Ira E. Smith

Ira E. and Jennie (Smith) Smith and family

Ira E. Smith, a worthy native son and representative agriculturist of Allamakee county, is the owner of an excellent farm of three hundred and sixty acres on section 9, Post township. He was born in that township, near his present farm, on the 5th of December, 1871, his parents being David and Marena (Barham) Smith, natives of Cole county, Indiana. Throughout his active business career the father followed general agricultural pursuits. When a boy he came to Iowa with his father, who built the old stone house and also erected the first sawmill in this vicinity. This was as early as 1838. David Smith grew to manhood here and experienced all the hardships and privations of pioneer life, in later years recounting many tales of frontier existence in a district which was but thinly settled and was still the habitat of wild animals. Much arduous toil was necessary before the land was ready for the plow. Mr. Smith devoted his attention to the work of grubbing and clearing and in the fall seasons operated a threshing machine. When about twenty years of age he became a landowner and during the remainder of his active life was busily engaged in the work of the fields. In 1900 he took up his abode in Frankville and there died in March of the following years. The period of his residence in this part of the state covered about six decades and in his passing the community lost one of its honored pioneers and esteemed citizens. His widow still survives and makes her home at Frankville. They were the parents of two children: Ida, who lives with her mother; and Ira E., of this review.

In the acquirement of an education Ira E. Smith attended school at Myron in Post township. When twenty years of age he secured employment as a farm hand and about a year later purchased one hundred and sixty-seven acres of land and started out as an agriculturist on his own account. He remained under the parental roof until twenty-four years of age, when he was married and took up his abode on his farm, residing thereon for seven years. On the expiration of that period he bought the old homestead property and subsequently lived thereon for eight years or until March, 1911, when he purchased an additional tract of one hundred and twenty acres on section 9, Post township, where he has remained to the present time. He has disposed of some of his original holdings but still owns three hundred and sixty acres of valuable land and cultivates all of it with the assistance of tenants. He raises both grain and stock and keeps high-grade horses, cattle and hogs, at times dealing in stock to a considerable extent. His work is conducted along practical and progressive lines and his is systematic in all he does, so that there is no loss of labor or material, and the fields annually pay tribute to his efforts in rich and bounteous crops.

On the 19th of November 1895, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Jennie Smith, whose birth occurred in Post township on the 9th of July, 1875, her parents being John N. and Susan (Lee) Smith, born in the years of 1828 and 1838 respectively. The father, a native of New York, was a stage owner in early manhood, driving from Decorah to McGregor until twenty-five or twenty-six years of age. At that time he located on a farm in the eastern part of Post township, continuing to reside thereon until called to his final rest in July, 1895. His widow makes her home with Mr. and Mrs. Ira Smith. The latter was the youngest in their family of eight children, of whom but two are now living namely: Ida, the wife of Samson A. Harris, a sketch of whom appears on another page of this work, and Mrs. Smith, the wife of our subject. Mr. and Mrs. Ira E. Smith have four children, as follows: Lester D., whose natal day was December 18, 1897; Pearl R., whose birth occurred February 28, 1901; Clinton E., born June 20,1905; and Ethelyn L., who was born on the 14th of March, 1909.

Mr. Smith is a republican in his political views and held the office of trustee for one term but declined to serve longer. His religious faith is indicated by his membership in the United Brethren church at Bethel, while fraternally he is identified with the Modern Brotherhood and the Woodmen. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have an extensive acquaintance in the county where they have always resided, and it is therefore with pleasure that we present this record of their lives to our readers.

-source: Past & Present of Allamakee County; by Ellery M. Hancock; S. J. Clarke Pub. Co.; 1913
-transcribed by Diana Diedrich

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