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Liza Corker Smith

1890 - 1959

Source:  Deborah Smith, <cherawgal @>, April 2005

"The Historical Society's Great Loss"

With the passing of Mrs. Willis H. Smith, the Burnet County Historical Society sustained a loss difficult to bear.  She had met with the Society on Tuesday before her death, cheering us with her bright presence, participating actively as always in its business and discussions.

Liza Mary Corker Smith was truly a daughter of the founders of Burnet.  Her parents were Orvell and Lou Corker; her mother was the granddaughter of Logan Vanderveer, first postmaster of Burnet, patron of its first school which was taught by W. H. Dixon, a graduate of Oxford University, England.  He organized the first Masonic Lodge and supplied space for its meetings above his store.  Burnet's oldest building is owned and used by the Masonic Lodge today.  An ancestor of Vanderveer's was at Yorktown when Cornwallis surrendered to Washington.

Mrs. Smith inherited many of the papers and personal belongings of Vanderveer.  Copies of the roster of the first school, of his appointment as postmaster in 1852 and other official papers are on file in the Burnet County Library for the benefit of the Smith grandchildren and all other Burnet children.

Her grandfather, John Hubbard, was killed by fanatical Southerners early in the War between the States.  He was the nephew and business associate of Noah Smithwick to whom Texans are indebted for his book THE EVOLUTION OF A STATE. . . .

The men referred to were all connected at some time with Fort Croghan and the restoration project was very dear to Mrs. Smith, as it is to Miss Mittie Depew, also a kinswoman of Vanderveer.  Native Burnet Countians and those of us who are new here who admired and loved Mrs. Smith can honor her  by carrying the work she was so much interested in to a successful conclusion. 

Funeral Services for Mrs. W. H. Smith Held March 1st.

Every citizen in Burnet and adjoining towns was deeply shocked when it was learned that Mrs. W. H. Smith had suddenly been called by death, Saturday, February 28, 1959.

Mrs. Smith became ill Friday afternoon, and upon being taken to the Shepperd Memorial Hospital, it was found that she had suffered a coronary occlusion, and suffered the fatal attack shortly after noon, Saturday.

Deceased was born at Burnet, March 15, 1890.  She had been a member of the local Baptist church for over 50 years, and had always been very active in church work.  She was also a member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

Liza Mary Corker and Willis H. Smith were united in marriage at Burnet, Texas, Sept. 6, 1911, and five children were born this union, one child having died in infancy. 

I have known Mrs. Smith all of my life.  She and my mother were very close friends, and all of we Chamberlain children have always thought that both Willis and Liza Smith were the best people in this world.  She was loved and respected by all who knew her, and this love and respect was shown Sunday afternoon, when the church was overflowed by those wishing to pay their respects to her and her loved ones.  She was a devoted wife, a loving mother, and was a kind friend to both young and old. . . .
[Obituary - no date]

Liza Mary Corker . . . was born March 15, 1890 in Burnet County, Texas, to parents Orville and Emily Lucinda Hubbard Corker.  Her Smithwick link is her great grandmother, Emily Dulaney Smithwick Hubbard.  Her grandfather, John Randolph Hubbard, had gone from his home in Bond County, Illinois,  to Texas to work with his uncle Noah Smithwick in the mid 1800's and was killed there during the Civil War because of his Unionist views.

Liza was reared and educated in Burnet, where she lived most of her life.  She was an active member of the Burnet Baptist Church, as well as the Eastern Star and the Burnet County Historical Society.  She generously gave of her time to speak to high school classes about the early settlers from her own background and that of others.

On September 6, 1911, Liza Mary was married to Willis Henry Smith (b.  Dec 19, 1886 in Johnson City, Blanco County, TX, the son of John Rutherford and Tenisee Roselia Nicholson Smith.)  They made their home in Burnet.

Willis Smith, a Master Mason, was a merchant; first as a store clerk, buyer, and then store owner.  He was also a hotel manager, county judge, and bookkeeper for Southwest Graphite Mines.  Liza Mary was a teacher, clerk, buyer, dry goods saleslady, and part owner of a store.


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