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Smith/Biars pages: Bessie Smith Arthur George Smith Jr.  George Smith Sr.   Emma Biars' family

The Oliver and Bessie Arthur family

Feb. 18, 2024 

George Washington Smith Jr. (30 June 1860/06 April 1940) of Abraham, Raleigh County, W.Va., had 16 children: 
  • Nine with first wife Emily Alice Vandall (18 Oct 1864/02 Jan 1905): Bertha Jane, Bessie, Glenville E., Wayne, Arthur Jackson, Ada, Oley, Charles Ota (C.O., “Smitty” Smith Sr.) and Emily Mae Smith. 
  • Seven with second wife Emma Catherine BiarsKatherine Golda, Pearl Lora, Eda Flora (Edie), Earl George, Carl Eugene, Everett Abraham and Ernest Sidney. 

Go to the George Smith Jr. page for more information about Bessie's brothers and sisters. 

Bessie was born in November 1884 in New, Raleigh County -- 30 Nov, according to her death certificate, and 20 Nov according to her funeral card.  She married Oliver James Blaine Arthur 04 July 1905, in Raleigh County. (The source of the marriage date is Marriage Records of Raleigh County West Virginia 1850-1910 compiled by Ronald Ray Turner. Other information and photos courtesy of Cousin Susan.) Bessie and Oliver had nine children.   
 George Franklin, James Ernest, Russell Blaine, Edith V., Eva V., Henry D., Nannie B., Nerma Gladys, and Jocie Helen.   Bessie Smith Arthur's obituary.  Oliver Arthur's obituary  Find A Grave: Bessie Arthur 

Photo: Children of Bessie Smith Arthur and husband Oliver: Back row (left to right), Ernest, Russell, George. Front row (l-r), Henry, Eva, Edith and baby Nannie. Jocie Helen and Nerma Gladys not pictured. (Information and photos courtesy of Cousin Susan.) 

Children of Bessie and Oliver

George Franklin Arthur, born 27 May 1906, Abraham, Raleigh County, W.Va., died 01 May  1964, Fayette County, W.Va. He married Josie Annalee Meadows on Sept 16, 1926. George called her “Jocie” in letters and other paperwork spells her name “Josie.” Her grandchildren called her Granny Jo. She was born 10 June 1910, Summers County, W.Va., a daughter of Archibald (Arch) Mills and Lillie Belle Meadows, W.Va., died 07 Jan 1981, in Titusville, Brevard County, Fla. George and Josie divorced around 1954-56. George remarried sometime after 1956 to Georgia Carrow Holbrook. Find a Grave

Photos: George Franklin Arthur Sr. in 1924-25George and wife Jocie "Josie" Annalee Meadows (just married), George in the ArmyGeorge Arthur Sr.

George and Josie's children 

  • George Franklin (Frank) Arthur Jr., born 16 Nov 1927, Morgan, W.Va., died 26 Sept 1954, Coruzal, Canal Zone, killed by a tsunami while stationed in the CZ. (Obituary.) He married Ellen Jane Ransom and had three sons who joined the Army and followed in their father’s footsteps. Frank received several medals while serving in the Army. Army photo.  
  • Glenna Ruth Arthur, born 05 Oct 1929, Abraham, Raleigh County, died 02 Nov 2006, Anna, Collin County, Texas. She married William Buren Ransom and had three children. Susan said, “She was my partner in crime for genealogy.  Many of the pictures came through her or my Dad.” Obituary:  ANNA, Texas — Glenna Ruth Arthur Ransom, 77, of Anna, Texas, formerly of Shady Spring, died Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006, at her home in Anna, Texas. Mrs. Ransom was born at Pluto on Oct. 5, 1929, and was the daughter of the late George and Josie Ann Meadows Arthur. She was a homemaker, and was of the Baptist faith. She had made her home in Texas for the past seven months, having made her home at Shady Spring for over 20 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, William B. Ransom in 1992; by brothers, Franklin and Dean Arthur; and by an infant brother and sister. Survivors include her son, two daughters; two brothers; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren also survive. Funeral service will be 1 p.m. Thursday at the Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home Shady Spring Chapel, with the Rev. Allan Copenhaver officiating. Burial will follow at Blue Ridge Memorial Gardens at Prosperity. Friends may call two hours prior to service. Online condolences may be sent to the guest book at Arrangements by Rose and Quesenberry Funeral Home at Shady Spring.  (Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va., obituaries for Monday, November 6, 2006.)
  • Noel Dean Arthur , born 03 July 1931, Abraham, died 18 Dec 1995, Haines City, Polk County, Fla. Unmarried, no children.
  • Norma Lee Arthur, born 09 Jan 1934, died 02 Oct 1934. Norma died as a baby of membranous croup. (ObituaryDeath certificate.)
  • Melvin Keith Arthur (Nov. 28, 1935, Abraham, W.Va./ June 12, 2010, Florida). He was raised and educated in West Virginia. Melvin married LaVonne C. Bobb 19 Aug 1957 in St. Martin's Catholic Church, Center, North Dakota. Melvin joined the U.S. Army in 1954 and was honorably discharged in 1959. As a private he was military police and later, as a sergeant, he became an encryption technician. Melvin had a variety of jobs, among them working at Cape Canaveral during the Apollo launches, opening day staff at Walt Disney World from which he eventually retired as a property craftsman after working there for 28 years. He enjoyed many hobbies including hunting, fishing, playing pool, working with his hands, watching FSU play football, and traveling. Melvin's wife LaVonne preceded him in death in August 2009. Melvin is survived by a son and daughter and two grandsons. Melvin K. Arthur - Photo 2
  • Burl Osborne Arthur, born 09 Feb 1938, Abraham, died 25 Jan 2007, Kissimmee, Osceola, Fla. Never married, no children. 
  • Frederick Eugene Arthur, born 16 Jan 1940, Abraham, died 09 Feb 1940, Beckley, Raleigh County. (Death certificate.) 

