S. D. Smith, whose model stock farm is situated in sections 28 and 29 of Walnut township, Crawford county, is one of the oldest farmers, in point of time engaged, in this county. He manifested unusual energy in his youth, and began farming independently in this county when only seventeen years old, and during nearly the subsequent forty years has found his best success in tilling the fertile soil of Crawford county and in the industry of stock-raising for which this region has been noted since its earliest occupancy. It is no small honor to have been identified with this country ever since the county of Crawford gained a separate political existence, and his citizenship has been as sterlingly worthy as it has been long in years.
Mr. Smith was born in Morgan county, Illinois, February 25, 1850, being the son of Garrett and Elsie Smith, who were natives, respectively, of Virginia and Kentucky. They moved from Illinois to Iowa, thence in 1866 to Crawford county, Kansas, where four years were spent in farming, and then they returned to Iowa, where the mother died in 1885 at the age of fifty-six, and the father died in Washington in 1890, when eighty years of age.
Mr. S. D. Smith had his early training in the states of Illinois and Iowa, and after arriving in Crawford county in November, 1866, began farming, to which occupation he had been reared. He took up and improved a claim of one hundred and sixty acres, and in 1885 bought the one hundred and sixty acres on which he now makes his home. He has developed a fine farm out of this land, and to him is due the credit for nearly all the improvements that mark it out as one of the beautiful and productive farmsteads of Crawford county. In stock-raising he makes a specialty of fine Poland China hogs and Hereford cattle. About ten years ago he branched out into operating a threshing outfit and a sawmill, and has had considerable success in these enterprises.
Mr. Smith and family belong to the Christian church, and he affiliates with the Modern Woodmen of America at Walnut and is also a member of the Threshers' Protective Association of Crawford county. He is a Democrat in politics, and has served in the office of school director. In September, 1872, he married Miss Lettia A. Waterman, a daughter of John and Sarah Waterman, of Illinois, who were among the real pioneers to this county, settling near Girard in 1857. Her father died in Kansas, and her mother is now living in Oklahoma. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have three children: Jesse L., who is operating a sawmill in this county; Ethel and Colonel Verl, at home.Pages 459-460 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 Carolyn Ward, in November, 2003.
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