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BIOGRAPHY

Smith was born in Smartsville, Yuba County, California, USA, on 1 January 1870, to parents Augustus Clayton Haywood Moore (1837–1913) and Amanda Brown (1848–1936). She had five siblings: Nathalia Hutton (1868–1940), Orpha Atlanta Atherton (1873–1968), Louise Lousina Jennings (1879–1978), Curtis Rival Moore (1882–1957), and Clara Heitkemper (1885–1964). Her maternal grandfather, Hugh L. Brown, was one of the founders of the city of Brownsville, Oregon, which was named after him.

In 1883 or 1885 (sources differ), her family moved to Long Beach, Washington. They traveled by covered wagon with furniture, farm equipment, camping and food supplies. She rode her horse en route. The family acquired 250 acres of land along with a log house, which was later destroyed by fire. It was subsequently replaced with a two-story frame building surrounded by a wide porch. The Moore Ranch later became a popular venue for community gatherings. The family cultivated fruits and vegetables, and raised poultry, pigs, horses, and dairy cows. Additionally, her father managed a small store.

On 24 April 1894, she married William J. Seaman. The couple had two sons: William (1895–1985) and Earl (1901–1982). The family moved to her husband’s hometown of White Salmon, and subsequently to Vancouver, Canada, where their younger son Earl was born. The couple eventually divorced. On 28 February 1927, she married Orson Wilford Smith (1882–1965). They lived in Portland for two years before moving to the state of Washington. Her husband, a carpenter, constructed their home on the rim of the Wind River canyon using 3-inch planks salvaged from the deck of the original High Bridge. In addition to his carpentry work, her husband engaged in various other occupations.

At the age of 100, she resided in Stevenson, Washington with her son, Earl Seaman. At the age of 101 or 102, she moved into Highland Terrace nursing home in Camas. At the age of 103, she was mostly confined to her bed or a wheelchair. She was a member of Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Dat Saints. She abstained from alcohol and smoking and did not prefer meat since childhood.

Smith passed away in Camas, Washington, USA, on 6 January 1980, at the age of 110 years, 5 days. She was survived by her two sons, four grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren.

RECOGNITION

On her 100th birthday, Skamania County Commissions passed a special resolution noting that she “enriched the lives of all who knew her with her gentle grace, wisdom and love; wears her years with dignity and wit and is an inspiration and an example to her community.”

On her 103rd birthday in 1973, she received a congratulatory telegram from President Richard Nixon.

In January 1980, she celebrated her 110th birthday, becoming the first known supercentenarian in the U.S. state of Washington. She held the title of the state’s longevity record holder until Esther Mitchener surpassed her final age on 23 August 1981.

ATTRIBUTION

* Sarah Moore Smith – Find A Grave

* “New Year and New Century” – The Columbian, 31 December 1969

* “County woman notes 103rd birthday” – The Columbian, 5 January 1973

* “Centenarian greets bicentennial year” – The Columbian, 7 January 1976

* “Sarah Smith Dies at Age 110; Storm Delays Final Rites” – The Skamania County Pioneer, January 1980

GALLERY

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