Smith, Charles Walker (1855–1937)

By: Charles G. Davis

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: June 1, 1995

Charles Walker Smith, minister, was born on June 7, 1855, in Holmes County, Mississippi, to Sarah Ann and William Burley Smith, the only boy of seven children. William Smith moved his family to Louisiana and became a member of the Thirty-first Louisiana Regiment. The family lived close enough to Vicksburg that Charles remembered hearing the gunfire during the siege of 1863. His father was captured when the city surrendered. In 1870 the Smiths moved to Texas and took up residence in Cleburne and later in Bosque County. Charles Smith married Emma Annie Mickey on January 9, 1882, in Kimball, and for several years he ran a local general store. He and a friend, Tom Hall, first went to West Texas in 1889. Smith returned the next year with his family and about 100 cattle and settled near Della Plain in central Floyd County. He was active in church work, having received a minister's license from the Disciples of Christ in 1888. In 1894 he moved his family to Lockney and helped found Lockney Christian College. He took interest in the college until it closed in 1918. During the 1890s he was instrumental in establishing churches at Petersburg, Irick, Sand Hill, and Old Emma. In 1903 the family moved to Mickey, where Smith engaged in preaching and ranching. The couple had thirteen children between 1882 and 1909. In 1910 Mrs. Smith died in Mickey and was buried in the Lockney Cemetery. About 1919 Smith married Alice Ratfell Baker in Amarillo, and for a time the family lived in Canyon, but in 1924 they moved to Mickey. Smith bought a general store in nearby Barwise and assisted in the building of a train station, cotton gin, and grain elevator. About 1934 the family moved to Sterley, where Smith again ran a general store. The next year found the family living at Sand Hill. Smith remained an active minister in Floyd County and the South Plains during these years. On July 10, 1937, he died in Santa Anna and was buried in the Lockney Cemetery in Floyd County.

Alma N. Holmes, Favorite Stories about Floyd County (Dallas: Vanguard Visuals, 1973). Mrs. C. R. Nichol, comp., Gospel Preachers in Texas and Oklahoma (Clifton, Texas?, 1911; rpt., as Gospel Preachers Who Blazed the Trail, Austin: Firm Foundation, 1962). Charles Walker Smith Papers, Floyd County Historical Museum, Floydada, Texas. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin (Lockney Christian College).
  • Religion
  • Christian Church

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Charles G. Davis, “Smith, Charles Walker,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 1, 1995