George Smith is one of the prosperous agriculturists of Decatur county, owning three hundred and twenty acres
in his home place on section 36, Long Creek township, and eighty acres in Franklin township. He was born near Burlington
in Des Moines county on the 29th of December, 1839, a son of Peter and Martha (Ellison) Smith. His parents, who
were natives of England, emigrated to America in 1835 and, making their way westward, settled near Burlington,
Iowa, the father entering land three miles south of that city. Although he followed the miller's trade while living
in England, he gave his attention to agricultural pursuits after coming to this country. He became the owner of
four hundred acres of fine land, which he operated until his demise, which occurred in 1870 when he was seventy
five years of age. His widow survived until 1881, passing away when eighty one years old. To them were born thirteen
children, as follows: Ann; William; Edward; Samuel; Jane; John; Ellison; George; Sarah; James; Alfred, who died
while crossing the ocean; and two who died in infancy.
George Smith was reared in Des Moines county and after completing the public school course entered Denmark Academy
at Denmark, where he supplemented the education which he had previously acquired. He remained with his parents
until he was of age and then rented land from his father, which he operated until 1871. In that year he came to
Decatur county and purchased eighty acres of land in Long Creek township, to the improvement and cultivation of
which he devoted his energies until 1875. He then bought an additional eighty acres, removing to his new holdings,
where he resided until 1899. In that year he purchased an adjoining one hundred and sixty acres and took up his
residence on that place. He has brought his home farm, which comprises three hundred and twenty acres, to a high
state of cultivation and has also made many improvements upon an eighty acre tract in Franklin township which he
owns. There are two sets of buildings upon his land and everything is kept in excellent condition, while he has
always used improved machinery and progressive methods in the work of the farm. His labors have yielded him a good
income and he has accumulated a competence.
On the 3d of May, 1865, occurred the marriage of Mr. Smith and Miss Margaret Jane Sharp, who was born on the 15th
of December, 1843, in Mount Sterling, Brown county, Illinois. Her parents, John and Sarah (Hemphill) Sharp, were
both natives of Pennsylvania and were born of Irish and of Scotch ancestors respectively. They became early residents
of Illinois but after remaining there a few years removed to Des Moines county, Iowa, where the father entered
land, to the operation of which he devoted the remainder of his active life. He died in January, 1881, when seventy
three years of age, and the mother died in July, 1913, when she had reached the remarkable age of one hundred and
one years and four months. To Mr. and Mrs. Smith have been born nine children, five of whom survive, namely: Martha
E., born February 6, 1868, who is now the wife of C. A. Imhoff, a farmer of this county; Alfred G., born April
22, 1870, who is farming land belonging to his father; Sarah Alice, whose birth occurred September 30, 1872, who
gave her hand in marriage to Arthur Richey, an agriculturist of this county; Carrie A., born December 12, 1880,
who married George Redmond, a farmer of Long Creek township; and Horace Guy, born February 27, 1884, who is carrying
on agricultural operations in Long Creek township and who married Maud Severn. Those who are deceased are: Frank
O., born February 14, 1866, who died in November, 1881; Charley, born July 3, 1875, and who passed away March 15,
1906; Harry S., whose birth occurred on April 27, 1878, and who died in January, 1881; and Maggie, born September,
1887, who passed away the following month.
Mr. Smith is a stalwart democrat but has never taken an active part in political affairs. His religious faith is
that of the Methodist Episcopal church. On the 3d of May, 1915, he and his wife celebrated their golden wedding
anniversary, on which occasion all of their children and grandchildren and other relatives were present, and the
occasion was a thoroughly enjoyable one. The house was beautifully decorated and a fine dinner was served the guests.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith received many presents and all rejoiced with them in the many years of happy married life which
it has been their privilege to enjoy. During the afternoon friends and neighbors called to extend their congratulations
and good wishes.
History of Decatur County, Iowa
And its People
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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