William H Smith

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WILLIAM H. SMITH, for many years closely identified with various branches of the oil industry in Armstrong county, is one of the representative business men of Kittanning. He was born Nov. 25, 1864, in Perry township, this county, son of Jacob and Esther Jane (George) Smith, and grandson of Henry Smith. Henry Smith during his latter years was engaged in boatbuilding.

Jacob Smith was a carpenter and river pilot, serving in the latter capacity for many years, piloting lumber rafts down the Allegheny river. Eleven children were born to him and his wife: Ida May; Lewis; Samuel A.; Anna, wife of Curtin McCullough; Charles E.; Emma, wife of Harry McMurtry; Maud, wife of Thomas Reichart; George E.; Harry; Alta, wife of Rev. Earl Thompson, a Methodist minister, and William H. the father of this family died in 1901. Several years prior to his death he joined the Methodist Church, and he served on its official board.

William H. Smith attended school in Clarion county, Pa., and when fourteen years old began working as a section hand on the railroad, thus continuing until seventeen years old. He then went to the oil fields of Warren, Pa., and worked as rig builder for two years, after which he became a tool dresser. Continuing as such for three years, he next began drilling wells, and gained so valuable an experience that in 1901, he began contracting and drilling, in partnership with other experts in this line of business. Mr. Smith has been unusually successful, and has accumulated a handsome competence. At present he is in partnership with W. A. Louden. In conjunction with their oil drilling business the firm handle all kinds of repair wares and the equipments and tools required in this work, operating a first-class machine shop. Since 1901, Mr. Smith has drilled about one hundred and fifty wells, and owns an interest in twenty-one producing wells. He is an expert, understanding thoroughly every branch of his business, and has well earned his success.

In August, 1890, Mr. Smith married Melissa Fair, daughter of John Fair, of Clarion county, Pa. Six children have been born of this marriage: Charles R., Ida L., Esther L., Gladys (deceased), Arnold F. and Wilda B. Mr. Smith is a member of the Order of American Mechanics, the Knights of the Maccabees and the Order of Unity.

Source: Pages 580-581, Armstrong County, Pa., Her People, Past and Present, J.H. Beers & Co., 1914
Transcribed January 1999 by Connie Mateer for the Armstrong County Beers Project
Contributed for use by the Armstrong County Genealogy Project (http://www.pa-roots.com/armstrong/)

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