Marshall Alexander Smith of Columbus is president of The Smith Agricultural Chemical Company, manufacturers
of chemical products used throughout America in agricultural work, and other chemical compounds for use in industry.
This firm, with large plants in Columbus and Indianapolis, was founded by Mr. Smith and his three brothers, and
under his administration it has expanded in capacity and output until today it is one of the foremost organizations
producing chemical commodities. Among its products (the "Sacco" brands) are included fertilizers, specially
prepared in various grades to suit differing soils and crops; mineral hog feed, which is manufactured according
to a carefully evolved formula containing the minerals necessary to maintain best health conditions, and produced
in such quantities as to furnish farmers with a well known but expensive feed at low cost; plant food, a chemical
fertilizer used in landscape gardening; commercial sulphuric acid; and Electrolyte, a battery acid for use in the
manufacture and maintenance of storage batteries.
Mr. Smith was born on a farm near Sunbury and in his boyhood had the usual experience of serious work and limited
opportunity common to farm communities. Although he is descended on both his paternal and maternal side, from the
most ancient Anglo-Saxon families in America, he inherited neither his opportunitiy nor his money. All his achievements
are of a piece with the whole spirit of individual enterprise which founded and built up so many flourishing industries
in the Middle West during the early years of the twentieth century. Mr. Smith came to Columbus in 1894 and began
to manufacture commercial fertilizer on a small scale. His investment increased in value and in service as he specialized
his product and his machinery of manufacture. Sale and dstribution was constantly improved, and the business has
gained under its own momentum a place of genuine significance in the industrial life of Ohio.
Mr. Smith is a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants of America, is a past president of the Ohio Society,
Sons of the American Revolution; past president of Benjamin Franklin Chapter, S. A. R., and is a member of the
Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Ohio at Cincinnati, and a life member of the Ohio State Archaeological
and Historical Society. He is a member of the Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, the Franklin County Pioneer's Association,
and an honorary member of the Citizens Guild of Washington's Boyhood Home, Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Marshall Alexander Smith was born May 23, 1869, the son of Marshall Black Smith and Elvira A. (Thrall) Smith. The
Smith line in America was founded by Rev. Nehemiah Smith, who was born in 1605 in Staffordshire, England, of aristocratic
descent, and has an approved Smith family coat of arms which appears in the Armorial Families of America, published
by. Ernest Spofford, secretary of The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania. He is first heard of in America on
March 6, 1637, when he applied to be admitted as a freeman at Plymouth, Massachusetts. By profession a minister
of the gospel, he was married to Anne Bourne, of a family highly respected in British heraldry, and later became
the largest landowner of Stratford, Connecticut. Marshall A. Smith's greatgrandfather was David Smith, born in
1770 in Pennsylvania. About 1800 he came to Delaware County, Ohio, the county of Mr. Smith's birth. The grandfather
was James Smith, who was during his lifetime the leading business man of Sunbury, Ohio.
Supplementing the above summary of the paternal line, it is profitable here to state briefly, as a sketch of this
nature demands, some of the noted figures who have contributed to the ancestry of Marshall A. Smith, in both maternal
and paternal lines. Among them were John Howland, a Mayflower pilgrim; Peter Brown, a signer of the Mayflower compact;
Richard Mather, ancestor of Cotton Mather; Thomas Chase, founder of a distinguished line which included Salmon
P. Chase; Obediah Gore, whose descendant, Captain Obediah Gore of Norwich, Connecticut, was one of the Revolutionary
leaders; Samuel Sherman, ancestor of many American leaders throughout the generations; Robert Holmes, ancestor
of the Stonington Holmes family for whom was named the town of Stonington, Connecticut.
Mr. Smith's mother, Elvira Abbie Thrall, is descended from William Thrall, who came from England to Dorchester,
Massachusetts, in 1630. His paternal grandmother, Melissa Black, was also of ancient New England ancestry.
On October 16, 1893, Marshall A. Smith was married in Columbus, to Miss Cora M. Smith, also a native of Delaware
County, Ohio, but unrelated. They have four children: H. Albert, now associated with his father as vice president
of the Smith Agricultural Chemical Company; he served eleven months in the World War, with the U. S. Naval Aviation;
Hurtha M. (Mrs. Frank Rankin Schwartz); Marjorie E. (Mrs. Clarence Peters Wilcox); and Adrienne L. (Mrs. Joseph
Mr. Smith is a member of the Scioto Country Club, Columbus Country Club, Columbus Club, and the Athletic Club of
Columbus. He is affiliated with the Masonic Orders (Scottish Rite and Shrine), the Knights of Pythias, and the
In his youth Mr. Smith served with the Ohio National Guard, Company C, Fourteenth Regiment, from 1886 to 1889.
During the World War he contributed valuable services to the important work of wartime manufacture in support of
military activities by his service on the Columbus War Industries Board.
Mr. Smith's career as a manufacturer is testimony to the sort of stuff he is made of, the brand of energy, talent
and close application which, as an American phenomenon, raised up in the young Middle West one of the most powerful
civilizing agents in the history of man, the American industrial system. In this process Mr. Smith's work has been
important inasmuch as his enterprise has been notably successful. His industry and persistence has formed one of
the strong links in the chain now holding prosperity and contentment in the grasp of the American people.
History of Franklin County, Ohio
Historical Publishing Company
Topeka - Indianapolis 1930
Franklin County, OH
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