VERNI L. C. SMITH. Three generations of this Smith family have been identified with affairs in Thomas County. Verni L. C. Smith of this family is a prominent attorney, an able lawyer who has carried a large share of responsibilities in his profession and in civic affairs at Colby since his admission to the bar.
He comes of that solid American stock, of English ancestry, established in Massachusetts in colonial times, later in the New England state of Connecticut, and still later in New York. His grandfather, James E. Smith, was born in New York State in 1805, grew up there and married, and for seventeen years was a carriage maker at Ithaca. Following some of the pioneer instincts of his ancestors, he moved west in 1837, settling in the territory of Michigan, and setting up a general wagon shop at Battle Creek. In 1854 he moved to the new country of Iowa, settling in Fayette County, and in 1879 made the last stage of his pioneer migrations by locating in Thomas County, Kansas, where he homesteaded and spent the last three years of his life as a farmer and stock raiser. He died in Thomas County in January, 1886. During the Mexican war he served as a member of the local militia in Michigan. He married Eliza Hoag, who was born in New York in 1810 and died at West Union, Iowa.
Charles K. Smith represents the second generation of the family in Northwestern Kansas. He was born at Ithaca, New York, in 1834, and was about three years of age when his parents moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, where he grew up. Part of the present City of Battle Creek is built on the old Smith farm. Charles K. Smith subsequently moved to West Union, Iowa, where he married, lived at Elkader and in Montgomery County of that state, was a merchant at Elliott, and for a time manager of C. H. Lane & Company's large implement house there. Meanwhile, in the spring of 1879, he had come to Thomas County, Kansas, and taken up a timber claim of 160 acres. In 1886 he became a permanent resident of the county, then entered a homestead, and still owns it and the timber claim and altogether has 480 acres in the county. His home was on his farm from 1886 to 1897, and for about ten years he was a teacher in the county. He is now living retired at Colby. Since the formation of the party he has uniformly supported republican candidates and principles, and is a member of the Presbyterian Church.
Charles K. Smith married Donna M. Carleton. She was born in Akron, Ohio, in 1845, and died at Colby, Kansas, in 1915. Their oldest child, Asa M., is senior partner of Smith & Smith, lawyers at Colby, is also a farmer, and for fifteen years has been attorney in Thomas County for the Union Pacific Railway. Carleton A., the second child, is a physician at Hinton, Oklahoma, the only resident physician in Caddo County at the present time, and for the past fifteen years has also conducted the chief drug store of Hinton. Mabel Julia Smith died at the age of nineteen. The youngest of the family is Verni L. C.
Verni L. C. Smith was born at Elliott, Montgomery County, Iowa, September 18, 1883, and came to Kansas three years later. He was educated in the rural schools of Thomas County, attended school at Lincoln, Nebraska, from 1891 to 1897, graduated from the Thomas County High School in 1902 and after two years of work as a teacher entered Kansas University at Lawrence. He graduated A. B. in 1909 and, continuing his studies in the law department, received his LL. B. degree in 1911. He was president of the senior law class of 1911, and was prominent in all student activities. He was an all-around athlete, and is one of the "K" men in university athletic circles. He was especially distinguished for his work on the football team. He is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta honorary legal fraternity.
Mr. Smith began the practice of law at Colby in 1911, and the firm of Smith & Smith have their offices in the Thomas County Bank Building. He served as county attorney from 1912 to 1916, and has also been city attorney and is now city clerk of Colby. He is a republican, a member of the Presbyterian Church, and is Worshipful Master of St. Thomas Lodge No. 306, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and first lieutenant of the Colby State Guards.
February 12, 1913, at Sterling, Colorado, he married Miss Catherine C. Hiskey, daughter of Thomas B. and Margaret (Faust) Hiskey. Her mother still lives at Sterling, Colorado, and her deceased father spent most of his active career in the United States land office service. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have two children: Margaret Donna, born June 16, 1914, and Thomas, born July 12, 1917.
Transcribed from A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p.,  leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm.
Tom & Carolyn Ward
Home Page for Kansas
Search all of Blue Skyways
The KSGenWeb Project