Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


F. J. Smith

Having experienced many of the fluctuations of life, in the course of which he bravely faced every obstacle, F. J. Smith is now pleasantly located in a beautiful home in Willow township and has the satisfaction of feeling that he and his family are provided with a comfortable competency.

He is a native of Iowa City, Iowa, born January 4, 1856, and is a son of Lawrence L. and Elizabeth (Graber) Smith. The father was born in Germany and came to the United States when thirteen years of age, living for several years at Cleveland, Ohio. In early manhood he came to Iowa and located at Iowa City, where he met Elizabeth Graber, to whom he was married. He passed away three years after his marriage, having just fairly started in life as a farmer.

Our subject's paternal grandfather was a blacksmith and landowner in Germany. Mrs. Elizabeth Smith is a native of Germany and came to the United States at the age of five years, her parents being among the early settlers of Iowa City. Her father was a carpenter by trade.

She was married a second time, her second union being with Michael Smith, a brother of her first husband, and to them six children were born: George, now living at Plainview, Nebraska; Mary, who married Jacob Fackalman, of Willow township, Monona county, Iowa; Peter, of Plainview, Nebraska; Rose, who is the wife of John Hannigan, of Boyer township; Anna, now Mrs. Chester Hunter, of Willow township; and John, who lives in Monona county, Iowa.

F. J. Smith, who was the only child by his mother's first marriage, received his early education in a little log schoolhouse two and one-half miles from his home. He remained with his mother until seventeen years of age and then began working on a farm for Z. T. and Samuel Dunham. Later he engaged in farming on his own account in Willow township and spent two years in Dunlap and eleven years in Omaha in the elevator business, becoming manager for the Pevie Elevator Company at Omaha. In 1896, however, he returned to farming in Willow township and rented land for four years. In 1901 he purchased a farm, which he brought to a high state of cultivation. He has sold a part of his land, but still owns eighty acres. He has erected a handsome residence, which is provided with all desirable conveniences of modem life, and he is known as one of the highly successful farmers of the township.

In 1879 Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Tillie Lewis, a native of Chicago and a daughter of Thomas and Anna Lewis, the former of whom was born in France and the latter in Ireland.

Three children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Arch Lawrence, who studied medicine at Lincoln, Nebraska; George Edward, who is now a railroad engineer in the employ of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad at Chicago, Illinois; and Leonard Lewis, who married Florence Wickwire and lives on a farm adjoining our subject's farm.

The mother of these children having passed away, Mr. Smith was again married in 1905, the lady of his choice being Miss Eva C. Hufford, a native of Crawford county and a daughter of Adam and Lucia (Lepper) Hufford, and one child, Myrtle E., has come to bless this union. Mr. Hufford, the father of Mrs. Smith, was born in Pennsylvania and the mother was born in Clinton county, Iowa. They removed from Clinton county to Crawford county thirty-five years ago and located on a farm near Vail.

Mr. Smith politically gives his allegiance to the democratic party, believing that its principles are adapted to the prosperity and perpetuity of the republic. He was reared in the Catholic church and is a man of consistent principles and high ideals. Fraternally he is a valued member of the Odd Fellows lodge at Charter Oak and of the local branch of the Ancient Order of United Workmen at the same place. His wife is an active worker in the Rebekahs, The business methods of Mr. Smith have always been honorable and trustworthy, and today he enjoys the confidence of his neighbors and a wide circle of friends in Crawford county.

Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.