Biographical History of Central Kansas, Vol. II, p. 952
published by The Lewis Publishing Co, Chicago & New York, 1902
DANIEL P. SMYRES
Daniel P Smyres, a pioneer of Rice county, and a prominent and representative farmer identified with the settlement, development and growth of central Kansas, was born in Hocking county, Ohio, October 31, 1845, a son of Lewis and Martha (Fink) Smyres, both of whom were natives of Ohio, in which state they were married. The paternal grandfather, Ludwig Smyres, was a native of Pennsylvania, and was of German descent. He became a prominent farmer of that state, and subsequently removed to Ohio. He had three children: John, Isaiah and Lewis.
The last-named was born and reared in the Buckeye state. His father died when he was quite young and the son was thus thrown upon his own resources for a livelihood. After arriving at years of maturity he married, and as soon as able purchased a tract of land and improved a farm in Ohio, remaining in that state for a number of years. In 1857 he sold that property and removed to Wabash county, Indiana, where he purchased land and in the midst of the heavy timber cleared and improved a farm upon which he spent his remaining days, his death there occurring in 1893. He was a hard-working man in his younger days, and as the result of his industry became the owner of a valuable property. He was widely recognized as one of the leading and influential residents of his community, and for his success in life he deserved much credit, being the architect of his own fortunes and building wisely and well. In his political views he was first a Whig and later a Republican, but he never aspired to political preferment, desiring rather to give his time and attention to his business affairs. He was widely and favorably known, commanding the confidence and respect of all who knew him and enjoying an enviable reputation for integrity and honor. He was a consistent and worthy member of the Methodist church, and lived an earnest Christian life. His first wife died in 1852. She was the daughter of Henry Fink, of Kentucky, who became an early settler of Ohio, where he was extensively engaged in farming. He was also a physician, a patent-rights man and was the owner of a grist and sawmills. He engaged in the manufacture of the Dr Fink medicines, and led a very busy and useful life. He was charitable and benevolent and gave freely of his means for public enterprises and to relieve the wants of the needy. For many years he was a minister of the United Brethern church and later became identified with the Seventh Day Adventists. He was well known throughout Ohio, commanding the confidence and respect of all who knew him. His useful, honorable career and marked individuality left an influence for good wherever he went and his worth was widely acknowledged. His children were: George, a Methodist Minister of Pennsylvania; Earl D; Elias; Isaiah; Mrs Martha Smyres; and Mrs Mary Lucas. Unto Lewis and Martha Smyres were born three children: Daniel P; Henry F, a resident of Kansas; and Lewis A, who is living in Illinois. The mother died in 1852 and Mr Smyres afterward wedded Mrs Whitcraft, a widow, who had five children, whom Mr Smyres reared and educated, namely: Thomas, Jacob, Crea, Margaret, the wife of William Rolf, and Elizabeth, who died at the age of fourteen years. By the fatherís second marriage there were six children who attained to youth or mature years, while others died in infancy. The former were: Mary, the wife of C Linn; Almira E, who married William Fulton; John W and George, twins but the latter died at the age of sixteen; Amy R, the wife of A Connor; and Ida, who married F Connor. At a family reunion held at the old homestead in Indiana in 1898 there were present sixty descendants and many others were unable to attend. Mrs Smyres is yet living there at a ripe old age. Both the parents of our subject were Methodists in religious faith.
Daniel P Smyres was born in Ohio, but when twelve years of age accompanied his father on his removal to Indiana, where he was reared to manhood, remaining under the parental roof until 1864, when he enlisted for service in the war of the rebellion, becoming a member of Company K, One Hundred and First Regiment of the Indiana Volunteers. He was afterward transferred to the Fifty-eighth Regiment, which was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland, and joined his command at Ringgold, Georgia. He at once entered upon active service and participated in the Atlanta campaign, in which he witnessed the taking and burning of Atlanta. He took part in some hotly contested battles and did much skirmish duty and some hard work on the fortifications. He was in the campaign after Hood to Gainsville, Alabama, marched with Sherman to the sea and afterward took part in the fight at Bentonville, North Carolina, going thence to Raleigh, North Carolina, where Johnson surrendered. From there he marched to Washington and participated in the grand review, after which he was sent to Louisville, and there transferred to the Fifty-eighth Regiment of Kentucky, but only remained with them about a month. At Louisville, Kentucky, he was mustered out, receiving an honorable discharge and his pay at Indianapolis. He escaped without wounds or imprisonment and was ill in the hospital only nine days. Always found at his post of duty, he faithfully defended the starry banner of the nation, fighting bravely for the preservation of the Union.
Returning home Mr Smyres resumed work upon his fatherís farm, where he remained until twenty-two years of age, when, in 1867, he was married, Miss Anna Weingand becoming his wife. She was born in Germany, June 6, 1848, and when six years of age was brought to this country by her parents, Mr and Mrs Christopher Weingand. They crossed the Atlantic in 1854, settling in Ohio, where her father followed the shoemakerís trade. Later he went to Illinois, where his death occurred. His children were: Charles, who served in the Civil war and was killed at the battle of Stone river; William, who was also a soldier and is now living in Windom, Kansas; Mrs Elizabeth Bechtol and Mrs Anna Smyres.
Mr and Mrs Smyres began their domestic life upon a rented farm where they continued until 1877 when they removed to Arkansas. They there rented a farm and raised one crop, and in 1878 came to Rice county. Here our subject purchased eighty acres of school land in Union township upon which he yet resides and like most of the pioneers who came to Kansas at an early day he had everything to make and nothing to lose. He first erected a board shanty and when winter had passed he began breaking prairie, planting sod corn and some spring wheat. Thus he made his start, and while some years his crops have not been very good, he has usually garnered abundant harvests and has prospered in his undertakings. He has added to his land from time to time until he now owns five hundred and sixty acres, all under fence and divided into fields for cultivation or into pastures. There are good orchards containing twelve hundred apple trees beside much smaller fruit; his fields produce good crops and in his pastures are found good stock. He has a pleasant and attractive frame residence, substantial barns and outbuildings, windmills and the latest improved machinery, together with many other conveniences. There are fine groves and the place is conveniently and pleasantly located about three and a half miles southwest of Windom.
While Mr Smyres has given the greater part of his time and attention to his general farming, other interests have also claimed his attention. He has handled stock to some extent and for some time he conducted a meat market at Windom. He has also sold fruit trees and has operated a threshing machine for three seasons. He is also agent for a firm dealing in reapers and in these various departments of business activity he has met with success.
The home of Mr and Mrs Smyres has been blessed with five children, namely: Charles M, who is engaged in farming; Almyra, the wife of R G Snyder; Anna, who married William McConnell; George W and May E, who are at home. Mrs Smyres is a worthy and devoted member of the Methodist Episcopal church, true and faithful to its teachings. Mr Smyres belongs to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and likewise holds membership with the Grand Army Post at Little River. In the discharge of his duties of citizenship he is as true and faithful in days of peace as when he followed the old flag upon southern battlefields.