Nathaniel E. Smith

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Nathaniel Edward Smith

Also Known As: "Nathaniel used the name "NAT""
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Southbridge,, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Death: November 1918 (63)
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Place of Burial: Oak Ridge Cemetery, Southbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Nathaniel M. Smith and Hannah Ellen Smith
Husband of Private
Ex-husband of Private
Father of Susie Gertrude Ashworth; Nettie Estelle Smith and Bessie May Smith
Brother of Emma Charlotte Adams; Andrew Baylies Smith; Hannah Sophia Nichols (Smith); Fanny Arabelle Chace and Frank Smith
Half brother of Addison Parker Smith; Andrew Smith and Lucy Ann Smith

Occupation: Superintendent Telegraph New York New Haven & Hartford RR
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Nathaniel E. Smith

NATHANIEL EDWARD SMITH (1855 to 1918)

Nathaniel E. Smith was a Free Mason. I have his ring.

Walter G. Ashworth, Great Grand Son

Nathaniel Smith had only one arm. He lost his right arm in a sawmill accident when he was a young boy.

I have a post card sent from Nathaniel E. Smith from Palm Beach, Florida, to the person (male housekeeper) taking care of his house, live in help, in New Haven, Conn. It is signed Nat.

It is important to remember that his first wife Mary Reba Walker was a first cousin of Samuel Finley Breese Morse (Morse Code, the telegraph).

During the time frame that Nathaniel E. Smith worked for the New Haven Railroad it was formed in 1872 when the New York & New Haven and Hartford & New Haven railroads were merged together to form the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company. The New Haven's early management focused on expanding the company through an aggressive policy of mergers and acquisitions. Consequently, by the turn of the century the New Haven had absorbed over 25 railroad companies, dramatically expanding from its original 450 route miles to over 2,047 miles of trackage. Nathaniel E. Smith was a very important part of this era. He worked his way up in what was the most important and historic time in the history of railroading and the Untied Stated of America. The railroad in the second half of the ninetieth century was one of the most exciting places to work and make a very good living. According to Railroad documents, a Superintendent was making around $4,000.00 a year in 1906. That is approximately $150,000.00 a year in today’s dollars, and there were no taxes then. No sales tax, no income tax, NO TAXES. He got to keep it all. In today’s dollars that is $3,000.00 week free and clear and you do not have to pay any other taxes. 
That is like making $5,000.00 a week today before taxes. Or $250.000.00 a year before taxes.

The New Haven Railroad was always a technologically innovative company. Early experiments in electrification were performed on several branch lines during the 1890s. These experiments resulted in the entire main line from New York City to New Haven, Connecticut being put under catenary wires by 1914. Additionally, the New Haven Railroad's turn of the century car and locomotive shops at Readville, Ma. were among the first large industrial plants in America to be designed to take advantage of scientific work management principals. 
In its day, the New Haven was generally considered the largest and most important transportation enterprise in New England. The New Haven was one of the few railroads in America to operate steam, diesel, and electric locomotives at the same time.

New Haven is also the home of Yale University founded in 1701. The architecture of Yale University made the city of New Haven a beautiful place to live.

Nathaniel E. Smith: MORE THEN JUST A SIMPLE TELEGRAPH OPERATOR (as you can see)

Nathaniel was the “Superintendent Telegraph The New York, New Haven and Hartford Rail Road”. Quite a title. Circa 1906. 
He had an office in the N.Y.N.H. & Hartford Rail Road Station in New Haven, that can be seen in the photo section. 

Nathaniel would establish telegraph offices and had them maintained at Railroad stations throughout the 2,047 miles of trackage the railroad controlled. From New England to Florida.

THIS IS FROM, “RAIL ROAD OFFICALS 1906”:

Smith, Nathaniel E., Superintendent Telegraph New York New Haven & Hartford Rd. Office New Haven, Conn.
Born May 14, 1855, at Southbridge, Mass. Educated at Southbridge high school and at Wesleyan Academy at Wilbraham, Mass. Entered railway service as telegraph operator New York & New England Rd at Franklin, Mass., since which he has been consecutively train dispatcher same road at Boston, Mass.; train dispatcher New York New Haven & Hartford Rd at New Haven, Conn.; chief train dispatcher same road, and is now superintendent telegraph same road. 


End of Rail Road Officials 1906 Bio.

In the 1870’s Wilbraham Wesleyan Academy was in a healthful and beautiful location, with extensive grounds, including farmland of 196 acres (0.79 km2). There were six buildings devoted to academic purposes, the chief of which were large and most conveniently arranged. It’s library at the time contained 5,300 volumes, with good philosophical, chemical and mathematical apparatus, a cabinet, museum, and apparatus valued at $14,000 at that time, (that is approximately twenty five million dollars in today’s money give or take a couple of million dollars).

In the Profile photograph circa 1888 he is sporting a very nice handle bar mustache. Which I might ad, Grandpa George also had a great handle bar mustache, until his beloved wife Susie passed away in 1908. 
Neither of them have a mustache after that.

Nathaniel lived in a very nice large three story Victorian home in New Haven Ct., which still stands today (he had a slightly smaller home in New Haven around the corner on Edgewood Avenue until he added George Edward). He had a housekeepers, one Anna Elizabeth (Moore) Pucci (who he later married, circa 1897, from then on he only a male housekeepers) and a home in Stuart, Florida. He accomplished a lot for a person who lost his right arm as a child. Nathaniel E. Smith died a relatively young man of substantial means. He made a lot of money.

The Town of Stuart was incorporated in 1914 and was in Palm Beach County, Fl. It was established as a Rail Road Station by the East Coast Florida RR. 
 
The town is named after a local landowner, Homer Hine Stuart, Jr. Before that it was named Potsdam. As in Potsdam, Germany. In 1925 it became the seat for the newly formed Martin County.

The amazing thing is that the home I built in Martin County, Florida is five minutes outside of the Town of Stuart and ten minutes to the Railroad tracks in the center of town (RR station was torn down after a strike in 1961) and is used for freight trains now. In 1912 Palm City was developed by wealthy land owners. This area connects to Stuart.

When Nathaniel retired from the Railroad, my father Raymond H. Ashworth told me that the President of the RR offered him his private train to take him to Stuart, Florida. As I understand it, he turned it down.

He was more then just a telegraph operator.

On one of the picture post cards I have of Great Grandpa, he is in Palm Beach, Fl. he writes March 25, 1918. 4:18PM. Hope can sleep good tonight. Pretty hot (90) today, Nat. It is addressed to his male housekeeper in New Haven. This is the person who drove him to and from his office everyday at the New York New Haven & Hartford Main Office and Railroad Station. (See Photograph of his car and station).

The winter of 1918 was spent in Stuart, Florida. Apparently he was not feeling well and came down to Palm Beach from Stuart to see if he would feel better. Stuart at that time in 1918 was probably a good two hour trip by auto on A1A along the coast. Today it is 35 minutes on I95 interstate going 75 mph to downtown Palm Beach. He went by auto because he says so in his post card.

I have NO record of either his wife (2nd wife the house keeper) or George Edward being with him. Though the post card is addressed to his MALE housekeeper.

Raymond H. Ashworth Sr. (his Grandson) told me he was a very good piano player (I have a photograph of him playing his grand piano it is posted) and was friends with Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) the inventor who obtained 1,100 patents in such fields as telegraphy, photography, electric lighting, and the phonograph.

AN AMAZING MAN 
Nathaniel E. Smith was truly a remarkable individual. He lost he right arm in a sawmill accident as a boy, but it did not stop him from achieving a great deal of professional success. Not only in his chosen field, in other areas as well, like being able to play the piano, was a friend of Thomas Edison and appears to have been a fan of Ben Franklin. On the wall in his parlor behind his piano, is a very large 41” x 51” framed color engraving, circa 1830, “Franklin’s Reception at the Court of France 1778”, after the painting by Hobens. There is a possibility that was the original painting hanging on his wall, because the engraving does not match the painting on the wall. There are differences between them. Got divorced when it was unheard of (married Anna Elizabeth (Moore) Pucci his housekeeper. She must have been quite a piece of works to edge out my Great Grandmother. It is important to realize that there was a third daughter Nettie Estelle Born, 30 Jan 1882. Died, June 1882 (according to cemetery records this is when he purchased the the plot, June 9, 1882). Note, Nathaniel’s father had three children with his first wife got divorced and had six more, Nathaniel being number 7 out of a total of nine.

HIS SHOES WERE ALWAYS SHINED (try that with one hand or shaving with a straight razor, that is why he had a house keeper), wore a hankie in his suite jacket pocket, a tie, and pressed pants. He always appeared as if he was the owner of the RR, not an employee. This was 125 years ago. Unquestionable an extraordinary man. I wonder what his mother was like. She must have been an incredible lady (Hannah Ellen Smith (Baylies) Born 21 Jan 1820. Died, 28 May 1901 and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery (est.1801) Southbridge, Ma. It seems that most of the Smith family and relatives are buried in Southbridge, Ma. His mother gravestone reads Hannah Baylies wife of Nathaniel Merrick Smith. See her profile.

