Smith, A. J.
SMITH, WHEELER, ANDREWS, HAWKINS, CHURCH, SANFORD
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Date: 2/25/2011 at 11:41:34
Biographical History of Cherokee County, Iowa. Published in Chicago, W.S. Dunbar, 1889
A. J. SMITH was born November 18, 1848, at Winslow, Stevenson County, Illinois, the youngest of a family of seven children to Abel and Margaret (Wheeler) Smith. The parents removed to Smithland, Woodbury County, Iowa, in 1858, where the father entered a tract of wild land which he improved. Abel Smith was sheriff of Stevenson County, Illinois, for several years, and when he came to Iowa was Deputy United States Marshal for the district in which he lived. In faithfully prosecuting the duties of this office he made enemies among the criminal class, who it is supposed murdered him, as he met his death very mysteriously a short distance from Onawa. He set out from that town with a team, and was found the same night with a bullet wound in his head, and numerous bruises on his body. His murderer or murderers were never found. This occurred in 1871. In the spring of 1865 he had removed to Onawa and opened a hotel, which was known as the Western House. The building still stands, but is now called by a diiierent name. A. J. Smith was ten years old when his parents came to Iowa. He began to learn the printerís trade in the office of the Sioux City Journal, then a Weekly paper, edited by Mahlon Gore. He remained there six months,and then returned to Onawa, and was connected with the Gazette for about sixteen months. He then returned to his native State, and was connected with the Freeport Journal for a time. He took a course in the Freeport High School before going back to Onawa, where he was again a typo in the office of the Onawa Gazette for one year, at the end of which time he purchased 120 acres of land in Grant Township, Monona County, which he improved and made his home until the summer of 1889. For a time while living on his farm he was foreman in the office of the Danbury Vidette. In May, 1889, Mr. Smith came to Washta and established the Washta Independent. He was married November 28, 1869, to Miss Joanna L. Andrews, daughter of Thompson and Ellen (Hawkins) Andrews. This marriage resulted in three children: Lydia G., Maggie J., and Etra, who died in infancy. Mrs. Smith died near Smithland, February 4, 1875. Mr. Smith was married a second time, to Miss Nellie A. Church, daughter of Alexander and Mary Ann (Sanford) Church. This event occurred March 8, 1878. Three children have been born of this union: Harry L., Chauncey J., and Christie Ethelyn, who died at the age of fifteen months. In politics Mr. Smith is Independent.
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