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In the front rank of the medical profession in Dickinson county stands Dr. Arthur Francis Smith, of Milford, who has won a large and remunerative medical and surgical practice and has gained an enviable reputation as one of the progressive and public-spirited citizens of the community. Dr. Smith was born at Alton, Iowa, on the 7th of September, 1891, and is a son of Dr. Ferdinand J. Endres and Anna M. (Hodgetts) Smith, who are referred to at length on another page of this work. He attended the public schools, graduating from the West Des Moines high school, after which he attended Drake University, at Des Moines. He later entered the University of Minnesota, where he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1916, and then matriculated in the medical school of that university, where he received the degrees of Bachelor of Science in 1916, and then matriculated in the medical school of that university, where he received the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine in 1919 and Doctor of Medicine in 1920. He served three years as undergraduate interne in St. Mary's Hospital, Minneapolis, and one year as post-graduate interne in the same institution. In 1920 Doctor Smith came to Milford and engaged in the practice of his profession in partnership with Dr. Q. C. Fuller, which association was dissolved a year later, however, and since then he has practiced alone. He has built up a large practice among the representative people of this community and has established himself firmly in the confidence and esteem of all who have required his services.
Doctor Smith is a member of Estherville, Lodge No. 528, B. P. O. E., and Milford Council, No. 1759, Knights of Columbus, as well as the Phi Beta Pi, a medical fraternity, while he maintains professional affiliation with the Dickinson County Medical Society, the Upper Des Moines Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. Genial and friendly, he has gained a host of warm friends since coming here and is regarded as one of the leading physicians of this section of the county.

Contributor: Patrick Sullivan
Source: Iowa History Project


As one of those who have lent dignity and honor to the medical profession and who brought to his chosen vocation all the strength and devotion of his nature, it is most consonant that specific mention be made in this work of the life of Dr. Ferdinand J. Endres Smith, who, after a long and active career as a practitioner, is now practically retired and is living at Lake Okoboji. Born in Chicago, Illinois, on the 27th of February, 1862, he is a son of Ferdinand and Olga (Fedorow) Smith, the former born in Wiesbaden, province of Nassau, Germany, while the latter was a native of St.Petersburg, Russia. The paternal grandfather, Jacob Schmidt, took an active part in the German rebellion of 1848, on the side of the revolutionists, and after the collapse of the rebellion, realizing that it might be decidedly unpleasant for him to remain at home, came to the United States with his family, arriving here in that same year. He first went to St. Louis, Missouri, but later located in Chicago, Illinois. He had his name changed from Schmidt to Smith by special act of the legislature. Ferdinand Smith was reared in Chicago and during the Civil war he and his brother owned and operated a grain elevator there on the Chicago river. However, during the financial panic which followed the close of the war they failed in business and for several years Mr. Smith was employed as a traveling salesman for a Chicago house. He located in Davenport in 1869 or 1870 and lived there until about twenty-five years ago, when he retired and moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where he is now living.
Ferdinand J. E. Smith attended the public schools and then entered the Iowa State Agricultural College, at Ames, where he was graduated in 1883. For several years following he served as instructor in chemistry in the Institute of Technology, at Boston, where he remained three years, and then entered the office of Dr. W. F. Peck, dean of the medical faculty of the Iowa State University and chief surgeon of the Rock Island railroad. After the regular course of study, he was graduated, with the degree of Doctor of Medicine, with the class of 1887. That same year he located in Sioux City and engaged in the practice of his profession in partnership with Dr. William Jepson. Three months later they dissolved partnership and, borrowing eighty-five dollars, Doctor Smith located in Alton, Iowa, where he really entered upon an active practice. There he met with splendid success, his skill and ability soon gaining for him an enviable reputation throughout the surrounding country. He remained in Alton until 1903, in which year he went to Germany, spending eight months in Heidelburg University. While there he worked with Dr. Dakin, who with Carrol won such wide fame through his extraordinarily successful treatment of war wounds. On his return to this country, he was made dean of the medical department of Drake University, in which capacity he served ten years. He then located in Little Rock, Lyon county, Iowa, where he remained through the period of the World war. During the influenza epidemic of that period he worked indefatigably until his physical condition demanded rest and from that time he has been living at West Okoboji.
In July, 1889, Doctor Smith was married to Miss Anna M. Hodgetts, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and they became the parents of six children, five of whom survive, namely: Dr. Millard F. J., of Raton, New Mexico; Dr. Arthur Francis Smith, of Milford, Iowa; Olga E., at home; Anna May, who is Sister Mary Marguerite, of St. Joseph's Convent, at St. Paul and Minneapolis; Alice Gustava, who is Sister Maris Stella, of St. Joseph's, of Carondalet. Dr. F. J. E. Smith is a member of the Lyon County Medical Society, the Northwestern Iowa Medical Society, the Iowa State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He also belongs to the Roman Catholic church and the International Conciliation organization. Not only has Doctor Smith few peers in his profession but he is also recognized as a man of broad culture. To the practice of medicine he brought rare skill and he has always been well-nigh infallible in diagnosis. He is a man of gracious personality and is greatly respected by all who know him.

Contributor: Patrick Sullivan
Source: Iowa History Project