He got his son in-law (married to Susie Gertrude Smith), Grandpa George Ashworth, a position with the Railroad starting as a conductor circa 1899. 
I have a photograph of the first electric train engine #032 arriving in New Haven, Conn. with a crowd of executives from the Railroad posing. In the center in front of the Engine is George Ashworth standing behind one of the executives. At that time he was some sort of head clerk. Several of the executives are smoking cigars. 
Circa 1914. He was not the Conductor, according to RR records. 
I have a document that states. “The New York, New Haven, & Hartford Railroad 1918. GEORGE ASHWORTH, CHIEF CLERK TO CAR ACCOUNTANT, NEW HEW HAVEN, CONN. It is apparent he was no longer a conductor.

I have Grandpa Smith’s cigar humidor. He must have enjoyed a good cigar now then. I keep my prized wooden Staunton Chess set in it, given to me by parents for my sixteenth birthday.

Nathaniel E. Smith in buried in Southbridge, Worcester Co., MASS. The only cemetery in that town is the Oak Ridge Cemetery (est.1801), As is the rest of his family, his daughters, sisters, brothers, mother, etc. are all buried there. 
It is sad he passed at the young age of 63 leaving a huge house in New Haven (maybe two), a home in Stuart Fl, stock in the Rail Road and a pension. One can only imagine if he lived to 90, and had a proper will when he passed.

Even though Great Grandpa Smith achieved a great deal in his professional life and accumulated a certain amount of wealth and recognition, his personal life after he divorced my Great Grandmother and married his housekeeper was followed by a series of unfortunate tragic events. First his daughter Nettie passed as a baby in 1882 while still married to my Great Grandmother and then his first born daughter Susie in 1908. He did not live to see his third daughter pass in 1919. Shortly after his death in 1918.

For those of you that are interested. Just go to Google and type in Nathaniel E. Smith, go the second page, third one down to Nathaniel E. Smith and there he is. Still famous in the twenty first century. Over one hundred years later. Or just press the link to the web-site.

Now you know, almost the rest of the story. 


Walter G. Ashworth, Great Grandson

He must have enjoyed a good cigar now then. I have his humidor which is very nice. I keep my prize wooden Staunton Chess set in it. I know I am repeating myself.

Walter G. Ashworth

"A woman is a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke". 
Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)


The pictures posted on Nathaniel E. Smith's Profile depict the life style that he lived in for the last twenty years of his life. The pictures of Southbridge, Mas. will give an idea of the atmosphere he grew up in and the pictures of the Wesleyan Academy. The type of school he attended. WGA

NATHANIEL EDWARD SMITH (1855 to 1918) • My Great Grandfather

Nathaniel Smith had only one arm. He lost his arm in a sawmill accident when he was a young boy.

I have a post card sent from Nathaniel E. Smith from Palm Beach, Florida, to the person (male housekeeper) taking care of his house, live in help, in New Haven, Conn. It is signed Nat.

During the time frame that Nathaniel E. Smith worked for the New Haven Railroad it was formed in 1872 when the New York & New Haven and Hartford & New Haven railroads were merged together to form the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad Company. The New Haven's early management focused on expanding the company through an aggressive policy of mergers and acquisitions. Consequently, by the turn of the century the New Haven had absorbed over 25 railroad companies, dramatically expanding from its original 450 route miles to over 2,047 miles of trackage. Nathaniel E. Smith was a very important part of this era. He worked his way up in what was the most important and historic time in the history of railroading and the Untied Stated of America. The railroad in the second half of the ninetieth century was one of the most exciting places to work and make a very good living. According to Railroad documents, a Superintendent was making around $4,000.00 a year in 1906. That is approximately $125,000.00 a year in today’s dollars, and there were no taxes then. No sales tax, no income tax, NO TAXES. He got to keep it all. In today’s dollars that is $2,500.00 week free and clear and you do not have to pay any other taxes. 
That is like making $4,000.00 a week today.

The New Haven Railroad was always a technologically innovative company. Early experiments in electrification were performed on several branch lines during the 1890s. These experiments resulted in the entire main line from New York City to New Haven, Connecticut being put under catenary wires by 1914. Additionally, the New Haven Railroad's turn of the century car and locomotive shops at Readville, Ma. were among the first large industrial plants in America to be designed to take advantage of scientific work management principals. 
In its day, the New Haven was generally considered the largest and most important transportation enterprise in New England. The New Haven was one of the few railroads in America to operate steam, diesel, and electric locomotives at the same time.

New Haven is also the home of Yale University founded in 1701. The architecture of Yale University made the city of New Haven a beautiful place to live.

