History of the Smith Foundation
The George G. and Alva Hudson Smith Foundation was established by Ruth Smith Moorman in memory of her parents, George Gilliam Smith and Alva Hudson Smith. George Gilliam Smith was born in Pickens County, Alabama, on October 27, 1869, and was the eighth child born to Francis Dumas Smith and Mary Ann Cole Smith. George was one of fourteen children, having six brothers and four sisters, five of whom made Hillsboro, Texas, their lifelong home. Three other siblings died in infancy. His parents are buried in the Old Hillsboro Cemetery.
In 1870, the Smith family moved to Bell County, Texas, and in 1890 they settled in Hill County, Texas. In 1910, George was elected to the office of Hill County Tax Collector and served in that capacity for several years. Later, he managed the farm implement division of Smith and Tomlinson, Co., Inc. He was a distinguished citizen, active in the community, and highly regarded by the farming community of Hill County.
Alva Hudson Smith was the daughter of Thomas Perry Hudson (1850-1937) and Elizabeth (Betty) Egbert Hudson (1855-1937) and was born on June 19, 1883, in Atlanta, Georgia, where she spent her younger years. She had four brothers and was educated at a private girls’ school in Atlanta. She was filled with intellectual curiosity all of her life.
Alva’s parents later moved to Waxahachie, Texas, where they set up a photographic business and eventually moved to Dallas, Hillsboro, and Lancaster, Texas. They are buried in Ridge Park Cemetery.
On August 11, 1902, at the age of thirty-two, George Smith married Alva Hudson, a nineteen-year-old bride, in Dallas, Texas. They were married by Reverend George Truitt. George and Alva lived in Itasca, Texas, for a short time and then moved to Hillsboro where they spent the rest of their lives. They had four children: Ruth Smith Moorman, Beth Smith Smith, Dorothy Smith Lamar, and Ralph Hudson Smith. Mr. Smith died in 1930; Mrs. Smith died in 1971.
Although George Smith was quiet and retiring with a wry sense of humor, Alva was outgoing and gregarious, and a community leader at a time when women were rarely afforded such respect. She was an accomplished public speaker, an organizer of both the Sesame Club, a ladies’ study club, and of the Priscilla Club, a ladies’ sewing club that was active from 1908 until 1991.
Alva also sang as a member of the First Methodist Church Choir for many years and was in great demand at social occasions for her whistling solos. (A favorite was Listen to the Mockingbird). However, she never learned to drive an automobile.
George died in Hillsboro on September 19, 1930. Alva died in Hillsboro on March 16, 1971. They are buried in Ridge Park Cemetery.
One of their four children, Ruth Smith Moorman, was the wife of H.R. Moorman, an executive with Mobil Oil Company. After their marriage in 1933, they resided in many locations across the United States, Canada, and South America. Following Mr. Moorman’s retirement from Mobil, they returned to Hillsboro to live. Mr. Moorman died in 1982.
The Smiths had four children: Ruth Smith, who married Hiram Rex Moorman, a vice-president with Mobil Oil Company. They had one son, George Bruce Moorman. Throughout their lives, Ruth and Rex lived in South America, Canada, and in many states in the United States. Upon his retirement, the Moormans returned to Texas and resided in Dallas and finally in Hillsboro.
The second child of George G. and Alva H. Smith, Beth Smith, married W. Ray Smith, who became an executive with the Federal Land Bank. They resided in Hillsboro. After retirement, the Ray Smiths moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for three years, where, as employee of the U.S. State Department, he advised banks on methods of creating and managing farm loans.
The Ray Smiths were parents of one daughter, Betty Ray, born in 1930, who was an attorney and professor at the Baylor School of Law. In 1951, she married Robert G. Dohoney, and together, they spent 62 years as residents of Hillsboro (except for armed service assignments) and Lake Whitney. Judge Dohoney died in 2020. Ms. Dohoney currently lives in Dallas. Their children are Dr. Kathleen Liebendorfer, Dr. Beth (Betsy) Kennard, both of Dallas, and Patrick Smith Dohoney of Fort Worth, Texas.
In December 1992, Ruth Smith Moorman established the George G. and Alva Hudson Smith Foundation in her will in memory of her parents. In addition, she wrote the bylaws and provided the initial contribution to the Foundation. Following her death in 1993, an additional portion of her estate was bequeathed to the Foundation.
Soon thereafter, with Ms. Dohoney’s leadership and guidance, the Foundation organized a board of directors and became active. In 1994, the Smith Foundation began its annual grant-making history.
Since its inception, the Smith Foundation has focused on funding organizations that develop projects and programs that benefit the health, education, and welfare of Hill County citizens. To date, it has awarded over two million dollars to eligible organizations in the county. This loving tribute to George G. and Alva Hudson Smith will continue to enrich the lives of countless citizens of Hill County, Texas, in perpetuity.