John F. Smith, of Washington township, has lived in this county from pioneer times, and is one of the successful farmers and stockraisers in the eastern part of the county. He is worthy of the esteem and respect in which he is universally held by friends and neighbors, and by his enterprise and public spirit has become an influential factor in the affairs of his part of the county.
Born in the state of North Carolina, in 1836, of excellent family connections, a son of Andrew and Nancy E. (Clark) Smith, of North Carolina, the father born in 1813, at the age of two years Mr. Smith was taken to Indiana, and thence to Greene county, Iowa, but the family home was later again made in Indiana. The father died in Martin county, Indiana, at the age of fifty-two. He was a farmer, and he and his wife, who died in Greene county, Indiana, at the age of sixty-six, were members of the Church of God. There were eight children: Martha, Sarah, Drusilla, Mary, Thomas, John F., Sina C. and Anderson C., the last named a soldier in the Twenty-second Indiana, now deceased.
Reared and educated in the state of Indiana, Mr. Smith was trained to the life of farming and has followed that occupation successfully from his earliest years. On September 21, 1864, he enlisted in Company I, Twenty-second Indiana Infantry, under Captain A. R. Ravenscroff, and gave an excellent account of himself throughout the remainder of the war, until he received his honorable discharge and could go home with the consciousness of having performed his duty to country as well as to home. He was sent from Indianapolis to Nashville, and was in General Sherman's army in its famous march to the sea, being also present at the battles before Atlanta. He was detailed to drive cattle for the army, and brought a large drove along with the army to Savannah.
Mr. Smith was married in 1869 to Miss Celestine Burge, who was born in Greene county, Indiana, April 8, 1849, being a daughter of Hamilton and Sarah Marinda Burge, the former a native of Wales. Her mother died in Indiana, and her father lives at the age of eighty, having been a farmer throughout his active life. There were four children in the Burge family, Alexander, Malinda, Mrs. Smith and Elizabeth. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have the following children: Frank, in Colorado; Emma, in Girard, wife of Orin Dunlap; John T., of Crawford county; Della, in Iowa; and Arthur, a school boy. Three children are deceased, two when young, and Laura Davis at the age of twenty-eight. Mr. Smith is a Democrat of the Andrew Jackson type, and he and his wife are members of the Church of God. The Smith homestead is one of those hospitable and cheery places where friends are always welcomed and made to feel at home, and the entire family are held in the highest esteem throughout Washington township.Pages 360-361 from A Twentieth century history and biographical record of Crawford County, Kansas, by Home Authors; Illustrated. Published by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL : 1905. 656 p. ill. Transcribed by Thomas Hughes, student at Baxter Springs Middle School, Baxter Springs, Kansas, in April, 2003.
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