FRANK EDWARD SMITH
Frank Edward Smith, who for many years has been actively connected with the motion picture business, of which he is the pioneer in Yuba City, holds a high place in public regard, being recognized as one of his city’s most progressive citizens. He belongs to one of the pioneer families of Yuba County and was himself a pioneer of Marysville. He was born at the old family home which stood on a lot on B Street, Marysville, on the 28th of August, 1881, a son of Peter and Theresa (Waukenhut) Smith, both of whom are deceased, the father passing away in 1920 at the age of ninety-two years. Both parents were natives of Germany, and the father came across the plains from Ohio, with ox team and covered wagon, in 1850. He engaged in mining at Hangtown, now Placerville, and also at Browns Valley, coming later to Marysville. The mother came to California in 1850 by way of the isthmus of Panama, landing at San Francisco, whence she came to Marysville. Peter Smith was a stairbuilder by trade, as well as a patternmaker, and in the latter capacity was employed in the Marysville foundry. He was also an architect and builder and worked on the chapel of Notre Dame Convent during its construction in 1869-70. Besides being a craftsman in these various lines, he was a musician of note, a talent which has been inherited by his son Frank E. Three children were born to him and his wife, Frank E. being the only survivor. The mother had been previously married, by which union she became the mother of a daughter, now Mrs. Erick Schmidt, of Yuba City.
Frank E. Smith was reared and educated in Marysville and for a while was employed in the Marysville foundry. Later he studied bookkeeping at Napa College and became bookkeeper for the Wightman & Hampton Hardware Company at Marysville. He served as city clerk and assessor of Marysville from 1888 until 1902, and from then until 1921 was actively identified with the Rideout Bank of Marysville. Always interested in music, he served for many years as manager and leader of the Marysville theater orchestra and the Marysville band and is a cornetist of great skill. He was the first man to engage in the motion picture business in Marysville, having former owned the Lyric Theater, and for more than a quarter of a century has been identified with theatrical and music interests in Marysville and Yuba City. He and his wife built Smith’s Theater in Yuba City, which is one of the leading theaters of this section of the state. On July 22, 1884, in Napa City, California, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Clara Sheldon, who was born in San Francisco, and they are the parents of three daughters, Mrs. Ray Monwell, of Marysville, Mrs. Winona Lininger, of Dunsmuir, and Mrs. Frances E. Benham, of Yuba City. Mr. Smith has long been an active and leading member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, having been a member of both the grand lodge and the grand encampment, in both of which he has served on a number of important committees. He also belongs to Marysville Lodge, No. 783, B. P. O. E., Marysville Parlor, No 6, N. S. W. G., the Foresters of America, the Woodmen of the World and the Fraternal Brotherhood. He has served for six years as a member of the Marysville city council, and since his youth has been identified with the local fire department. He was instrumental in having the first motor appliance and the first motor driven apparatus installed in the department, and in various other ways has proved an enterprising and wide-awake citizen, genuinely interested in the welfare and betterment of his community.
Transcribed by Gerald Iaquinta.
Source: Wooldridge, J.W.Major History of Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 3, Pages 30-31. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.
© 2010 Gerald Iaquinta.