ROBERT F. SMYLIE.
A history of Louisa county would not be complete without mention of the young men who are coming to the front as
important factors in its development. In the number deserving of a place in this work should be named Robert F.
Smylie, the owner of a well improved farm in Columbus City township. He was born in Washington county, Iowa, July
17, 1885, a son of Josiah T. and Phoebe (Orris) Smylie. The parents are both natives of Iowa and are now living
in Columbus City. There were two children in their family: Gertrude, who is the wife of Ira Oats, of Louisa county;
and Robert F., of this review.
In the public schools Robert F. Smylie secured the foundation of his educational training. Later he attended the
academy at Washington, Iowa, where he took a commercial course. After returning home he engaged in farming on his
father's place for two years and then purchased one hundred and twenty acres in Columbus City township upon which
he has made a number of improvements. He is a general farmer but specializes in raising Duroc Jersey bogs.
On the 20th of December, 1906, Mr. Smylie was married to Miss Mabel Duncan, a daughter of John Calvin and Martha
(Sands) Duncan. The grandparents of Mrs. Smylie were John and Rachel (Duncan) Duncan. They were natives of Tennessee
and emigrated to Louisa county, Iowa, in 1846, during the pioneer period. Here the grandfather located upon two
hundred acres of prairie land two miles west of Columbus City where he passed the remainder of his days. He died
at the age of seventy six, his wife having previously been called away at the age of fifty five years. There were
ten children in their family, three of whom survive: Francis M., who is engaged in farming in Union township; Robert
Nelson, who lives in Columbus City; and John Calvin. John Calvin Duncan was born in Tennessee September 6, 1845,
and was brought by his parents to Louisa county in his infancy. At the outbreak of the Civil war he was sixteen
years of age but was accepted as a soldier for the Union and served faithfully under the stars and stripes, participating
in many of the leading battles, and movements in the south. After receiving his honorable discharge he returned
to this county and devoted his attention to farming, acquiring the title to one hundred and seventy acres of good
land. He sold his farm in 1908 and retired at Columbus City where he owns a comfortable home and another dwelling
house, being also the owner of a number of town lots. He was twice married, his first wife being called away April
20, 1876. In 1881 he was married to Miss Martha Sands, a daughter of Nathaniel and Sarah (McCall) Sands. Mr. and
Mrs. Sands were natives of Tennessee. They were among the early settlers of Wapello county, Iowa, and in their
family were nine children, namely: William McCall, Henry, John, Amanda and Eliza, all of whom are deceased; Elizabeth,
who is the wife of F. M. Duncan, of Louisa county; Zachariali and Francis, both of whom reside in Wapello county;
and Martha, who became Mrs. John Calvin Duncan and is the mother of two children, Nathaniel, who now lives in Columbus
City, and Mabel, now Mrs. Robert F. Smylie. Two children have come to brighten the home of Mr. and Mrs. Smylie:
Martha Ellen, who was born October 6, 1908; and Farrell Duncan, born November 12, 1910.
Mr. Smylie adheres to the democratic party, believing that its principles are better adapted to subserve the interests
of the republic than those of any other political organization. His religious belief is indicated by membership
in the United Presbyterian church. The success he has attained is mainly the result of his sound judgment and untiring
energy and it is believed by those who are best acquainted with his abilities that the future holds for him many
History of Louisa County, Iowa
From Its Earliest Settlement to 1912
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Decatur County, IA
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