Ephraim P. Smith
Obituary For E. P. Smith
E. P. Smith was born in Dyer County, Tenn., April 29, 1875. In 1900 he was married to Annie Thomas, who gave him her love and companionship and who cared for him so tenderly and with untiring devotion during his long illness. Mr. and Mrs. Smith had three children, who died in infancy, and later took me as their adopted daughter, loving and doing for me as their very own. When E. P. Smith was baptized at about thirty years of age, so happy was he in finding the true church that he started preaching immediately, telling others how to become Christians. It must have been a wonderful inspiration to the members of Lowrance Chapel, near Rutherford, where he was teaching at the time, to see a young man so full of zeal and enthusiasm for the church. No doubt they inspired him equally as much, because from that time on he was continually studying and preaching the Bible. After having taught school in Rutherford, Greenfield, Sharon, and Kenton, he move to Martin about 1912, where he was superintendent of schools for about twenty years. Meanwhile he continued to preach all over Tennessee, and from time to time went into other states to hold meetings. Few men, I believe, have been as completely unselfish as he was. No doubt that is the fundamental reason for his being held in such high esteem by all those who knew him. He wanted to share with others, to help them carry their sorrows, their discouragements, their joys, their trials, and their triumphs. He was never too busy to listen to those who came to him for advice, and there were many who came. As teacher and superintendent he came in touch daily with boys and girls, all of whom he loved, from the smallest tots to the oldest. That his students and fellow teachers alike loved and respected him was evidenced by their many fine letters and kind deeds during his last years. Many former students wrote that any good they may have accomplished in life they felt they owed to him for the encouragement, confidence, and teaching he gave them in their formative years. It would be impossible for me to sum up the good works of my dad. But the statement, He loved the Lord and his fellow man, would cover many of them. He wanted to save souls, to lend encouragement and trust, and to share with others his worldly goods when they were in need. The foregoing comments on the life and influence of E. P. Smith are such that any of his friends might make. From a personal point of view, I would like to say that he could not have been a better dad. He had for me the same love, human understanding, ambition, and comradeship all fathers have for their children. I loved him very dearly, and he will always remain a very strong influence in my life.
-Katy Bell Hyde (formerly Katy Bell Smith), Gospel Advocate, December 27, 1945, page 739.
Obituary For Annie Thomas Smith
Mrs. E. P. (Annie Thomas) Smith was born September 23, 1875, in Gibson County, Tenn., and passed from this life in Birmingham, Ala., on October 6, 1963, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Morris Hyde. Funeral services were conducted by the writer, assisted by Ewing Wray, at the Murphy Funeral Home in Martin, Tenn., on October 8 in the presence of many friends. The late E. P. Smith was superintendent of public schools in Martin for approximately one quarter of a century. At the same time he ably served as an elder of the Martin church and was a faithful preacher of the gospel throughout that area for many years. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Freed-Hardeman College for about twenty years. Sister Smith was his faithful companion who stood by him in all of his labors for about forty-one years. She was a true help meet unto him. By natural law Brother and Sister Smith had no children but they adopted a very excellent daughter a number of years ago. She, Katie Belle, married Morris Hyde and they for a number of years have resided in Birmingham, Ala. They, with their two daughters, took care of Sister Smith in a very noble way through the last years of her life. The influence of this godly woman will long be felt.
-H. A. Dixon, Gospel Advocate, October 24, 1963, page 686.
Directions To The Grave of Ephraim P. Smith
E.P. Smith is buried in the Eastside Cemetery in Martin, Tennessee. From I-40 west in Jackson, take Exit 82, and head north on Hwy. 45/ N. Highland St. toward Humbolt. A few miles north you will bear to the right on 45E toward Medina. Continue through Milan and when you come into Martin stay on the business route toward downtown. (Don't take the bypass.) The road will dead end into University Street. Stay with 45E by turning right, then turn back left. Then right on Main St. Go several streets and turn left on Ellis St. Then turn right on K St. Then left on E. Hill Street. The cemetery will be on your right. Take the 8th street to the right and go a little less than midway of the section and stop. Head into the section to your right and the Smith marker is raise, but more of a footmarker in comparison to most uprights in the section. See photos below. While in the cemetery be sure to visit the grave of I.N. Penick. Dr. Penick was a Baptist minister and during his lifetime one of their chief debaters. He debated many Restoration preachers. His marker is in this section as well.
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Photos Taken 10.04.2013
Page Produced 11.28.2013
Courtesy of Scott Harp