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SMITH, Harrison - 1912 Bio (1821-1913)


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 9/30/2007 at 11:41:35

History of Jefferson County, Iowa -- A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement, Vol II, Published 1912, S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., Chicago
Pages 250-252

Harrison SMITH.

One of the exceptional men of Jefferson county is Harrison SMITH who at the age of ninety years is still in vigorous health and does a large share of the work connected with the cultivation of his fields, having himself only this past summer planted and cared for twenty-six acres of corn and sixteen acres of millet. He is the head of a large family representing five generations, being the father of seven living children, seventeen grandchildren, sixteen great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. A recent photograph made of this interesting group is one of Mr. SMITH's proudest possessions. Born in Henry county, Indiana, July 15, 1821, he was a son of Sampson and Elizabeth (BONNER) SMITH. The original colonial ancestors belonged to the tory party, the great-grandfather, John SMITH, holding the position of high sheriff under the crown during the Revolutionary war. The grandfather, William SMITH, a farmer and hunter in Virginia, ran away from home to join the continental army. The father, who was a native of Virginia and followed agricultural pursuits, came west before Harrison SMITH was born and took part in the War of 1812. In 1836 he crossed the Mississippi with his family and pushed westward through the wilderness, settling in what is now known as Henry county, Iowa, but which was then wild land covered with timber and brush, under the sway of the Indians who roved unmolested over the wooded plains. Mr. SMITH entered land from the government and in 1840 removed to the area now included in Jefferson county, locating one and one-half miles northwest of Brookville where he took up a claim, the land being purchased from the Indians by our government. In 1843 he removed to the farm on which his son Harrison SMITH now lives and remained there until his death.

A resident of Indiana until the age of fifteen years Harrison SMITH obtained his education in that state. At twenty-one years he left his father's home and was married, taking up a claim in Wapello county, Iowa, where he lived until nineteen years ago, when he sold the land and returned to the old homestead where he now lives. When the Civil war was in progress he enlisted in Company D, Nineteenth Iowa Volunteer Infantry, organized in Locust Grove township, and was elected first lieutenant, being honored at the close of the war with the commission of captain of the militia. He saw active service, taking part in the battle of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, a number of hot skirmishes and the siege of Vicksburg from June 13th to July 4th when the city surrendered. At the end of a year's honorable service he was discharged on account of disability.

On October 27, 1842, Mr. SMITH was united in the bonds of wedlock to Miss Susanna BOWMAN, a daughter of Samuel BOWMAN, a pioneer settler of Jefferson county. Mrs. SMITH died in 1868 and by this union the following children were born: Elizabeth, the wife of George HARRISON, a farmer of Kansas; Alexander, a carpenter of Wapello county; Sarah Jane, deceased; Clara Matilda, the wife of Norman RENO, a fruit grower of Texas; Winfield, deceased; Thomas Frankin, deceased; and Harrison E., who is married to Nettie De GOOD and is a farmer living a place adjoining the homestead.

On December 14, 1871, Mr. SMITH contracted a second union with Miss Elizabeth HUDSON, a daughter of Joseph HUDSON. Her death occurred at the present home November 26, 1909. Five children were born by this marriage of whom two are living: Charles J., a farmer operating the home place with his father; and Miss Chinelcy, who is also living at home.

The names of Mr. SMITH's seventeen grandchildren are as follows: Nora, Letta, Lillian, and Lee, the children of George Harrison; Claude, the daughter of Alexander SMITH; John, Mary, Frank, and Effie, the children of Norman RENO; Carl, Arminta, Margaret, John, Raphael, Oren, Grace and Maude, the children of Harrison SMITH. Mr. SMITH also has sixteen great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild, the son of Henry SHUNTERMAN and the grandson of Nora HARRISON.

In his political views Mr. SMITH votes with the republicans. Devoted to the interests of his family he has given his whole energies to promote their welfare, and now at the close of his ninetieth year can look back through the long vista of the past and take joy in his work well done. He is active and in good health and still capable of enthusiasm, taking a keen interest in the affairs about him which is the surest way of defying time and keeping the heart always young.

*Transcribed for genealogy purposes; I have no relation to the person(s) mentioned.


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