Charles Constantine Jeffrey-Smith Update

Charles’ story was first reported in an earlier post,

I was recently contacted by Charles’ granddaughter, who stated that her family had been researching their family history.   She was able to fill in some blanks, and of course raise more questions. My original posting ended with references to Charles’s 1942 draft registration card, and the observation that “Iris” was his contact person, but her relationship was not known.  The granddaughter confirmed that Iris was Charles’ wife.  The granddaughter sent me photographs of Charles’ headstone, which clearly gave his year of birth as 1879.  We discussed why he would have made himself 7 years older.  Perhaps he thought he would be too old to be called up to serve in the first World War.  His brother Leslie died 22 June 1917 in Flanders.  Charles joined the 55th Aero Construction Squadron, which was mobilized in August 1917.  The unit went from Kelly Field in Texas, to Hazelhurst Field, in New York, Issoudun, Saint-Jean-de Monts, and Latrecey-Ormoy-sur-Aube in France, and back to Garden City, New York in 1919. The Unit’s purpose was to construct and maintain facilities, and as an engineer, this would have been a good fit for him. 

Although I have not been able to find Charles in the 1920 census, a newspaper article that year from Rushville Indiana reported that Charles C. Jeffrey-Smith had won a lawsuit to collect $36.54 and court costs, as the two defendants had failed to pay their account at his garage. 

Charles married for the third time on 28 April 1928 to Anna Cunningham.  In this record, he claimed to be born in Paris, and the 1930 census with his wife and her children listed his birthplace as Paris.  Charles’ granddaughter believed that this was his correct birth place.  We weren’t sure why he would claim Paris instead of Jamaica, unless there was some benefit to being from France. 

Charles married for the fourth time to Iris Adelai (Adlai) Malone on 28 Dec 1936.  She was born 25 Dec 1911 in Jamaica.  This was described as something of a mail-order bride situation, as he had not met her in person.  Adlai attended school in Jamaica, and perhaps was known to Charles’ sisters, who were teachers and school administrators.  Some time before this marriage, Charles had gone to law school in Montreal.  Although I have not found the actual marriage record, a newspaper item from the Jamaica Gleaner reported on the wedding:    MARRIES ATTORNEY-AT-LAW. MISS IRIS A. MALONE, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Malone of this city was united in Holy Matrimony on December 28th in the U. S. A. to Mr. C. C. Jeffrey-Smith, Attorney-at-Law. Mrs. Jeffrey-Smith is well known among the younger set in Jamaica. She is a past pupil of the Wolmer’s High School for Girls. Quick-witted and with a lively imagination, short story writing as a remunerative hobby comes naturally to her. She has plenty of atmosphere and scope for her talent in the United States. Although she has only been away from the island for a short while her charming personality has gained many friends here. Unable to speak a word of Spanish, nevertheless, her warm rich beauty, has been the cause of her friends mistaking her for a latin and not a true daughter of Jamaica as she really is. French has always been her favourite language, which she speaks, reads and writes fluently. Mrs. Jeffrey-Smith is also a keen sportswoman, indulging freely in horse back riding, hunting and fishing on her farm and those of her friends.

Charles died 8 Oct 1958 in Micheltree, Indiana, and is buried at Trinity Springs Cemetery in Shoals, IN.  His obituary says that he was a retired machinist, that he operated a Law and Detective office (private merchant police), and that he did Secret Service work for France in the early part of World War 1.  He was a member of the Methodist Church and the American Legion.  His wife died in 1996.


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