The Blooming Groves Times
Vol XLIX No 52
June 28, 1940
(Anniversary issue of paper)
Picture above is a good likeness of the late T.M. Smith, a well known Educator
of Navarro County from 1875 - 1906.
Mr. Smith was born December 19, 1852 at Arkadelphia, Ark, obtained his education
at St. Johns College, Little Rock. The following four years he taught school in
his native state, and then like other young men of his day, heard the call of
the west, he mounted a horse and headed for Texas landing in Blooming Grove at
the age of 23 . His first night in this community he spent with Dock
Carroll, a prominent farmer who lived about 3 miles south of Blooming Grove. The
house of Mr. Carroll's which sheltered him that first night still stand at this
time in a good state of repair, and is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Tom Neal. Mrs.
Neal is the daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. B.F. Carroll.
With some assistance from the Hightowers of Frost, Mrs. Smith was elected as
teacher of the old Cross Roads school, which is now the farm of Lewis Pevehouse.
After two successful years of the Cross Roads school he went to Cryer Creek.
This was long before consolidated schools, but it was here that Mr.
Smith succeeded in uniting three schools into one, making the largest school in
the county. A boarding house was erected to care for out of town students
(supplanted now by our school busses). Many grown men enrolled here, names
familiar to Blooming Grove residents; John Calicutt, Matt Calicutt, Tom Hill,
Mike Howard, J.H. Watson, Bob Burroughs, McCords and Hightowers.
After 3 or 4 years at Cryer Creek, Mr. Smith was elected to a position as
teacher in the Dresden colleg at Dresden where he taught several successful
terms. He then came to Blooming Grove and taught in both the old and the new
Mr. Smith was married to Miss Ella Mabry, sister of Russell and George Mabry. To
this union three girls were born. After the death of his first wife, Mr. Smith
married Miss Mollie Wall with him at Dresden and Blooming Grove. To this union
six girls and one boy were born. All the girls are teachers, and the boy a
In 1899 Mr. Smith moved to Kerens where he served as superintendent of the
Kerens school until 1903 when he was elected as County Superintendent of Navarro
County which office he filled until his death which came in his second term in