Biographies from Historical and Biographical Annals by Morton Montgomery


p. 432


F. C. Smink, president of the Reading Iron Company, is associated with so many enterprises typical of the commercial prosperity of Pennsylvania that he is not only considered a representative business man of Reading, but of the State as well. The Reading Iron Company, to the direction of which the greater part of the time is devoted, has one of the largest independent plants of the kind in the United States.

Mr. Smink was born in 1845 in Kutztown, Berks county, Pa., son of H. B. and Elizabeth (Ebert) Picture of F.C. SminkSmink. He was educated in the public schools of Reading, graduating from the high school in 1861, after which he taught school during the winter season, doing farm work in the summer months. He has since been identified with Reading. His first position in this city was that of bookkeeper in the shoe manufacturing establishment of H. F. Felix, with whom he remained two years. In 1864 he entered the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company as secretary to Superintendent G. A. Nicolls, in which service he remained three years, after which he resigned to accept the chief clerkship in Bushong Brothers Bank. Soon afterward he was promoted to cashier, and acted as such until the bank failed in 1877. Meantime he had also become treasurer and general manager of the Berks & Lehigh Railroad Company, and president of the Keystone Hardware Company. The latter concern also suspending business in 1877. Mr. Smink entered the service of the Reading Iron Works as general business manager, Jan. 1, 1878. He continued in that capacity until 1889, in which year the works failed. On the organization of the Reading Iron Company, Mr. Smink was made vice-president and general manager under the presidency of George F. Baer, whom he succeeded in 1902 as executive head of the company.

Mr. Smink has risen to a position of affluence from a modest beginning. Starting as a clerk, he has progressed gradually and surely to a position of unquestioned influence. Besides filling the presidency of the Reading Iron Company, he serves as a member of the executive committee as well as a director of the Pennsylvania Steel Company, as well as a director of each of the subsidiary companies owned or controlled by that company. He is a director of the Reading Trust Company; president of the Deer Park Land Company; and a director of the Spanish-American Iron Company; the Pure Oil Company; the Cornwall & Lebanon Railroad Company; the Schuylkill & Lehigh Railroad Company; the Maryland Steel Company; the Penn Mary Coal Company; and the Temple Iron Company. He is also interested in several iron and mining companies of lesser magnitude.

In December 1866, Mr. Smink married Clara C., daughter of Augustus and Elizabeth (Seidel) Thompson, of Reading, and they have four children, namely: Harry A.; Augusta, now the wife of Samuel Heim; Emily M., wife of J. Bennett Nolan, Esq., and Elizabeth. The family are members of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Mr. Smink's social connections include membership in the Wyomissing Club, the Berkshire Country Club (of which he is president) the Manhattan Club of New York City, Pennsylvania Society in New York, the Railroad Club of New York, American Iron and Steel Institute, New York, American Institute of Mining Engineers, the Philadelphia Country Club of Philadelphia, and Franklin Institute, Philadelphia.

Harry A. Smink, only son of F. C. Smink, was born in the city of Reading in 1867. He received his early education in the public schools of his native place, later attending a preparatory school, and in 1892 entered the employ of the Reading Iron Company, with which he is still connected. He began as a clerk, and was advanced upon his merits, until in 1897, he was promoted to be assistant superintendent of the Tube Works of the Company, a position he has ably filled since. The charge is a responsible one, over two thousand people being employed in the plant.

Mr. Smink married Rosie Deysher, daughter of William G. Deysher, and they have two children, Frank and Russell. The family are Catholic in religious connection.


p. 591


Charles A. Smith, the well-known contractor of Reading, who resides at No. 313 North Ninth street, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 10, 1856, son of Joseph T., whose father was a farmer of Adams county.

Joseph T. Smith attended the public schools of Adams county, and when a young man learned the bricklaying trade. His early business life was spent in Reading, but later he removed to Philadelphia, where he spent eight years, at the end of that time returning to Reading. In 1873 he engaged in contracting in brick, and this he followed very successfully until his death, Aug. 6, 1891. He married Barbara Ritner, daughter of Jacob Ritner, and to this union there were born: Frank, a bricklayer is employed with his brother; Charles A., Mary, m. to George Rippel; John, deceased: Vincent A.; and William A., who was Charles' partner until his death in 1897. For a number of years Mr. Joseph T. Smith was a school controller from the Ninth ward.

