My name is Mary Allsebrook Smith. I was born in England in 1866 and was only three years old when my mother died. My father, William Allsebrook, remarried and I have to tell you, I did not get along with my step-mother! So, early on, I was sent finishing school to become a lady. It was there that I learned to speak French.
One day, a young Scotsman by the name of David Smith, came to visit my father to report on his trip to America where he had gone to visit his sister and her husband, George Allsbrook, my father’s brother. While he was in our home we met and fell in love.
After a brief acquaintance, he asked me to marry him and return with him to a place in America called, Meeker, Colorado, where he had decided he wanted to live after his visit.
To be honest, I was hesitant, as this was a big step to make! I decided to let my little dog decide what I should do. If she growled when David Smith returned, the answer was no. As you might guess, my dog was overly friendly and I said yes!
In March 1891, we married and after a short honeymoon sailed for America. I was seasick most of the way. It was winter time and the last lap of the trip into Meeker was by sled in a snow storm!
Three men passengers had to get out and hold the sled from tipping over. It was a wild and scary venture for me but finally we arrived to a warm welcome at the George Allsebrook home.
As a protected English girl, I had problems adjusting to this wild western settlement, but eventually emerged as a highly respected lady in this community. I delighted in beauty of all kinds…flowers, trees, pictures, china, a pretty face, a well-knit figure and music. I was gifted with green fingers and grew beautiful flowers and gardens. I loved to give flowers, a piece of material, or some little treasure to visitors who came by. At funerals, I often provided the only flowers there.
I loved to read! And I had a set of Dickens books that eventually, my daughter said she almost knew by heart. People said I was a cultural asset to this community and I hope that was true.
Eventually, David and I bought the ranch just west of town and had seven children: Lawrence, Dorothy, Alan, Bill Colin, Tish and Marion.
Today, my oldest grandchild, Lucy Jane Howey, lives in Meeker and along with many other of my relatives. They are glad to live in America and should probably thank my little dog for being friendly with David Smith when he asked for my hand in marriage!
Click here to download pdf: The Lady from England Who Moved to Meeker