Biography of Calvin Smith
Lawrence County, PA Biographies

CALVIN SMITH, who has been a resident of New Castle for the past thirty five years and is identified with its business and other interests, was born in Shenango Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, in 1851, and is a son of Jacob and Julia Smith.

Jacob Smith, father of Calvin, was of German ancestry and parentage, but he was born in Maryland and was brought to Beaver County, Pennsylvania, in 1808, where he lived until his father, in 1812, bought what is now known as the Phillips farm, in Shenango Township. Jacob Smith lived on that farm for some years, later moved to Butler County, but died at New Castle when aged eighty five years.

Calvin Smith was four years old when his parents moved to Butler County, where he continued to reside until he was nineteen years of age. He was a youth of perseverance and ambition and then left home, determined to succeed in some line of work and thereby advance his, fortunes. For six months he worked in the oil fields in Armstrong County, and although this was hard and unaccustomed labor, he enjoyed it, as he was able to save a little money for the first time in his life. Finally he went to New Castle and there became a mill worker, where he continued for the next eighteen years. He abandoned mill work on account of failing health, and, against the advice of many friends, on December 24, 1889, opened up a little grocery store on Long Avenue. It was an entirely new business for him and thus his friends thought he made a mistake to invest his savings in a venture which would likely prove a failure, but he was persistent and time .proved that he was wiser than many of his would be critics. He was practically the pioneer in the grocery business in this section of the city and within one year had a firmly established business. His success brought other business houses to this section and now on every hand may be observed well equipped stores in every line, and a fine bank building, all supplying the wants of (the South Side) a population of fully 10,000 people.

Among the business houses just mentioned Mr. Smith's present store is one of the best and most moaern, both in construction and equipment. He erected his building in 1906, a fine three story brick structure, 32x110 feet, at No. 57 East Long Avenue, and occupies the entire lower floor. The building is equipped with steam heat, electricity and elevator, while the stock is as complete as can be found in any metropoli. tan city. Mr. Smith is second vice president of the Union National Bank and is also interested in real estate.

In 1873 Mr. Smith was married to Miss Nancy J. Elder; who is a daughter of Ed. ward Elder, formerly of Scott Township, Lawrence County, and they have three surviving children: Victor, who is employed in the store; Norman, who also assists his father in the business, and Daisy, who married Bert McKibben. Mr. MeKibben has charge of the green goods department, being the buyer of the fruits and vegeta. bles, a man of experience in this line.

For sixteen years Mr. Smith served as a member of the School Board from the Fifth Ward. He is one of the old and most liberal members of the First Baptist Church and for ten years has been a member of its board of trustees, seven of these being chairman. He belongs to the order of Ben Hur and to the Protected Home Circle.

20th Century History of
New Castle and Lawrence County
Edited By: Hon. Aaron L. Hazen
Richmond-Arnold Publishing Co.
Chicago, Ill., 1908

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