Charles A. Smith's educational advantages were secured in the schools of Reading, after leaving which he secured employment in the Scott works, and he continued at various positions until 1873, when he began to learn the bricklayer's trade with H.J. Delong of Reading. Remaining with this gentleman but a short time, Mr. Smith entered his father's employ and continued with him until the latter's death, when he and his brother William took up the business, which they continued until William's death. Since this time Mr. Charles A. Smith has continued the business alone with great success. Among the many large buildings of Reading erected by the Smiths may be mentioned the St. Joseph Hospital, and Mr. Smith has also done much work for the well-known firm of Rehr & Fricker.

Charles A. Smith married Maggie Waldman, daughter of Joseph Waldman, and to this union there have been born: Joseph, who is engaged with his father at bricklaying; Mamie; William, and Edward. Mr. Smith is a Democrat in politics, but has never cared for office. He is a member of the St. Paul's Catholic Church. Fraternally, Mr. Smith is affiliated with the Eagles.


p. 843


Cyrus B. Smith, postmaster at Wernersville born in Lower Heidelberg township, Jan. 2, 1843, son of Samuel and Anna (Bauer) Smith, and grandson of John Smith, Middletown, Dauphin county, the latter of whom was the father of three sons, William, John and Samuel.

Samuel Smith, father of Cyrus B., was born in 1810 in Dauphin county, and removed with his parents to Berks county in about the year 1825. He learned the trade of shoemaker and followed it for upward of fifty years. He died in 1890, at the age of eighty years. He married Anna Bauer, and they were the parents of twelve children: Abbeline m. John Sallade; Mary Ann m. Rudolf Hart; Catharine m. Levi Wenrich; Ellen m. Isaac Y. Kintzer; Franklin m. Clementine Rader; Henry m. Melinda Reifsnyder; Cyrus B.; Sarah m. John Body; Rebecca m. John Schaeffer; John m. (first) Ella Wanner, and (second) Miranda Maurer; and two died in childhood.

Cyrus B. Smith was educated in the public school learned the trade of blacksmith, which he followed from 1863 to 1895, excepting several years when he drove a team. In 1895 he was obliged to discontinue working at his trade on account of an excession of muscle of the right arm. During the Civil war he served as a private for nine months in 1862 and 1863, in Company A, 167th Pa. Militia. He has served as town auditor for three terms in 1897, on the inauguration of President McKinley, Mr. Smith was appointed postmaster at Wernersville, and his official duties were so well performed that he was re-appointed, he being now in his third term.

Mr. Smith married Sarah Weiser, of Sinking Spring, daughter of Raymond Weiser, granddaughter of Phillip Weiser, and great-granddaughter of Solomon Weiser. Raymond Weiser married Hannah Palm, and became the father of seven children: Christiana (m. John Sell); Rebecca (m. John P. Luft); William (m. Kate Whitmoyer); Sarah (Mrs. Smith); and three died young. Mr. and Smith were also the parents of seven children, as follows: Wilson (m. Anna Resch); Laura (m. Arthur Dettes); Clarence (m. Mary Texter); Stella (unmarried); and three died young.


p. 949


Hon. Edmond L. Smith, who was generally known by his military title of Major, was a native of Reading, born in 1829. He was sent to college in Georgetown, D. C., and received his degree of B. A. in 1853. He then read law, and four years later was admitted to the Reading Bar. Young as he was politics had already received much of his attention, and he was so favorably regarded that in the fall of 1857 he was elected to the Legislature, and re-elected in 1858.

