THINK I've found him.. 1900 Lorain, Lorain County, census -
William Smith - born March 1866 GERMANY, entered U.S. 1888
Augusta..wife...born August 1863 GERMANY, entered U.S. 1883
William - born Aug. 1884 OHIO (probably in error, since his father was here four years later? I'd say this one's mine and his age recorded wrong).
John - born 1886 OHIO
Clara - born 1890 OHIO
Florence - born 1892 OHIO
They're there in 1910 also, but the father apparently is deceased, as Augusta is head of HH. William, the son, is NOT there in 1920 or 1930..
In 1917, William Louis Smith filled out his World War One draft card while working for the Souther RR as a flagman, in Columbus, Lowndes County, MS. gives age as 27, birthdate August 17, 1889, Lorain, Ohio. Single, names of parents not given.
In 1920, he's in Greenville, Washington County, MS still working for the Southern RR (later Greenville & Columbus RR), age 30, born Ohio, father born GERMANY, mother born (supposedly) England (this is doubtful), speaks GERMAN, is single. Flagman for RR.
What we know from what the old folks said of him, was that he spoke a foreign language they didn't know, that he had come from "Greenville" MS, and wore often wore shirts with the name "Hanson" written on the back.
Well, the 1920 census solves two problems. Then, in 1927 came the Great Mississippi River flood. Those who were on sandbag crews had their foremen's names written on the BACKS OF THEIR SHIRTS!! So he was obviously still in that area in 1927, and because of the devastation of the flood, he was forced out and wound up in Tishomingo County, Mississippi between 1927 and 1929 where he met my grandmother, Maggie Mae Streetman, and ran off with her. I've never found their marriage record, but am told they went out of state - most likely to Arkansas - to get married.
Because her brothers tried to kill him on several occasions (guess he was a real bounder! LOL!!), they moved to Lee County, Mississippi where he took up farming. He contracted pneumonia and died there in the hospital at Tupelo on March 26, 1930 - just eleven days before my dad was born.
Grandma didn't know his family, but his mother's maiden name MAY BE "Thomason" or some similar name. His father's name given as "Bill" Smith.
Hopefully, this will be enough to pin it down. Supposedly, Ohio counties began keeping birth records in 1867 by state law. I sure hope I can find HIS, and whatever other records on his family I can find!!
Hope you can help!