The J. D, Smyrl family came from Alabama to Texas in 1869. They resided with Dr. Robert R. Smyrl until they could establish a home for themselves. The home they established was located in Larissa, Texas. There J. D. ran a mercantile business, served as Most Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge and served as the clerk for the Salem Baptist Church.
J. D.'s mother, Rebecca Kirtley Smryl, and children: Nevie Lou, and James Emmett and possibly a third child are buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Larissa, Texas.
Some Smyrl graves are located on the old Dr, Robert
R. Smyrl place now the Ted Pearsaul farm. Since these graves are
marked only with brick and since marker in the Baptist Cemetery at Larissa
was probably added by Herbert Bone Smyrl after he reached adulthood, I am
not sure where Hettie Rebecca is buried. Timing makes it possible
she was buried in either place. More research needs to be done
regarding at what time J. D. moved to Larissa. Miss Jane Kirtly is
buried on the Robert R. Smyrl place. The first two of J. D,'s
children were buried in Alabama. John Tate died in route in Elysian
Fields and was buried there.
By 1900 J. D, Smyrl was living in Jacksonville in a Victorian two story house on Hickory Street just west of West side School. Sometime after his death his son, E. L, Smyrl and family moved into the home. The E. L. Smyrl family lived on Baptist Hill before making the move. My father Herbert Bell Smyrl was born in the Baptist Hill home. The Baptist Hill home site was later owned by E. L. Smyrl's daughter Mattie Minerva Smyrl MUllins.
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