Born: New York, 1831
Died: 8 January 1902
The History of Lincoln County gives this account of the John Best Smith family: "John Best and Lydia Miner Smith were two pioneers, who traveled from the eastern U.S. and ended their trail at Chandler, Oklahoma Territory, soon after the Run. ...John and Lydia were married Jan. 1, 1854. During the years between 1854 and 1881 they lived all over Iowa. They had twelve children....one of who was Almira." The Smiths with their grown children and in-laws moved to Douglas, Butler Co. KS in 1881. Then in 1886 most of the family went to Ness Co. KS. "Their daughter, Almira, had remained at Douglas, where she married Elisha McCorkle, son of Joel and Mary Earls McCorkle. They also became part of a wagon train that went to Chandler in 1892, after the men had gone there previously, bought 'squatters rights,' built houses and returned to Douglas."
Curiously, the article doesn’t mention John’s Civil War service, usually a matter of family pride. He fought with the 179th Pennsylvania Infantry, according to his pension-application records.
For the names of the children of John Best and Lydia Miner Smith, see the entry for his wife.
The death notice in the Chandler News raises one interesting question: Who was Friend Cook?