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John W. Smith, 1872


Posted By: Mona Sarratt Knight
Date: 10/24/2015 at 22:46:52

JOHN W. SMITH, A spirit of self-reliance and an unalterable determination to accomplish an honorable purpose have been controlling elements in the life of John W. Smith, cashier of the Bank of Coon Rapids. He belongs to the class of men who win recognition in any line of business or in any profession on which they concentrate their energies, a class that leads in city, state or nation and is largely responsible for the prosperity the country now enjoys.

Mr. Smith was born in Poweshiek County, Iowa, January 6, 1872, a son of Richard and Christina (Head) Smith, both of whom were natives of Ohio. The father was reared on a farm and then learned the harness-making and saddlery trade, but after working at his trade a few years returned to farming as his vocation. He and his wife came to Poweshiek County, Iowa, and in 1883 moved to Audubon County, ten years later taking up their residence at Indianola where they are now living retired. They are both earnest members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In their family were eleven children, the following of whom grew to maturity, namely: Edgar A., a resident of Ackworth, Iowa; Oran J., of Indianola; Richard L., of Ladora; Elva C., who married Barton Morrison, of Girard, Kansas; William H., of Marshfield, Oregon; John W., of Coon Rapids, Iowa; and Charles C., of Panora.

The paternal grandfather of our subject, Wesley Smith, was the head of a family of nine children, Henry, John, Acquilla, Cleaton, Wesley, Richard, Russell, Elijah and Catharine. The maternal grandfather was William Head, a native of Ohio and by occupation a farmer. He and his wife came to Poweshiek County, Iowa, and subsequently moved to Greene county, settling at Jefferson where they spent the remainder of their days. Of their children seven grew to maturity, Joseph, Christina, Mahlon, Albert, Caleb, Sarah and Aaron.

John W. Smith made his home in Poweshiek County until he was eleven years of age and there received his preliminary school training. He removed with his parents to Audubon County and continued his attendance at the public schools, also becoming a student at Simpson College where he remained two years. He taught school in the country several terms and for one year filled the position of bookkeeper in the State Savings Bank of which Abraham Dixon was proprietor. After retiring from this position he served for eighteen months as bookkeeper and cashier under John Lee in the Valley Bank. In February, 1902, he associated with Warren Garst in organizing the Bank of Coon Rapids of which he has ever since been cashier. The bank has been ably conducted and is recognized as one of the substantial financial concerns of the county.

On the 25th of December, 1898, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Emma Zavitz, a native of Cedar County, Iowa, and a daughter of Abraham and Catharine (Camberling) Zavitz. To this union three children have been born, Forrest, Gerald and Kathryn. The father of Mrs. Smith was born in Canada and the mother in Pennsylvania. They came to Iowa and settled in Cedar County. Mr. Zavitz was a soldier in the Civil war and died in 1892 from the effects of a gunshot wound which he received in the arm many years before while gallantly fighting for his country. His widow still survives and lives with her daughter in Coon Rapids. They had seven children all of whom are living, Abraham, Harriet, Ena, Ida, John, Emma and Edward.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are members of the Coon Rapids Methodist Episcopal Church and active workers in its behalf. He belongs to Charity Lodge, No. 187, A. F. & A. M., and also to the Ancient Order of United Workmen. Politically he is in hearty sympathy with the principles and candidates of the Republican Party. He takes a great interest in the education of the young and for three years past has served as president of the school board, having also filled the office of chief of the fire department for two years. By the faithful discharge of every responsibility he has gained the confidence of the people of Coon Rapids and the surrounding region and is numbered among the most substantial and progressive citizens of the County.

Source: History of Carroll County Iowa, by Paul MacLean, Illustrated, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company (1912) Chicago, Volume II, page 175.


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