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Theodore and Catherine Shuck Smith – Rozel Cemetery, Pawnee County

“When a young man, Theodore walked from Indiana to San Francisco during the gold rush to help build houses and shops. When he decided to return to Indiana to marry his girlfriend, Catherine Shuck, he walked back, occasionally catching a ride with a wagon train.” [1]

Theodore and Catherine were born and raised in Indiana in 1851 and 1848, respectively. On December 24, 1878, they were united in marriage. The first four children, Della, Leroy, Myrta, and Yuill, were born in Indiana.

In the fall of 1886, Theodore was in Pawnee County and decided to stay. So, the following spring, Theodore and Catherine loaded their four children in a wagon and headed west in 1886. The family settled five miles north of Rozel, where Golden “Goldie,” Minnie, and Velvet were born. Even though the family was not one of the early settlers in the 1870s, they did experience hardships, including drought, blizzards, and prairie fires.

About 1900, Catherine ran a sewing machine needle in her finger, which led to blood poising and the loss of the finger. Myrta cared for her mother for twenty-one years until Catherine’s death on November 25, 1921. Myrta married Harry Davee and raised eight children. She passed away in California in 1968.

Yuill operated a machine shop in Rozel until the outbreak of World War I. His knowledge of machinery was such that he was sent to Pennsylvania to work for the American Brake and Shoe Company. Unfortunately, he contracted influenza and died on October 17, 1918, at age thirty-one. His remains were shipped back to Rozel for burial.

Theodore died on April 22, 1912, and joined his wife, one son, and one daughter in the Rozel Cemetery.

[1]Barbara Ziegenmeyer, History of Rozel Complied by Karl W. Smith, Carrol Smith Rice, Berniece Fromong and Hazel Fromong (Great Bend Tribune, 1974)


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