Jerry T Smith


JERRY T. SMITH, a farmer of Red Bank township, Armstrong county, was born Oct. 7, 1881, on the place he now occupies, son of the late George J. Smith.

The family was established in this county by his great grand father, George Smith, a native of Westmoreland county, whence he came to Mahoning township, Armstrong county. He followed farming the rest of his days. In politics he was a Democrat and in early life a member of The Evangelical Lutheran Church, in after years joining the Reformed Church. He and his wife, whose maiden name was Nolf, had a family of nine children, four sons and five daughters.

John Smith, son of George, was born Feb. 28, 1816, in Armstrong county. He was a prosperous farmer owning 175 acres of land, which afterward became the property of his son George J. Smith. He was active in church, work and local affairs, serving as supervisor of Red Bank township, and being an official member of the German Lutheran Church until his death. Politically he was a Democrat. He died May 16, 1875. In May 1839, Mr. Smith married Catherine Potts, who was born March 6, 1820, and survived him dying March 24, 1884. Her father, John Potts, a veteran of the Revolutionary war, was born in Westmoreland county, and lived for some time in Porter township, Jefferson county, afterward coming to Red Bank township, this county, where he engaged in farming. He was a Democrat and a member of the German Lutheran Church. By his marriage to a Miss. Whitehead he had thirteen children, five sons and eight daughters. Mr. and Mrs. John Smith had a family of ten children, six sons and four daughters, ad follows: Lucinda, born April 22, 1840, married April 3, 1867, Adam Hetrick, a farmer of Wayne township; Samuel, born April 2, 1842, married Rachel Biddinger (he served two years in the 78th Regiment Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, during the Civil war); William David born Dec. 27, 1843, at one time a farmer in Indiana county, afterward moved to Rural Valley, Armstrong county, where he remained until death, March 18, 1908 (he married Lizzie Watt, and after her death married Lydia Gaston); George J. is mentioned below; John J., a farmer born Jan. 3, 1848, married Hannah McGregor; Daniel B., born Feb. 7, 1850, died Nov. 12, 1860; Rachel, born Feb. 28, 1852, died Oct. 26, 1860; Rosanna was born March 23, 1856; Peter H., born April 25, 1858, married Samuel Hetrick, and engaged in farming; Maggie, born May 20, 1865, married R. C. Berkley, proprietor of "Coffin�s House," at Kersey�s, Elk county.

George J. Smith was born Jan. 10, 1846, on the farm in Red Bank township, Armstrong county, where his son Jerry T., now lives, and was also reared there. He was given a good education in the common schools of the day. When a young man he was engaged in lumbering, afterward devoting his attention to farming and stockraising, in which he was very prosperous. He improved his farm and kept his property in excellent condition, being noted for his practical and systematic methods. His tract of 145 acres was one of the most valuable farms in the township, not only well improved on the surface, but underlaid with coal, limestone, and firebrick clay. Mr. Smith served six years as supervisor of Red Bank township. In politics he was a Republican.

On Dec. 25, 1880, Mr. Smith married Saville C. Wise, and they had four children, born as follows: Jerry T., Oct. 7, 1881; James P., June 12, 1883; Maggie Armelda, April 9, 1885 (died Dec. 4, 1896); and Wavie Isola, March 3, 1893. The last named was educated in Turkey Run School, and on March 11, 1914, was married to Sydney Clyde Yost, a miner by occupation, who was born June 4, 1888, in Putneyville, Armstrong county, son of George Washington and Mae H. (Rose) Yost, of Putneyville. Mr. Sydney C. Yost is a member of the Putneyville Lodge of Odd Fellows, No. 735, and a member of the M.E. Church at that place, to which his wife also belongs.

George J. Smith, the father of the above family, died May 10, 1901. His widow is now a member of the Evangelical Church of Mount Oliver, Pennsylvania.

Jerry t. Smith was educated in the Turkey Run school in Red Bank township, which he attended until seventeen years old. he worked for his father until the latter�s death, after which he and his brother James conducted the farm in partnership until August, 1912, when Jerry bought his brother�s interest, becoming the sole owner of the farm. It comprises 144 acres, seventy-five of which are under a high state of cultivation. Mr. Smith is operating the farm on the business like methods followed by his father before him, and is taking his place among the leading farmers of the township. He is a Republican in political connection but not active in party or public affairs. He is a member of the Evangelical Church of Mount Oliver.

James P. Smith, born June 12, 1883, received his education in the Turkey Run school, and remained on the farm until Jan. 3, 1910, when he went to Kittanning. There for several months he was engaged in mining fire clay, on Oct. 3rd of that year moving to Putneyville, Armstrong county, where he followed mining and remained until April 1, 1912. Then he returned to the farm for several months, in August, 1912, selling his interest in the farm to his brother Jerry, and returning to Putneyville where he bought town property, eight lots, and is engaged in mining. He is a member of the Putneyville Lodge, No. 735, Odd Fellows, in which he has passed all the chairs; he also served four terms as recording secretary, and in September, 1913, was elected representative to the grand lodge. He also belongs to the Methodist Episcopal Church at that place. In politics he is a member of the Washington Party. On Nov. 24, 1909, he married Olive G. Schrecengost, daughter of Levi and Polly Ann (Schaffer) Schrecengost, and they have had three children, born as follows: Leona Pearl, June 10, 1910; Vernon Edward, Oct. 8, 1911; and Belva Lucile, March 26, 1913. Mrs. Smith is also a member of the M.E. Church.

Jonas Wise, father of Mrs. George J. Smith, was born May 11, 1821, in Dauphin county, and died April 29, 1894. His father, John Wise, was a blacksmith at Dauphin county, where he and his wife, whose maiden name is Bordner, are buried. They had children as follows: Adam, George, Daniel, Jacob, Jonas, Elias, Catherine, Hannah, and Tina.

Jonas Wise received his education in the schools of Dauphin county. In 1864 he moved to Red Bank township, Armstrong county, and settled near Little Mudlick, buying a tract of sixty acres, where he carried on general farming. He was twice married, first to Sarah Fite, who was born Dec. 28, 1823, in Dauphin county, and died in November, 1864, in Little Mudlick, Armstrong county. Her father was John Fite, and her mothers maiden name was Will. Five children were born to this marriage: Samuel, deceased, who married Mary Kunselman, lives at Langville, Jefferson county; Jerry is unmarried; Isaac F. who married Annie Mahoney, lived for a time at Elmira N.Y., has returned to New Bethlehem, Clarion county, in Oct. 1913; Emma Jane married John Schaffer, of Red Bank township; Savilla C. is Mrs. Smith. Jonas Wise married for his second wife Elizabeth Lankard, daughter of John and Margaret (Anderlive) Lankard, and to them were born three children: John who married Caroline Barr; Jacob, twin of John, who has been three times married, his first wife being Annie Hinterliter, his second Mrs. London, his third Martha; and Lettie Fiana, wife of James Wilson Nolf, of Fairmount City, Clarion county. John and Jacob Wise are both ministers of the gospel. Jonas Wise and his two wives are buried at New Salem, in Red Bank township. In politics he was originally a Democrat, but afterward became a Republican. He was a member of the Evangelical Church at Little Mudlick.

Source: Pages 908 - 910 , Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed February 1999 by Nanci Michalkiewicz for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (

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