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James Monroe Smith (1820 - 1886)

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James Monroe Smith
Born in Salisbury, Rowan Co., North Carolinamap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 17 Sep 1851 in Lee Co., Virginiamap
[children unknown]
Died in Deadwood, Butte Co., Californiamap
Profile last modified 7 Sep 2019 | Created 10 Aug 2015 | Last significant change: 7 Sep 2019
21:26: Rebecca (Tucker) Morris edited the Marriage Data for James Monroe Smith (1820-1886). [Thank Rebecca for this]
This page has been accessed 77 times.


James Monroe Smith was born in 1820. James passed away 17 June 1886 in Butte Co., California. He is buried in Smith-Lunt Family Cemetery, Yankee Hill, Butte Co., California.[1]

"James M. and Mary C. (Tucker) Smith, natives of North Carolina, each removing to Virginia with their respective parents, where later on they met and were married. Both parents came of old and prominent Southern families of Revolutionary stock. In 1852, Mr. and Mrs. J. N. Smith crossed the plains in an ox-team train to California. This was the year of the cholera, and Mr. Smith's brother died of that disease en route. The rest of the family arrived safely in Butte County, their first Christmas being spent at Frenchtown, where Mrs. Smith was the only woman. She prepared a big Christmas dinner for the miners, which was enjoyed exceedingly. After mining a while at Rich Gulch, the Smiths removed to Magalia, where they were merchandising. In 1856 they came back and located at Frenchtown, purchasing the farm that Mrs. Lunt now owns. Mr. Smith engaged in farming and stock-raising. Being a man who loved nature, he beautified his place with trees and flowers and set out an orchard which is still bearing. He and his estimable wife both died on the place. To this worthy pioneer couple were born seven children, four of whom are living, Mrs. Lunt being the eldest." History of Butte County, 1918, by George C. Mansfield, p. 1085.

This family lived in Frenchtown, its name only in history now. It was located in the Concow Township which included a number of early camps, Frenchtown being one. Along with Frenchtown, other camps included Spanishtown, Blairtown, Rich Gulch, Chub Gulch, Stone House, Jordan Hill, Hermitage, Island Bar, Berry Creek Bar, Huff's Bar, Yankee Bar, Shore's Bar, Bartee's Bar, Nelson Bar, Kanaka Bar, Ohio Bar, Last Chance, Brown's Ravine, Lindsay's Bar, Crane Valley, Flea Valley, East Branch, Jordan Creek, Buchanan Hill, Big and Little Kimshew, and Big and Little Rock Creek. In some instances the names of these historic mining camps remain to mark a geographical location, but in most instances even the name has passed away. History of Butte County, 1918, BY Mansfield, pg 71.

"James Monroe Smith and Mary Caroline Tucker, ...were born in North Carolina. They did not meet until both families had moved into Virginia. Just one year after their marriage, in 1852, they came by ox team across country to make a rich strike at Rich Gulch. Here, in the early community of Frenchtown, long gone from current Butte County maps, they settled to stock-raising. Prior to that they ran a store in the mining town of Dogtown, probably giving that up as mining gradually faded in economic importance." Source: "Stories of Butte County - An Interview with Larry V. Richardson." [2]


  • Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940, FHL Film Number: 32441, Reference ID: p18
  • 19 July 1860 Yankee Hill, Oregon Twp, Butte, California U.S. Federal Census
  • Great Register 27 June 1867 Butte County, California
  • 1870 Concow Twp, Butte, California U. S. Federal Census, pg 2
  • 1878 California Voter Registers, 1866-1898
  • 3 June 1880 Concow Twp, Butte, California U. S. Federal Census
  1. Find A Grave: Memorial #92440358
  2. Genealogical Goldmind, Vol. 23, No. 1 & 2, Fall 1990, p. 24; published by Paradise Genealogical Society

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