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Smith, John


Posted By: Volunteer (email)
Date: 9/13/2016 at 14:13:36

John Smith was born in Rowan County, North Carolina around 1800. In March of 1822 he married Elizabeth Martha Koonts or Koons. She was born in 1806 and was the daughter of George Koonts and Mary Elisabeth Eller. In the fall of 1823 the family of George Koonts and John Smith moved to Henry County, Indiana where John worked as a road supervisor and farmer. Around 1837 or 38 they moved to Adams County, Illinois. children born to this family were Mary, who married George Greybil [Graybill], Patience who married Levi Greybil [Graybill], Hannah who married Perry Omen, James Saxton and George Greybil, Elizabeth Martha who married John Winegar, Lydia married Peter Frain, Nathan Sanford and John Sharpe. Stephen married Mary Catherine Frain. Samuel Joseph married Rachel Yokum, two sons died in infancy.

After the death of his wife Elisabeth in Adams County, he married Sarah Winegar. Their children were Rhoda Ann, Hiram, Samuel Carolos [Lot] and Abraham who married Olive Melissa Knopp. Several children died in infancy.

In the fall of 1847 Stephen Smith helped some friends and relatives move to Council Bluffs and he stayed there through the winter. Due to illness in the family and bad weather John Smith did not come all the way until April of 1848. He built the first house in what is now known as Macedonia Township and lived there six or seven years, In 1853 or 4 he built a house in Grove Township. He build a saw mill on Farm Creek and on Jordon Creek. Up until then the pioneers had been making their houses of round logs. However, the elements were against him and his saw mills were either washed away or damaged so badly he gave it up and devoted his life to farming. We know that he had a kind heart because when the Mormons were sick and starving out along the Platte he and some of his sons took some grain to the mill to be ground and took it to them so they could bake bread at least.

He served several terms as commissioner of his township and was a member of the County Board when the courthouse at Council Bluffs was built.

John Smith helped organize the first Religious Organization in Grove Township around 1863 and a church was built on the road north of the McKenzie Blacksmith shop near the Lawrence and Hollis Frain farm. Some of the first members were John Smith and wife Sarah, E. W. Knopp and wife, A. J. Fields and wife Sarah, James Otte and wife Mehitable, Levi Greybil [Graybill] and wife Patience, John Winegar and wife Eizabeth, Joseph Smith and wife Rachel and Stephen Smith. John Smith was president of the organization. John and Sarah and many of their descendants wre buried in the Latter Day Saints Cemetery in Grove Township.

Children of Stephen Smith and Mary Catherine Frain were Henry, George M., Mrs. Clara Bogue, Willard and Arthur.

Children of Peter Frain and Lydia Smith were George, Elisabeth, Mary and Margaret.

Submitted by: Gail Meyer Kilgore, Mar 2003
Publication: written by Neva Kuhr


Pottawattamie Biographies maintained by Karon S Velau.
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