In 1861 at the very beginning of the war, Major Smith, to use his later title, enlisted in Ringgold's Artillery of Reading, one of the first companies in the State to respond to the President's call for troops. They passed through Baltimore just the day before Gen. Butler's troops were attacked in that city. On May 14, 1861, he was commissioned captain of the 19th U. S. Infantry and joined McClellan for Peninsula campaign. He was in much active service and took part in the battle of Malvern Hill, the second battle of Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg and in the Chickamauga campaign. During the last he had a horse shot under him, but he himself escaped injury. In that battle Major Dawson was shot, so that the command fell upon Capt. Smith, and he was brevetted for his bravery in the engagement. At the beginning of the second day he was captured, and for about thirteen months was imprisoned in the infamous Libby prison. He was among the 110 men who dug the celebrated tunnel, and so escaped, but unfortunately he was also one of those who were captured after ten days ten days of suffering, and taken back. After that Major Smith was moved from place to place, being finally sent to Macon, Ga. While on the way thither, he again succeeded, with four others, in escaping by jumping from the train, but was brought back after six weeks of untold hardship, and then sent to Charleston, S. C., where he was placed under fire from Union guns. At last, Oct. 1, 1864, Major Smith was paroled, and after a month's leave of absence, returned to his command, and was with them at Lookout Mountain and at Augusta, Ga. When he finally resigned, in 1868, he had seen seven years of hard service in his country's cause.

Immediately after resigning from the army, Major Smith, in July, 1868, went to Colorado, and resumed his practice of law, in partnership with his brother, J. Bright Smith. Again he combined politics with his legal business and was elected to the Territorial Legislature from Arapahoe county, his brilliant war record being really the cause of his election.

He remained in Colorado until his death Sept. 9, 1891. Both as a man and as a soldier Major Smith offered a fine example of what American citizen's may be. Major Smith married Magdalena Reiner, who was born in Germany, where her father, John Reiner, died. She left her native land when seventeen years old, and came to America, where her marriage took place. She survives her husband and makes her home at No. 519 Walnut street, Reading. She was reared in the Catholic faith, and is now a communicant of St. Peter's Church. To Major and Mrs. Smith were born six children, viz.: Edmond L., who lived only four years; John Philip, a clerk in the Orphan's court; Susie A.; Harry, a reporter; Charles F., a civil engineer; and Margaret, at home.


p. 1518


Edward Davies Smith, deceased, who was born March 12, 1816, in New Holland, Lancaster county, was a son of Edward and Elizabeth (Mathai) Smith, and was descended from one of the old families of Pennsylvania.

On the paternal side, Mr. Smith counted among his ancestors, the Thomas Smith, who was married to Priscilla Allen, before Friends' Meeting in Philadelphia, in 1684. Passing down to later times, his grandfather, William Smith, was sheriff of Lancaster county from 1758-1762. In 1774 he was one of the committee of observation and was sub-lieutenant for the eastern townships of the county from 1781 to the close of the Revolution. With his brother he built and operated the Martin furnace and forge from 1752 till he moved to Earl township.

Edward Smith, Sr., died in 1842, when his son and namesake was only eight years old, and the mother was left with six children to bring up. Mrs. Smith was a granddaughter of Colonel Jonathan Jones, who raised a company in Caernarvon township and was with the expedition to Canada in the winter of 1775-76.

Edward D. Smith was next to the youngest in the family. He was obliged to go to work early and when only in his eleventh year was taken out of the public schools and put to work in the general store, owned by William and Isaac Eckert, at the northwest corner of Fourth and Penn streets. He remained there ten years and then in 1837, in partnership with Philip Zieber, he bought out the business and they established the firm of Zieber & Smith. After a short time, however, they dissolved partnerships, Mr. Zieber taking the grocery and queens ware departments and Mr. Smith the dry goods. The latter continued in business till 1862, when he sold out to Knabb & Thomas. Meantime, he had become closely identified with the gas interests in Reading. In 1857 he was elected secretary and treasurer of the Reading Gas Company, whose affairs were at that time in very bad shape, the stock selling at $12.50, fifty per cent below par. Up to that time the company had never earned nor paid dividends, but under Mr. Smith's careful management, the property was developed, the service extended and the consumption so rapidly increased that dividends were soon declared and the shares rose in value till they sold for $60. Later the works were leased to the Consumers' Gas Company, but Mr. Smith continued as secretary and treasurer of the old company till his death. He was also a director in the Farmers' National Bank and afterwards on the board of the First National, remaining in the latter position till his demise.

Mr. Smith was married Dec. 31, 1838, to Miss Henrietta Stichter Hahs, daughter of Henry and Catherine Hahs, the former of whom was at one time treasurer of Berks county. The children born to this union were as follows: Emily R., Mrs. William R. McIlvain, of Reading: Catherine E., Mrs. Jonathan C. Illig, of Reading. Mr. Smith passed away on Sunday morning, Jan. 12, 1902, aged eighty-five years and ten months, and his remains are buried in the Charles Evans cemetery. He was a member of Christ Episcopal Church for upward of fifty years, was vestryman, and at the time of his decease was serving as senior warden. Fraternally he was a charter member of Montgomery Lodge, I. O. O. F. Mrs. Smith survives her husband and continues to occupy the old home on Fourth street.


p. 371


Edwin Foster Smith, civil engineer, in the employ of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company since the year 1862, was born in Catawissa, Pa., Aug. 18, 1841, son of James Foster Smith and Ellen Eliza Cadwalader, his wife. Through his father he comes of Scotch-Irish ancestors, and on his mother's side is of Welsh descent. His earlier education was acquired at Reading, where he graduated from the high school with the class of 1858. He entered Union College, at Schenectady, N.Y., and graduated with the degree of A. B., later receiving from Union University the degree of Civil Engineer.

In October 1862, Mr. Smith entered the service of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company in the engineering department and remained in that employ until the year 1865, engaged on construction work and the locating and building of new branch lines of railroad. During this period, also, he served two short-term enlistments in the Civil war, one under the State of Pennsylvania in 1862 and one in the service of the United States in Company F, 26th Pennsylvania Emergency Volunteers, in 1863.

In the fall of 1865 he entered the service of the Schuylkill Navigation Company, of which he subsequently became the chief engineer and general manager. In 1872 there was added the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

In the year 1891 Mr. Smith, who had for some years been the chief assistant engineer of the Philadelphia & Reading Railway Company, was called to take charge of the construction of the Reading terminal railway and station in the city of Philadelphia, one of the first of the large terminals in this country, and one that has attracted much attention, not only in itself and its appurtenances, but as changing the business conditions of a large surrounding district of the city. He has remained with the railway company up to the present time in the practice of his profession, in charge of hydraulic, steam and electrical plants, and given much of his time as consulting engineer to the development and installation of electrical plants operated by water-power. One of these is at Sewalls Falls, on the Merrimac river, New Hampshire, where the dam and structures for creating the power were designed by Mr. Smith as early as the year 1892, and is one of the earliest examples of the modern system of distribution of power by electricity. In the course of an extended practice of his profession, Mr. Smith has served as consulting engineer for many interests involving the solution of problems of hydraulic engineering, designing and building a large part of the extensive water works system of the city of Reading; serving on the board of engineers appointed by the aqueduct commissioners of the city of New York in 1901, to report on questions of engineering construction in relation to the new Croton dam and Jerome Park reservoir; in the investigation of the conditions affecting the Castlewood dam, in Colorado; a general review of the subject of the location and plans for the Nicaragua ship canal, and many others. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Franklin Institute, and the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia.

In 1867 Mr. Smith was married to Nancy King McCurdy, daughter of Dr. J. K. McCurdy and Elizabeth, his wife, of Reading, by whom he has three children. Mrs. Smith's father was a prominent druggist in Reading for many years, having his store on South Fifth street, near Penn; he took an active interest in educational affairs at Reading, officiating as the first president of the board of school controllers from 1865 to 1867; and he and his family were devoted members of the First Presbyterian Church for many years. He died in 1873.

Mr. Smith's father, James Foster Smith, was born at Pittsburgh, Pa., on Christmas Day, 1813. He was descended from Scotch-Irish parentage, his grandparents having immigrated to Pennsylvania about 1783 and settled at Pittsburgh. In 1822 his parents removed to Blairville, Pa., and there he received his preliminary education. At the age of twelve years he was obliged to support himself, and he devoted his leisure time to study, inclining toward mathematics and civil engineering. When eighteen years old he entered the service of the Portage Railway Company as rodman; when twenty-three he became assistant engineer of the Catawissa Railway Company; and when twenty-four, the chief engineer of the Morris Canal Company, designing and building during the years 1837 and 1838 the tide-lock at the outlet of the canal in Jersey City, which is still in use. In 1839 and 1840 he was in the service of the Catawissa Railway Company, having designed the celebrated high trestle bridges on its line; and in 1841 and 1842 in the service of the New York & Erie Railway Company. In 1843 Mr. Smith became the superintendent of the lower division of the Schuylkill Navigation Company and served as such until 1845, when he was appointed the resident engineer, taking charge of the reconstruction of the canal between Philadelphia and Reading and finishing it in 1846. In 1850 he was elected the chief engineer, and removed with his family in Reading. He filled this responsible position until 1875, when he relinquished the more active duties and acted as consulting engineer until his retirement in 1885.

During his engineering career Mr. Smith designed and constructed many important hydraulic works, including many of the dams on the Schuylkill river, the Columbia dam across the Susquehanna river, 6,843 feet long; the coal shipping landings at Schuylkill Haven; and the extensive wharves, with automatic coal-transferring machinery, at Greenwich Point, on the Delaware river.

Mr. Smith resided forty-eight years at Reading, took much interest in local affairs, and was a devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church, having served as deacon, elder and trustee for many years. He died Jan. 31, 1898, aged eight-four years.


p. 354

Surnames: SMITH, LEAF

Frederick Smith, Attorney General and Associate Justice of Pennsylvania, and one of the most distinguished men that Berks county produced, was born at Reading in 1773. He was the son of the Rev. John Frederick Smith, an eminent divine of the Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania, and one of the pioneers of that denomination in America. He obtained a superior classical education, and selecting the law as his profession after a careful preparation was admitted to the Bar at Reading Aug. 7, 1795. He soon won prominence and distinction, both as a counselor and as an attorney in important litigation. In the meantime he became actively interested in local politics, and served as a member of the Legislature in 1802 and 1803. He was appointed deputy attorney general for Berks county in 1818, and filled that position three years. He served from 1823 to 1828 as attorney general of Pennsylvania, and as an associate justice of the Supreme Court from 1828 until the time of his death. His judicial career, though brief, was distinguished. He died at Reading Oct. 4, 1830. He was a member of the Roman Catholic church. He married Catharine Leaf, of Philadelphia. His two sons, Henry W. Smith, Esq., and George Smith were prominent in the local affairs of Reading for fifty years anterior to 1878, when they died.


p. 464


Picture of Frederick Leaf SmithFrederick Leaf Smith, A. B., A. M. (deceased), represented the third generation of his family devoted to the legal profession and was himself for many years a prominent member of the Berks county Bar. He was a son of the late Henry W. Smith, grandson of Judge Frederick Smith, and great-grandson of Rev. John Frederick Smith, an eminent pioneer of the Lutheran Church in Pennsylvania.

Judge Frederick Smith was one of the most distinguished citizens of his time in Berks county. He was born in 1773, received unusual educational advantages for the time, and after careful preparation for the profession of law was admitted to practice Aug. 7, 1795. He had been thorough in his studies and was equally conscientious in the preparation of his cases, and he soon won a prominent position among the lawyers of his day. Like many others of his profession he became interested and active in politics. From 1802 to 1803 he was a member of the Legislature; in 1818 he was appointed deputy attorney general for Berks county, a position he held for three years; from 1823 to 1828 he was attorney general of the Statue under Governor Shulze, by whom he was appointed associate justice of the Supreme court of the State in 1828, and this honorable position he filled with great credit until his death. Judge Smith was clear and logical in his reasonings, and just and impartial in his decisions. He died at his home in Reading, after but a brief illness, Oct. 5, 1830, aged fifty-seven years, seven months, four days, and his remains were interred in the Roman Catholic cemetery, but later removed to the Charles Evans cemetery. The Bar Associations in Reading and in Philadelphia passed resolutions in testimony of his high character and distinguished ability. He married Catharine Leaf.

Henry W. Smith, son of Judge Frederick Smith, was born Jan 4, 1804. He received the benefit of a good literary education, studied law under the wise and able instruction of his father, and was admitted to the Bar Jan. 5, 1825. He became an active politician, and was a delegate to the State Democratic conventions of 1832, 1835, 1841, 1844 and 1846, and to the National Democratic convention in 1835. In 1836 he was a candidate for Congress; in 1843 and 1844 he served as a member of the Legislature, and again in 1846 became a candidate for Congressional honors. Twice he was the candidate of his party for the office of president judge. In his profession, like his father, he attained high rank, and he had from the first an extensive practice. The successes that came to him were the result of careful, painstaking work, and he was a student as long as he lived of what he considered the "noblest profession on earth." In 1873 he gave able service to the state as a member of the Constitutional convention. He died Aug. 27, 1878, and he was survived by his wife, Mary, and one son, F. Leaf. Mrs. Smith was born Dec. 11, 1811, and died March 2, 1881.

F. Leaf Smith was born Aug. 31, 1831, and received his early education in the public schools of Reading. During the late forties he entered Georgetown (d. C.) College, from which he was graduated n 1854 with the degree of A. B., after an unusually bright course. His literary gifts were notable, particularly his ability as a poet, and on the day of his graduation he had the honor of delivering a discourse on "The Influence of Philosophy" before President Pierce, who was present at the commencement exercises. In 1858 he received the degree of A. M. from his alma mater. After leaving college Mr. Smith took up the study of law for which he had inherited aptitude, which was greatly strengthened and developed by his constant association with his father, while the latter continued in active practice. Owing to the fact that his father had acquired a competent estate and he was the only child, there was an absence of that incentive to full development of his powers so essential to the average man, but notwithstanding this absence of the spur of necessity Mr. Smith practised his profession with commendable diligence and remarkable success, continuing for a number of years. He was a wise counselor, a diligent student of his cases, and an adroit trial lawyer, and as long as he maintained his interest in the practice of the law stood in the front rank of the profession, becoming one of the most prominent members of the legal fraternity in his section. That he was not merely a lawyer is shown in the fact that he added to his professional attainments a varied and sound knowledge of business, and possessed the prompt and practical judgment which rendered his opinions as a man of affairs valuable in the management of his own business as well as that of his clients.

In personal integrity, in inflexible devotion to the interest of his clients, in urbanity of feeling and bearing to his professional brethren, in his respect for the law when it was declared by the court, and in his habitual deference to the judiciary, he was a model for imitation. The benevolent feelings of his heart were displayed by regular and unostentatious giving to charitable objects, and his sympathy with the beauties of nature by his interest in the systematic culture of plants and flowers.

On July 2, 1879, Mr. Smith married Mary Coulter, and they had one child, Marie Carroll, who resides in the old family home on South Fifth street, Reading, where Mr. Smith passed away April 10, 1898.


p. 642


Rev. George B. Smith. On Jan. 30, 1732, the proprietaries of the Province of Pennsylvania granted Casper Wister a patent for 633 acres of land lying in Philadelphia county. By the subsequent subdivision of Philadelphia county the larger portion of this tract of land was brought within the confines of Maxatawny township, Berks county, close by the borders of Lehigh. Casper Wister dealt extensively in lands, and on the early records he is almost invariably designated as the brass button maker of Philadelphia. In October, 1734, Casper Wister and his wife Catherine conveyed 123 acres of this land to one Jost Henry Sasamonhousen, "Blacksmith," who on March 5, 1761, in confirmation of his title to the same, obtained a patent deed for it from the proprietaries, John and Thomas Penn. On Dec. 2, 1761, Jost Henry Sasamonhousen and his wife Petronilla conveyed the same to Henry Sasamonhousen, one of their sons, and on April 19, 1775, Henry Sasamonhousen and Elizabeth, his wife, conveyed it to George Smith, of Macungie township, Northampton (now Lehigh) county. From George Smith it descended to his son, George Smith, Sr., from him to his son, George Smith, Jr., and from him to his son, George L. Smith, who is the present owner and occupant.

Two George Schmits came from Germany to America in the fall of 1749, one on the ship "Patience," Sept. 19, and the other on the ship "Leslie," on Oct. 7. Other George Schmits came in other years, but the weight of circumstances favors the theory that one of the two arrivals named was the George Smith who came into possession of this tract of land in 1775. The future investigator through the help of additional facts may be able to determine which of the two it was. Landing at Philadelphia, he in time removed inland with the incoming drift of homeseekers, and settled where now is Fogelsville, within the present bounds of Lehigh county. He and his wife are interred in a family burying ground on the farm which he acquired in 1775, but as their tombstones have long ago crumbled away it cannot be ascertained when either was born or how long they lived. Their son, Joh. Georg Schmit, was born Feb. 12, 1770, while they yet lived in Lehigh county. He married Margaret Klein, born April 10, 1768, and in course of time came into possession of the farm, improved it and lived upon it until the end of his days. He died Jan. 21, 1855, and his wife Margaret Oct. 23, 1850, both being buried in the same little burying ground that contains the unmarked graves of their parents.

When Joh. Georg Schmit came into possession of the farm, the house upon it was a massive stone structure, built in 1740, probably with a view of not merely using it for a house but in case of emergency as a fort as well. This was occupied until in 1841, when it was abandoned for a new and larger house, also of stone, which is the Smith family homestead of to-day. From the information at hand it does not appear fully what family Joh. Georg Schmit and his wife Margaret had, but it is definitely known that they had a son, George, designated as George Schmidt, Jr., and another named John, who lived near Claussville, and there raised a family, among whom were several sons. They also had a daughter, Elizabeth, who died Oct. 13, 1804, at the age of six and one-half years; and a son Jonathan, who died May 1, 1816, in his twenty-third year, both of whom are buried in the aforementioned little family graveyard.

George Schmidt, Jr., was born April 25, 1800, on the old homestead in Maxatawny, where he always lived. The country becoming Anglicized by this time, the spelling of the name with him changed from Schmidt to Smith. He married Lydia Leibensperger, born Nov. 10, 1798, in Lehigh county, and to them were born seven children, namely: Stephen, Caroline, David, George L., Alfred, James and Rebecca. (1) Stephen died March 27, 1896, leaving a widow, one son and four daughters. (2) Caroline died Jan. 17, 1838, in her tenth year. (3) David married Catherine Adams, engaged at farming in Lehigh county and died leaving a widow and two sons. (4) George L. (5) Alfred died March 11, 1847, in his seventh year. (6) James, who was a physician, died unmarried May 8, 1861, in his twenty-sixth year. (7) Rebecca married John Kump, of Maxatawny township, who died survived by his widow and three children. The remains of Caroline, Alfred and James rest in the little family burying ground on the Smith ancestral farm. George Smith, Jr., died Sept. 1, 1890. During his active years he was one of the leading spirits of his locality, enterprising and successful in his own affairs, and bearing his full share of the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, and during his long lifetime was respected and honored by those who knew him. His wife died Feb. 3, 1865, twenty-five years before the death of her husband, and the two rest side by side in the family graveyard.

George L. Smith, the fourth child of George and Lydia (Leibensperger) Smith, was born June 26, 1833, in the same house in which his father was born and in which his grandfather had lived. He grew to manhood upon the old homestead and received the benefit of the schools of his neighborhood, later attending a select school in Reading, of which the late Hon. Daniel Ermentrout was principal. He then returned to the farm and continued at farm labor until in 1854, when he went to Lehigh county and there for three years engaged at clerking in a general store. Returning to Maxatawny township, he took charge of the old homestead and has remained upon it ever since, engaged at farming and stock-raising. He married Louisa Dutt, daughter of Thomas and Henrietta (Strauss) Dutt, who paternally is of English ancestry and whose family formerly lived in Montgomery county. In course of time he acquired title to the old homestead and improved it in various ways, making it for himself and children not only a pleasant abiding place, but a home in the highest and best sense. He is an enterprising and progressive citizen, a man of intelligence and integrity, and enjoys the confidence and respect of all his neighbors and friends. He belongs to the Reformed Church, the church of his family for generations past. In politics he is a Republican. To George L. and Louisa (Dutt) Smith five children were born, namely: Elizabeth, m. to Edwin Boyer; Rev. George B.; Dr. James, a practicing physician living at Allentown, who m. Mary L. Richards, of Maxatawny, and had two children: Marion (died in 1903, aged seven years) and George; Anna, m. to George Strump, and had two children; Wayne and Mark (died aged five years); and William, m. to Annie Kieffer, living at home.

Rev. George B. Smith, second child of George L. and Louisa (Dutt) Smith, was born July 8, 1867, on the homestead in Maxatawny township which his family have owned and occupied continuously for generations. He was reared on the farm and employed at such duties as usually fall to the lot of farmer boys. His education began in the country district school, and was continued in the Keystone State Normal school at Kutztown. His object in entering the latter school was to merely obtain something more of an education than that afforded by the country schools, but as he advanced from class to class a desire for more learning grew upon him and he decided to aim higher. Failing in one of his aspirations he applied to his Principal, Dr. N. C. Schaeffer, the present State Superintendent of Public Instruction, for information and advice, and in reply received a letter that turned his ambitions in the direction of college training. This he regards as the turning point in his career. He subsequently entered upon a course in Franklin and Marshall College, at Lancaster, and graduated from that institution in 1889. With the advance of years and knowledge came the natural desire for employment, and after careful and conscientious consideration he selected the ministry for his life work. This decision he arrived at unaided and uninfluenced by circumstances, purely from a sense of duty, and after graduating from College he entered the Reformed Theological seminary at Lancaster, from which he was graduated in 1892.

On leaving the seminary Dr. Smith returned to the place of his nativity and, where he was best known, was formally commissioned to work in the Master's vineyard. On June 21, 1892, he was ordained and installed as pastor of the Maxatawny charge of the Reformed Church, consisting of the congregations at Maxatawny and at De Long's Church at Bowers. The following spring St. Paul's congregation in Kutztown, and St. Peter's at Topton were added to his charge, and in this enlarged field he has ever since been laboring with gratifying success, preaching to all of his congregations in both the English and German languages.

On Aug. 22, 1893, Dr. George B. Smith was married to Miss Mary L. Reynolds, daughter of Stephen Cromwell and Mary L. (Capwell) Reynolds, of near Factoryville, Pa. They have one child, Arline Augusta Reynolds, born Sept. 4, 1896.


p. 1531


George W. Smith, until his death April 20, 1908, a citizen of Caernarvon township, Berks county, and who, for many years was engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits near Joanna, Pa., was born Jan. 25, 1829, near Elverson, Chester county, son of Benjamin and Sarah (Bailey) Smith.

Benjamin Smith was born in 1795, and died April 14, 1854, while his wife, who was born in 1797, passed away in 1851. Both were buried at St. Marys, Chester county. In 1835 Benjamin Smith located on the farm later owned by George W., and here he spent his life engaged in farming. He and his wife had the following children: John; Joseph; Levi; George W.; William; Phoebe, who married Robert Retten; Sara; Anna; Hannah, who married William Finger, now deceased, and lives with her brother; and Margaret.

George W. Smith engaged in agricultural pursuits all of his life. He owned a beautiful home; his farm is now operated by his son-in-law. Mr. Smith was of robust constitution, and to the time of his death retained his faculties. He was prominent in political matters, and for more than twenty years was township auditor, assessor and school director, having been elected to these positions on the Republican ticket. For over half a century Mr. Smith was a member of the Methodist Church, where he was for many years an exhorter and steward.

Mr. George W. Smith was married to Miss Matilda S. Geiger, born in 1834, and died Aug. 15, 1892. The following children were born to them: (1) Jane, born in 1855, m. John Kern, and they are the parents of these children: (a) Edgar m. a Miss Murry and had three children; (b) Frank; (c) Elsie m. William Smith; (d) Mabel lives at home; (e) Rena; and (f) Florence. (2) Emma, born in 1859, m. James Roberts, and they have three children. (a) George S. lives in Reading; (b) Roy died in 1896; and (c) Matilda. (3) Hattie, born in 1861, died in 1884. She m. Elmer Sheler, and they had one child, now deceased. (4) Valaria, born in 1863, m. Daniel B. Geiger, and they had, George, born in 1892, died in 1906, and Ellena, born in 1899. (5) Elizabeth m. Howard Jones, and lives in Unionville, Berks county. They have four children.

Last Modified Thursday, 16-Oct-2008 20:57:14 EDT

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