John N. Smith, cashier of the Iowa State Bank at Hazleton, has in his business career made steady advancement
through the utilization of opportunity, through fidelity to duty and through the employment of the qualities of enterprise,
diligence and determination. He was born in Guthrie county, Iowa, November 1, 1880. His father, Frank Smith, was
a native of Luxemburg, Germany, born in 1834, and was only ten years of age when he accompanied his parents on the voyage
across the Atlantic to the new world, the family home being established near Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where his father
carried on agricultural pursuits until 1870. In that year Frank Smith moved to Guthrie county, Iowa, settling on a
farm, on which he continued to reside until called to his final rest. He was the owner of one hundred and sixty acres of
land and successfully carried on general farming and stock-raising.
In early manhood Frank Smith wedded Margaret Meyer, whose birth occurred near Luxemburg, Germany, in 1838.
They became the parents of five children, of whom John N. is the youngest. The father has now passed away, dying in 1898,
at the age of sixty-four years, but the mother is living in Guthrie county with a daughter at the age of seventy-six years.
In politics he was a democrat but never aspired to hold office. One of his brothers, who came to the United States at the
same time he crossed the Atlantic, was killed in the battle of Gettysburg, while serving as a member of a Wisconsin
regiment during the Civil war.
John N. Smith was reared under the parental roof and pursued his education in the schools of Yale, Iowa, and in a
business college at Des Moines. Through his youthful days he remained upon the home farm and early became familiar with
the best methods of tilling the soil and caring for the crops. He was twenty years of age when he entered upon his
business course at Des Moines and after his graduation went to California, where he spent a year and a half for the
benefit of his health. He then returned to Iowa, making his way to Independence, where in 1902 he became associated with
the Palmer Hubbard Produce Company in the capacity of bookkeeper. He thus served for three years, after which he
was appointed deputy county clerk under J. T. Stevenson. Later he was with the First National Bank of Independence
as bookkeeper and in 1910 he was elected by the republican party to the office of county clerk, in which he made so
excellent a record during his term that he was reelected in 1912. However, he was solicited to become cashier of the Iowa
State Bank at Hazleton, in which he is also a stockholder and director, and accepted the position. He likewise owns farm
lands in this county and is conducting a growing and profitable insurance business.
In 1904 Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Bertha A. Truax, a native of Guthrie county, Iowa, and a
daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Truax, who are still living in that county, representatives of early families
there. John W. Truax has land which his father, James Truax, entered from the government. The grandfather
was one of the first to become identified with the work of general improvement and development in that section of the
state and for many years carried on general farming and stock-raising. He died at the very venerable age of ninety-eight
years. In the family of Mr. and Mrs. John W. Truax were five children, of whom Bertha A. is the eldest. She spent
her entire life in this state, and was a teacher of music and a school teacher in the Yale schools. By her marriage she
has become the mother of five children, Alton L., Vernon, Wilma Pauline, Frances Alella and Kathryn.
Mr. Smith is an exemplary representative of the Masonic fraternity and a past master of Independence Lodge. He
regards it as a duty as well as the privilege of every American citizen to exercise his right of franchise in support of
the measure which he believes to be factors in good government. Accordingly he has been an active worker in the
republican party and has done much to further its interests, nor is he neglectful of the higher duties of life. He
belongs to the Methodist church and is interested in its welfare and generous in its support. He has made a creditable
record in every relation and at all times has been actuated by principles of truth and honor.
Copyright 1997 - 2009 by Debie Blindauer