Biography of William A. Smith

William A. Smith, a prominent young lawyer of Jefferson County and now serving as county attorney, is also one of Kansas’ young soldiers and now awaiting the call to the colors to serve with the American armies in the war with Germany.

He was born at Valley Falls, Kansas, December 30, 1888. He is descended from old American stock. His ancestors came from England about 1636, and were identified with the Rhode Island and Providence plantations colonization project of Roger Williams. His grandfather, Miller Smith, was born at Providence, Rhode Island, was a carpenter by trade, moved out to Missouri in 1841, and about 1872 located in Kansas, where he lived retired in Jefferson County until his death.

H. M. Smith, father of the present county attorney, was born at providence, Rhode Island, in June, 1842. He grew up in Missouri and lived there until the war. Early in the Civil war he enlisted in the Second Missouri Cavalry, known as Merrill’s Horse, and did a great deal of service and had much experience and hardship in the border warfare, helped repel Price’s invasion of Missouri, was in campaigus in Arkansas, and later was assigned to the armies cast of the Mississippi and went as far as Atlanta, Georgia. After the war he came to Jefferson County, Kansas, in 1866, and was one of the pioneer nurserymen of this section. Later he engaged in farming and finally removed to Valley Falls, a short time before the birth of his son, William. He served as justice of the peace at Valley Falls for sixteen years. The death of this honored old citizen occurred at Valley Falls January 11, 1916. He was an old line republican, and an active member of Captain Stafford Post, Grand Army of the Republic, at Valley Falls, which he served as junior vice commander. The maiden name of his wife was Lucy A. Boles. She was born in Indiana in 1855 and is now living with her son William. She was the mother of three children, Rosamond Frances, Maude Irene and William A. The daughters married brothers, Ted and Harry Kyle, respectively. Ted Kyle is a railway employee living at Pleasanton, Kansas. Harry Kyle is also in the railroad service and had his home at Pleasanton.

William A. Smith was educated in the public schools of Valley Falls, graduating from high school in 1910, and in 1014 received the degree LL. B. from the law department of Washburn College at Topeka. He was admitted to the bar the same year, took up active practive at Valley Falls, and lived there until the fall of 1916, when he was elected county attorney and removed to Oskaloosa, the county seat. Mr. Smith owned his reaidence 1 1/2 blocks south of the Court House in Oskaloosa.

Before coming to Oskaloosa he served as city attorney of Valley Falls. He is a republican, a member of the Congregational Church, and is affliated with Valley Falls Lodge No. 21, Ancicut Free and Accepted Masons, Oskaloosa Chapter No. 9, Royal Arch Masona, Valley Falls Camp No. 33, Woodmen of the World, Perseverance Lodge No. 91, Knights of Pythias, at Valley Falls, and the Anti-Horse Thief Association at Valley Falls. He also belongs to the Fraternal Aid Union and the Kansas Fraternal Citizens, and is a member of the State Bar Association.

Mr. Smith enlisted June 22, 1916, in Company B of the Second Reginnent Kansas Volunteer Infantry. As a private he served in Mexico and along the border and was mustered out November 7, 1916. In the meantime his name had been proposed and he was elected county attorney of Jefferson County and entered upon his duties a few weeks after his retura from the border. On February 1, 1917, Mr. Smith was made a lieuteuant and is now ready for service wherever the needs of his country require him.


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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