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James Ernest Arthur, born 26 Aug 1907, Raleigh County, W.Va., died 17 Oct 1997, Greenbrier County, W.Va.  He married Gladys Meador in 1929. Marriage recordObituary

James Ernest Arthur, 90, of Rupert died Oct. 17, 1997, in a Rupert personal care home after a long illness. He was a retired miner, a member of Hines Tabernacle, a former Sunday school teacher and a member of UMW. Surviving: wife, Gladys Meador Arthur; sons, Edwin E. of Glen Burnie, Md., James Kenneth of White Sulphur Springs, Robert Eugene of Waterford, Mich.; 10 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren. Service will be 11 a.m. Monday at Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home, Rainelle, with the Rev. James Daily officiating. Entombment will be in Wallace Memorial Mausoleum, Clintonville. Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. 

Russell Blaine Arthur, born 07 Aug 1910, Pear, Raleigh County, died 18 June 1997, Shady Spring, Raleigh County. He married Marie Bragg. 

Edith V. Arthur, born 06 Feb 1912, Raleigh County, died 07 Jan 2004, Beckley, Raleigh County. She married Herman F. Garten.  Photo 1: Edith V. Arthur Photo 2: Edith.Obituaries: Edith Arthur Garten. Herman Fred Garten. (Courtesy of Dale M.)

Eva Vada Arthur, 16 April 1913, Abraham, Raleigh County, died 17 Jan 1989, Beckley, Raleigh County. She married George D. Fox. They are buried in New Salem Missionary Baptist Cemetery, Abraham. Eva Arthur Fox obituaryGeorge D. Fox obituary. Find a Grave 

Henry D. Arthur, born 23 July 1915, Abraham, Raleigh County, died 26 March 1989, Baltimore, Md. He married Martha Fox.

Nannie B. Arthur, born 25 Jan 1919, Raleigh County. She married Clyde Wriston on  Jan. 20, 1937. (Marriage date source: “Our Families: Shuck, fleshman, Sydenstricker, Smith, Lewis, Kincaid, Keister, et. al., of West Virginia” by Larry G. Shuck, Gateway Press Inc., Baltimore, 1995). 

Nerma Gladys Arthur, born 04 March 1922, Raleigh County, W.Va., died 07 Sept 1993 at Quinwood, W.Va. (Obituary.) She married Henry Thornton McDaniel (Obituary), son of Horace Greeley McDaniel and wife Bicy Ruhama "Hamie" Williams.

Jocie Helen Arthur, born 13 April 1924, Raleigh County, died 16 March 2004, Leivasy, W.Va. Find a GravePhoto: Jocie Helen Arthur 

Note: I recently received an e-mail from Linda, an Arthur family researcher, with additional information: 
  • The 1930 census lists Jocie as Jessie H. Arthur (Source Citation: Year: 1930; Census Place: Richmond, Raleigh, West Virginia; Roll: 2552; Page: 4B; Enumeration District: 5; Image: 970.0.) Linda said Jocie's birth name was Jessie Helen Arthur. 

Jocie Helen Bragg, 80, of Leivasy died March 16, 2004. Service will be 1 p.m. Sunday, March 20, at Olive Branch Baptist Church, Nettie. Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the church. Rose & Quesenberry Funeral Home, Beckley, is in charge of arrangements. 

"Outside" link with more Arthur photos, obits, etc. including Frank and Amanda Arthur family, 1900: (Thank you, Dale.) See article about the Chandler Arthur Cemetery, Fayette County, W.Va., plus a link to a transcription of tombstone information on the Cemeteries page.

Smith/Biars pages: Bessie Smith Arthur  George Smith Jr.  George Smith Sr.  Emma Biars' family

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