John Mayrant SMITH Flees 1900 Hurricane

Major (Confederate Army) John Mayrant Smith was born May 31, 1842. He and his wife, Mary Terry Smith, moved to Dallas from Galveston shortly after the hurricane there in 1900. His wife was the daughter of Colonel Benjamin Franklin Terry, 8th Texas Cavalry of Terry’s Texas Rangers. His statue (on horseback) is on the State Capitol grounds in Austin.  Major Smith had two sons: Franklin Mayrant Smith, born February 26, 1874, died December 1957 and William R. Smith, born January 20, 1872, died April 21, 1940.

J. Mayrant Smith & Oriental Oil Co

J. Mayrant Smith & Oriental Oil Co

“W.R.” and “F.M.” as the brothers were known, were President and Vice-President respectively of the Oriental Oil Company in Dallas.  W.R. built the first home on Forest Avenue (now Martin Luther King Blvd). W.R. had two children, Mayrant Taylor Smith, born November 10, 1899, died December 14, 1971 and Ozette Konet Smith, born in Dallas July 21, 1907, died January 7, 1993.

W.R. had a country home on West Lawther Drive at White Rock Lake. The home was on the water where homes at that time could be built on the lakeshore itself. He also owned the Lakeview Dairy at what is now “The Cloisters” homes on Mockingbird Lane at West Lawther Drive.  F.M. also had a country home on land that is now mostly the Canyon Creek section in Richardson, North off Campbell Road and West of Alamo Street.

W.R.’s daughter, Ozette, attended the Hockaday School at the home of Miss Hockaday and later the campus on Greenville Avenue at Belmont Street. She married William McCune Robinson, Sr. on July 3, 1925 in Dallas. The Robinsons were early settlers in Madisonville, Texas, but moved to Dallas in 1917 at 5502 Victor Street so their children could attend school. “Mac,” as William McCune Robinson was called, attended the old Reiger Avenue School. His father, John Neal Robinson, Sr. was an inspector for the City of Dallas. They had four sons; all born at St. Paul Hospital on Bryan Street. All were reported as still living in 2002.

Courtesy Robert Mayrant Robinson, Jr. for Proud Heritage, Volume III by Dallas County Pioneer Association.