Man who saved hermit from fire is bequeathed fortune

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Man who saved hermit from fire is bequeathed fortune - to Is SAVED HERMIT; GETS $500,000 Eber Smith,...
to Is SAVED HERMIT; GETS $500,000 Eber Smith, Former Columbus Boy, Is Left Fortune by Recluse Whom He Rescued From a Forest Fire. While on a hunting trip in the mountains near San Bernardino, Cal., two years ago, Eber H. Smith, a former Columbus boy now living in Omaha and traveling for the Schmoller-Muel-ler Piano company, fought his way through a forest fire to a lonely cabin on the "Old Gray Back" mountain and rescued "OldTom" Simpson, an aged recluse, who was laid up there with a broken leg. Last Friday word came to Smith at his home in Omaha that Simpson had died and left him his entire fortune, amounting to $500,000. Smith first became acquainted with "Old Tom" when he trespassed on the hermit's land while hunting six or seven years ago. The old fellow was wrathy at first, but when Eber repaired his ancient violin and returned it to him as good as new they became fast friends. After that, Smith often visited "Old Tom" while traveling through that' territory selling pianos. On the occasion of the forest fire, Simth braved the flames and carried his aged friend to safety above the timber-line on the mountain, when other fire-fighters dared not take the risk. The estate left to him consists largely of vast and valuable timber claims near San Bernardino. The hero of this story, which reads strange as a page of fiction, is a son of the late A. J. Smith, who at the time of his death in Columbus about eight years ago, was a veteran Union Pacific conductor. The family lived here for some years, Eber attending the public schools and later being graduated from St Francis Academy High school. For the last six or seven years, he and his mother have been living in Omaha. He is a nephew of Eber H. Smith, of Columbus, a conductor who has seen more than a quarter of a century In Union Pacific service. Mr. Smith yesterday assured The .Telegram that the story of his nephew's rare good fortune was true, as he had received a letter from the young man's mother verifying the fact that they had received notice that the will of the old recluse had been filed for probate in California. a

Clipped from
  1. The Columbus Telegram,
  2. 28 Apr 1916, Fri,
  3. Page 12

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  • Man who saved hermit from fire is bequeathed fortune

    staff_reporter – 07 Aug 2018

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