Nathaniel E. Smith: MORE THEN JUST A SIMPLE TELEGRAPH OPERATOR (as you can see)

Nathaniel was the “Superintendent Telegraph The New York, New Haven and Hartford Rail Road”. Quite a title. Circa 1906. 
He had an office in the N.Y.N.H. & Hartford Rail Road Station in New Haven, that can be seen in the photo section. 

Nathaniel would establish telegraph offices and had them maintained at Railroad stations throughout the 2,047 miles of trackage the railroad controlled. From New England to Florida.

THIS IS FROM, “RAIL ROAD OFFICALS 1906”:

Smith, Nathaniel E., Superintendent Telegraph New York New Haven & Hartford Rd. Office New Haven, Conn.
Born May 14, 1855, at Southbridge, Mass. Educated at Southbridge high school and at Wesleyan Academy at Wilbraham, Mass. Entered railway service as telegraph operator New York & New England Rd at Franklin, Mass., since which he has been consecutively train dispatcher same road at Boston, Mass.; train dispatcher New York New Haven & Hartford Rd at New Haven, Conn.; chief train dispatcher same road, and is now superintendent telegraph same road. 


End of Rail Road Officials 1906 Bio.

In the 1870’s Wilbraham Wesleyan Academy was in a healthful and beautiful location, with extensive grounds, including farmland of 196 acres (0.79 km2). There were six buildings devoted to academic purposes, the chief of which were large and most conveniently arranged. It’s library at the time contained 5,300 volumes, with good philosophical, chemical and mathematical apparatus, a cabinet, museum, and apparatus valued at $14,000 at that time, (that is approximately twenty five million dollars in today’s money give or take a couple of million dollars).

As an interesting note that Samuel Morse (Inventor of Morse Code) is my 4th cosine 4x removed. He was related to Mary Reba Walker my GGM, 1st wife of Nathaniel E. Smith. I wonder if she got him his first position with the Railroad as a telegraph operator.

In the Profile photograph circa 1888 he is sporting a very nice handle bar mustache. Which I might ad, Grandpa George also had a great handle bar mustache, until his beloved wife Susie passed away in 1908. 
Neither of them have a mustache after that.

Nathaniel lived in a very nice large three story Victorian home in New Haven Ct., which still stands today (he had a slightly smaller home in New Haven around the corner on Edgewood Avenue until he added George Edward). He had a housekeepers, one Anna Elizabeth (Moore) Pucci (who he later married, circa 1897, from then on he only had male housekeepers) and a home in Stuart, Florida. He accomplished a lot for a person who lost his right arm as a child. Nathaniel E. Smith died a relatively young man of substantial means. He made a lot of money.

The Town of Stuart was incorporated in 1914 and was in Palm Beach County, Fl. It was established as a Rail Road Station by the East Coast Florida RR. 
 
The town is named after a local landowner, Homer Hine Stuart, Jr. Before that it was named Potsdam. As in Potsdam, Germany. In 1925 it became the seat for the newly formed Martin County. Palm City where I live was first developed in 1912.

The amazing thing is that, the home I built in Martin County, Florida is five minutes outside of the Town of Stuart and ten minutes to the Railroad tracks in the center of town (RR station was torn down after a strike in 1961) and the train line is used for freight trains now. There is talk of opening a passenger line to West Palm Beach.

When Nathaniel retired from the Railroad, my father Raymond H. Ashworth told me that the President of the RR offered him his private train to take him to Stuart, Florida. As I understand it, he turned it down.

On one of the picture post cards I have of Great Grandpa, he is in Palm Beach, Fl. he writes March 25, 1918. 4:18PM. Hope can sleep good tonight. Pretty hot (90) today, Nat. It is addressed to his male housekeeper in New Haven. This is the person who drove him to and from his office everyday at the NYNH &H Railroad Station in New Haven Ct.

The winter of 1918 was spent in Stuart, Florida. Apparently he was not feeling well and came down to Palm Beach from Stuart to see if he would feel better. Stuart at that time in 1918 was probably a good three hour trip by auto on A1A along the coast. Today it is 35 minutes on I95 interstate going 75 mph to downtown Palm Beach. Or he could have taken the train. There is only set of tracks that is used to go south in the AM and north in the PM. He would have ridden for free. More then likely he took the train.

I have NO record of either his wife (Anna) or George Edward being with him. Though the post card is addressed to his MALE housekeeper.

Raymond H. Ashworth Sr. (his Grandson) told me he was a very good piano player (I have a photograph of him playing his grand piano) and was friends with Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931) the inventor who obtained 1,100 patents in such fields as telegraphy, photography, electric lighting, and the phonograph.

