William J. Smith
"History of Shelby County, Ohio"
by A.B.C. Hitchcock; Sidney, Ohio; 1913
Richmond-Arnold Pub. Co.; Chicago, IL.
WILLIAM J..SMITH whose excellent farm is situated three-fourths of a mile west of
Jackson Center, on the north side of the Amett turnpike road, devotes
much of his attention to raising Jersey thorough-bred cattle and also
Plymouth Rock poultry. Mr. Smith was born in Jackson township, Shelby
county, O., on a farm that adjoins his own on the south, November 24,
1861, and is a son of Hardin A. and Rhoda (Jenkins) Smith. Hardin A.
Smith was born in Virginia and lived there until thirteen years of
age when he accompanied his father, John Smith, to Dark county, O.
After leaving Dark county, Hardin A. Smith went to Champaign county
and there married Rhoda Jenkins and they had twelve children, ten of
whom survive: Elizabeth, who is deceased, was the wife of W. V.
Hughes, of Jackson Center; Martha, who died when three years old;
Jane, who is the wife of Milton Meranda; Mary, who is the widow of
Wesley Pence; Christina, who is the widow of Martin A. Baker: Lydia,
who is the wife of J. F. Davis; Minerva, who is the wife of R. W.
Davis; William J.; Albert, who lives at Jackson Center; Laura, who is
the wife of D.W. Ware; George, who lives two miles south of Jackson
Center; and Frank, who lives one mile east of Montra. Hardin A. Smith
is one of the pioneers of Jackson township, having moved here in
1858. He was one of the early mail carriers between Urbana and
Springfield, making the trip on horseback. Few men are better known
in Jackson township. William J. Smith grew to manhood and attended
school in his native township and then learned tanning and
harnessmaking with his father, the latter havng started a tannery in
1858. William J. Smith continued the tannery until 1911, when he
removed this old landmark in order to build a barn on the site for
some of his valuable cows. For many years this tannery was one of the
leading business enterprises of the township. This farm is probably
one of the most carefully drained properties in this section and all
the improvements were placed here by its present owner. Both as a
cattle and poultry farm it is widely known and Mr. Smith may
reasonably be very proud, of the success that has attained his
undertakihgs. On September 27, 1883, Mr. Smith was married to Miss
Marie Cox, who was born at Port Jefferson, a daughter of Noah and
Mary E. (Brown) Cox. The father of Mrs. Smith died at the age of
seventy-two years and the mother when aged sixty-eight years and
their burial was in the Pleasant Hill cemetery at Jackson Center. Mr.
and Mrs. Cox had seven children: Joshua, residing at Lima, O.;
Rosanna, deceased; Marie.and John, twins, the latter dying when five
years old; George living at Lima; Triphena J., deceased; and Daniel,
of Lima. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have had four children: Roy E., who died
at the age of seven weeks; Warren L., who died when aged three years;
Edward Franklin, who is a successful teacher in Jackson township; and
Oliver L., who is a student in the Jackson Center high school. Mr.
Smith and family are
members of the Christian church. He is a democrat in political preference
but is perfectly satisfied to have others than himself assume the worries
as well as the emoluments of office.