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Father Finds Son

The Jamestown Press
Jamestown, [Boone County] Indiana
Friday 3 September 1915
Published by Geo. R. Darnell

John Emmert Has Remarkable Story of His Life Unfold

Cincinnate, [sic] Ohio, 1 Sept - Last night John Smith, a prosperous young farmer located near Jamestown, Indiana and an adopted son of Joseph Emmert, said to be one of the wealthiest land owners of that section of Indiana, was ignorant of his parentage.

When he opens his free delivery mail box this morning he will find a letter from Alfred C. Crouse, Superintendent of the Cincinnati Children's Home, in which is unfolded a remarkable story of his early life.

Bitterness will be mingled with the sweets of information for while young Smith will learn that his father is a prominent manufacturer in Saginaw, Michigan. And that among his near relatives is a university president; he also will become acquainted with the fact that his father was a victim of an unfortunate marriage; that he, the son who is now a farmer of Jamestown, Indiana, was abandoned in Newport, Kentucky, 19 years ago, and that his mother, who disappeared at that time, has not been heard of since.

Since Smith reached the age of understanding he has tried repeatedly to locate his parents. He knew that he had been abandoned in a Newport boarding house. In 1896, when he was less than two years old, and that he had been taken in charge by Col. John H. Graff, of the Kentucky Humane Society, after his parents left and failed to pay their board bill. He then was taken to the Children's Home in this city. He knew also that after a brief stay at the home he was adopted by Joseph Emmert, who later moved to a farm in Jamestown, but among the records at the Children's Home there was no evidence that might establish his identity.

Superintendent Crouse and Smith had practically given up hope of ever solving the mystery when a woman, past 75 years old, walked into the office of the Children's Home yesterday. When asked to look at the records, Crouse inquired what she was seeking. She said she wished to secure information concerning a grandson who disappeared about 20 years ago.

Crouse showed the records of 1896 and pointed to the name of John Smith. "That surely cannot be the one", he said "Oh yes, that's the name of Fred's boy" the woman exclaimed. "I've been wanting to find him for years, but never thought of coming here". According to the story she told to Crouse by Mrs. Smith she had nine sons. Frederick became infatuated with a girl of whom the mother did not approve, but in spite of opposition the son and his sweetheart were married in 1893. A year and a half later, a boy was born. Mrs. Smith said she knew little of her son's affairs until about a year later, when her grandson was left in the Newport boarding house and afterwards turned over to the Children's Home authorities in this city.

Frederick Smith, father of the abandoned child, married again. Located to another city and finally went into the furniture manufacturing business at Saginaw, He prospered and is now known as one of the wealthiest men, in Michigan City.

In the meantime the child had been adopted by Emmert and was taken to Indiana, when the foster father settled on a farm there. At the Children's Home in Cincinnati nothing was known of the baby except that it had been abandoned at Newport.

While Frederick Smith was prospering in Saginaw his brothers were making names for themselves in other cities. Albert, Edwin Smith, according to the records held by Crouse became a Clergyman and is now president of ___ [Cannot read this paragraph] ___ George, formerly was in business at Blanchester, Ohio; Harry foreman of the Vine-Street car barns and Charles is a contractor of plumbing at Mianisburg, Ohio. According to superintendent Crouse, John Smith married when he was 19 years old. He is now 21 years old and has a son over a year old. Frederick Smith has a large family in Saginaw, Crouse said. "It is probable that arrangements will be made [for?] Smith come to Cincinnati, when for the first time he may meet his father, grandmother and other relatives.

Transcribed by: Janet Isley Price