Maryatt C. Smith

One of the best known and most successful attorneys of Ballinger is M. C. Smith, engaged in the practice of his profession here since 1886. He has gained a most excellent reputation in legal circles of the county during the years of his residence and practice, and stands well to the forefront in the ranks of good citizens as well as in his profession. His progress has been of steady growth, well worthy of the energy and application with which has career has been marked. It is more than forty years since he began practice, and among his other distinctions Mr. Smith has to his credit a brief service as a soldier of the Confederacy during the war between the states.

M. C. Smith was born on March 7, 1847, in Dublin, Georgia, and is the son of Leonard and Priscilla (Oliver) Smith, both natives of Georgia, and later residents of Louisiana. The father, a man of Scotch-Irish ancestry, was a slave holder and planter, who died in Louisiana before the war. The widow and her sons moved to Marlin, Texas, in 1858, and owned farms in the Brazos bottom, which they operated with more or less success for several years after the war. There were twelve children altogether, seven sons and five daughters. Mr. M. C. Smith is the youngest of the family and the only survivor of the twelve.

In Mount Lebanon, Louisiana, and later in Marlin, Independence and Waco, Texas, M.C. Smith gained his early education by attendance at private and collegiate institutions in those places. In 1867 he went east and entered the Harvard Law School at Cambridge, Massachusetts, and, in 1870, received from that Institution the degree LL.B. His first practice after his graduation was begun in 1872, in Marlin, Texas, and in 1875, he located in Brownwood, where he remained until 1886, when he came to Ballinger. Both Brownwood and Ballinger, when he began practice in those respective localities, were practically frontier towns, and Mr. Smith has grown up with Western Texas, has been a part of it in its magnificent development, and as years have witnessed many improvements in the civilization and resources of the country, so likewise have they brought increased dignity and honor to this well known lawyer. Mr. Smith has continued in practice at Ballinger for twenty-seven years, each year adding something to his popularity as an attorney of skill and position in the county, and he ranks among the most honored and ablest men of the profession.

Always a Democrat, Mr. Smith has been a staunch defender of the party, and has served it well in all the years since he came to man's estate. When the war broke out, Mr. Smith, then only a boy, enlisted in Company B of Waller's Battalion in Tom Green's Brigade, serving from January, 1864, to the close of the war.

Mr. Smith is a member of the Ballinger Commercial Club, and of the Presbyterian church, with which he has long been identified in an active manner. He was married on the seventh day of October 1877, to Miss Dona A. Tanner, at Brownwood. She is the daughter of "Sol" and C.A. (George) Tanner, and was born at Blanco, Texas, in 1860. Her father was a well known stockman and ranger before the Civil war. Three children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, two girls and one boy. Mrs. Hermia Turbeville lives in Ballinger, where her husband is a music dealer; Miss Maryatt is one of the staff of high school teachers in Ballinger, having charge of the Latin and German. Mr. M. C. Smith, Jr., is now a student in the Ballinger high school.

Source: A History of Texas and Texans, by Frank W. Johnson, The American Historical Society, Chicago and New York, 1914

Marryatt C. Smith

Marryatt C. Smith has attained prestige and success in one of the highest professions of the land, that of the law, and he stands in the highest rank of citizenship. Born at Dublin in Lawrence county, Georgia, March 7, 1847, he accompanied the family in 1852 on their removal to a plantation on Red Creek, a tributary of Red River, in Bossier Parish, northwestern Louisiana, eighteen miles east of Shreveport, and being planters they took with them their slaves. But in 1859 they left there and came to Texas, purchasing land and locating in the Brazos bottoms near Marlin in Falls county, where they engaged in cotton planting. Marryatt was the youngest of the six brothers of that family who served in the Confederate army in the war between the states. W.O. Smith, the eldest, was badly wounded in the battle of Opelousas, Louisiana, and although he returned home and was elected the first sheriff of Falls county following the reconstruction period, he died as the ultimate result of his wound in 1883. Marryatt C. Smith enlisted in January of 1864, when less than seventeen years of age, joining Company B, Waller's Battalion, General Tom Green's Brigade, and his services were entirely in the Trans-Mississippi department and principally in Louisiana, including the opposition to the Banks' campaign up the Red River. The battle of Yellow Bayou was the last serious engagement in which he participated.

