Included among the Galveston storm dead from 1900 are Wylie Smith, with his wife and child. They are designated as African Americans with the notation (c) next to their names on the Galveston and Texas History Center list. We can add a few details that characterize them beyond their listing among the many Smiths who died that day.
The 1900 Galveston census names Wylie's wife, Helen, whom he had married four years earlier. She was 45, born in 1855 in Texas. She states that her parents were born in Virginia and Alabama, respectively. She didn't give a month for her birth, although Wylie did: February of 1848. He was a "drayman" in 1900, transporting goods with a horse and wagon. He was born in Alabama, as were his parents. Although both Helen and Wylie could have been born into slavery, in 1900 they owned a home without a mortgage at 3314 Q Street. They were older parents of one-year-old Helen F. who was approaching her second birthday.
This snapshot in time on 8 June 1900 cannot give more than a hint of their past lives. Had they raised or lost more children or spouses in their younger years? Carrying a surname like Smith makes further investigation even more difficult.