SMITH, LEWIS H. (HON.)
SMITH, RICHARDSON, RIST, SMITH, BAKER, STEWART, HORTON, WALLACE, FERGUSON
Posted By: Jean Kramer (email)
Date: 7/24/2003 at 21:24:42
Biography reproduced from page 360 of the History of Kossuth and Humboldt Counties, Iowa published in 1884:
Lewis H. Smith, cashier of the Kossuth County Bank, and one of the pioneers of the county, was born March 21, 1835, in Middlesex Co., Mass. He was reared in his native State, receiving a liberal education. His first work after leaving home was clerking in Boston. In 1852 he went to Illinois, where he was employed as civil engineer on the Chicago & Rock Island railroad, between Chicago and Rock Island. In the spring of 1854 he was employed on the same road, between Davenport and Grinnell. On the 4th day of July, 1854, he came to Kossuth Co., Iowa, and has ever since taken an active part in the interests of the county. The first summer he was employed by the government in surveying, and in 1855 was elected first county surveyor of Kossuth county. In 1857 he was made county judge. In 1860 he was appointed deputy county treasurer, at the same time reading law, he was admitted to the bar, being the first attorney admitted in the county, and the first to hang out his shingle. He bought and brought the first sewing machine into the county, also the first piano, and was the first to use carbon oil. In 1860 and 1861 he was enrolling clerk in the Legislature. In 1862, being commissioned quartermaster of the northern brigade, he took a lively interest in raising and equipping the companies for that campaign. In 1865 he crossed the plains to Montana as engineer in charge of the Sawyers wagon road. In 1866 he started in mercantile business in Algona as the firm of Smith Brothers, continuing so with his brother and brother-in-law, T. C. Rist, until 1870, when he engaged in banking with W. H. Ingham. They were succeeded, in 1873, by the Kossuth County Bank, of which he is still cashier. Mr. Smith was married in 1857; his wife died in 1866, repected by all who knew her, leaving four children—Mary A., Nellie E., Fannie S. and Edward L. He afterwards married Mrs. Eugenia Rist, widow of Francis C. Rist, who had three children by her former marriage. They have three children—Mabel F., Ruby E. and Hortense M. Mr. Smith is now trustee of the State insane hospital at Independence, was elected in 1878 and re-elected in 1882. For over a quarter of a century he has been identified with this county, and no man has done more than he to build up Algona and the surrounding county.
Biography reproduced from page 50 of Volume II of the History of Kossuth County written by Benjamin F. Reed and published in 1913:
Perhaps the annals of Kossuth county contain no mention of a more prominent pioneer, public official and business man than Hon. Lewis H. Smith, cashier of the Kossuth County Bank. He was born March 21, 1835, in Middlesex county, Massachusetts. His parents were Edward and Abigail (Richardson) Smith, both of whom were natives of Massachusetts and lived and died there. They were the parents of five children: J. E., deceased, who resided in West Cambridge, Massachusetts; Richard H., who died at sea; Lewis H.; John G., of Santa Monica, California; and one, who died in infancy.
Lewis H. Smith was reared in his native state where he received a liberal education. His first employment after leaving home was that of clerk in Boston. In 1852 he came westward to Illinois, where he was employed by the Rock Island Railroad Company as a civil engineer, working between Chicago and Rock Island. In the spring of 1854 the company stationed him in Iowa, between Davenport and Grinnell. On the 4th of July of the same year he arrived in Kossuth county, where he has since remained, taking an active interest in the affairs of the county. He was employed by the government during the first summer of his long residence in Kossuth county and in the following year was elected the first county surveyor of his county. In 1857 he was made county judge, serving for two years, and in 1860 was appointed deputy county treasurer, at the same time reading law. The next notable forward step in his life history was his admission to the bar, which occurred in 1860, he being the first man admitted to the bar in this county and the first resident lawyer to practice his profession within its borders. In November of the same year he was elected a second time as county surveyor and held the office two years. In 1862 he was enrolling clerk in the fifty-eighth legislative district. The great Civil war having broken out, Mr. Smith was commissioned a quartermaster of the Northern Iowa Brigade and he took a great interest in raising and equipping the companies from northern Iowa, which served their country during the trying years that followed. In 1865 he was elected for a third term to the office of county surveyor, which he held until 1866, when he was again elected county judge, serving for two years, or until November 3, 1868. Previously, in 1865, he had crossed the plains to Montana as engineer in charge on the Sawyers wagon road. In 1866, in copartnershp with his brother, John G. Smith, he engaged in the mercantile business under the firm name of Smith Brothers. In 1868 his brother-in-law, Francis C. Rist, joined the firm. In 1870 Mr. Smith retired from the mercantile business to engage in banking with W. H. Ingham. They were succeeded in 1873 by the Kossuth County Bank, of which Mr. Smith was elected cashier, a position which he still holds. The other officers of the bank are: W. H. Ingham, president; J. W. Wadsworth, teller; and H. E. Rist, bookkeeper. The first sewing machine and the first piano were brought to this county by Mr. Smith, who was also the first to use carbon oil. He was president of the state insane board of Independence, Iowa, for eight years and a member of that board for twelve years, first being elected to this office in 1878. He has always taken laudable interest in the affairs of Kossuth county and in the upbuilding of Algona, the town site of which he surveyed in the summer of 1856, and one of its streets was named in his honor. For over a half-century he has been identified with this county and no man has done more then he to build up this community.
On October 24, 1857, Mr. Smith was married to Miss Abbie Rist, the ceremony being conducted by Rev. Chauncey Taylor, the pioneer minister of Kossuth county. In 1866 Mrs. Smith passed away. She was the mother of four children: Mary A., the wife of Henry B. Smith, of Minneapolis, Minnesota; Nellie E., the widow of S. B. Baker, of Tacoma, Washington; Fannie S., now Mrs. George Stewart, of Armstrong, Iowa; and Edward L., deceased. Mr. Smith was again married, his second union being with Mrs. Eugenia Rist, the widow of Francis C. Rist. By her first marriage Mrs. Eugenia Smith was the mother of three children: Charles L., a street railway official of Lincoln, Nebraska; H. F., of Algona, Iowa, who is filling the position of bookkeeper in the Kossuth County Bank; and Dick, who is engaged in the real-estate business at Yakima, Washington. To Lewis H. and Eugenia Smith three children have been born: Mabel F., the wife of George R. Horton, managing editor of the Modern Grocer, of Chicago; Ruby E., the wife of Howard Wallace, who is a construction engineer at Miami, Arizona; and Hortense M., who is the wife of W. K. Ferguson, president of the First National Bank of Algona. Mrs. Eugenia Smith passed away in October, 1909.
Politically Mr. Smith has always been a republican. He is a member of the Masonic fraternity, belonging to the commandery at Estherville, Iowa. His exceptionally long business career has resulted in gratifying material results, as he has extensive land holdings in this county and in the states of Washington, South Dakota and Texas. Hon. Lewis H. Smith has by his many exemplary traits won an unusually large circle of friends who hold him in the highest esteem. No man has done more for Kossuth county then he and few have possessed that degree of ability which would have enabled them to excel or even equal his accomplishments here.
Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.
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Kossuth Biographies maintained by Linda Ziemann.