ANTONE SMITH, SR.
Though of European birth, Antone Smith, Sr., founder and head of the firm of Antone Smith, Sr., & Son, proprietors
of the Washington and California meat markets at Vallejo and long regarded as a leader in his line in this field,
has been a resident of California since the days of his boyhood and thus regards himself as much a Californian
as any. Mr. Smith was born on the island of Sylt, chief of the North Friesian group off the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein
in the North Sea, December 20, 1865, and is a son of Hans and Dora Smith, who with their family later became residents
Hans Smith may be regarded as having been one of the pioneers of California, for he had his first experience here
as early as in 1852, when as an adventurous young man he became attracted to the possibilities of this coast region
following the opening of the gold fields and came here to try his fortune in the mining country. For some time
he was engaged in mining at Placerville, where he met with considerable success, and then returned to his native
land, where he married and settled down, becoming a burgomaster of the island of Sylt. But the lure of California
kept calling him back and from time to time he made several trips back here. Finally, in 1879, he brought his wife
and two sons, and established his home at San Francisco, setting himself up in business in a general market at
the corner of Clay and Polk streets in that city. He continued engaged in that business for some years or until
his sons were old enough to take over the management of the same and then he turned the business over to the young
men and returned to his native land, where he and his wife spent their last days.
As will be observed by a comparison of above dates, Antone Smith was not yet fourteen years of age when he came
to California with his parents in 1879, and he finished his schooling in the schools of San Francisco. He was carefully
trained by his father in the details of the latter's general market business, giving particular attention to the
retail meat department, and thus grew up thoroughly familiar with that business. For ten years after their father's
departure the Smith brothers continued to carry on the market in San Francisco and then they sold out to advantage.
For five years thereafter Antone Smith was engaged in business on his own account in San Francisco and in Alameda
and then he established himself at Oakland, organizing there the Eastern Syndicate Meat Company and establishing
the leading meat distributing house in that city, a concern employing forty or fifty persons. Two years later he
sold his interest in that concern and opened up a market at Yreka, but not long afterward sold that business to
advantage and returned to San Francisco, where for awhile he was in charge of the Schroeder Bros. market. He then
established himself in a general meat market at Napa and was there thus engaged for eighteen years or until in
1920, in which year he moved to Vallejo and in this latter city opened the Washington market, and in May, 1925,
bought the California market.
Antone Smith married Miss Vida Rintoul, who was born in the city of Montreal, Canada, and they have five children,
Antone, Jr., Hugh, George, Norman, and a daughter, Nida. The Smiths are republicans and take a proper interest
in the general civic affairs of the community. Mr. Smith is a member of the local society of the Sons of Herman
and gives his thoughtful attention to the affairs of that organization of compatriots.
History of Solano County, California
BY: Marguerite Hune
Napa County, California
BY: Harry Lawrence Gunn
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Solano County, CA
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