Allotment #56: Isadora Labadie Smith

Thomas & Isadore Smith, Photo courtesy Sherrie Sutterfield.

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Isadora Labadie Smith

Born: 8 July 1870  Died: 1948

In an interview from 1937, Isadora Smith states that her mother’s name was Susan Bigleg, but that she knew “nothing of her life, as she died as I was born and I was taken and reared by my grandparents.” Isadora’s father was Charles Labadie, and her paternal grandparents were Peter and Umilla Labadie.  Isadora was raised on their allotted lands on the north side of Miami. The following is a short excerpt about her life growing up as she remembered it:

“Before Grandpa chose his home at where North Miami now stands, he lived near Peoria on what is now called the Old Skye Place.  Here we did not have as nice a house as he built when we moved.  The home near Peoria was a log one, small but comfortable and I started to school at the old Peoria School House which I attended for some time but was sent from there to Haskell and later to Carlisle where I remained for three years without coming home.  The climate did not agree with me but I liked it and was afraid to come home.”

In 1893, Isadora married Thomas W. Smith, a Munsee Indian from Miami County, Kansas.  Isadora and Thomas lived on farmland allotted to their Labadie Family that is now the G. A. R. Cemetery in Miami.  Their children were Roth, Ella, Frank, Ralph, Arlice, Ruby, and Ruth.  Isadora’s daughters also went to boarding school while the boys helped their father on the farm.  Though they were quite successful at farming, the Smith family had their share of heartache.  By 1910, Isadora had given birth to eight children, but three had passed away.  Their first son died when he was just a toddler, around 1900.  Roth also died during childhood, at the age of 7.  The family suffered a terrible tragedy when their son Frank, who was a hemophiliac, was injured and died in a farming accident at 13 years old.

In 2000, the Miami Nation established their first cultural grounds on Isadora’s allotment.  The land served the community well as a place for language education through the Eewansaapita program and other community gatherings.