Robert Leslie Smith is one of the representative agriculturists of Stevens county who, since he became one of its residents, has gained recognition as an enterprising business man and clearly deserves mention in any history of Kansas. Mr. Smith claims Illinois as the State of his nativity, having been born on a farm in Sangamon county, June 11, 1880, the son of Hiram Newton and Christianna Clark Smith, and is descended from Kentucky stock. Newton Smith was born in the same State and county as his son, January 6, 1855, his parents having been Kentuckians who located in Illinois in 1818, while that State was still the frontier. Newton was one of a family of six boys and two girls, all of whom made names in the world worthy of their family. Mr. Smith and Christianna Clark were married in September, 1877. Mrs. Smith was born at Clinton, Ill., March 9, 1858, the daughter of Philip Clark, a native of England. Four children came to bless this union: Robert Leslie; Edna Rose, born in 1885, died in February, 1899; Russell Newton, born June 28, 1892, who lives with his parents; Aldora Christianna, born April 26, 1898. The Smith family came to Kansas in 1883 and located in Sumner county near Oxford, where the father was engaged in farming three years. In March, 1886, they removed to government land a mile and a half east of Hugoton, where the family still reside. From time to time Mr. Smith added to his original holdings until today he possesses 480 acres. The ranch was soon stocked with good cattle and horses after Mr. Smith purchased it, and he has been very successful in his business, due to natural ability and strict attention to his farm interests.
Robert Smith was educated in the public schools of Stevens county and at the age of twenty-one began to teach, a vocation which he followed five years. He is a Republican in politics and was the nominee on this ticket for county superintendent of schools and once for county treasurer. He also has believed in the future of Kansas land, from time to time buying improved farms, so that today he is one of the large land owners in the vicinity. In addition to property in the country Mr. Smith owns considerable real estate in Hugoton, where he has taken a prominent part in civic improvements, and has given of time and money for the benefit of the county. Mr. Smith is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, an organization in which he takes an active part. On May 1, 1910, Mr. Smith married Ethel S., the daughter of John and Sarah Megredy Lahey, of Stevens county. Mrs. Smith's parents came to Stevens county from Illinois in 1885 and here their seven children were born: Ethel S., born September 24, 1888; May Alice, the wife of T. E. Hogan, of Sheridan county, Wyoming, who is the mother of three children, John Harold, Mildred and Eula Margaret; Margaret Elizabeth, the widow of John Hirn; Emma Belle; Thomas Jefferson; Arthur Easton, and Ella Theresa. Mrs. Smith was educated in the public schools of Stevens county and after completing her education taught four years in Stevens and Seward counties before her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have one child, Robert Leslie, Jr., born August 8, 1911. Mr. Smith is recognized as one of the rising young men of Stevens county; he has adhered to high standards and his business record, public history and private life are alike above reproach.Pages 607-608 from a supplemental volume 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 October 2002 by Carolyn Ward. This volume is identified at the Kansas State Historical Society as microfilm LM196. It is a single volume 3.
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