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Franklin, known by the preferred name "Stod," was to be named Stoddart Holbrook Smith. His uncle Franklin intervened, insisting that the oldest son of the family should be named after his father's oldest brother. Thus, he became Franklin Stoddart Smith II. He was born probably at 30 Willow Street just after the family moved to Montclair, New Jersey, and they were soon settled at 82 Union Street.

30 Willow St., Montclair

Stod and his sister Peggy spend a year at Starkey Seminary on the shore of Seneca Lake. This was very likely due to the influence of their grandparents George and Anna Smith, who lived nearby. They may have returned to Montclair when George and Anna died in 1911. Stod told his family (perhaps not his parents!) that he and Peggy caught a ride on a freight train that was passing through Starkey, clinging to a boxcar to Watkins Glen about 20 miles away. I didn't ask how they got back.
     Stod worked at the family's soap factory in Manhattan when he was young. He recalled the flickering gas lights, and worked at putting the wrappers around the soap bars. He went to the Cloyne School in Newport and Stevens Institute in Hoboken, but left to enlist in the Navy during World War I. He was the radio officer on the battleship Louisiana, which was a training ship and later used for troop transport from France. He was sick from drugs used to innoculate diphtheria and had fond memories of the time spent with Peggy, who helped him recuperate on Peak's Island, Maine.

USS Louisiana

troops on the Louisiana arriving in New York from France

Peggy and Stod on Peak's Island

Stod met Ginnie Ellingwood while playing in the orchestra for the Montclair Players, a local acting troupe. After they were married, Stod became an executive at Wolf's Head Oil, of which his father-in-law was co-founder and CEO. With Stod's parents and an architect friend of the family, Adrian von Schmid, Stod and Ginnie had one of three houses built on a cul-de-sac off Park Street in Upper Montclair.

Stod's life took a dramatic turn when, due to his father-in-law's indiscretions, he was forced to leave Wolf's Head Oil and he and Ginnie divorced. He went back into naval service during World War II as an officer at a supply depot in Brooklyn. He married Lue Zimpel and eventually retired to Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania. They enjoyed many years together and continued the family's long tradition of boating in the summer.

MT, Stod and Gig

Stod and Bino

Stod and Lue

children of Franklin Stoddart Smith II and Virginia Ellingwood:

i. Franklin Stoddart III
ii. Virginia Jane
iii. Cynthia Comfort

child of Franklin Stoddart Smith and Lucille Ruth Zimpel:

iv. Stoddart Holbrook

all text and photographs © 1998-2020 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted