A couple final references for now:
December 1898 - Only 500 bicycles to be made in 1899 seems to make sense with your 807 serial number and thinking it is an 1899 model (this would mean they made 600-700 total for 1896-1898 which seems believable). F. M. Smith & Bros. appears to have been a...
With a little more digging I am going to go out on a limb and say your bicycle is a 1899-1900 Gopher Special made and sold by F. M. Smith & Bros. of St Paul MN. Gopher Bicycles were sold 1896-1902 (1902's may have been left over 1901 models).
F. M. Smith & Bros. also made and sold the Melvin...
Your frame's triple crown design and lugs look a lot like 1898 Manson (they changed lug design for 1899) but appears Manson did not have eccentric rear chain adjusters until 1900 and different frame details. Crankset looks like Fauber. Manson badge holes do not match yours. So probably not a...
Here are two Melvin Coaster Brake ads from 1900 and two patents:
April 15, 1900 issue of The Saint Paul Globe (St Paul MN)
May 13, 1900 issue of The Saint Paul Globe (St Paul MN)
Charles H. Melvin Back Pedaling Brake Patent No. 648,971 (May 8, 1900)
Charles H. Melvin Back Pedaling...
Hartford Cycle Company was established in 1889 by Pope Manufacturing Company for the making of a cheaper grade of bicycle. 1897 Hartford Pattern Nos. were 1-2, 7-8 and 9-10.
Here are some pages from 1898 Pope Mfg. Company catalog which includes Columbia, Hartford (made by Hartford Cycle Co) and...
Arcade File Works of Anderson IN manufactured and sold "Elk" and "Dixie" bicycles 1899-1901:
October 14, 1898:
1896-1897 Flying Yankee:
February 21, 1896 issue of The Wheel:
May 7, 1896 issue of The Referee:
May 28, 1896 issue of The Referee:
1896 Flying Yankee Ad:
Flying Yankee catalog page:
July 23, 1897 issue of The Wheel: