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Ethel Alice Smith, wife to Aspah and mother of their six children, Ethel Bertie, Amanda Bell, Jack, Rube, Lucile and Louise, was born in 1876. She was the daughter of John Pope Smith and Amanda Saphronia Westbrook and the grand-daughter of John Westbrook and Elizabeth Stringer. John Westbrook moved to Cherokee County from Virginia to be an innkeeper. Ethel's ties to Cherokee County dated to the county's founding. Ethel was raised in Buffington, GA, the youngest of four children. She attended Orange Academy at least through 1890. Ethel was married before her 20th birthday, after short courtship with Asaph.


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Ethel's story emerged from a secondary resource on the history of Cherokee County, titled The Heritage of Cherokee County. The book is the product of a deliberate effort to preserve and promote a triumphant story that celebrates personalities while conveying personal histories, often based on oral reports and uncorroborated recollections. We learned about Ethel's attendance at Orange Academy from a poem she wrote in 1890.