Martin Granville Smith was born in DeKalb County, Ala., near Rising Fawn, Georgia March 27, 1889.  While he was a child, the family moved across the line into Dade County, Georgia.  He died in the city of Chattanooga, Tenn., on Friday, April 16, 1920.  He was the son of Lonnie Smith, a substantial and well to do farmer of Dade County.  His mother’s maiden name was Rebecca Blevins.  The deceased was educated in the common schools of DeKalb County, Ala., and Dade County, Georgia; he also attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.  At about the age of nineteen he became a teacher in the public schools of Dade County which vocation he followed for several years and until his election as Clerk of the Superior Court of that County, filling this office with credit for two terms.  In his early youth he formed an ambition to became a lawyer and while teaching school and acting as Clerk of the Court he studied law; taking a course in a correspondence school.  He was of an independent turn of mind and did this in spite of the fact that his father was a man of ample means and would have gladly permitted him to have attended law school.  Before the expiration of his last term as Clerk of the Superior Court, he was in October 1914, elected to the House of Representatives of the Georgia committee assignments.  The so-called Bone Dry Law was passed during his first term in the Legislature after an exciting and close fight in which the deceased was one of the leaders of the temperance forces in the House.  By reason of his close application to his law studies, his practical experience with legal matters as Clerk of the Court, and as a member in the Georgia Legislature.  Mr. Smith was, at the time of his death, one of the best young lawyers in North Georgia and enjoyed a lucrative practice in the counties of Dade, Walker and Catoosa.  Prior to the entrance of the United States into the World War he had for the second time been elected to represent Dade County in the Legislature which fact would have exempted him from military duty.  His term of office did not expire until the 4th Monday in June 1919, but as soon as the June session of 1917 adjourned he tendered his resignation, made his application and was accepted as a candidate for an officer’s commission and sent to Camp Taylor, near Louisville, Ky., where he was in training when the armistice was signed.  As soon as he was discharged, he laid aside his soldier’s uniform and actively resumed his law practice which, during his absence, had been looked after by his devoted friend, M.L. Harris of Ringgold, Georgia.


The deceased left surviving him besides his father and mother three sisters, Mrs. Ida M. Gearrin and Misses Lillian and Anna Smith and two brothers, William and J.R. Smith, all of Rising Fawn, Georgia.  A younger brother, Bert Smith, died at San Diego, California, while in the United States Navy on December 8, 1918.


THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED by this meeting of the members of the Chattanooga bar that as a tribute of respect to the memory of our departed friend and brother that this memorial be adopted, that a copy be transmitted to his sorrowing mother, father, sisters and brothers and that copies be furnished to the Courts of record in Tennessee and Georgia where he had been enrolled and that requests be made of such courts that the same be spread upon their minutes for which purpose the chairman of this meeting will appoint suitable committees.  (Used by permission HISTORY OF DADE COUNTY GEORGIA, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 1981.)

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: