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Thanatography Thursday Memorial: Mary Lewis Smith (1820-1895)

Through the years I have collected a number of calling cards or cartes de visite of people I wish I could have known. Their likenesses always spurred a certain sense of nostalgia, they seemed so relatable yet always out of reach. And forgotten- the images that were once part of a family's treasures were now amongst a pile of the images of many other strangers atop an antique store.

They say that we die two deaths. The first death is that of our physical body, the second death happens when the last person that carries our memory dies.

Through this new weekly feature I want to give the long dead a second life, brief as it may. So without further ado, let us remember:


Wife of Clifford Smith

Born Feburary 15, 1820 Died December 20, 1895

I came across her tombstone on my local cemetery wanderings. I wasn't able to find Mrs. Smith's obituary, but I did find the clipping below from the Philadelphia Times issue of January 8th, 1896 which details her last wishes:

Mrs. Lewis Smith last wishes

The home for boys was to be established in her late reisdence, 2025 Spruce st, Philadelphia, PA. The image below shows the façade and doorway of the building on the right, which remains in its original condition today,

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