Thomas Joynes Smedley

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Thomas Joynes Smedley

Birthdate: (83)
Birthplace: Wadsley, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
Death: Died in Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho, United States
Place of Burial: Paris, Bear Lake County, Idaho, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Cotton Smedley and Elizabeth Joynes
Husband of Ann Smedley and Ida Smedley
Father of Thomas Edgar Smedley; Sarah Jane McDermott; Franklin Eaton Smedley; Heber Charles Smedley; Lucy Smedley and 9 others
Half brother of Harriet Rawson; Ruth Smedley and Matilda Smedley

Occupation: Brick and tile maker, Judge
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Thomas Joynes Smedley

Thomas Joynes Smedley was born 16 August 1837 in Wadsley, Yorkshire, England and died 23 February 1921 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho.

Thomas was the only child of Thomas Smedley b 17 Apr 1803 in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, England, and Elizabeth Joynes christened 15 Jun 1808 in St Marys, Nottinghamshire, England; d 21 Jul 1854 in Derbyshire, England. Further research has shown that Thomas had 2 half sisters on his father's side, and possibly 1 on his mother's side.


  1. Ann Eaton 1857 in England. She was b 5 Oct 1834in Oxton, Nottinghamshire, England and d 16 Aug 1895 in Paris, Bear Lake, Idaho. She was the daughter of William and Zilah Wayne Eaton.
  2. Ida Buck 25 Jun 1896 in Logan, Utah. She was b 18 Jul 1868 in Hucknall Torkard, England and d12 Oct 1952 in Paris, Idaho.

Children of Thomas and Ann:

  1. Thomas Edgar Smedley (1858-1902) md Hannah Mariah Porritt (1868-1955)
  2. Sarah Jane Smedley (1860-1949) md (1) William Norton Marler (2) William Patrick Ash McDermott
  3. Franklin Eaton Smedley (1861-1934) md Frances Mary Sparks
  4. Heber Charles Smedley (1863-1937) md Louisa B. Athay
  5. Lucy Smedley (1865-1942) md John David Lewis
  6. May Emmaline Smedley (1867-1880)
  7. Laura Smedley (1870-1952) md Walter Findlay
  8. Ida May Smedley (1871-1954) md Samuel Sudbury Humphreys

Children of Thomas and Ida:

  1. Calvin Buck Smedley (1897-1986) md Grace Ellen Poulsen
  2. Lillian Buck Smedley (1898-1989) md (1) James Monroe Langford (2) David Edward Beck
  3. Irva Buck Smedley (1901-1992) md Milton Clifford Sant
  4. Ella Buck Smedley (1903-1987) md Theodore Adiel Rechnitzer
  5. Gertrude Melva Smedley (1905-2002) md Walter Fishburn Hill
  6. Arnold Buck Smedley (1909-1978) md Alice Jane Pope


Liverpool to Boston Ship: George Washington Departure: 28 Mar 1857 Arrival: 20 Apr 1857


Thomas was naturalized 1872 in New Castle County, Delaware.


Thomas Joynes Smedley was born in Wadsley Lane, England. His father was a brickmaker and his mother was a dress maker.Because his father was burning a kiln of brick in Yorkshire so he was away from home in Stapleford Nottinghamshire when Thomas was born . Thomas spent his early boyhood here. He attended the St. Helen's Church of England School.


At an early age he helped his father in the brickyard. He was listed in the 1851 census as age 13, tile maker. Three months before his fourteenth birthday, he was baptized into the Mormon Church in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, by J.T. Hardy. In the same year he lost his father. After his fathers death , (FURTHER RESEARCH SHOWS THAT HIS FATHER DID NOT DIE AS EVERYONE WAS TOLD.)he went with his mother to live at Derby near his mother's relatives. His mother died in Derby in 1854, leaving him alone. He returned to Stapleford and lived with an aunt and uncle who owned and operated a tailor shop, which catered to the well-to-do families of the town. He learned to help in the shop, even to cut the pieces of cloth which were sewed into suits. He also attended St. John's School for boys up to 20 years old, where latin was a standard subject.

