[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

SMITH, Edgar Russell 1869 – 1949


Posted By: Joey Stark
Date: 2/28/2011 at 19:51:39

“The Fairfield (Ia.) Daily Ledger”
Thursday, September 29, 1949


Death came yesterday afternoon to Russell SMITH, Sr, prominent Fairfield attorney and dean of Jefferson county real estate dealers

He passed away at 3 p.m. at the Elm Crest nursing home in Des Moines where he and his wife had been patients since September 18. Prior to that time he had been a patient in the Jefferson county hospital.

Last rites will be Friday at 1:30 p.m. at the Hoskins funeral home with Dr. C. R. Douglass in charge. Burial will be in Evergreen cemetery.

Russell SMITH, 80, was born August 5, 1869, at Birmingham, the son of the late James Nelson and Isabelle TAYLOR SMITH. When he was six years old the family moved to Fairfield where Mr. SMITH had made his home since.

He graduated from Parsons college with the class of 1891 and then started studying law in the office of Leggett and McKemey, two prominent Fairfield attorneys at that time.

About six months later a client asked him to sell a farm for him, offering $100 in gold if a successful transaction was carried out. Mr. SMITH sold the farm, a transaction which started him on a career which was destined to last for more than half a century.

He found other buyers and started to be a real estate agent. He sold about 60 farms and town properties before he entered law school at Iowa City in the fall of 1893.

Two years later he had completed his education and returned to Fairfield to open his law office. For several years he devoted his full efforts to practicing law and established himself as a prominent attorney.

In later years, however, Mr. SMITH turned to the real estate business again while his son, Booker SMITH, who had joined the firm, handled the law business.

The successful real estate salesman followed the theory that “it pays to advertise”. He advertised in 140 newspapers, and on several occasions had 5,000 circulars printed listing properties for sale.

He once made the claim that he had probably owned more pieces of real estate than any other man in the history of Jefferson county, and no one ever disputed the claim.

During the entire time that he was a resident of Fairfield, he took a keen interest in civic and community affairs. He helped raise money to bring industries to Fairfield, carried petitions for the city’s first cement sidewalks and pavement, and served on committees for early celebrations and public entertainments. He was a church member of the Presbyterian church.

Mr. SMITH was united in marriage on Sept. 28, 1898, to Sue BLAIR. His death came on the 51st anniversary of their marriage.

The couple celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on September 25, 1948, at the McElhinny house, where their two sons and two daughters assisted in receiving the many guests who attended.

Besides his wife, Mr. SMITH is survived by the following four children: Mrs. Eloise SHUMWAY, Rockford, Ill.; Booker SMITH, Fairfield; Maryalyce, Des Moines; and Russell SMITH, Jr., Kansas City. Seven grandchildren also survive.

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

Note: His wife Sue died in 1955, and they are buried in Lot 2nd.133.


Jefferson Obituaries maintained by Joey Stark.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]