Smith, Eugenia Hill
Interview on February 10, 2009 by
Germantown Historic Commission Members Roma Sailors & Jim McGee
Eugenia Hill Smith was born January 11, 1906, in Booneville, Mississippi, between Corinth and Tupelo. She was the oldest of four siblings, one brother, and two sisters. Eugenia and her family moved to Memphis in 1924 and stayed here for three years before moving back to Mississippi. She married Clarence Alfred Smith of Faulkner, MS., in Memphis in 1927. They had earlier met at a Christmas party in Ripley, MS.
She said, “we did not have any children, we just loved everyone else’s children.” Clarence worked for the Illinois Central Railroad on Front Street and Calhoun. In 1935, he was called to Washington for a civil service job. Eugenia worked in Washington as a real estate officer. They remained there for twenty-five years.
Clarence and Eugenia moved back south and built a house in Germantown where they would live together until Clarence died in 1989. Eugenia would live there until 2005 when the Germantown Plantation Senior Living Facility opened that August.
Eugenia and her husband belonged to the Germantown Baptist Church. The church’s pastor, Dr. Story, understood that Eugenia knew how to do research and there was a need for a history of the Baptist Church. She had researched her ancestry relative to the American Revolution at the State Archives in Nashville. Eugenia went to Nashville to begin her research and brought this information back to begin the ‘older’ portion of the church’s story. Dr. Story who came in 1964 wrote the ‘newer’ portion of the church’s history.
Eugenia joined the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in 1966. In all her years with the We-Ah-Tah-Umba Chapter, she served as Regent, Vice Regent, Secretary, Treasurer, and Chaplin. For more than 30 years she would serve as Chapter Registrar, reviewing and approving prospective membership applications before sending them to Washington. None ever required corrections.
Eugenia had six relatives in the American Revolution. One meeting of the We-Ah-Tah-Umba NSDAR coincided with her 100th birthday and each lady present portrayed herself as the wife of one of Eugenia’s Revolutionary War ancestors, wearing old-fashioned clothes.
At Eugenia’s 105th birthday party, her brother-in-law Eulyse M. Smith, responded to the question of her longevity. He said, “she has had a strong faith in God throughout her life”. On her 107th birthday, she was presented with the SAR “Daughters of Liberty Medal” and certificate. Eugenia would pass away at 107 years old on July 21, 2013.
Germantown Historical Preservation Association Board