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Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa
Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887

JAMES W. SMOCK, ex-County Auditor of Benton County, Iowa, is a native of Johnson County, Ind., and was born Feb. 19, 1840. He is a son of David and Ann Smock, natives of Kentucky. His grandfather, John B. Smock, was born in Pennsylvania and was a soldier in the War of 1812. He was present at the time of the death of the great Indian General, Tecumseh. He went to Kentucky when a young man. Mr. and Mrs. David Smock went to Indiana when quite young, and were among the pioneers of that State. At the time Mr. Smock's grandfather went to Indiana there was but one log cabin where the city of Indianapolis now stands. Mr. and Mrs. Smock, the parents of our subject, were married in Indiana, and located in Johnson County. They had a family of three children — James W.; Mary, wife of George Sebern, of Carroll County, Iowa; Susan, wife of Cornelius D. Brewer, of Vinton. The father died in 1845. He was a man of sterling worth, possessing those attributes which command respect and admiration, and in everything he undertook always acted from a sense of right, using his influence to forward all enterprises for the good of humanity. He was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, a friend of education, and was highly respected by all. Mrs. Smock's second marriage was with F. R. Voris.

The subject of this sketch was reared in Johnson County, Ind., by his grandfather, John B. Smock, he being but five years of age at his father's death. His education was obtained in the pioneer schools of that State by attending winters a portion of the time. In July, 1861, he enlisted in Co. F, 19th Ind. Vol. Inf., and was mustered in at Indianapolis July 29, 1861. A short time after, the regiment was sent to Washington, D. C. He participated in the following engagements: Gettysburg, Rappahannock, Gainesville, the second battle of Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court-House, North Anna River, Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor and Petersburg; in all fifteen general engagements, together with numerous skirmishes. At the battle of Petersburg, June 18, 1864, he was shot in the left leg above the knee, losing the limb. He lay upon the battle-field six hours, and was then taken to City Point and thence to Washington, where he remained until October, 1865. He then returned to Indiana, his family in the meantime having moved to Benton County, Iowa. After residing for a time in Indiana he also came to Vinton. In 1872 he was elected County Recorder, and was re-elected every two years until 1884. He filled the office with credit, both to himself and his constituents.

Mr. Smock was married, Nov. 26, 1874, to Miss Martha J. Shotwell, a native of New York, born Nov. 5, 1849. She is the daughter of Phineas and Eliza Shotwell. Mrs. Smock is an active and useful member of the Presbyterian Church of Vinton. Mr. Smock is a member of the Benton County Veteran Association; of P. M. Coder Post, G. A. R.; of Vinton Lodge, No. 83, I. O. O. F.; of the A. O. U. W. and K. of P.

Source Citation: "1887 Benton County, Iowa Biographies"  [database online]  Benton County IAGenWeb Project. <>
Original data: "Portrait and Biographical Album of Benton County, Iowa." Chicago: Chapman Brothers, 1887, p. 226-227.
Transcribed by: Sue Soden. Submitted to the Benton County IAGenWeb Project on January 28th, 2009.  Copyright © 2009 The IAGenWeb Project.

Return to: 1887 Biography Index

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