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From 'Richard Ellis and his Descendants, 1888'.
He was a Baptist minister, began to preach when 19 years of age, and wasordained August 20th, 1761.
When a young man he served in the Army in the French and Indian War, andassisted in building a fort around his father's house, which was a resortof the neighborhood against the Indians for about three years. After thedeath of Remember Ellis, his first wife, in 1795, Elder Smith marriedLucy Shepardson, June 15th, 1796. She died on October 5th, 1808, aged 68years. Jan 5th, 1809, he married Esther Harvey, and she died on October14th, 1814, aged 78.
Elder Smith was a pure and noble man and was held in high esteem by allwho knew him, and he was extensively known throughout New England and NewYork. Elder Supply Chase, of Detroit, Michigan, a Baptist minister nowover 86 years of age, says, 'Elder Ebenezer Smith's is one of thesanctified names in the Baptist denomination.' Both he and his father,Chileab Smith, were pioneers in the Baptist faith in WesternMassachusetts. The persecution they suffered on account of theirreligious belief was almost incredible. This extended over the course ofabout ten years and required them to make repeated journeys to theGeneral Court at Boston for redress of their grievances. Their orchardswere torn up and lands sold to pay tithes for the support of otherchurches than their own. Warrants for their arrest on fictitious chargeswere issued, but in each instance they were completely vindicated. Ayear before his death Elder Smith wrote quite a full account of hisministry and trials.
Elder Ebenezer Smith was a son of Chileab Smith, Sr. who was born inSouth Hadley, Massachusetts in 1708, and he, Chileab, was a son ofPreserved Smith, who was born in 1679, who was a son of Preserved Smith,born January 27, 1637 and the latter was a son of Reverend Henry Smith,of Wethersfield, Connecticut who emigrated from England in 1636. Incrossing the ocean they encountered such violent storms that all hopes oftheir reaching land was lost. However they were providentiallypreserved, and having a son born on the voyage, they gave him the name ofPreserved, which has been a frequent name in the Smith family in everygeneration since.
Mr. Chileab Smith, Sr. was a very positive character and the most notedman in Ashfield's history. On account of a schism in the church atWethersfield, Connecticut, a large portion of the congregation removed toHadley, Mass. Years afterwards another schism took place at Hadley, whenChileab moved to Ashfield in 1750 - then called Huntstown. At the age of80 years he was ordained a Baptist minister by his sons Elders Ebenezerand Enos Smith. At the age of 85 he married his second wife. He died inAshfield in 1800, aged 92 years. His first wife, and mother of hischildren, was Sarah Moody. One of his sons, Chileab, Jr. was born inHadley in 1742, and died in Ashfield in 1843, aged 100 years and sevenmonths.
Elder Ebenezer Smith was a minister of the gospel for 72 years, andpreached 10,920 sermons, and rode one horse over 25,000 miles. Hepreached in Ashfield nearly 40 years. When 76 years of age he made avisit to Cayuga County, New York, where several of his children hadsettled. He made the trip on horseback and was gone 120 days, andpreached as many sermons as he was days gone. At Throopsville, CayugaCounty, New York, he preached to the settlers there in the hollow of alarge buttonwood tree which held an audience of 32 persons. From this asa beginning the Baptist church there was founded.
His last sermon in Ashfield was 'delivered May 22, 1815, before a largeassembly.' He was then in this 81st year. The sermon was printed andreads like a good, old- fashioned strictly orthodox discourse. The nextyear he removed to Stockton, Chautauqua County, New York, where his sonEbenezer, Jr., had settled in 1815. Every Sabbath thereafter, until hisdeath, he rode his horse to the place of worship. He died at the houseof his son Ebenezer, Jr., July 6th, 1824, aged 89 years, 9 months, andtwo days, in the full vigor of his mental powers, and as full of honorsas of years. While he deplored his lack of educational privileges in hisyouth, he knew the advantages of early education and his eldest son,Preserved, and youngest son, Richard, went to Brown University, wherethey graduated. He raised seven children, and a year before his deathestimated his posterity then living at 100 souls. Personally Elder Smithwas about five feet eight inches tall, thick set and dark complexioned.