William Smith

HON. WILLIAM SMITH, postmaster at Galena, who is one of the prominent men of Cherokee County both in politics and in business, was born April 22, 1844, in Leicestershire, England.

The parents of Mr. Smith, who were farming people, came to America in 1852 and settled in an agricultural region of the State of New York. Their six children all survive, our subject being the second youngest in order of birth. Both parents died at Wichita, Kansas, at advanced ages.

Mr. Smith was 10 years old when his parents removed from Oneida County, New York, to Kansas. After a residence of two years at Lawrence, the family moved to Wabaunsee County, and our subject was engaged in farming when he enlisted as a private, in the 11th Kansas Vol. Cav., for service in the Civil War, in which he remained two years. In 1869 he accompanied the family to Sedgwick County, where they were among the early settlers and were identified with the founding of the city of Wichita. Mr. Smith served as city marshal of Wichita in 1873 and later was elected sheriff of Sedgwick County. In those days of political unrest and social disturbance, there was urgent need of men of undaunted personal courage and unswerving loyalty, and such a man was found in William Smith and for a number of years he was a United States marshal, a position he filled with the greatest fidelity and efficiency. He was one of the founders of the city of Galena, in 1877, becoming interested in its mining industries at a very early date, operating individually. He was one of the first mayors of the city, and has been identified with almost all of its important public affairs. On May 5, 1898, he was appointed postmaster at Galena, a position he still fills, one which has yearly grown in importance and responsibility.

Mr. Smith married Millie A. Taylor, born at Seneca, Missouri, who at her death left a family of nine children, viz: Frederick, chief clerk in the Galena post office, who married Daisy Dickson of Galena; Albert, a mining engineer, who married Maggie Grider, of Columbus; Mamie, who is her father's accomplished housekeeper; Pearl, who is a graduate of the High School, class of 1904; and Charles, Minerva, George, Edna and Beulah, all students in school.

Ever since attaining his majority, Mr. Smith has been an active worker in the Republican party, and his fidelity has been such that he has been chosen very many times as delegate to county, congressional and State conventions, and keeps closely in touch with other party leaders over the country.

Mr. Smith is prominent also in a number of fraternal and social organizations, the chief ones being the Masons; the Knights and Ladies of Security; the Ancient Order of United Workmen; and Select Knights and Ladies. His long residence at Galena and his prominence in promoting the city's commercial activity, in aiding its material development and advancing its general welfare, have made him widely known and he is very justly considered one of Galena's most representative men.


History of Cherokee County Kansas and its representative citizens, ed. & comp. by Nathaniel Thompson Allison, 1904, transcribed by Carolyn Ward, instructor from USD 508, Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, 5/5/97.


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Tom & Carolyn Ward
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