One person who took advantage of Smithland's opportunities was Barruch/Barrick O. Thrift, who was born about 1808 in Virginia. He married Margaret Hagey 22 December 1831 in Davidson County, Tennessee and by 1837 had moved to Smithland. Settling on Lot #7, at the corner of Front and Mill Streets, he was granted a license to keep a tavern in his home. From that time, his name, usually given as B.O. Thrift, is found often in county records. He bought two lots, including his own brick dwelling house, just past where the Smith/Strait house stands today. Thrift was also a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal Church and a trustee of Ward 2 in Smithland.
Sometime after moving to Smithland, Thrift became a bricklayer and that was listed as his occupation on the 1850 Livingston County census. He was likely kept busy as many brick houses and businesses were constructed in Smithland during this time period. Did he help build the Olive-Davis home in 1841? Or the old courthouse in 1845? Or perhaps he helped construct an addition to the Gower House.
B.O. and Margaret Thrift had eight known children. They are as follows: John W., Margaret Ann, Mary Catharine, William H., Emma, Charles H. and Alice. Mary Catherine and William H. died as children and are buried in Smithland Cemetery.
In 1860, the Thrift family moved to Metropolis, Massac County, Illinois. According to History of Massac County, Illinois by O.J. Page (reprinted 1995 by the Massac County Genealogical Society), B.O. Thrift had a store and hotel, called the Thrift House. They were also members of the local Methodist Church.
B.O. Thrift, age 60, died 15 October 1868 in Massac County.
Tombstone of William H. Thrift (1842-1846)
Published 5 Jan 2013 on Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/