Sonora Smart Dodd, the woman behind Father's Day, was inspired by her own widowed father, William Jackson Smart, a farmer.Smart was originally from Arkansas. Before getting married he served in the Civil War, first for the Confederacy, then, after being captured in 1862, for the Union. As a Confederate, Smart was captured at the Battle of Pea Ridge. Oddly, Union Lt. Col. Frank Herron was wounded and captured in the same battle, though he was soon exchanged and promoted.
While many so-called Galvanized Yankees were sent West to fight Indians instead of their former Confederate comrades, Smart was not. He served with the US First Arkansas Light Artillery Battery.
Father's Day was not yet established in the United States in 1885, when the Grant family moved on June 16 from Manhattan to Mount McGregor in upstate New York. All of Grant's four children were with him, as they would be when he died there on July 23. In-between, the move was good for him, and he did significant work on concluding and revising his Memoirs on the mountain top. The Grants were a loving family, which did not make them blind to their own flaws and difficulties -- as I show in The Last Circle of Ulysses Grant.