Newspapers Exposing Smith Family Mystery

If birth, marriage, and death records are the skeleton of family history, then newspapers are the flesh and muscles? I have been skeptical of newspaper research, as being something I could pursue right now given the lack of search capabilities. Additionally, I have yet to see the Columbus Dispatch and German newspapers from Columbus, Ohio in abundance online. With a vast number of ancestors in Columbus, few newspapers would be of help for me outside of Franklin County, Ohio.  I'll admit to being slightly wrong in this line of thinking.

Putting that aside, I was playing around on primarily because it's available free to use in a Family History Center. My family names are very common on my mother's line: Smith, Brown, Long, Young. Oh, yeah. Thank you so much!

Anyway, I decided to play around with this service and I was in for a bit of a shock. I have often heard my family speak of Newark, Ohio which is about 40 miles east of downtown Columbus. Looking in the Newark Advocate turned up this notice.

Newark Advocate, September 28, 1929, 6th column

Sale Lacks Bidders
The sheriff's sale of the Loumar hotel, formerly known as the Jackson hotel, in Scheidler street, and opposite the B. and O. depot, failed for want of bidders when Deputy Sheriff A.A. Bollinger offered it at public auction in the court house today. The appraised value is $12,000, and the first offer of $8,001, or two-thirds of the amount was not taken. The sale is the result of a suit filed by Andrew N. Smith against Lura S. Long and others. 
Andrew Smith and Lura Long are my relatives and I have featured them on this site before in scrapbook pages in my Grannie's heritage album. I've also used Lura as the example in my narrative writing tips. So, here's the line:

Me > Mom > Louise Eleanor Long > Lura Maud Smith > Andrew Nelson Smith.

So, my 2nd great-grandfather Andrew Nelson Smith filed a law suit against my great-grandmother Lura S[mith] Long over a hotel? Andrew was supposedly a barber, not a hotel owner. My great-grandmother was a homemaker, not involved in property. Her husband Harry Howard Long was a stenographer. So, how on earth did this court case come to be? Was it amicable? Was it an inheritance? And, how could a court case filed in September 1929, which could develop ill feelings, leave room for Andrew to be recorded in the 1930 US Census in the home of his daughter Lura Long and her husband Harry?

You have to love genealogy when a new discover leads to more questions than answers.


  1. I am so intrigued! What, if anything, did you find?

    1. I haven't found out much more yet. I think I'll need to hire a genealogist in the Columbus area to go to the court house to find and copy this case.

  2. I am totally curious how the Great Depression plays a role in this? I wonder if that is why there were no high bids.

    1. That is a very good question. I found a follow-up advertisement for the hotel in the summer of 1930. I believe it was still in operation. This is all so new to me and has brought up a lot of questions.

  3. I hope you solve your mystery.

    By the way, the Newark Advocate and other central Ohio newspapers have been searchable on Ancestry for a long time.


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