In 1857, he married Ann Eaton, an L.D.S. convert who lived in Mansfield. They came to America in the same year and settled in Alloways, New Jersey. Thomas engaged in brick and tile making. Because there was so much swamp land close to the Delaware and bay, he sold large numbers of drain tile to the farmers in the area. He instructed them in the use of the tile and assisted them in placing the tile in their swamps. Much waste land was made into useful farms. Their first two children , Thomas Edgar and Sarah Jane were born in Alloways.

He Moved his business into Delaware in 1861. His activities were the same as in New Jersey. A son Franklin Eaton was born at Odessa, Heber Charles and Lucy were born at Bloton, Emmaline, Laura, and Ida may were born at Leipsic. In Delaware he lived among and dealt with Quakers, whom he appreciated for their dependable honesty. He received citizenship in the U.S. at the Superior Court at Delaware at Dover, Oct 28, 1872.

After he obtained citizenship he gathered his family and came west. Although he enjoyed his stay among the quakers, he looked forward to being where there were L.D.S. church activities. He chose Paris Idaho because his wife wished to live beside her sister, Sarah Ann, the wife of George Humpherys. His wife Ann died in 1895 and was buried in the Paris Cemetery.

In 1896, he made a trip to England where he visited relatives and obtained some family records. There he met Ida Buck of Hucknal Torkard in Nottinghamshire. They crossed the ocean on the S.S. City of Rome and reached New York Harbor on Memorial day. They traveled by train through Virginia, across to St. Louis, then to Denver, and Cheyenne and to Montpelier. They were married in the Logan Temple, June 25, 1896. In addition to Brickmaking, he made lime for use in plastering. Served as probate Judge of Bear Lake County, and was Justice of the peace in Paris. He cheerfully fulfilled all church and civic obligations. He donated liberally to all public projects. He died Feb. 23, 1921 and was buried in the Paris Cemetery.

--- History of Bear Lake Pioneers, by Lillian S. Beck, page 767-768.

Thomas along with two other men invented an Improved Machine for Making Drain-Tile in September of 1865. An article including a drawing of his invention was published in the February 24, 1866 issue of "Scientific American".

Besides being a brick maker, Thomas also held positions as Probate Judge and Justice of the Peace. The following extracts are from newspaper articles.

  • In the Nov. 9, 1888 county election, Paris precinct, T.J. Smedley received 197 votes and A.W. Sparks 167 votes for Justice Of The Peace. - "Southern Idaho Independent"
  • T. J. Smedley Justice of the Peace, filed bonds and took Oath of office Jan 14th at Comissioner's meeting. - Jan. 18, 1889 Southern Idaho Independent.
  • Legal summons dated 17 Oct. 1883 to J.C. Rich v.s. Chris Nelson by T.J. Smedley, Justice of the Peace. - Southern Idaho Independent, Robert Spence Publisher.
  • In the voluntary retirement of Judge Smedley to private life , the Parisians lose an upright and honorable Judge. In the delicate position he has occupied as a judge between his fellow citizens, he has judged righteously or as nearly so as the evidence would justify, and has won the respect and esteem of all who know him. - Nov. 28, 1890 Southern Idaho Independent.
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Thomas Joynes Smedley's Timeline

August 16, 1837
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, United Kingdom
January 18, 1858
Age 20
Aloways, Salem, New Jersey
January 23, 1860
Age 22
Aloways, Salem, New Jersey
October 23, 1861
Age 24
Odessa, DE, USA
May 21, 1863
Age 25
Bloxton, Kent, Delaware
May 21, 1865
Age 27
Bloxton, Kent, Delaware
May 23, 1867
Age 29
Leipsic, Kent, Delaware
March 6, 1869
Age 31