Biography of Joseph Smith
Cass County, MI Biographies

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The late Joseph Smith, commonly spoken of by old settlers as Maj. Smith, was born in Botetourt County, Va., April 11, 1809. His parents, Henry and Sarah (Shaffer) Smith, early removed to Clark County; Ohio, and settled near Springfield, where his father engaged in farming. Joseph Smith obtained only the rudiments of a school education. At the age of eighteen, he left home, and spent two years in clearing for different owners heavily timbered lands in his own and adjacent counties. With a capital of about $350, he removed, in 1829, to the locality now known as Northampton, Ohio, built the first house there, and opened a small store. In 1832, he removed to Cass County, where he bought a sawmill, which he carried on for about two years. At the end of that time, he sold out and bought 1,000 acres of land in Jefferson Township. He then began farming, and continued it about eighteen years, toward the close of that period establishing a mercantile business in Cassopolis. This he carried on very successfully until 1875. He boaght large tracts of land near the village, and became the owner of a very extensive property, which, as well as his mercantile and general business, he managed with signal ability. He was a Captain of militia in Ohio, and Major of the regiment of militia organized in Cass County in 1841. He was a member of the first Legislature elected under the State Constitution in 1836, and was re-elected in 1837. In local affairs, he took a prominent part, being several times elected to such offices as Supervisor, Justice of the. Peace, and President of the village. In politics, he always acted with the Democratic party. His death occurred in April, 1880. Maj. Smith was married in February, 1830, to Jemima Lippincott, daughter of Obadiah Lippincott, of Clark County, Ohio, who still survives. They were the parents of eleven children, the first two of whom died in infancy. The others are Lewis Davis, merchant of Cassopolis; Eliza J. (widow of John Shaw), also of Cassopolis; John Henry and Emily, deceased; Margaret (wife of Lester Graham, of Jefferson Township); Sarah (Bell), deceased; Thomas J., Sabrina (Mrs. E. R. Graham), and James P., of Cassopolis.


From:
History of Cass Couny, Michigan
With Illistrations and Biographical Sketches
of some of it's Prominent Men and Pioneers.
Waterman, Watkins & Co., Chicago 1882.

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