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Jacob B. Smith (1864-1921)


Posted By: Karon Velau (email)
Date: 4/6/2022 at 11:49:20

Jacob Brugger Smith
(September 18, 1864 May 6, 1921)

No matter how much we may indulge in theorizing concerning success, we must acknowledge that in the majority of cases it is due to diligence, enterprise and keen foresight, and it is these qualities which have made Mr. Smith a leading business man of Lake City. He is there engaged in dealing in real estate and also is a well known insurance agent, and in both departments he has a large clientage. He is numbered among Iowa's native sons, for his birth occurred in Clermont, Fayette County, on the 18th of September, 1864. His parents were R. John and Maria J. (Brugger) Smith, both of whom were natives of Germany. Crossing the Atlantic to America the father settled in the early 1850s in Wisconsin, where he married. In the year 1859 he took up his abode in Fayette County, Iowa, where he secured a tract of new prairie land, upon which no furrow had been turned or an improvement made, but with characteristic energy he began its development and in course of time transformed that place into a valuable farm, upon which he spent his remaining days. The family were, however, making preparations to remove to Calhoun County, when he was taken ill and died on the 1st of May, 1869. A few weeks later his wife and children came to Lake City, the father having previously purchased section 16, Elm Grove Township. This farm became the home of the family. There was not at that time a house in Elm Grove Township, but Mrs. Smith had one erected and with the aid of her children began to improve her property. Her nearest neighbor was about three and one-half miles distant. She had eight children and when she arrived in Calhoun County, the eldest was only fourteen years of age. With self-sacrificing spirit she devoted her time and energy to the care of her little ones and to the establishment of a good home for them. She is now living in Lake City and she has the loving gratitude of her sons and daughters, who recognize how much they owe to her for what she did for them in their early childhood. In order of birth her children are as follows: Fred W., a farmer of Elm Grove Township; John, who is living in Deadwood, South Dakota; Joseph, whose home is in Calhoun County; Mary, the wife of James W. Keary, of Elm Grove Township; J. B., of this review; Richard, who is living in
Lake City; Edward, a resident of Rockwell City; and Jerry, of Jackson Township, who completes the family.
J. B. Smith was only five years old when the mother brought her family to Calhoun County, locating in Elm Grove Township. He was reared here, early becoming familiar with the duties and labors that fall to the lot of the agriculturist. He pursued his education in the common schools of the neighborhood, enjoying such privileges as the times afforded. During the summer months he was employed at herding cattle, but in the winter he pursued his studies, until he had acquired a fair knowledge of the branches of learning taught in the district schools. After he had attained to man's estate he purchased a farm in Elm Grove Township and successfully continued its cultivation and improvement until 1892, when he came to Lake City, where he soon formed a partnership with Mr. Tolliver. This was maintained, however, but a short period and he began business on his own account as a real estate and insurance agent. He handles land in Minnesota and South Dakota and makes regular trips to the latter state. He also handles farm and city property in Calhoun County and has negotiated a number of real estate transactions.
On the 28th of February, 1892, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Alice Gelnett of Sac City, Iowa, and their home has been blessed with two children, Earl and Ralph. It is also noted for its gracious hospitality, which is freely extended to their large circle of friends. Mr. Smith has been honored with local township offices and fraternally he is connected with the Masonic Lodge and with the Odd Fellows of Lake City, being a faithful follower of the teachings of these organizations, which are based upon mutual helpfulness and brotherly kindness. He started out in his business career with no capital and all that he possesses is the outcome of his own industry and indefatigable labor. [Source Biographical Record of Calhoun County, Iowa, by S. J. Clarke, 1902, p.298]


Calhoun Biographies maintained by Karon S. Valeu.
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