Crawford County, Iowa, IAGenWeb


Samuel B. Smyth

The rich agricultural resources of Crawford county afforded Samuel B. Smyth an excellent opportunity for the exercise of his talents, and he is now living in honorable retirement in Denison after many years of active labor. during which he became known as one of the leading farmers of the county.

He was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in a town called White Abbey, July 29, 1829, and is a son of Samuel and Jane (Baxter) Smyth, both of whom were born of Scotch parents in Scotland. The father, who was a farmer in Ireland. died in that country, and the mother subsequently came to America with her sons and passed away in Livingston county, Illinois, in 1865, at eighty years of age. She and her husband were members of the Presbyterian church.

There were four children in their family, namely: Jane, Mary, James and Samuel B. Jane married a Mr. Blair and died in Ireland. Mary, the second in order of birth, became the wife of Thomas Luney and they later emigrated to this country, where they took up their permanent abode. James also cast his lot with the new world.

Samuel B. Smyth was reared in his native land as a farmer boy and received his early education in the common schools. He learned the machinist's trade at Belfast and worked there for several years. In 1851, in company with his mother and his brother James, he crossed the ocean and they resided for two years at St. Charles, Kane county, Illinois, then moving to a farm near Pontiac. Livingston county, that state. In 1865 he and his brother settled upon a farm about a mile and a half east of Denison, Iowa, where they acquired two hundred acres of land, which they cultivated to good advantage, purchasing more land as their resources increased until they owned a farm of four hundred acres. They remained together until the death of the brother, which occurred July 4, 1903, he having then arrived at the age of eighty-one years. They held their property in common and were highly successful in their business affairs. Samuel B. Smyth still owns the beautiful home farm of four hundred acres and also three hundred acres in Stutsman county, North Dakota, near Medina.

In 1864 he was married to Miss Martha Rollins, a sister of James Rollins, of East Boyer township. The beloved wife passed away in 1890. She was a member of the Presbyterian church. Mr. Smyth is now eighty-two years of age and looks back on a long life of usefulness, nearly sixty years of which have been passed in America.

He is a sincere believer in the Bible and is a member of the Presbyterian church, whose teachings he regards as a true interpretation of the doctrines of the New Testament. Politically, he has given his support to the republican party ever since he arrived in America, but he has never aspired to the honors of office, preferring to devote his energies to business affairs. Although well advanced in years he is active in mind and body and reads without glasses. He has been through life a close reader and observer and has derived great pleasure from communion on the printed page with master thinkers of all the ages. As a patriotic and representative citizen he is greatly respected by all who know him.

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