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Smith, Bottomly & Lill Families (1809-1984) | Morse Department of Special Collections

Name: Smith, Bottomly & Lill Families (1809-1984)

Historical Note: George Smith was born January 15, 1809 in Burlington, Chittendon County, Vermont, the son of John and Mary Smith. In 1832, he began his law career in Vermont, Moved to Illinois, and eventually settled in the Iowa Territory. Mr. Smith served as a county judge from 1837-1841 in Tipton, Cedar County, Iowa and then resumed his law practice. On March 26, 1845, he married Elizabeth Davy Richards, whose family had recently immigrated from Devonshire, England. They had six children: Mary Eliza, Marcia Emma, Flora Ella, Frank Melville, Rollin George, and Jenny Lind. In 1871, George Smith set out alone to settle a homestead in smith County, Kansas. He died of suffocation on September 4, 1872 when the dug-out he was living in caved-in. His youngest daughter, Jenny Lind Smith, was born December 26, 1856 in Tipton, Iowa. She taught school at Dubuque High School in Dubuque, Iowa from 1875-79 and then moved to Kansas with her mother and brother Frank in 1880. In Kansas, she met and married Volney Bottomly in November 1882. They had two children, Herbert Jefferson and Helen Elizabeth. Mrs. Bottomly died on March 20, 1950. Helen Elizabeth Bottomly was born December 9, 1886 in Cedarville, Smith County, Kansas. She graduated from Kansas State Agricultural College in 1905. She taught school for a year in Cleburne, a country school north of Manhattan, Kansas. She then attended Kansas Wesleyan College in Salina the next year. On May 6, 1908 she married Percy Eugene Lill, son of Michael and Joanna Lill of rural Mt. Hope, Kansas. Percy had two brothers, Harry and Joe, and two sisters, Genevieve and Gertrude. Percy and Elizabeth Lill lived on a farm near Mt. Hope for most of their lives but moved to Oxford in 1947. They had seven children including Marjorie Elizabeth, Eugene Michael, Volney Bottomly, Wayne Percy, Gordon Grigsby, Dean Thomas, and Richard Alan. All but one, Volney, received degrees at Kansas State and he alone of the brothers did not fight in World War II. Dean Lill was killed in action in November 1944, in Germany and was buried in Holland. The rest of the family are all married and living in various locations in the U.S. Their parents, Percy and Helen Lill, have both passed away, he on July 28, 1967, and her on October 22, 1977.

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