Doede Smith is now living retired in Hastings but in former years was prominently identified with commercial
and industrial pursuits, his business affairs being of a nature that contributed to public progress as well as
to individual benefit. A native of Germany, he was born on the 7th of January, 1848, and is a son of Engelke and
Tomke (Jansen) Smith, the former a blacksmith by trade.
Doede Smith spent his youthful days in his native country and, while he did not have unusual opportunities, he
attended the public schools and received thorough training in work that brought to him a knowledge of the value
of industry, perseverance and economy as factors in the attainment of success. At length he determined to try his
fortune in America and when a young man of nineteen years sailed for the new world, attracted by the opportunities
offered on this side the Atlantic. It was in 1867 that he came to the United States, making his way to Pekin, Illinois,
where he remained for three years. In 1870 he went to Lincoln, Nebraska, and soon afterward secured a homestead
claim in Lancaster county. Not a furrow had been turned nor an improvement made upon that place, but with characteristic
energy he began its development. Later he removed to Nebraska City, where he remained for a year and a half, and
on the expiration of that period took up his abode at Crete, Nebraska, where he took up the business of plow manufacturing.
He also engaged in the implement business and in merchandising and remained a very prominent and active factor
in the industrial and commercial circles of that city for an extended period. Gradually he worked his way upward,
his success resulting from unfaltering industry and capability. In 1904 he disposed of his business and came to
Hastings, where he erected a beautiful residence, in which he is now living retired, enjoying a rest that he has
truly earned and richly deserves. After coming to Hastings, however, he purchased an interest in the Polinske Schellak
& Company brickyard, but takes no active part in the management of the business, his investment, however, bringing
to him a good financial return.
On the 28th of August, 1871, Mr. Smith was united in marriage to Miss Franke Wilts, a daughter of Frederick and
Tetta Wilts, and their children are: Engelke, now living in Omaha; Tetta, the wife of William S. Schellak; and
Fred D., who is a traveling salesman and resides in Norfolk, Nebraska. There are also eight grandchildren. Having
lost his first wife, Mr. Smith was married again, his second union being with Sophie Onken, of Peoria, Illinois.
Mrs. Smith has been very prominent as a leader among the ladies of Hastings. She belongs, to a family that has
been represented here for thirty four years and has been closely associated with public interests of the city.
In his political views Mr. Smith is a republican thoroughly informed concerning the questions and issues of the
day. He belongs to the Ancient Order of United Workmen and both he and his wife are connected with the Congregational
church. He is likewise identified with the German Congregational Seminary at Crete, of which he was a trustee for
a quarter of a century, while for seven years he has been president of its board. His interest centers in all those
things which work for the development and upbuilding of the community along material, intellectual, social and
moral lines. He is a representative of our best type of American manhood and chivalry. By perseverance, determination
and honorable effort he has overthrown the obstacles which barred his path to success and reached the goal of prosperity,
while his genuine worth, broad mind and public spirit have made him a director of public thought and action.
Past and Present of
Adams County, Nebraska
Supervisong Editor: Judge William R. Burton
Assistant Editor: David J. Lewis
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company
Adams County, NE
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