Guss A. Smithburg is of Swedish origin having been born in Sweden, August 5, 1842. He was the son of Peter and
Catherine Smithburg, natives of Sweden where his father was a coppersmith by trade, working at this occupation
until he came to America in the year 1848. He settled in Jefferson county where he bought one hundred and sixty
acres of land in Lockridge township. He was about to cultivate his property and make improvements thereon when
he met with a sudden death. On his way to a neighboring sawmill, whither he was going for the purpose of buying
his building materials, he was drowned in Brush Creek, the mill race on which Ross's sawmill was situated. Mr.
Smithburg's death left his widowed wife alone with six children, strangers in a strange land. Guss A. Smithburg,
who still retains some dim recollections of this period, was only six years old at the time. His mother, however,
met the situation confronting her with the heroism born of stoical determination and, with the help of the older
children, carried out her husband's plans for clearing and improving the land, so that in time her farm bore abundant
crops. She remained on the homestead until her death, which occurred in 1869, at the age of sixty eight years.
Guss A. Smithburg was educated in the Lockridge township district schools. At the age of nineteen years he enlisted
in Company M, Fourth Iowa Cavalry and served all through the Civil war. Upon the termination of the war he returned
to his home and lived with his mother until her death. Then he gained possession of the home farm by right of purchase
from the other heirs and, devoting himself to the cultivation of this land, has continued to operate it ever since.
He now enjoys the reputation of owning one of the finest and best improved farms in Jefferson county, having added
to the original land until he had two hundred and forty acres in all.
The marriage of Guss A. Smithburg to Miss Christina Anderson was celebrated December 27, 1868. She was a daughter
of Andrew M. and C. Louisa (Johnson) Anderson, natives of Sweden who came to Jefferson county in 1849. Here they
acquired forty acres in Lockridge township which they cleared and improved. At the outbreak of the war Mr. Anderson
sold this farm and removed to Henry county, Iowa, where he bought land near Swedesburg. He operated this for the
remainder of his life. He died in 1890, being eighty one years of age, his widow surviving him. being now ninety
years of age and making her home at present in Galesburg.
Mr. and Mrs. Smithburg were the parents of eight children. The living are: Elmer M., residing in Lockridge, Iowa;
Alma M., twin sister of Elmer, married to Frank Cox of Cedar township, Jefferson county; Bertha, the wife of E.
A. Kauffman, a farmer in Lockridge township; Walter W., who has taken up a homestead in Canada; Minnie, married
to Clarence Wedertz, living at Keokuk, Iowa; Ralph E., a farmer in Canada. The deceased are: Clara E., the first
born, who died December 5, 1873, at the age of four years; and Clark A., who died December 9, 1873, at the age
of one year.
Mr. Smithburg has served as trustee of his township for several years. He is a republican in his political allegiance.
As a veteran of the Civil war he is an enthusiastic member of the George Strong Post, G. A. R., at Fairfield, Iowa.
He worships in the Methodist church in which his wife is also a member. The handsome home in which he lives and
the broad acres of rich fields with which it is surrounded give ample testimony of the success that has crowned
his life's labors.
History of Jefferson County, Iowa
A Record of Settlement, Organizatin,
Progress and Achievement
BY: Charles J. Fulton
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Jefferson County, IA
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