For many years there was a debate on the naming of what is now known as Franklin, Oregon. In the early years it was known as “Smithfield” – after Daniel Smith who owned the town site. His headstone lists the year of death as 1909 which seems to be in error – I located his obituary in the Eugene Morning Register on May 5, 1908 on page 8. So even though it is “cut in stone” I believe it to be incorrect.
“DAN SMITH, PIONEER — Death calls Founder of Smithfield – aged 90 years.
SMITHFIELD, May 4. — Daniel Smith, pioneer and owner of the Smithfield town site, died today at 11 a.m. from senile debility, aged 90 years and 4 months. He crossed the plains with an ox team and has lived at Smithfield for the past 56 years. His wife died on the way West. He sat on the first grand jury in Lane county and helped establish the boundary lines. Two sons, Frank and Henry, residing at Smithfield, and Mrs. R. U. Howard of Junction his daughter survive him. The funeral will be held at Smithfield at 1:30 today, the services being conducted by Elder Linn of Eugene, the oldest Christian minister of the county. Pall bearers will be men 75 to 80 years of age and neighbors for 50 years. Interment will be in Smithfield cemetery. A number of Eugene friends will attend the funeral.”
Barbara Herring is one of the administrators for the “West Lane Project” on Ancestry’s MyFamily.com. Her and other volunteers have done a great job documenting the families who lived in Western Lane County, Oregon. If you go to the West Lane site you can see a copy of Daniel Smith’s probate and will papers.