Clarence Smith, of Topeka, secretary of the state tax commission, is a native of Kansas, born at Marysville, in Marshall county, Oct. 2, 1872, and a son of Hon. James Smith, who has been honored by his fellow citizens during the many years of his residence in Kansas with various important positions of public trust and was secretary of state for three consecutive terms. James Smith was born in Pennsylvania, July 29, 1837, and is a graduate of the Washington-Jefferson College in his native state, where he formed a close friendship with a fellow student, James G. Blaine, who later became a prominent figure in national life. This college friendship remained unbroken up to the time of the death of the "Plumed Knight." James Smith came to Kansas before the beginning of the Civil war, located on a farm in Marshall county and during the war served as a lieutenant in the Seventh regiment, Kansas cavalry. While a resident of Marshall county he held the public offices of county clerk and county treasurer, and later was elected secretary of state. He served also as private secretary to Gov. John A. Martin for four years and acted in the same capacity for Governor Humphrey during the four years of his administration. He was married to Miss Jane Edgar, who was born in Galesburg, Knox county, Illinois, Jan. 17, 1845, and with his wife makes his present home in Topeka.
Clarence Smith was reared in Marshall county and in Topeka, graduating in the Topeka High School in 1889. He then applied himself to the study of stenography and typewriting and in 1894 accepted a position with the Santa Fe Railway Company and continued in the employ of this company for fourteen years, serving in various responsible capacities. This connection was severed in July, 1907, when he resigned his position as construction accountant to become clerk of the state tax commission. From that place he was promoted in the following April to the office of secretary of the commission, in which capacity he is now rendering the state efficient and meritorious service. In political affairs he is an enthusiastic Republican. Mr. Smith has always taken an active interest in athletics and out-door sports and in his earlier manhood was a hero of many baseball and football fields. He was married, April 5, 1899, to Miss Bessie Van Amburgh, whose home was in Holton, Jackson county, Kansas. Mrs. Smith died Jan. 7, 1907, leaving an only son, Rollin James, who was born March 3, 1900.Pages 697-698 from volume III, part 1 of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed December 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM195. It is a two-part volume 3.
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