|Member of Farmer G.A.R.|
On November 4, 1844, Oney Z. Smith was born in Defiance County, Ohio, probably in Farmer Township. His family was enumerated in the 1850 census there. Nathan Smith, 53, a farmer born in Virginia, lived there with his sons: Isaac, 24; Martin, 22; Jacob, 18; Nathan, 14; and finally Oney, 5. No wife/mother was enumerated with the family.
However, by the 1860 census, Nathan had a wife, Jane, and Oney, 15, was still at home. M. Burton, 13, a female, also lived there. Perhaps it was a stepsister to Oney - more research would need to be done to find that out.
Oney was not quite 18 when he enlisted in Company F, 111th Ohio Infantry on August 15, 1862. Organized in Toledo, the unit served most of its time in Kentucky and Tennessee, until 1864 when it joined in Sherman's march to the sea. Oney served until the end of the war, mustering out in June of 1865, in Salisbury, North Carolina having been in the army two years and eleven months.
Upon arriving home, he wasted little time in courting and marrying Miss Caroline MacDonald on December 28, 1865. The couple settled by 1870 in Milford Township where Oney took up farming again. Together the couple had seven children and by the census report in 1900, all were living.
At some point after 1890, they moved to Farmer Township and there they remained until after the 1920 census when Oney was 75 and Caroline was 77. Oney always farmed or worked as a day laborer. Their last years were spent in a home in Bryan.
He died on January 10, 1925, at the age of 80 years, 2 months and 6 days.
Oney Z. Smith's obituary appeared in the Bryan Democrat on January 20, 1925:
"Oney Z. Smith, son of Nathan and Jane Smith, was born Nov. 4, 1844, in Defiance County, and departed this life at his home in Bryan, Jan. 10, 1925, aged 80 years, 2 months and 6 days.
When 18 years of age, he enlisted to serve his country in the Civil War, going out in Co. F., 111th O.V.I. 1862 and served to the end of the war, being discharged June 5, 1865, thus giving to his country 3 years of his best life.
On Dec. 1865, he was married to Miss Caroline McDonald, who proved a faithful companion, braving with him all life's battles until called to her reward Nov. 13, 1924. To them, 7 children were born, 2 daughters and 2 sons having preceded the parents in death. Most of their married life was spent in Defiance county, 30 years of this time in Williams Center, moving to Bryan last fall.
Mr. Smith lived to a ripe old age. His last sickness was of about four weeks duration. He leaves to mourn, two daughters, two sons, 18 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren and many friends. The funeral was held Monday, Jan. 12 at the home with the burial at Farmer Center. Rev. F. A. Sharp, officiating.