Biography of William F. Smith, M. D.

The state of Idaho, with its pulsing industrial activities and rapid development, has attracted within its confines men of marked ability and high character in the various professional lines, and in this way progress has been conserved and social stability fostered. He whose name initiates this review has gained recognition as one of the able and successful physicians of the state, and by his labors, his high professional attainments and his sterling characteristics has justified the respect and confidence in which he is held by the medical fraternity and the local public.

A representative physician and surgeon of Mountain Home, the County seat of Elmore County, Idaho, Dr. William F. Smith has maintained his residence here since the year 1889, having acquired an enviable professional prestige and built up a successful practice. Dr. Smith is a native of the Old Dominion state, having been born in the beautiful old southern city of Richmond, on the nth of August 1863, being a representative of one of the old and honored families of Virginia a family which was prominently identified with the early annals of that patrician old commonwealth. The Doctor’s grandfather, Hiram M. Smith, and his father, Isaac T. Smith, were prominent manufacturers of Richmond, and during the late civil war were extensively engaged in the manufacturing of arms and munitions for the Confederate service, their sympathies being naturally with the cause of the south and the institutions which time and custom had amply sanctioned in that section of the Union. The grandfather is still living, having attained the venerable age of ninety-one years.

The Doctor’s father, Isaac T. Smith, was like-wise a native of the old capital city on the James River, and there he was reared and educated. He married Miss Philomena Clew, a native of New York, and of French ancestry. They became the parents of seven children, all of whom are living but one. The father departed this life in 1884, at the age of forty-four years, and the mother and all the children, with the exception of the subject of this review, still have their home in Richmond. William F. Smith was the eldest son in the family, and he grew to maturity in his native city, in whose schools he received his educational discipline, completing his more purely literary training in the Richmond College, after which he pursued his medical studies in the Richmond Medical College and in the local hospitals, where he secured excellent clinical work.

In the year 1887 Dr. Smith left his southern home and journeyed to the far distant northwestern coast of the United States. For a time he was located at Pendleton, Oregon, where he began the practice of his profession, but after a short interval he came to Mountain Home, where he has since continued in active and successful practice. At the time of his arrival here there was no physician in the town, and as the pioneer of his profession in the locality he received the heartiest of receptions and welcomes. That this cordial welcome was merited has been shown in the work he has accomplished and in the popularity which he has retained, his devotion to his profession and his kindly nature having gained him the friendship and support which have so conserved his success and reputation. Enthusiastic in the technical study of his profession, and desiring to keep fully abreast of the advances made in the science of medicine, the Doctor took a post-graduate course at the New York Polyclinic in 1895, being essentially a student and maintaining a lively interest in the progress of the profession to which he is devoting himself.

Dr. Smith is a member of the Idaho State Medical Society, the American Medical Association, and is the local physician and surgeon of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, having also the railway practice at Glenn’s Ferry. He served as coroner of Elmore County for several years, has also been physician to the County poor and has in every way endeavored to make his professional work a power for good in the community. He is animated by a broad sympathy and charity, and in his care and solicitude for the afflicted has had recognition of neither poverty nor riches, his services being accorded with equal promptitude and devotion in either case. His kindness and sympathy have endeared him to all classes of citizens, and as a man he justifies the reputation borne by the people of Virginia for never-failing courtesy and intrinsic refinement.

In his political adherency the Doctor has been stanchly allied with the Democratic party, inheriting the loyalty to the Jeffersonian principles and policies from his ancestors. He has taken an active part in the work of his party in the state, and he was one of the electors of Idaho during Mr. Bryan’s campaign, in which connection his was the distinction of bearing to the national capital the results of the election in his state. He is conspicuously identified with a number of the principal fraternal and social orders. He is past chancellor commander of the Knights of Pythias: has passed the chairs in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, in which he has represented his lodge in the grand lodge of the state; is a member of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is a prominent and valued member of the Masonic fraternity, being past master of his lodge, and having passed the capitular and chivalric degrees, thus securing membership in chapter and commandery, while his identification with that popular adjunct of Freemasonry, the Mystic Shrine, indicates that he has crossed the burning sands of the desert and gained distinction as a noble of the temple of that ancient Arabic order.

Doctor Smith has a conveniently located and well equipped office in Mountain Home, and also owns other property in the thriving little city where he makes his home, and in whose progress and material prosperity he is deeply interested. He is well known throughout the County, and his personal popularity is unmistakable.


Illustrated History of the State of Idaho. Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company. 1899.

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