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Deaf Smith

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Deaf Smith
Deaf Smith
Erastus Smith

(1787-04-19)April 19, 1787
DiedNovember 30, 1837(1837-11-30) (aged 50)
Occupation(s)American frontiersman, Texas Revolution hero, Republic of Texas soldier, Texas Rangers
Spouse(s)Guadalupe Ruiz de Durán; 3 children & 4 stepchildren

Erastus "Deaf" Smith (April 19, 1787 – November 30, 1837), who earned his nickname due to hearing loss in childhood, was an American frontiersman noted for his part in the Texas Revolution and the Army of the Republic of Texas. He fought in the Grass Fight and the Battle of San Jacinto. After the war, Deaf Smith led a company of Texas Rangers.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Deaf Smith as he appears at the Childress County Heritage Museum in Childress, Texas

Smith died in Richmond, Texas, aged 50, at the home of Randall Jones. The Episcopal churchyard has a modest marker, "Deaf Smith, the Texas Spy, Died Nov. 30, 1837", but his exact burial site is unknown.[7]

Posthumous legacy[edit]

Deaf Smith County, Texas, is named in his honor.[8] Unlike his nickname, which was pronounced "Deef", the county name is pronounced by most residents as /ˈdɛf/ DEF. Likewise, a brand of peanut butter known as Deaf Smith was manufactured by the Arrowhead Mills company, which was founded in 1960 by Frank Ford, then from Hereford, the seat of Deaf Smith County.[citation needed]

Many school districts in Texas name schools after heroes of the Texas Revolution. Several schools across the state are named for Deaf Smith, including Lamar CISD's Deaf Smith Elementary in Richmond, Texas.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ CUTRER, THOMAS W. (2010-06-15). "SMITH, ERASTUS [DEAF]". tshaonline.org. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  2. ^ "Erastus Smith". www.gallaudet.edu. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  3. ^ "SMITH, ERASTUS (DEAF)". San Jacinto Museum of History. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ ROELL, CRAIG H. (2010-06-12). "DEWITT'S COLONY". tshaonline.org. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  5. ^ Barr (1990), p. 17.
  6. ^ Gannon, Jack. 1981. Deaf Heritage–A Narrative History of Deaf America, Silver Spring, MD: National Association of the Deaf, pp. 4-5 (PDF Archived March 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine)(PDF Archived March 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine)
  7. ^ "Unknown Grave of a Texas Spy". The Texian Gazette (Fort Bend Archeological Society) (4th Quarter 2017): 4–6. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. pp. 102.


  • Barr, Alwyn (1990). Texans in Revolt: the Battle for San Antonio, 1835. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-77042-1.
  • "Battle of San Jacinto" A Texas Historical Commission historical marker.
  • ” Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Muster Rolls of the Texas Revolution (Austin, 1986).
  • ” Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (University of Texas Press, 1964).
  • ” The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813-1863 (University of Texas Press, 1938)
  • Erastus "Deaf" Smith historical marker, Lake Casa Blanca International State Park, Laredo, Texas, dedicated 1936

External links[edit]