence, Missouri, with construction occurring from 1990 to 1994. His presidency was also noted for promoting a church conference vote on April 5, 1984 which approved ordination of females to priesthood offices: The first ordination took place on November 17, 1985.[3] Smith is also credited with being one of the first church leaders to formally propose a name-change for the church, at a Joint Council retreat in 1994. At the subsequent World Conference in 1996, the proposed name change (to "Community of Christ" from "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints") was not approved by a majority vote at that time, but conference approval did take place during the April 2000 World Conference, four years after Smith's retirement as the church's prophet-president. On September 19, 1995, Smith announced he was retiring as prophet, seer and revelator of the church, and designated W. Grant McMurray as his successor. Smith formally retired on April 15, 1996, at which time his successor McMurray was ordained in a ceremony at the RLDS Auditorium. Smith was designated "President Emeritus," as his father likewise had been designated in 1978 upon ordination of his son. Smith holds the position today. This comes from Wikipedia

Footnotes