Bio Bite: Dora Ada Smith

By Eilene Lyon

Dora Ada Smith Trout (1894–1978)

After the Smith family moved to Cunningham, Washington, in 1898, they struggled to survive.

“The years the family spent on the farm … left many emotional scars as far as Ada was concerned. She never tired of telling about how poor the family was on that farm.”

The Smith family on the farm in Cunningham, Washington, in 1906.

Ada married in Moscow, Idaho, in 1919 to Orville E. Trout (brother of Callie Trout, Harry Smith’s wife). The couple had just one child, Loyd Trout.

Wedding photo of Dora Ada Smith and Orville Espy Trout (1896-1973). Taken April 18, 1919 in Moscow.

The Trouts lived in the Spokane/Coeur d’Alene area. Orville tended to be restless and so they changed houses and cars often. These moves did not appear to be steps up, in Grandpa’s view.

Ada was a good cook and had a habit of telling others (including her displeased daughter-in-law) how to do it properly. Grandpa taught her how to drive, which she continued to do almost up until her death in 1978.

Ada, Orville, and Loyd Trout about 1925.
I’ve had this quilt in a periwinkle pattern since childhood. I’ve been told my great-aunt Ada created it.

Smith, Laurence. “The Passing Parade.” February 15, 1990.

36 thoughts on “Bio Bite: Dora Ada Smith

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  1. Eilene, I enjoy the way you share history in these little snippets and pictures. A few of my kids have dabbled into the history of our family and we do have some of the easily found information although no one has gone too far in depth. We’ve done a bit of the DNA searching as well. It’s all really fascinating, but very time consuming as well. Kudos to you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve got that right about time consuming!! At least I put all that research to some use with the blog and books. DNA turned up some surprises for me. Since it involves living people, I don’t write about it. I’m glad to hear your kids have taken an interest. I wish I had gotten into it early enough to ask my grandparents a lot more questions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Exactly! There really is no one left from our past that can answer questions. We speculate a lot and have gotten pretty good about putting bits and pieces together but I would love to go farther back with better understanding.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I love that quilt and I had two from my grandmother that were very similar. I lost them in one of my moves in my 20s. How I wish I still had them! As for DNA, my dad got a DNA test for Christmas present a few years ago. He discovered a surprise. He’s 98% Finn (he thought he was 100%) and 2% Neanderthal 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know in our lifetimes we have seen remarkable advancements, but when I think about how Ada was born before cars became a thing . . before the World Series started happening . . before so many things were even dreamt about.


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  4. I’m enjoying these Bio Bits Eilene. Look how much more modern the photo is in just six years’ time. The wedding photo looks so antiquated next to the photo with Ada, Orville and Lloyd. She went by both Dora and Ada? My great grandmother used to quilt and also made down comforters. When I got my first “real bed” my mom gave me their patchwork Summer quilt on my bed which was very similar to the one in your photo. In the Winter I got the down quilt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think she ever went by Dora, just Ada. I’m glad you like the short format. It was a challenge to keep each to 150 words or less (though I didn’t count photo captions, so that’s a little cheat, I guess). Isn’t it nice to get heirloom quilts? I used to be allergic to feathers, so a down quilt would not have worked for me at all!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do like the short format Eilene. I generally have a Word document open when I read anyone’s blog posts that are longer and I jot down names or items I want to comment on. These posts go by pretty quickly. I know my posts are very long but it is difficult to shorten them without leaving out portions of the walk. I often am mixed on my Wordless Wednesday posts which are an excellent way to highlight pics that I really like – so do I go creative in the headline or a short headline with a longer tag? I’m having fun with Wordless Wednesday. I started at the onset of the pandemic and have gone continuously for almost three years now, not missing a week.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have several followers who only comment on my Wordless Wednesday posts as my walking posts are lengthy. I was a week behind in Reader and now because of this internet outage for three days, I’m now 10-11 days behind. I will catch up eventually.

        Liked by 1 person

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