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Siskiyou County







Having devoted practically his whole business life to journalism, W. E. Smith is well qualified by training and experience. His ability in the newspaper field is amply indicated by his successful conduct of the Yreka Journal, which is published semi-weekly, and is a most popular and reputable publication of northern California. Mr. Smith, ably assisted by his wife, has imparted high editorial character to this sheet, and as an advertising medium it is utilized by citizens of an extensive territory. The Journal itself is the oldest weekly newspaper in the state of California, having been established in the early50s, and has successfully weathered the storms and hurdled the obstacles which are the inevitable lot of a small newspaper. Modern and artistic printing of all kinds is done by Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the latter being in special charge as city editor. Between two thousand and two thousand five hundred subscribers are served by the Journal.


W. E. Smith was born in the village of Shellsburg, Benton county, Iowa, a son of Herman Carl and Jennie A. (Willis) Smith. The father was a blacksmith, and later engaged in banking at Waco, Nebraska. During the Civil war he served two years in Company C, Forty-eighth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. His death occurred in Toledo, Ohio, in 1905, while he was visiting his daughter in that city. His widow survives him, and resides in Oakdale, California. They were the parents of three children, namely W. E.; Fred B., deceased; and Ella, who married J. E. Maxwell, of York, Nebraska, who is now teaching in the Oakdale, California, high school.


W. E. Smith was a pupil in the common schools of York and Waco, Nebraska, and then attended the Methodist College at York, completing a literary course in 1887. He engaged for a period in mercantile work, also taught school for five years, then entered the newspaper field, in which he has continued without interruption. He came to California in July, 1915, and located at Yreka, where he is now the owner and the publisher of the Journal. C. Redding for four years has been associated with the Journal in the advertising department.


Mr. Smith was married in 1906 to Miss Charlotte Ann Russell, of Mulvane, Kansas, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Russell, both now deceased. Mr. Russell was an officer during the Civil war with the rank of major and was a stockman. Two sons have been born to Mr. and Mrs. Smith, namely: Dows B., who is now operating a service station at Broderick, Yolo county, California; and Russell S., employed by the Miller Shipley Company, Dodge agents, of Yreka.


Mr. Smith is a republican in politics, and once served for six years as a justice of the peace at Blackfoot, Idaho. He is a member of the Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of the World, Fraternal Order of Eagles, and the Lions Club at Yreka; the Dramatic Order of the Knights of Khorassan at Medford, Oregon; the Maccabees at Corvallis, Oregon; and the Loyal Order of Moose at Weed, California.




Transcribed by Craig Hahn.

Source: Wooldridge, J.W. Major History of the Sacramento Valley California, Vol. 2 pgs. 70-71. Pioneer Historical Publishing Co. Chicago 1931.

2005 Craig Hahn.




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