Biography of Professor Charles Byron Smith
Professor Charles Byron Smith, principal of the Washington school at Muskogee, is a native of Rusk County, Texas, his parents being Lucien Drayton and Amanda Melvina Smith. The father was born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, and in 1852 re-moved to Texas. The mother was born in Tennessee and became a resident of the Lone Star state in 1836. Mr. Smith was a ranch-man farmer and early removed with his family to western Texas, where his son, Professor Smith, grew to manhood with scarcely any Church or school privileges but nevertheless was well instructed religiously and educationally, for when he entered his first school he was ready for the fourth grade work and was familiar with all of the Bible stories. When he was twenty-one years of age he went away to college at Granbury, Texas, working his way through that institution. On account of a misfortune, however, he could attend for but three years. He took up the profession of teaching, which he followed for thirteen years in Texas in the rural and in the graded schools and also taught in three summer normal schools in that state. He has likewise taught in eleven summer normal schools in Oklahoma. However, he remained, upon the home farm until he attained his majority, being the main dependence for a family of twelve, as his father was never a well man after Charles B. Smith was twelve years of age.
Following his three years’ work in college Professor Smith secured a position as teacher of a rural school and after two terms was appointed teacher of a graded school in Cisco, Texas, where he remained for four years, in what is now called the junior high division. He afterward removed to Pecos, Texas, where he was Superintendent and taught for seven years. He then came to Muskogee, where he has since remained as principal of one of the ward schools for fifteen years, having recently completed his thirteenth year as Principal of the Washington school. His long connection with the schools of Muskogee indicates his high efficiency and his creditable standing in educational circles in the state.
On the 1st of November, 1885, Professor Smith was united in marriage to Miss Mary Elizabeth Dalton at Cleburne, Texas. She is a daughter of G. D. Dalton, who removed to Texas from Kentucky, locating at Mexia. There he engaged in farming and in cattle raising. Eventually he removed to Cleburne, Texas, and there became a candidate for County surveyor, after which he filled the position to the time of his death. To Professor and Mrs. Smith have been born six children: Davida, Bascom, Lois, Charles, Ruth and Douglass, the first two being now married. The eldest is the wife of Charles R. Gilmore, an oil man, while Bascom wedded Miss Mildred Cameron, of Washington, D. C. The former resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has two sons, Robert and David, while Bascom Smith has one daughter, Leslie, and resides in Washington, D. C., where he is practicing law in the Patent Attorney’s Office. Two of the sons entered the service in the World war and Professor Smith was one of the Four-Minute speakers and did much war work. The eldest son was a Lieutenant on the battleship New York and was actively engaged throughout the entire period of America’s connection with the world struggle.
Having been born and reared in Texas, Professor Smith has always considered his credentials as a Democrat unquestionable and unassailable. He has never held public office but has served as a member of the City Public Library board and as a member of the city park board and his aid and influence have ever been given on the side of those interests and activities which are a matter of civic virtue and of civic pride. He belongs to the Lions Club and has been a lifelong member of the Methodist Church, in which he has held all of the offices that a layman can hold, from Secretary of the local Church to member of the general conference, serving in the latter connection at Memphis, Tennessee, in 1894. He is now teacher of the largest men’s Bible class in eastern Oklahoma and aside from his educational activities has given his time largely to Church work.