JOHN D SMITH
John D. Smith, a justice of the peace and the police judge of Troy, Kansas, has for eight years maintained his residence in this town and for nearly thirty years has been a resident of Doniphan county. A resume of his life is as follows: John D. Smith was born on a farm in Steuben county, New York, May 29, 1832, a son of Samuel and Nancy (Harder) Smith, the former a native of Princeton, New Jersey, the latter of Mohawk Valley, New York. Samuel Smith, the grandfather of John D., was a pensioner of the war of 1812, and for many years after that war was connected with the militia of the state. He was by occupation a weaver and farmer. The maternal grandparents of our subject were James and Catharine (Higgins) Harder, the former a native of Germany.
In the year 1838 Samuel Smith and family left New York and came west to Illinois, selecting a location in McHenry county, four miles and a half south of Woodstock, the county seat, where the rest of his life was devoted to agricultural pursuits. Here his first wife died, in 1847, and here subsequently he married for his second wife Miss Parmelia Spooner. By the first marriage there were eight children, six of whom reached maturity, John D. being fourth in order of birth.
John D. Smith was quite small at the time his parents moved to Illinois and in McHenry county, that state, he was reared and received a common-school education. About the time he was eighteen years old the California gold "fever" spread over the country and he was one of its victims. He crossed the plains, by team, to the Pacific coast, where he spent four years, returning at the end of that time to Illinois and settling down to farming and stock raising, in which occupation he was engaged at the time the civil war came on.
At the first call for volunteers to suppress the rebellion John D. Smith was ready to respond. He enlisted on May 24, 1860, as a member of Company F, Fifteenth Illinois Infantry, William Henry in command of the company and Thomas J. Turner at the head of the regiment. The command was ordered from Jefferson City, Missouri, to Fort Donelson, where Mr. Smith took part in the engagement. Subsequently he was a participant in the battle of Shiloh, in which engagement he was severely wounded in the right shoulder, on April 6, 1862, and on account of said wound was discharged upon surgeon's certificate of disability October 18, 1862.
At the close of his army service Mr. Smith resumed farming in McHenry county, where he remained until 1868. That year he removed to Andrew county, Missouri, and two years later to Doniphan county, Kansas, his settlement there being in Wolf River township, where he was engaged in farming and stock raising until the spring of 1892. Since 1892 he has been a resident of Troy.
In Illinois, in 1855, Mr. Smith married Miss Clarinda R. Church, a native of McHenry county, that state, and a daughter of L. B. Church, whose native place was Livingston county, New York. Her mother, who before marriage was Miss Betty Patterson, was an own cousin of Miss Petty Patterson, who married Jerome Bonaparte, a brother of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. By this marriage Mr. Smith had the following named children: Mariette; Clara Ida, deceased; Eda Dell, the wife of George T. Bord; Lily L., John Sherman, James Leroy, Ellis R., Lucius C. and William A. The mother of these children died August 5, 1891, and Mr. Smith subsequently wedded Mrs. Martha A. Reese, of Troy, the widow of Ed Reese and a daughter of Jacob Kitzer. She died November 18, 1898.
Mr. Smith is a Republican. While living on his farm he served the township as assessor, and at this writing is a justice of the peace and the police judge, having been elected to the former office in 1898 and the latter in 1899. He was made a Mason many years ago in St. Mark's Lodge, No. 63, F. & A. M., at Woodstock, Illinois, of which he is still a member in good standing. Also he is identified with the G. A. R., being a member of Kennedy Post, No. 292, in which he has served officially as adjutant and chaplain, and he is a past commander of Severance Post, No. 191, Department of Kansas, G. A. R.