AN AMAZING MAN 
Nathaniel E. Smith was truly a remarkable individual. He lost he right arm in a sawmill accident as a boy, but it did not stop him from achieving a great deal of professional success. Not only in his chosen field, in other areas as well, like being able to play the piano, was a friend of Thomas Edison and appears to have been a fan of Ben Franklin. On the wall in his parlor behind his piano, is a very large 41” x 51” framed color engraving, circa 1830, “Franklin’s Reception at the Court of France 1778”, after the painting by Hobens. Got divorced when it was unheard of (married Anna Elizabeth (Moore) Pucci his housekeeper. She must have been quite a piece of works to edge out my Great Grandmother. It is important to realize that there was a third daughter Nettie Estelle Born, 30 Jan 1882. Died, June 1882 (according to cemetery records this is when he purchased the the plot, June 9, 1882). Note, Nathaniel’s father had three children with his first wife got divorced and had six more, Nathaniel being number 7 out of a total of nine.

HIS SHOES WERE ALWAYS SHINED (try that with one hand or shaving with a straight razor, that is why he had a house keeper), wore a hankie in his suite jacket pocket, a tie, and pressed pants. He always appeared as if he was the owner of the RR, not an employee. This was 125 years ago. Unquestionable an extraordinary man. I wonder what his mother was like. She must have been an incredible lady (Hannah Ellen Smith (she was a Baylies) Born 21 Jan 1820. Died, 28 May 1901 and is buried in Oak Ridge Cemetery (est.1901) Southbridge, Ma. It seems that most of the Smith family and relatives are buried in Southbridge, Ma. His mother gravestone reads Hannah Baylies wife of Nathaniel Merrick Smith. See her profile.

He got his son in-law (married to Susie Gertrude Smith), Grandpa George Ashworth, a position with the Railroad starting as a conductor circa 1899. 
I have a photograph of the first electric train engine #032 arriving in New Haven, Conn. with a crowd of executives from the Railroad posing. In the center in front of the Engine is George Ashworth standing behind one of the executives. At that time he was some sort of head clerk. Several of the executives are smoking cigars. 
Circa 1914. He was not the Conductor. 
I have a document that states. “The New York, New Haven, Hartford Railroad 1918. GEORGE ASHWORTH, CHIEF CLERK TO CAR

ACCOUNTANT, NEW HEW HAVEN, CONN. It is apparent he was no longer a conductor.

I have Grandpa Smith’s cigar humidor. He must have enjoyed a good cigar now then. I keep my prized wooden Staunton Chess set in it, given to me by parents for my sixteenth birthday.

Nathaniel E. Smith in buried in Southbridge, Worcester Co., MASS. The only cemetery in that town is the Oak Ridge Cemetery (est.1801), As is the rest of his family, his daughters, sisters, brothers, mother, etc. are all buried there. 
It is sad he passed at the young age of 63 leaving a large estate, a huge house in New Haven (maybe two), a home in Stuart Fl, a car, stock in the Rail Road and a pension. One can only imagine if he lived to 90, and had a proper will when he passed.

Than again nothing would be what it is.

Even though Great Grandpa Smith achieved a great deal in his professional life and accumulated a certain amount of wealth and recognition, his personal life after he divorced my Great Grandmother and married his housekeeper (the help in those days) was followed by a series of unfortunate tragic events. First his daughter Nettie passed as a baby in 1882 while still married to my Great Grandmother (Mary Reba Walker) and after he married his housekeeper (the help), his first born daughter Susie passed in 1908 due to some strange circumstances . He did not live to see his third daughter pass in 1919. Shortly after his death in 1918.

For those of you that are interested. Just go to Google and type in Nathaniel E. Smith, go down a dozen or so people you will find Nathaniel E. Smith, and there he is. Still famous in the twenty first century. Over one hundred years later.

Now you know, almost the rest of the story. 


Walter G. Ashworth

He must have enjoyed a good cigar now then. I have his humidor which is very nice. I keep my prize wooden chess set in it. I know I am repeating myself.

Walter G. Ashworth

"A woman is a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke". 
Rudyard Kipling (1865 - 1936)

view all 12

Nathaniel E. Smith's Timeline

1855
May 14, 1855
Southbridge,, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
1879
July 14, 1879
Southbridge, MA, United States
1882
January 30, 1882
Massachusetts, United States
1886
April 1, 1886
Massachusetts, United States
1918
November 1918
Age 63
New Haven, Connecticut, United States
1918
Age 62
Oak Ridge Cemetery, Southbridge, Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
????
Wilbraham, Massachusetts, United States