Ira Thomas Schmhiemd, born June 18, 1890 and Clara Ruth Hayden, born November 18, 1893, were of Swiss decent. Both Ira & Clara had been immigrants, who sought after the true American dream.
Ira, better known to his friends as ‘Tom’, and his brother William, were gillnet fishermen working out of the Mt Pleasant and Washougal areas. Tom’s obituary would later read that he was a “pioneer” fisherman for his community.
The spelling of Tom’s surname Schmied was modified to Smead by his uncle during World War I, and would remain as such thereafter.
Clara’s first marriage was to Archibald A Merrill (December 25, 1911). The two would soon open their own confectionary, Merrill & Merrill, with the help of Archibald’s brother. Clara left Archie in 1918, soon after learning about his affair with a young woman of whom they had employed. That day, Clara would begin her journey to Washougal, Washington to live with her aunt, Mrs. Christine Hayden Weberg Minton.
Tom and Clara first me during the year of 1920 and would marry months later in September of the same year. They blessed the world with two daughters, Evelyn Mae Smead-Christopher, born on August 30, 1921, and Helen Ruth Smead-Fleming, born on September 25, 1924.
In 1924 Tom and Clara purchased their first property, which would later become the site of Smeads Tavern. They opened for business in 1931 as a gas station and small grocery store, with a confectionary and a small lunchroom in the back of house. By 1933, the Volstead Act was repealed (December 5, 1933) ending prohibition and making it legal to sell beer and wine. Very soon after, the once quiet lunchroom had become the very popular Smeads Tavern.
In 1950 Tom and Clara Smead sold their Tavern, for reasons unknown. However, in their wake they had left what would become a time-honored institution, standing proud in Washougal, Washington.