Wednesday, July 13, 2011




There was another event in Mette Marie's life, and she spoke with feeling about it.  She spoke often about it.  That was her youngest child, her baby boy, Condie and called Constance by others.  Condie was only four or five years older than my father, Eugene Smith. (son of William)  As my father spoke about him during their childhood days, it became apparent to me that there was a real good, big brother-little brother relationship between Dad and Condie.  Condie got married sometime in his twenties, shortly after he was married, he went into partners with another fellow.  They leased a herd of Angora Goats from a livestock company.  They took care of the herd of goats for a period of time.  The time came when they turned the goats back to the owners and collected the money.  It was reported to be a good sum of money for that time.  Right after the owners had paid them, Condie came up missing.  Never to be heard from or seen again.  The partner claimed that Condie had taken his share of the money and skipped the country.  Others believed Condie had been killed for his money. 

Great Grandma Smith spoke often about Condie, how she would like to see him.  And how she felt sure that if he was still alive he would come to see her for sure.  Condie never came.   

I remember when Great Grandmother Smith died, it was a cold blizzard windy day she died.  Soon after she died the old home where she lived was completely torn down.  So, I guess, we could say the little old house just sort of died with her. 

Several years after her death a skeleton was found in the area where the goats had been turned back to the owners and the money paid to Condie and the partner.  Dad went with most of the Smiths, Mulfords and Motts to see if they could identify the skeleton as Condie's.  It is hard to tie-down the exact year but I feel quite certain my dad took our 1928 model Chevrolet as one vehicle for the trip.  We bought the Chevrolet second-hand, so, it would be about 1931.   

I was trying to remember who was the Sheriff of Wayne County at the time.  He was working with the sheriff of the county where the skeleton was found.  I seem to recall quite strongly that he was a Baker but I have been unable to recall his last name.  He was the brother of Ben Baker who had a mercantile business at Bicknell.  It was noticeable the experience had a very telling effect on his feelings.  He was a very popular and very much liked sheriff, always fair and helpful. 

I know that my dad came back after examining the skeleton that it was exactly the skeleton of Condie and he had been shot to death.  I know Dad felt the bones were Condie's.  And my dad was well convinced in his own mind that he knew just who the killer had to be. 

Condie Smith disappeared in 1911, the skeleton was found twenty years later in 1931.  This was when the case was reopened.  There was probably  very little evidence for either sheriff to investigate either time.  They did investigate the two different partners of Condie's.  Jay C. Smith told me that his father (Eugene Smith) followed every move of the investigation.  There was many arguments and differing opinions on who it might be.  One was Joe Smith, Condie's half-brother who helped Condie and his partner get the goat contract.  Joe was not at all involved after that.  Second was Condie's partner for the full time of the contract.  Third a family who cared for the goats off and on during the contract.  And finally anyone who knew that Condie was carrying a large amount of cash.  Jay C. Smith said,  "My father and grandfather told me who they thought it was and it was not Joe."  There wasn't even enough evidence to prove it was Condie.  We were wondering what happened to the skeleton.  I haven't heard who claimed and buried it and under what name.   

Jay C. Smith said,  "The Smith's opinion that we remember and it was unanimous, Condie would never leave to go and live somewhere else and never let some of those who were so close to him through communication know something about him and his new location." 
Mette  Jorgen Smith

Condie or Condy (Constan was how his father wrote his name) was the baby of the family, the last born child of Mette Marie and Jorgen Smith.  He was born in Richfield, 7 August, 1884.  He was only a two-year old when the family moved to Pleasant Creek (Notom) where he was raised and went to school. 

Sometime in 1907 Condie married Charlotte Elizabeth Dimmick.  They lived in Richfield were two children were born to them;  Nola Etheldra (2 June, 1908) and Albert LaVon (12 May, 1910). 
The search for Condie by the family went on for years. 

This was written by his sister 11 years after he disappeared.
A copy of Dena Smith Mulford's letter saved by Clay M. Robison.  (copied as is --no editing)

Sigurd, Sevier County, Utah
25 July, 1922
P.O. (post office) Dale, Oregon.  

Dear Sir,  I am writing if you can give me infermaction concurning a man by the name of Condy Smith when last hurd from he was in that part of Oregon he is my Brother his mother is 81 years old and is very ancues to here from him he might be working sheep ore at a farm.  age 36-38 light complected big blue eyes please do what you can for us and you will oblige. 

Dena M. Mulford

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