R. J. Smith, a member of the Montezuma bar, engages in the general practice of law but specializes to some extent
in the department of law relating to land titles and the settlement of estates, and his broad and discriminating
study along those lines has largely made him an authority in this district for that branch of his profession.
Mr. Smith is a native of Johnson county, Iowa, his birth having occurred on a farm east of Iowa City, May 24, 1873.
His parents were Robert B. and Ann (Smith) Smith, the former a native of Pennsylvania and the latter of Ohio. They
came to Iowa in the years 1853 and 1854 respectively in company with their parents, the journey of both families
being made with wagons and ox teams. Both Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Smith are now residents of Iowa City, where he
is living retired, having previously for many years engaged extensively and successfully in farming and stock raising.
He served for four years as a soldier in the Civil war with Company G, Second Iowa Cavalry, and is now one of the
honored veterans of the state. The family numbered three sons, of whom R. J. Smith is the eldest. C. Horton, the
second son, now a civil engineer at Minneapolis, Minnesota, was graduated from the State University in 1901 and
received his advanced degree in 1905. The youngest son, Dr. Oakley Smith, is a physician of Chicago and is president
of the Oakley Smith College of Naprapathy in that city. His academic education was acquired in the State University,
his attention being especially given to scientific studies, and later he continued his education in Prague, Bohemia.
R. J. Smith spent the first nineteen years of his life amid the usual environment and experiences of farm life
and then accompanier his parents on their removal to Eugene, Oregon, where they remained for two years, during
which period the subject of this review attended the State University of Oregon. In 1893 he returned to Iowa City
and pursued the liberal arts course in the university of this state, winning the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy
upon his graduation in the class of 1898. He completed the law course in the State University in 1899 and then
passed the state board examination, being admitted to practice in the summer of that year. He chose Montezuma as
the scene of his labors and has since been a resident of this city and a well known and worthy representative of
its bar. He engages in general practice in all the courts but, as previously stated, specializes to some extent
in that branch of the law relating to land titles and the settlement of estates. He holds membership with the County
Bar Association and also with the Iowa State and American Associations of Title Men. He has been accorded a liberal
clientage and his work in the courts has been so carefully and successfully conducted that he has won many cases
favorable to his clients.
On the 1st of January, 1901, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Addie G. Gray, a native of Cedar county,
Iowa, and a daughter of Thomas and Ann (Gifford) Gray. Her mother is now deceased, while her father resides at
West Liberty. His mother was reputed to be the first white woman to establish a home in Iowa outside of Dubuque.
Unto Mr. and Mrs. Smith has been born an only child, Mary Frances.
Mr. Smith has always given his political allegiance to the republican party since age conferred upon him the right
of franchise. He has served as a member of the town council and is always interested in progressive movements for
the public good. He belongs to the Methodist Episcopal church and has served on its official board, and his influence
and aid are always found on the side of right, progress, truth and advancement.
History of Poweshiek County, Iowa
A Record of settlement, organization
progress and achievement
By: Prof. L. F. Parker
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.
Poweshiek County, IA
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