Edward J. Smith, one of the successful and enterprising younger farmers of Union township, where he operates about two hundred and seventy acres of land, is a son of Andrew and Kate Smith, and was born in the township where he now resides, March 18, 1870. An interesting sketch of his father will appear on another page in this book. After receiving a good and substantial education in the district schools of the township, he spent three years at St. John's Catholic school in Burlington. Returning home, he stayed with his father on the farm for some time, and later spent one year in the machine shop of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad located at West Burlington, where he learned much about machinery that would be of good use to him on the farm in the future. Indoor work did not seem to satisfy him as well as rural life, and he went back to his father, and worked till he was twenty-one years old. About this time he began farming on his own responsibility, renting first a farm in Middletown, which he worked three years. Selling out his stock and implements he moved to the city of Burlington, and engaged in the manufacture of boxes, which he carried on for one year. The next six months he was with the Street Car Company, at the end of which he moved onto his present place, adjoining the county poor farm. Beside the farm owned by his father, he rents other land, and is engaged in general farming and the raising of fine cattle and hogs. He is also part owner of a fine coach-horse stallion, and is in that way bettering the class of stock in the vicinity.
April 11, 1893, Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Miss Jennie Lee, of Burlington, where she was educated and grew to womanhood. Unto Mr. and Mrs. Smith were born two children, Marie and Helen. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are devoted members and liberal supporters of St. John's Catholic church, of Burlington. He has always given his political allegiance to the Democratic party, but has never cared to hold any office of honor or trust. By his own energy and upright dealing in all things he has achieved his success in business, and at the same time won the regard and respect of all those with whom he comes in contact in the daily walks of life.