Posted By: County Coordinator
Date: 3/20/2009 at 01:22:18
John Smyth, is a retired farmer now living in the village of Ogden and for 34 years he has not only been a witness of the growth and development of this county but has contributed his full share to the general improvement of this county but has contributed his full share to the general improvement and progress. He was born near St Clairsville, Belmont county, Ohio, November 11, 1823, and is a son of George and May (Lee) Smyth. The father was born in Drumgiven, Townland, near St Field in the county of Down, Ireland, about eight miles from Belfast, his natal day being May 1, 1792. He came to America on board a sailing vessel and in this country was married to Mary Lee who was born near Cross Creek in Washington county, Pennsylvania, on Christmas day of 1803. They were the parents of eleven children, five sons and six daughters, namely, John born November 11, 1823, Mary born April 21, 1825, Robert Lee born December 28, 1826, William born February 24, 1829, Dorothy born march 17, 1831, Alexander born April 3, 1833, George Vance born December 11, 1834, Jane born October 19, 1836, Ann born October 21, 1838, Eliza E born November 1, 1841, and Margaret Priscilla born march 2, 1844, all of whom were born in Madison township, Muskingum county, Ohio, with the exception of the first two who were bon in St Clairsville, Ohio. All received good educational privileges thus putting hem for capably performing the practical work of life that came to them.
In addition to an excellent school education John Smyth studied civil engineering. In early life he engaged teaching school and entered upon his work as an agriculturist by renting land in Ohio for several years. As a companion and helpmate on life’s journey he chose Miss Elizabeth Dunn Fitz, their wedding being celebrated November 4, 1851, the lady being a daughter of Henry and Jane (Lindsay) Fitz, of eastern Pennsylvania. Ten years later, in 1861, Mr and Mrs Smyth removed to Linn county, Iowa and there purchased a small farm which he improved during seven years’ residence upon the place Mr Smyth began teaching here following that profession during the winter months while in the summer season he devoted his energies to farm work. In 1868 however he sold his property in Linn county and came to Boone county, purchasing land in Amaqua township. He improved the same and taught school during the winter months while in the summer seasons he followed farming as he had in Linn county. His first purchase made him the owner of 80 acres and he afterward added another 80 acre tract and extended the boundaries of his place later until he had acquired 203 acres, its present dimensions. In the spring of 1901, however he sold his farm in Amaqua township and purchased a small farm of 80 acres in Yell township, which he took in part payment for his old homestead. He also owns 10 acres of coal land on Sec 22, Yell township and now rents his 80 acres on Sec 30, Yell township, making his own home in Ogden, where he is enjoying a well merited rest.
Unto Mr and Mrs Smyth have been born ten children, as follows, George Henry born August 9, 1852, married Lizzie Fields and resides in Churdan, Greene county, Iowa, Robert C born March 22, 1854, married Mary Ella Bomberger and resides near Marietta, Minnesota. They have three children. Athur born July 18, 1856, died in infancy. Orville Vance born march 11, 1858, married Emma C Matz and with their three children they reside n Boone, Iowa. S A Douglas born September 5, 1860, married Hattie Anderson and reside in Rockwell City, Iowa. They have two children. Wiley Elsworth, born September 22, 1862, died at the age of three years, Mary Jane born January 21, 1865 married Harvey Helphrey and resides in Perry, Iowa. They have two children. John Edwin born September 2, 1867, is living with our subject. Effie Ellen born September 12, 1870 married Henry Gearman a resident of Revillo, South Dakota, and they have four children. Libbie D born June 1, 1875 married Wallace M Jones and resides on our subjects 80 acres farm in Yell township. They have two children. Our subject’s first five children were born in Muskingum county, Ohio the next three in Linn county, Iowa and the remaining in Amaqua township, Boone county.
Mr Smyth held the office of county surveyor in Muskingum county, Ohio, for three years, being commissioned by Salom P Chase. He has also held the office of county suupervisor, representing Amaqua township on the board and has filled some minor offices. He and his wife are very active numbers and earnest workers in the Methodist Episcopal church. He has met with a fair degree of success in all his undertakings and is among the old and respected citizens of Boone county, for many years connected with agricultural interests. He has a comfortable competence and now makes his home in Ogden, where he is enable to lead a retired life. He is enjoying the rest which he has justly earned and among the leading citizens of his community he is numbered, being respected for the possession of those qualities of manhood which in every land and every clime command esteem.
1902 Boone County History Book
Boone Biographies maintained by Jan Bony.
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