Mr. Smith was educated mainly in old Baylor University at Independence, Washington county, and for the profession of the law his training and preparation were of the highest order. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School, in the class of 1871, and among the famous tutors there when he attended were Emory Washburn, the great authority on Real Property; Theophilous Parsons, author of the work "Parsons on Contracts"; and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., who has since become a member of the Supreme Court. Mr. Smith was admitted to the bar at Calvert, Texas, at the spring term of court, 1872, and he practiced his profession at Marlin until 1876, moving then to Brownwood, a successful field for his law practice until in 1886 he came to Ballinger, which had just been selected as the new county seat of Runnels county, and he was here on the opening day for the sale of town lots, June 29, 1886. Mr. Smith has resided in Ballinger since those early days, devoted exclusively to the practice of his profession, and he is regarded as one of the best authorities on the law in western Texas.

He married Dona A. Tanner, born at San Marcos, and their three children are Hermia, Marryatt and M. Clarence Smith.

Source: A History of Central and Western Texas, Vol. I, The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York, 1911 Ppg 362-363

1900 Runnels County, Texas Census
Smith, Marryatt C., head, w, m, Mar 1847, 53, married 22 yrs, Ga, unk, unk, lawyer
Dona A., wife, w, f, Feb 1860, 40, married 22 yrs, 2/2 children, Tx, Ind, Flora
Hermica, daughter, w, f, Jul 1878, 21, single, Tx, Ga, Tx, teacher(music)
Marriat S., daughter, w, f, May 1889, 11, single, Tx, Ga, Tx, at school

No. 93. Private Marion C. Smith's statement. January 24th, 1889. Born March 11th, 1847, in Lawrence county, Georgia. Moved to Texas, fall of 1859, Falls county. Enlisted in the Confederate service early in 1864. Soon after the battle of Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, in company B., Captain J. R. Morris now at Granbury, Texas, Waller's batillian, Texascavalry Tom Green Brigade. Participated in the skirmishes on the retreat of Banks army, closing with the battle of Yellow Bayou. Moved to Runnels county about June 29th, 1886, and to Ballinger same year. By profession, lawyer. Married; wife and two daughters living. Post office, Ballinger.

1880 Runnels County, Texas Census
Smith, Marryatt C., head, w, m, Mar 1847, 53, married 22 yrs, Ga, unk, unk, lawyer
Dona A., wife, w, f, Feb 1860, 40, married 22 yrs, 2/2 children, Tx, Ind, Flora
Hermica, daughter, w, f, Jul 1878, 21, single, Tx, Ga, Tx, teacher(music)
Marriat S., daughter, w, f, May 1889, 11, single, Tx, Ga, Tx, at school

Family of Maryatt C. Smith
Maryatt Clarence Smith born: 7 March 1847 Dublin, Georgia
died: 8 April 1921
married: 7 Oct 1877 Brownwood, Texas
parents: Leonard and Priscilla (Oliver) Smith
Tombstone Pic
Dona A. Tanner born: 12 Feb 1860 Blanco, Texas
died: 20 Dec 1939
parents: Sol Tanner and C.A. George
Hermia Smith born: 27 Jul 1878
died: 14 Nov 1948
married: 28 December 1910 Runnels County
spouse: F.H. Turbeville
Marryatt S. Smith born: 21 May 1889
died: January 20, 1978
married: never?
spouse: none?
Maryatt Clarence Smith, Jr. born: 21 Jun 1902
died: 9 Jan 1929

Anyone with additional information, or corrections, please feel free to email me.