Kate Anna Smith is my great-grandmother and a remarkable woman. How she raised a family of thirteen children simply blows my mind, but she did it with such tenacity. Kate was born on June 29, 1864, in Linn, Knox County, Illinois to Isaac Girard Smith and Sarah Anna Gardner. Her parents came from New York so why they traveled to Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan is unknown. Kate had at least two siblings, Chester Burton 1847 and Edgar A Smith 1852.
The 1870 Census shows that they were living in Greenwood, Oceana, Michigan and her father was a farmer. The 1880 Census shows that they had traveled to Liberty, Clarke, Iowa. Sometime between June and October 1880, she meant her husband to be George Edward Pultz. She was only sixteen years old and he was twenty-one but on October 14, 1880, they were married in Clarke County, Iowa.
In 1882 they had their first son, George Alvah (he went as Alvah) in Iowa. Their family started to grow and on April 24, 1884, a second son was born Frank but he died as a baby on September 7, 1884, in Iowa. They were still living in Fremont, Clarke, Iowa when a daughter arrived Ina Grace 1885 and then Carrie Rosalie 1887, Ruby Jemima (my grandmother) in Woodburn, Iowa 1889. Edward Glenn was born 1891, James Harold 1884, Waunita Susan was the last child born in Iowa in 1896.
It was between 1896 and 1899 that Kate and George loaded up their belongings and their children and made the trip to Riley County, Kansas. Edna B was the first child to be born in Kansas in 1899. Alvah made the trip with his siblings but on February 25, 1900, he died of pneumonia, he was just eighteen years old and the family was heartbroken.
Kate and George continued to farm in Riley County, Kansas as the family grew larger, Lloyd Wilson 1901, Willard Zee 1903, Kenneth Leo 1906 and the last child Wilma Jean in 1909.
Life was good farming in Kansas so that is where Kate and George continued to live out their lives among lots of children, grandchildren, and many friends. They had many get-togethers over the years with family and friends and then there was always the Pultz Family Reunion that was held every spring at the end of harvest time to celebrate the bountiful crops.
Kate lost her husband George on December 29, 1929, he was seventy years old. They had built a wonderful life together with family always around them. Kate went on to carry the family legacy along of family and friends becoming a large part of her life. Kate Anna Smith Pultz died on May 21, 1947, in Keats, Riley, Kansas. She was buried next to her beloved husband George in the Sunset Cemetary, Manhattan, Riley, Kansas. My father Merle Otto Weik was one of her pallbearers.
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