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Smith, John D.


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 6/13/2021 at 17:48:40

born Feb 23, 1855, Iowa

John D. Smith, one of the well young men of Belmont township, Warren County, Iowa, and at present popular Assessor of the township, is native of this county, and has witnessed nearly the whole of its development. It was in Richland township and on the 23d of February, 1855, that he first saw the light of day, parents being Jacob and Mary A. (Sypher) Smith, and he being the fourth in their of nine children. Their names in order birth are follows: Martha A., wife of Nathan C. McDole, is a resident of Madison County, Iowa; Isaac L., died in Osborne County, Kansas, at the age of twenty-eight years; Sarah J., wife of G. W. Lewis, lives in Carlisle, Iowa; John D.; Samantha, who died at the age of four years; Harriet A., who died at the age of twenty-five, was the wife of William Park, of Polk county, Iowa; Willie, who died at the age of two years; Elizabeth D., who died when three years old; and Ella M., wife of Isaac Halderman, lives in Richland township, Warren county. Both the father and the mother were born in Summit County, Ohio. A monument in Hartford cemetery, in Warren county, marks the last resting place of the mother, her death occurred in 1871. She was a devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal Church and her whole life was such that it endeared her to her family and to a large circle of friends. On his father's farm John D. spent His boyhood days, and in a log school-house on the Freel farm, and known as the Freel district, he received his education. This was one of the primitive school-houses of the vicinity and was furnished with slab seats and writing desks, and here our subject spent six months during each year until I was fourteen, after which he attended only during the winter months when he could not work on the farm. He early became familiar with the use of the plow, and, in fact, with every detail of the farm work, and he remained at home assisting his father until his twenty-third year. At that time he started out in life on his own responsibility. The first year I had charge of a farm on sections 1 and 2, of Belmont township, and while cultivating this land boarded With Mr. N. C. McDole, who is now a resident of Madison County. The next year Mr. Smith went to Kansas, and with his father's aid purchased eighty acres of land in Mitchell county. He, however, did not remain long in the Sunflower State, and on his return to Warren county entered the coal fields, accepting a position at Ford as the home agent for the Watson Coal Company, of Des Moines. For three years he remained with this fiirm, and next went to Polk county and at Runnells spent one year locally as agent for the Central Iowa Coal Company, later known as the Runnells Coal Company. Following his experience in the coal business, he worked at the carpenter's trade about two years in Warren county, and after this resumed farming. He purchased eighty acres of land on section 23, of Belmont township, and in the fall of 1889 erected thereon a pretty cottage, in which he and his family have resided since the 1st of January, 1890. It was in January, 1886 that I purchased this land.
Mr. Smith was married February 23, 1886, to Miss Sarah E. Wright, a daughter of W. A. and Amy M. (Hicks) Wright. She is a native of this township. Their union has resulted in the birth of three children, viz.: Jennie D., born November 6, 1886; the second child died in infancy; and Mary R., born June 18, 1891. Mr. Smith has been identified with the Republican party ever since he became a voter, his first presidential vote having been cast for R. B. Hayes in 1876. Frequently he has been elected to fill local offices of trust and in every position to which he has been called he has tendered prompt and faithful service. His first official service was in Richland township in 1883, when he was appointed to fill a vacancy. The following year he was elected Clerk of Richland township and filled the same acceptably until 1886, when he resigned and removed to his present location. He is now serving his second term as Assessor of Belmont township. During his incumbency of this office he took the State census. In educational matters he has for several years taken a deep interest, has been a member of the School Board and has served as its secretary and president. He has been initiated into the mysteries of Freemasonry and maintains a membership in good standing in that order. Few young men of Belmont township have a wider acquaintance or are held in higher esteem than is John D. Smith. Source: A Memorial and Biographical Record of Iowa, Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, Illinois, 1896, vol.1, p.514


Warren Biographies maintained by Karen S. Velau.
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