Joseph F. Smith, one of the prominent and active younger farmers of Union township, where he owns and operates a fine farm of thirty acres about three fourths of a mile from the city limits of Burlington, was born in the same neighborhood, on his father's old homestead, April 1, 1876. He is a son of Andrew and Anna Smith. The sketch of his parents will be found on another page in this volume.
Our subject received a good practical education in the Buena Vista School of the township, and later attended Elliott's Business College, at Burlington, where he took a general business course. After this he was employed for one year by the Penrose Carriage Company, when he accepted a position as clerk in the large department store of John Boesch. Mr. Smith remained with Mr. Boesch for four years, and made a very good and accommodating salesman, and was well liked both by his employer and the patrons; but he preferred the independence and comforts of suburban life, and in 1905 he purchased thirty acres of good farm land from R. C. Waddle. He devotes most of his time to the raising of fruit, having a fine apple orchard of twelve acres, one of the largest and best pear orchards (four acres) in this part of the country, and one acre of the nicest plums to be found. His several orchards mentioned, as well as all other smaller fruit raised by him, are attended by modern methods, and will produce the finest fruit for the local markets.
May 7, 1900, Mr. Smith married Miss Gussie Lee, a daughter of Mrs. Mary Lee, of Burlington, where she was reared and received her education in the public schools. Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the parents of one daughter, Marens.
In politics Mr. Smith is independent. He and his good wife were brought up in the Catholic faith, and are members and regular attendants of St. John's church. While he is yet a young man, still he has developed those qualities that tend to success and the winning of friends. The early training he received for his work, together with his thorough business education, both place him in a position to carry out his cherished aspirations, and in a short time he will be independent.