The entire Mearle Smith family of Lehi has spent the last quarter of a century in the newspaper business - as carriers.
In 1965, Jeff Smith became a carrier for the Deseret News at the age of 12. With the help of his younger sister Stephanie, he delivered newspapers on his bicycle in Lehi, a route covering about 10 miles. When Jeff and Stephanie grew older, younger brother and sister Brian and Marilynn took over.Keeping it in the family, Craig, Leslie and Gary all had the opportunity to deliver the newspaper and another route in Lehi was eventually added. Brian even returned to the newspaper business when he came home from his mission. He worked as a spotter in the American Fork area and delivered newspapers on weekends to finance his college education.
"It's a family affair," mother Eleise Smith said.
The old saying about mail carriers delivering in any kind of weather can be applied to the Smith family, only they added babysitting. In December of the second year Jeff delivered newspapers, he was taking care of little brother Craig while his mother went to Salt Lake City. When she didn't return by 5 p.m., Jeff put Craig on the back of his bike, went a mile to pick up his papers and then started delivering them. Eleise said she saw them on her way home, and Craig was cold and crying. She took them both home and helped Jeff finish delivering his papers - in the car.
Even with all their children grown, Mearle and Eleise Smith, both retired, still deliver the Deseret News. They now carry newspapers to Alpine and Highland plus the two routes in Lehi, nearly 300 newspapers every day. Jeff assists on the weekends. Eleise said the route is helping keep Gary on a mission and Leslie at Utah State University.