Pioneers of Carroll County


William James Smith and Nancy Jane Clark

June 5, 2002

written by John J. Hansen with a family history article from Daydreon Hansen,

Vital Statistics:

William James Smith                                    Nancy Jane Clark

Born:   March 12, 1845                                 Born:     August 24, 1846, Mississippi

Marr:   Abt. 1867                                           Died:          July 3, 1892, Blackhawk, Mississippi

Died:   October 19, 1915, Calumet, Okla.     Bur:        Blackhawk Cemetery, Mississippi

Bur:     Canadian Valley Cemetery



1845        Carroll County, Mississippi (William born)

1846        Mississippi (Nancy Born)

1850        Mississippi, Carroll County (U.S. Census Records)

1860        Mississippi, Carroll County, (U.S. Census Records)

1880        Mississippi, Carroll County, (U.S. Census Records)

1892        Black Hawk, Carroll County, Mississippi (Nancy Jane death)

1892-1899?  Burkburnett, Texas

1899        Calumet, Canadian County, Oklahoma

1915        Calument, Canadian County, Oklahoma (William'''s death)



William James Smith, grandfather of Mary Ann (Jensen) Hansen and Dona (Jensen) Vogel, was born in Carroll Co., Miss., March 12, 1845.(1,4,6,11)  Little is known of his childhood or family other than his father had slaves and they were all fond of one another.(1)

                Nancy Jane Clark was born August 24, 1846, in Mississippi to Rowland M. Clark.(3,5,6,8)

            The area of Carroll County, Mississippi was ceded by the Choctaw Indians to the U.S. Government in 1830 in the Third and Final Choctaw Land Session.

            William Smith cannot be found in the Carroll County Census records any earlier than the 1870 U.S. Census.  Nancy can be found, age three years old, enumerated with Rowling Clark.  Nancy is the only "Nancy" in Carroll County at the right age.

                William served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War and was in some of the major battles including Vicksburg and Gettysburg.(1)  A search for William's Civil War records to date has not been found.(7) However, online electronic records indicate that he was associated with the 11th Mississippi Infantry, Company K, (Carroll County, Carroll Rifles listing a William J.Smith), and was wounded and disabled at the Battle of Gaines' Mill.(9)  There is a photograph of William along with another individual, posing in Confederate uniforms in possession of the author of this paper.

                William married in Carroll County Mississippi to Nancy Jane Clark in 1867.(1)  This can be substantiated with their oldest child Charley, being listed as age 2 on the 1870 U.S. Census (6) and age 12 on the 1880 U.S. Census.(4)

                To this union 2 boys, Kirby and Charley, and two girls, Minnie Agnes and Dona were born at South Carrollton.  Kirby born July 2, 1871, died Feb 10, 1919, is buried in the Canadian Valley Cemetery, Calumet, Oklahoma.  Kirby was working in the oilfields in northern Oklahoma when he became sick with pneumonia and died.  Minnie Agnes was born Oct 28, 1874 and died June 12, 1937, she is buried in the Calumet cemetery.  She married George William Jensen, they have 2 daughters, Dona and Mary.  William and Nancy's second daughter, Dona 1877‑1923, married first to a Arthur Hill then to Walt Crocker, is also buried in the Calumet cemetery.  Charley, the oldest child, born in about 1868 (4,6) lived in Mississippi except for the short time that he lived in Calumet.  He helped his dad run the cotton gin while he lived here.(1)

                In 1880, William and Nancy can still be found in Carroll County, Mississippi in the 23rd District.  William was listed as born in Mississippi age 35 with his father born in Ireland (sp?) And mother born in North Carolina.  Nancy was listed as born in Mississippi age 34 with her mother and father both being born in Mississippi.  Charley was listed as age 12, Curby as age 8, Minnie was age 6, and Dona was age 3, all born in Mississippi. (4)

                Nancy (Clark) Smith died when the children were young.   Nancy was buried in Blackhawk Cemetery, located at Blackhawk Mississippi, southwest of Carrolton, Mississippi.  Her tombstone reads."Nancy J. Clark, wife of W.J. Smith;  b. 24 August 1846, died 3 July 1892."(3)  Nancy was 45 years old at the time of her death.  Minnie was about 17 years old when her mother died and being the next to the oldest she felt she had the responsibility of helping care for her siblings.(1,3) (JJH Note: Charley would be age 24, Curby age 20, Minnie about age 17, and Dona, about age 15.  It is my belief that the intent of this statement by Mary Jensen was that Minnie was the oldest female, and therefore felt she had the responsibility for the others.)

                When the children were older, the family moved to Burkburnett, Texas.(1)

                Around 1899 William moved to Calumet living with his daughter, Minnie for awhile.  He later lived on what is now the Hufnagel farm 4 miles north of Calumet and across the road north of Clyde Hansen's farm, NW1/4 of S36,T14,R9 or Tinsley Place.  Clyde is a great grandson.(1)

                William owned the first cotton gin in Calumet.  It was located along the curve (north end of town on Highway 270 West) where Delbert Meade's welding shop is now located.  The gin later burned.(1)

                William was visiting his daughter, Minnie and granddaughter Dona while Minnie's husband George Jensen was carpentering at Darlington.  He helped build some of the first buildings there.  During this time the tornado of 1899 struck with all its fury and destroyed their home.  They saw the storm coming and started for the cellar.  William went ahead with blankets and to open the door, but just as he got in the wind blew the door shut.  Minnie was just behind with Dona, who was 4 and as she went out the door she saw the dish cabinet go over. The cellar door blew shut so hard that William was unable to get it open.  Minnie and Dona were blown out in the orchard with timbers stuck in the ground all around them.  Minnie was knocked unconscious, bruised and sore, she was on crutches for awhile.  It was raining so hard and when Minnie came to Dona was crying "Mama take me in, I'm getting wet."(1)

