Thomas Alexander Smyth
Sarah Elizabeth Usher
Daniel McAvoy
Ellen Ward
(Abt 1856-1917)
John Usher Smyth
Jane McAvoy
Daniel Thomas Smyth


Family Links

1. Florence Eileen McNichols

Daniel Thomas Smyth 8

  • Born: 19 Mar 1913, Chicago, Cook, Illinois
  • Marriage (1): Florence Eileen McNichols on 27 Sep 1941 in St. Angela's Catholic Church, Chicago, Cook, Illinois 7
  • Died: 29 Oct 1988, Edward Hospital, Naperville, IL at age 75
  • Buried: 2 Nov 1988, Assumption Cemetery, Winfield, DuPage, Illinois

  Noted events in his life were:

Family Name change: Ireland. 9 Dan Smyth's family history "A Century of Smyths in Chicago" written in 1951-2 includes a brief mention that there is a tradition in his family that the name originally was MacGowan. During the "penal" days of persecution by the British, many Irishmen changed their names to the name of their trade. The Smyth family ancestor was an armor maker.

Education: Grammar school, 1918-1925, Chicago. 10 Dan began first grade at St. Lucy's grammar school, more than a mile from his home. He was only in first grade a couple of months before Sister Florence pushed him into second. The school was run by the Sisters of Mercy.

Dan switched to St. Angela's when the school opened in 1920. He graduated in 1925. This school was operated by the Providence order.

Tobermory, Ontario, Canada, Abt 1922. Dan went to Tobermory for the first time with his Dad and the whole family in Aunt Agnes's Dodge. The 10 acres had been purchased at a tax sale. The plot of land could only be reached by water. There had been a forest fire a year or two before they came.

Guinea Pigs, Abt 1923. 11 Dan tried to raise guinea pigs as an enterprise but all seven of them died without ever having a baby.

Radio: Homemade, 1924, Chicago. 12 Dan built his own crystal radio set in 1924. This inspired his Dad to make his own set, a super-hetrodyne. The parts cost about $200, measure three feet long with a two foot speaker and it took him weeks to build it. Once it was done, it was the marvel of the neighborhood.

Health: Ear, 1926-1927, Chicago. 13 Dr. Garvin decided that Dan should have a mastoid operation for an infection. Penicillin and sulfa were not known in those days.

Health, Abt 1928. 14 Dan had an attack of spinal arthritis at the age of 15.

South Sea Islands, 1929, Chicago. 15 Dan had been promised a motorcycle by his father when he turned 17. As he approached that age, his father tried to talk him into a used Ford. Dan mentioned that he'd like to take a trip, "bumming" his way to Honolulu and his Dad made him a deal of $20 and permission to hitchhike. Dan packed an extra shirt and a couple of pairs of clean socks in a newspaper and headed for the South Sea Islands. His mother started to cry but smiled anyway and Dan took off. He got as far as Lookout Mountain Colorado a week later when a letter from his mother turned him back toward home.

Bank Failure, 1929, Chicago. 16 Dan had saved money during high school but lost it when the Austin Bank failed.

Census, 1930, Chicago, Cook, Illinois. Dan is 17 and living with his family at 1259 Mansfield Ave. in Chicago's 37th Ward in the 1930 Census.

College, 1932, Notre Dame. 16 Dan started his second year at Notre Dame and his brother John started his freshman year but their father had to borrow the money for their room, board and tuition - about $700 - by hocking their mother's jewelry. Dan's Dad asked him to take a part time job which he did, working in the library 6 hours per week. He learned the touch system of typing while working there.

In 1932, the two boys returned to Notre Dame with their Dad again borrowing to send them. In November, he wrote to Dan to have him come home immediately. John could stay to finish the semester but then he would have to return, too.

Paulist Choir, 1932, Chicago. Dan joined the Paulist Choir in late 1932.

Career, 1933, Chicago. 16 Dan's first job was working in his father's real estate office for $10 per week.

Career, 1933, Chicago. 17 Dan worked at the Chicago Times for $5 per week for three weeks and knew that he had found his line of work. They offered to keep him on if he'd work for free but he declined.

In 1933-34, Dan worked in the new Civil Works Administration. He shoveled dirt from the spoil banks along the Sanitary Canal just north of Foster Ave. The dirt was put into wheelbarrows and loaded into truck which took it to the Lake and dumped it. The lake shore was extended and the spoil banks leveled to make a park. It paid $18 per week which was the most Dan had ever earned.

Two days after he was laid off by the CWA, he was offered a job back at the Times. The Times had signed on for the National Recovery Act and to qualify for the NRA "Blue Eagle", all the reporters had to go to a five day week in stead of six. The Times needed one more man and Dan got the job.

JU Smyth's death, 1935. 18 John Usher Smyth died in his home after a cerebral stroke. Dan remembers praying at his side before he passed away.

Career article: Daily Herald, 1 Nov 1992. Here's a reference to a nice article about Dan:

Daniel married Florence Eileen McNichols, daughter of Thomas Patrick McNichols and Eva Annia (Evelyn) "Granny Mac" Arundell, on 27 Sep 1941 in St. Angela's Catholic Church, Chicago, Cook, Illinois.7 (Florence Eileen McNichols was born on 17 Nov 1918 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, died on 19 Dec 1997 in Elmhurst Hospital, Elmhurst, DuPage, Illinois and was buried on 22 Dec 1997 in Assumption Cemetery, Winfield, DuPage, Illinois.)

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