Biography of H. B. Smith

H. B. Smith. The greater part of the forty-five or more years he had lived in Kansas Mr. Smith had spent as a farmer and business man, but is now living retired at El Dorado. He had acquired property, had the superintendence of that, and also busies himself with public duties as a member of the city council.

He was born in Macoupin County, Illinois, June 20, 1849. His ancestors came originally from Scotland and were Colonial settlers in America. Mr. Smith’s grandfather was a soldier under Washington for four years during the Revolution and spent the dreadful winter with the patriots at Valley Forge. He afterwards became a pioneer in the vicinity of Lebanon, Tennessee, acquired a homestead there and spent the rest of his days.

Hugh Smith, father of H. B. Smith, was born in Tennessee in 1793. He grew up and married near Lebanon, became a farmer, and as a young man he went with General Jackson in the campaign against the Seminole Indians of Florida. He got as far as Pensacola. Soon after the close of that campaign he removed to Macoupin County, Illinois, where he followed farming for a number of years. Later he became a pioneer homesteader in Crawford County, Kansas, and lived there until his death in 1876. His home in Kansas was near McCune. He was a democrat and was a very strong and influential church member. He was one of the founders of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and was both an elder and local preacher. Hugh Smith married for his first wife a Miss Roach. Their children were: Rachel, Celia, Margaret, Mary and John R., all of whom are now deceased. For his second wife Hugh Smith married Rebecca Norval. She was born in North Carolina in 1811 and died in Crawford County, Kansas, in 1886. By her he also reared a large family of children, namely: J. P., who was a farmer and died at Girard, Kansas; T. L., a farmer near McCune, Kansas; William N., a farmer who died in Illinois; Sarah, who died in Moultrie County, Illinois, the wife of Samuel Elliott, a farmer, also now deceased; R. D., who served as a soldier in the Civil war, and afterwards was merchant and postmaster at Berlin, Illinois, until his death in 1874; H. B. Smith was the sixth in his mother’s family; Louisa, wife of M. A. Ransom, a photographer at Girard, Kansas; Carrie, who died at Berlin, Illinois, in 1863, at the age of thirteen.

Mr. H. B. Smith received most of his education in the public schools of Sangamon County, Illinois. He spent his early life on his father’s farm until 1859. In 1870 he came out to Kansas, locating in Crawford County, followed farming, and in 1876 engaged in the livery business at Girard. He conducted a successful business there for ten years, and afterwards had an establishment at Rosalia in Butler County for eight years and in 1893 removed to El Dorado. He was proprietor of the leading livery of El Dorado until 1910, when he retired from active business. Mr. Smith owned his home at 218 East Central Avenue, also had a dwelling house on North Vine Street in El Dorado, and another in Wichita, Kansas. While he had sold his farms, he owned five acres in the oil district a mile and a half northwest of El Dorado.

In politics Mr. Smith is a republican. For the past six years he had been active member of the El Dorado city council. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, is affiliated with Patmos Lodge No. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, El Dorado Chapter No. 35, Royal Arch Masons, El Dorado Lodge No. 128, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and is also a member of the Degree of Honor and Knights and Ladies of Security at El Dorado. He also keeps himself in close touch with local interests and affairs by membership in the El Dorado Commercial Club.

Mr. Smith married at Girard, Kansas, in 1874 Miss Mary E. Ashcraft. Her parents were Lewis and Lovina (Harshfield) Ashcraft, both now deceased. Her father was one of the early farmers in Neosho County, Kansas. Mr. Smith had two daughters. Acsia Ethel is the wife of Isaac Curry and they reside at Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. Curry is a railway postal clerk and had a run from Kansas City, Missouri, to LaJunta, Colorado. They have one child, Eleanor Leah Curry. Edna Leah, the second daughter of Mr. Smith, is still at home. She had a liberal education, being a graduate of the El Dorado High School and completed both the literary and the music courses in the Liberty Woman’s College at Liberty.



Connelley, William E. A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago : Lewis, 1918. 5v. Biographies can be accessed from this page: Kansas and Kansans Biographies.

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