George and Minnie had to build a new home, the neighbors all helped one another as several homes were damaged or destroyed.  The Roscums, a neighbor, gave them a full set of dishes that were ordered and arrived in a barrel.  They added a room for William as he lived with them in his later years and at the time of his death, Oct 19, 1915.(1)

            Later in life, William again married, to a Catherine E. Hill.  She was the mother of Arthur Hill, the first husband of William and Nancy's daughter Dona.  The 1900 Census indicates that Mrs. Hill's name is Catherine E., born March 1850, in Alabama.  It also indicates that William was born in March of 1845.(11)

In 1906, William applied for a land patent from the Bureau of Land Management for the "State of Mississippi, Carroll County. Signed June 21, 1906‑ SW1/4 of SW1/4 of Sec 27 and the NW1/4 of NW1/4 Sec 34 in Twshp 18N, Range 2E for 79.73 acres." located 12-15 miles southwest of Carrollton, Mississippi. (Black Hawk).(10)

William died October 15, 1915.  William's funeral was held in their living room and the casket was taken to the Canadian Valley Cemetery northeast of Calumet for burial.(1)  William's obituary indicates that he died at the home of his daughter, at the age of 70, and that "His death was due to cancer from which he had suffered greatly for many months and death was no doubt a relief to his poor body.  He is survived by two sons and two daughters all but one being present at the funeral services."(2)

The search for William's parents have been difficult at best.  While most census records indicate he was born in Mississippi, and family oral history says he was born in Carroll County, Mississippi, I don't believe this to be the case.  A comprehensive search for William finds him in Carroll County in the 1870 Census, but cannot be found any earlier, in either the 1860 or the 1850 Census in Carroll County.  This does not preclude him from being born elsewhere in Mississippi.  The earliest that he can be found in Carroll County, is during the Civil War when a William J. Smith is listed with the 11th Regiment, Company K, Carroll County Rifles.  In the 1870 U.S. Census, William (when William was 25 years old), indicated that his mother was of foreign birth.  In the 1880 U.S. Census, when William was 35 years old, he indicated his father was born in Ireland and mother in Mississippi. In the 1900 Census at the age of 55, he indicated his father was born in Mississippi and his mother in Ireland.  It is interesting to note that the 1910 Census for his daughter Minnie, lists his place of birth as Viriginia, and not Mississippi.    


Authors Note:  New information uncovered in December 2004 indicates that the father of William James Smith may be a "E. Wm. Smith" only found on the 1860 Slave Census, page 21, owner of 67 slaves.  Location is in the area of T18N R3E, which is generally where William James Smith is in 1870.  Record of E. Wm. Smith cannot be found in the 1860 free census.  It appears that he was an overseer.


(1.)          Oral history from Mary Ann Jensen, granddaughter of William and Nancy, written by Daydreon Hansen.

(2.)          Calumet Chieftain, Calumet, Oklahoma newspaper, October 22, 1915: William James Smith:    AGED CITIZEN PASSES AWAY.

(3.)          Carroll County, Mississippi, MSGenWeb, Blackhawk Cemetery.  Partial listing, submitted by Jack Robinson. 12/20/99.  Indicates Black Hawk, Mississippi is southwest of Carrolton, on MS Hwy 17 for 15 miles, to Black Hawk.  Cemetery is east of Highway, in plain view. 

(4.)          1880 U.S. Census ‑ Mississippi, Carroll County, Page 9, SD 1, ED 23, 23rd District, line 36, family 73

(5.)          1860 U.S. Census- Mississippi, Carroll County (Nancy J. enumerated with R.M. Clark, age 13, born in Mississipp

(6.)          1870 U.S. Census, Mississippi, Carroll County, Township 18, Range 3E; County of Carroll, Ms. 2 July 1870, Page No. 15 (stamped 541), Line 20, family #87),

(7.)          May 26, 1994, Sent for William James Smith Military Pension records to the National Archives in Washington D.C.  Application #A710033. Inquires to the General Reference Branch, 202‑501‑5170. None Found

(8.)          1850 U.S. Census, Northern Division, Carroll Co., Mississippi, page 288 of Census record, Dwelling/Line # 496/505: 16 Oct 1850. (Nancy on page 287)

(9.)          Online electronic resources. and

(10.)        Land Patent Report, Bureau of Land Management, (BLM), MS3340__.129; Document No. 17759, Misc. Doc. No. 31859;  Jackson Land Office.  Signed by W.J. Smith

(11.)        1900, Canadian Co., Okla. Census  ( Cement Township, SD 219, ED 16, pg. 24, Line 50, family 264/275)


Items to Verify:

cannot find records in carroll co., in 1850 or 1860 for William Smith.

It is believed that Nancy Jane Clark was Choctaw Indian.  This is based on several different sources.  One source is that Mary Hansen, granddaughter of Nancy Jane, indicated that her maternal grandmother was Choctaw Indian.  Another is an unidentified photograph of what is believed to be William Smith and Nancy Clark, in which the lady is obviously Indian.  Another source is the possibility that Nancy's parents were born in Mississippi, and the area of Mississippi they were in were previously Choctaw Lands.  And finally, that the town that they lived in in Mississippi was Blackhawk.


Carroll County


I am John Hansen, volunteer County Coordinator for Carroll County, Mississippi.  I have family lines from here and hence my interest in establishing as much information as possible on early Carroll County History.

Web Site:

The Carroll County, Mississippi Genealogical and Historical Web Site was brought online in 1998, and is sponsored by the MSGenWeb Project, a part of the  USGenWeb Project.

This website has been developed to provide research and family history resources for Carroll County, Mississippi ancestry.

New resources are added as made available, so check back often for new content.





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