|Date of Birth||August 30, 1885|
|Place of Birth||Gypsum Mines, South Cayuga, Haldimand, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||William Smith, father, Caledonia, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Machinist|
|Battalion||2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Mounted Rifles|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Conscripted|
|Place of Enlistment||Hamilton, Ontario|
|Address at Enlistment||Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||February 25, 1918|
|Age at Enlistment||32|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||August 10, 1965|
|Age at Death||80|
|Buried At||Woodland Cemetery, Mitchell, Ontario|
Garfield Smith was born on 30 August 1885 at Gypsum Mines, South Cayuga, Halimand, Ontario. His parents William Smith, the son of German immigrants, and Emeline Matilda Armstrong were both living in the Township of North Cayuga, Ontario at the time of their marriage on 11 May 1870 in Dunnville. Over the years the family lived in the area with William either working as a miner or farmer. Children born to the couple were Jessie Agnes (1871), William Romaine (1872), Margaret Selina (1874), Mary Jane (1876), Francis Mark (1878), Electress May (1881), Mabel Florence (1884), and Garfield. Sadly Mary Jane died in January 1879 and Emeline in 1899.
At some point Garfield moved to northwestern Ontario, listed as a witness for his sister Mabel’s marriage to William Harris in 1913 in Kenora. Drafted under the Military Service Act of 1917, he signed his recruitment papers on 25 February 1918 in Hamilton. At the time he was living in Kenora and working as a machinist. He gave his place of birth as Caledonia and father William in Caledonia as next of kin.
Assigned to the 1st Depot Battalion 2nd Central Ontario Regiment, Garfield was transferred to an overseas draft and embarked from Halifax aboard the Ajana on 15 May 1918. Upon arrival in England he was taken on strength with the 3rd Reserve Battalion. He was hospitalized at the No 12 Canadian General Hospital at Bramshott from 26 June to 18 July with the mumps. Garfield was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles, joining the unit on 13 November. With the end of the war he returned to England in mid February 1919, embarking for Canada on the Baltic on 12th of March. Garfield was discharged from service on 23 March 1919 in Toronto, intended residence given as Caledonia.
At the time of the 1921 census Garfield was living in Port Arthur, Ontario. Lodging with the Edward and Annie Muir family, he was working as a machinist for the Canadian National Railway. The next year he moved to Dublin in southern Ontario. On 21 October 1927, in Galt, Garfield married Agnes McDaid. Born in 1891 in Dublin, Agnes was the daughter of Irish immigrants Bernard McDaid and Bridget Doherty. At the time of the marriage Garfield was working as a gangman, presumably for a railway. Sadly Agnes died on 17 November 1929. She is interred in the Saint Patrick Cemetery in Dublin. On 26 November 1934, in Hamilton, Garfield married Gladys Emma Sparham. Born on 2 December 1887 in Glanford, Gladys was the daughter of Jefferson Sparham and Christina Van Dusen. At the time of the marriage Garfield was listed as a garage owner in Dublin while Gladys was a factory employee. According to his obituary, Garfield was associated with Canadian Tire and opened a store in Seaforth in 1950. Ill for some time, Gladys passed away on 19 October 1952 in the Scott Memorial Hospital in Seaforth. Garfield retired in 1957 and then spent much of his time in Florida. He was a member of the Seaforth Branch 156 of the Canadian Legion.
Garfield died on 10 August 1965 in Avon Park in Florida. He was predeceased by his mother, young sister, his two wives, his father William in 1921, and siblings Jessie (Hartley) Spencer in 1931, Mabel (William) Harris in 1941, William in 1942, Electress (Frank) Robinson in 1943, and Margaret and Francis both in 1947. Garfield and Gladys are interred in the Woodland Cemetery in Mitchell, Ontario.
By Judy Stockham
Photograph of Garfield found on the Keefer Family Tree (original source) as well as others on ancestry.ca
Photograph of Agnes’ grave marker by Matthew D Woods on findagrave.com