Acton Memorial Library
Capt. Luke Smith, one of Acton’s oldest and most honored sons, died at his home on Saturday afternoon very suddenly. Death was caused by a severe attack of heart trouble and came while he was engaged in conversation with a caller.
Although he had not been feeling well for some weeks yet no one thought that any serious danger threatened him. He was out Saturday morning and appeared to be as well as usual. It was while talking to Rueben L. Reed of South Acton that the attack came and in a moment the old soldier was lifeless.
The news of his sudden death was a shock to the community and all honor was paid to his memory. Flags floated at half mast, and everywhere were heard words of regret and expressions of esteem for him who had passed away.
Capt. Luke Smith was born in Acton, on Feb. 22, 1813, and at the time of his death was in his 87th year. He was a direct descendent of William Austin Smith of Lexington and Mary Hosmer of Concord.
His father, Solomon Smith, was a participant in the battles of Concord, Bunker Hill, Trenton, White Plains, and
Saratoga, and Capt. Smith held the honor of being the only surviving son of a sire who fought throughout the American Revolution.
Capt. Luke was a stonecutter and wheelwright by trade, and gained a reputation for being an honest, humane and hardworking citizen. In 1835 he married Miss Mary Robbins of Acton and six children blessed their union, of whom three are now living.
When the Civil War broke out he was a member of Company E. of Acton, in the old Sixth Massachusetts Regiment, and under Capt. Daniel Tuttle, his company was the first to report to Col. Jones at Lowell on that memorable morning on the 19th of April, 1861, in response to President Lincoln’s call for volunteers.
Capt. Luke was orderly Sergeant when the Sixth Massachusetts went through Baltimore. After his three months were up he received an honorable discharge only to re-enlist again with the Twenty-sixth for three years of service. The regiment was ordered to Ship Island, below New Orleans, and while there Capt. Smith incurred a severe attack of rheumatism which necessitated his discharge.
About a year afterward, the Captain re-enlisted again in the reorganized Sixth Massachusetts for 90 days, and was ordered to Virginia, where his regiment was stationed during the reminder of the war.
He was one of the founders of the Bunker Hill Historical society, and first president of that organization. He was also made honorary president of life of the Sons of the American Revolution, and was a life member of the Seventeenth of June Carnival association. He will be remembered as a noteworthy personage in the annual parades given by that society.
Mr. Smith’s last public appearance was in 1898, when he planted a “liberty tree” on Bunker Hill, under the auspices of the Boston City Government, Mayor Quincy residing.
He was a modest unassuming man, whose quiet disposition endeared him to all. He gave much to local history
that will be of great value in future years, and his interesting reminiscences of Revolutionary days, as related to him by his father, who fought at Concord Bridge, will be long remembered.
The funeral services took place Tuesday afternoon, the Isaac Davis Post, G.A.R. officiating, assisted by Revs. Copping and Wood.
The bearers were the four grandsons, Wilber, Herbert, Frank and Florian Fiske.
CAPT LUKE SMITH DEAD.
Old Acton Patriot Stricken With Heart Disease.
His Father Fought to Establish Union and He to Preserve it.
One of the Founders and First President of Bunker Hill Historical Society
ACTON, Dec 17-- Capt Luke Smith, the patriotic son of a revolutionary hero, and one of Acton’s oldest inhabitants, esteemed and revered by all, died suddenly late yesterday afternoon from an attack of heart trouble, while sitting in his chair conversing with a caller. The old soldier passed away without a struggle.
Capt. Smith had not been in his usual good health recently, yet was able to be around the house daily, and frequently appeared on the village street. He was out Saturday and was apparently as well as ever.
The community was greatly shocked an saddened when the new of his death became known, and the town flags are floating at half-staff in his memory.
Capt Luke Smith was born Feb 22, 1813. He was a direct descendant of William Austin Smith of Lexington and Mary Hosmer of Concord, of good puritan stock.
His father, Solomon Smith, fought in the battles of Concord, Bunker Hill, Trenton, White Plains and Saratoga, and Capt Smith held the honor of bearing the only surviving son of a revolutionary sire who fought throughout the American revolution.
Capt Smith was a stonecutter and wheelwright, and gained a reputation for being an honest, hard-working citizen. In 1835 he married Miss Mary Robbins from Acton, and six children were born to them- two boys and four girls.
When the civil war broke out Capt Smith-who, by the way, gained the title of “Captain” only among his townspeople-- was a member of Co E of Acton in the 6th Massachusetts regiment, and under Capt Daniel Tuttle his company was the first to report to Col Jones at Lowell, in response to Pres Lincoln’s call for volunteers on that memorable 19th of April, 1861.
Capt Smith was orderly sergeant when the 6th regiment marched through Baltimore. After his three months were up he was honorable discharged, only to reenlist again with the 26th Massachusetts for three years’ service. The regiment was ordered to Ship Island, below New Orleans, and while there Capt Smith contracted rheumatism, which necessitated his discharge. An operation proved unsuccessful, and all through life he had been troubled with his old complaint.
About a year after his second discharge he reenlisted in the reorganized 6th Massachusetts for 90 days, and during the remainder of the war was stationed in Virginia.
Capt Smith was the only living son of a revolutionary soldier who held three honorable discharges from the union army, and several years ago his friends succeeded in obtaining an adequate pension for him.
He was one of the founders of the Bunker Hill historical society, and was the first president of that organization. He was also honorary president of the Sons of the American Revolution, and member of the Seventeeth of June carnival association. He will be remembered as a noteworthy personage in the annual parades given by that society.
Capt. Smith’s last public appearance was in 1898, when he planted a liberty tree on Bunker hill under the auspices of the Boston city government, Mayor Quincy presiding.
Capt Smith was a modest, unassuming man, whose quiet disposition endeared him to all who knew him. He has given much that will be valuable to history, and his interesting reminiscences on historical matters have been of great value.
The funeral services will probably be held Tuesday afternoon, with the local G.A.R. officiating.