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Delaware County, Iowa


 Biography Directory


Henry C. Smith


Richland Twp.



       Henry C. Smith is one of the most prominent of the successful farmers and stock raisers of Delaware county. He has also commercial connections and formerly divided his time between agricultural and mercantile interests, but now concentrates his efforts largely upon the former. He was born in Richland, township, Delaware county, a son of William B. and Orril M. (Cowles) Smith. The father was a native of Canada, born October 10, 1826, and was a son of Nathan L. Smith. In the public schools of his native country he pursued his education and then took up the occupation of farming.    When a young man he crossed the border into the United States and made his way to Kane county, Illinois, where he engaged in farming for about three years. In 1851 he crossed the plains and went to California, where he remained for two years. After returning to Illinois William B. Smith carried on farming for about one year and in 1854 arrived in Delaware county, Iowa, which was then a frontier district in which the work of development   and   improvement had scarcely been begun, as is indicated in the fact that there was still much land in the possession of the government. He entered a claim of one hundred and sixty acres and subsequently added to his original holdings from time to time until he became the owner of about nine hundred acres. His business interests were so wisely, carefully and systematically conducted that he became one of the most prominent and prosperous farmers of the county and in addition to cultivating the cereals best adapted to soil and climate he dealt extensively and successfully in live stock.   His political allegiance was given to the democratic party, but he was never an aspirant for office. His wife passed away November 17, 1905, while his death occurred on the 27th of December, 1910. In the family were seven children:   Henry C.; Orril Ione; Willard C.; Katie L., the wife of Albert Bush; Loren C., who married Margaret Boardway; Saydie, the wife of Maurice Hamm; and Ethel, the wife of D. J. Crain.
      Henry C. Smith attended the public schools until sixteen years of age and afterward took up the occupation of farming in Richland township. Later he came to Manchester, where he continued his education by four years' attendance at the schools of this city. At the end of that time he embarked in the drug business as a clerk for E. J. Conger and was thus employed for twelve years, during which time he not only thoroughly mastered every phase of the business but also acquired the capital that enabled him to purchase the drug store of W. E.Brown. Four years later he extended the scope of his business by adding an undertaking and furniture department. At a later period, however, he disposed of the furniture and undertaking business to A. D. Brown, but remains proprietor of the drug store to the present time, although through the last three years he has not been active in the conduct of the business, but he still remains the owner. He now devotes his attention in the main to his to farming interests. He is engaged extensively in the buying and selling of horses and is the largest dealer in Shetland ponies in the county. He handles both registered horses and cattle and he owns and cultivates three hundred and twenty five acres of rich and productive land, being recognized as one of the most progressive farmers of Delaware county, his business enterprise and ability being manifest in his substantial and growing success.
     On the 31st of December, 1882, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Harriet E. Tilton, a daughter of Edmond and Sarah E. (Hamilton) Tilton. Her father was born in Philadelphia, February 17, 1831, acquired a public-school education and for several years was employed as a bookkeeper in a store in his native city. In the '50s he came to Iowa and for a short period resided in Dubuque, whence he later removed to Cascade. There he conducted a hotel and also engaged in merchandising for several years, and on the 20th of May, 1866, he came to Manchester, where he opened a hotel and restaurant, remaining in close connection with the business interests of the city for many years and ranking as one of the leading residents here to the time of his death, which occurred January 22, 1911. In his family were three children: Helen R., who died in infancy; Jennie; and Mrs. Henry C. Smith. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been born five children: Howard T., who married Florence Wilson and has three children, Henry W., Howard T., Jr., and Harriett I.; Mildred, the wife of George W. Mernitz; Glenn H.; Kate I.; and Harry E.
      A member of the Masonic fraternity, Mr. Smith has attained the Knights Templar degree, and he also has membership with the Knights of Pythias and the Modern Woodmen of America. His political endorsement is given to the democratic party, but the honors and emoluments of office have no attraction for him, as he prefers to concentrate his energies upon his business affairs, which have ever been capably conducted. Although he started out in the business world in a humble capacity and for twelve years acted as a clerk before he could embark in an independent business venture, he is now one of the men of affluence in the county, his prosperity having been honorably and worthily won. 



~ source: History of Delaware County, Iowa and its People, Illustrated, Volume II. The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1914, Chicago. Page 484-485.  Call Number 977.7385 H2m; LDS microfilm #934937.

~transcribed and contributed by Constance Diamond for Delaware County IAGenWeb


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