Deep maternal roots in Grinnell, IA

1902 -- Craig extended family.tiff

Edith Renfrow Smith's maternal extended family, c. 1902, in Grinnell, IA.

From left to right – Back row: Violet Lucas (1887-1922), Anna Catherine Craig [Goode Brown], Eva Pearl Craig [Renfrow], Dora Craig [Lucas], Bruce Lucas (1890-1982)

Front row: Aaron Lucas (1899-1932), George Craig, Martha Lucas (1895-1970), Eliza Jane Gilbal Craig holding unidentified baby, Will Goode (1900-1972), Henry Lucas (1885-1975)

Photo courtesy of the Renfrow Family.

Born in 1914 in Grinnell, Iowa, Edith Renfrow Smith is a second generation Iowan.  The proud descendent of freedom seekers, she grew up in one of the oldest African American families in the town of Grinnell, Iowa.  Her maternal grandparents – George (1842-1924) and Eliza Jane Gilbal (1841-1924) Craig --  were born into slavery and settled in Oskaloosa, Iowa in the late 1850s.  They raised three daughters: Theodora “Dora” (1864-1947), Anna Catherine (1867-1946), and Eva Pearl (1875-1962).   In the 1880s, the whole Craig family moved to Grinnell.

Nina Baker of the Des Moines Register describes Mrs. Renfrow Smith as “a living link to the history of Grinnell."  Learn about how intertwined Mrs. Renfrow Smith's extended family has been with the history of the town from Monique Shore's website: The Renfrow Story: The deep roots and family legacy of Edith Renfrow Smith (Grinnell Local History Resources, Drake Library, Grinnell, IA). From information culled from her oral history interviews, explore a visualization of Mrs. Renfrow Smith's extended family tree (Renfrow-Craig-Lucas) below.

4.23 -- TB Copy of Old Renfrow-Craig-Lucas Family Tree version 2.jpeg


Deep maternal roots