James Henry Rees Smith was born 19 Apr 1875 in New Orleans to Alexander and Nida (Hewett) Smith. The family moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1884, and Rees, as he was known, grew up there.
Rees participated in the Spanish-American War, and was appointed corporal in the 2nd regiment of the Louisiana Volunteers on 7 Aug 1898. This took place at Camp Columbia, Havana, Cuba. After he returned home to Vicksburg he went to work for the Vicksburg Light and Traction Company as a conductor on their railway.
On 9 Oct 1901 Rees married Annie Inez Groome, daughter of Thomas and Laura (Shores) Groome. Together they had five children, the first four born in Vicksburg: Alexander Purnell (b. 19 Apr 1902), Inez Beulah (b. 8 Dec 1903), James Rees (b. 13 Dec 1905), and John Howard (b. 26 Apr 1909. In 1913 Rees took a job in Monroe, Louisiana working for their railway system, and the family moved there. Their last child, Yerger Augustus (b. 25 Oct 1914) was born there.
In the spring of 1917 Rees contracted erysipelas, a severe bacterial infection, and after several weeks he died on June 1 in Monroe. Annie returned to Vicksburg with the children where they lived until her untimely death on 6 Jul 1924 following a severe illness.
Of their children, Purnell moved to St. Louis where he was working for a shingle company in 1930. He later moved to San Antonio, Texas where he died on 3 Jun 1942.
Their daughter Inez had married Hugh Rogers in 1923. They had a son, Hugh Jr. Hugh and Inez were divorced, and later she moved to Georgia and then Florida where she had two daughters. She died in 1987.
James Rees Smith moved to New York and was working for the Cadillac Motor Car Division of General Motors Sales in New York City by 1937. He served in the military in World War II. Later in life he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where he died in 1988.
John Howard Smith was a machinist mate in the Navy Seabees during the war. Later he moved to Paducah, Kentucky where he worked for the railroad, and then later as a pipefitter and welder. He was married twice with a son by each marriage. He died in Paducah in 1968.
Yerger Smith was a staff sargeant in the Pacific Theater and was killed in action in 1943. He left a wife but no children.