PORTRAIT AND BIOGRAPHICAL ALBUM
page 441, 442, 443, 444
ADOLPHUS H. SMITH JR. In point of energy, enterprise and determination, the subject of this notice is looked upon as one of the leading men of Mad River Township. He is what may be properly termed a “hustler” in the broadest sense of the term and is genial, jovial and generous, one who is a universal favorite in both social and business circles. He is mostly interested in agricultural pursuits, an extensive dealer in live stock and owns a snug farm on one hundred and thirty-seven acres on section 6, Mad River Township. In addition to this he operates fourteen hundred acres of his father’s land.
In noting the career of a man who has been more than ordinarily successful, the mind naturally reverts to the origin from which he sprang. The immediate progenitors of the subject of this sketch were Adolphus H. and Sarah (BATES) SMITH, the former of whom was born February 24, 1814, in New York City. The paternal grandfather, Justin SMITH, also a native of the Empire State, was born in Oneida County, where he lived until reaching manhood. Then going South he engaged as a shipper at Charleston, S. C. After sojourning there for a time, he returned North and became interested in the wholesale liquor business, making his headquarters in Philadelphia, Pa. Later he took up his abode in New York City and was there married to Miss Maria B. LLOYD.
Grandmother SMITH, likewise a native of New York State, was a daughter of Paul B. LLOYD, an Irish nobleman, who became one of the wealthiest clothing merchants and importers in the city of New York, dealing almost exclusively in fine goods. After sojourning in the great metropolis for a time, Grandfather SMITH returned to the vicinity of his birthplace where he became interested in the manufacture of iron and operated a furnace. Later he removed to Rochester, N. Y., where he followed the same business. In November, 1838, he resolved upon another change of location and removed to Indianapolis, Ind. Thereafter he made his home with his son, Adolphus H., and died on Friday, December 29, 1854.
Broad and liberal in his views Justin SMITH was a Universalist in his religious belief and maintained that clarity for all mankind which made him a man who had not an enemy in the world. His death was not only mourned by his family but by the entire community. His remains were laid by those of his wife who had died in Indianapolis in 1839, and their daughter, Mrs. Julia FISHER, in Spring Grove Cemetery, near Cincinnati. The paternal great-grandfather of our subject, Pollicop?s SMITH by name, was a native of Wales whence he emigrated to America with two brothers and settled in Oneida County, N. Y., where he reared a family of eighteen children.
To Justin SMITH and his good wife there was born a family of seven children, the record of whom is as follows: P. B. L., who became a leading merchant in Indianapolis, died in Marseilles, France, in 1868; Adolphus H., the father of our subject, was next in order of birth; Mary Frances became the wife of Major V. C. HANNA, and died in Detroit, Mich.; Mr. HANNA was a paymaster in the army during the late Civil War. Amelia T. married John H. B. NOWLAND, who is the author of several biographical works, and they reside in Indiana; Julia became the wife of Elwood FISHER, one of the most prominent citizens and politicians of Washington, D. C., who died at Atlanta during the Civil War. Mrs. FISHER subsequently died in Jeffersonville, Ind., and her remains were conveyed to Cincinnati and laid with those of her father and mother. Frederick A. was a paymaster in the army from the beginning to the close of the war; he is now City Clerk of Piqua and County Clerk of Miami County. Justina is the widow of the late Col. C. W. STRUM, of Piqua, Ohio.
Adolphus H. SMITH SR., was reared in Rochester, N. Y., to which his father removed when he was a boy and there he enjoyed the advantages of good schools and attended college for two years. At the age of nineteen he was employed about the locks at Rochester and also conducted a small store in connection therewith. When reaching his majority he engaged in general merchandising at Rochester in company with his brother, P. B. L., and did a successful business.
In November, 1838, the whole SMITH family removed to Indianapolis, Ind., where one brother attended to the mercantile business while Adolphus H. engaged in milling and distilling on Sugar Creek, Johnson County, and was thus occupied three years. In 1841 he left the business in the hands of his brother and going to Cincinnati entered the employ of John BATES, a banker. He not only attended faithfully to his duties in the bank but studied his own interests in another direction and in the course of eight months, won the affection of his employer’s daughter, Sarah E., to whom he was married September 15, 1842.
Mrs. Sarah E. (BATES) SMITH was born in Rochester, N. Y., and received a thorough education, completing her studies in the schools of Cincinnati. She was shrewd, sharp business woman and became the close adviser and counselor of her husband—a true helpmate who aided him greatly in the building up of his fortunes. After remaining his companion for a period of nearly thirty-one years, this excellent lady died at her home in Cincinnati June 22, 1873. She was not only greatly mourned by her own family but beloved by the entire community. In religious belief she was a devout Episcopalian.
Grandfather BATES was a native of England and after emigrating to America became one of the most prominent business men of Cincinnati. Enterprising and public-spirited, he was concerned in many of the important enterprises of the young and growing city—built and owned the National Theatre there and also owned theatres at Louisville, Ky., and St. Louis, Mo. He prosecuted an extensive banking business and also operated as a wholesale liquor merchant.
In 1842 the father of our subject began operating as a broker in Cincinnati, but in the fall of 1843 he removed to Piqua, Ohio, and engaged in mercantile business. He also became a contractor, furnishing supplies for the completion of the Erie Canal to Toledo. The following winter he engaged extensively in pork packing. In the spring of 1844, however, he sold out and removing to Indianapolis, Ind., resumed charge of his old business and also carried on farming about two years. At the expiration of this time he returned to Cincinnati and renting the White Mills from John BATES, carried on milling and distilling extensively until 1855. Then having accumulated considerable capital he began operating as a banker in partnership with Henry O. GILBERT. They also transacted an extensive business in real estate.
In 1861 Mr. SMITH sold out his interests to his partner and began furnishing supplies for the army. During the Civil War he contracted thus to the amount of over $12,000,000 and never had a black mark against him. He enjoyed the fullest confidence of the Government officials and was entrusted at various times with large sums of money. In 1865 he purchased twelve hundred and eight acres of land, constituting two improved farms which proved a safe and sure investment for his capital. He continued a resident of Cincinnati and operated in real estate until 1875. Then retiring from active business he settled down upon his farm where he has since lived in comfort and quiet, looking after his property and adding improvements as it seems necessary. He purchased additional land and is now the owner of seventeen hundred and eight acres along the Mad River and which constitutes eight improved farms, operated principally by tenants. He also owns considerable real estate in Cincinnati and Newport, Ky.
After the death of his first wife the father of our subject married Mrs. Sarah MORSE, widow of Judge MORSE, of Cincinnati, and daughter of John CHEEVERS, one of the early settlers and prominent men of Piqua. This lady was born September 15, 1821, in Cincinnati and they became the parents of five children, the eldest of whom, a daughter, Amelia, became the wife of Dr. Graham A. WELLS, a prominent dentist of Indianapolis, Ind.; Maria L., married Gen. Andrew HICKALOPER, who is now president of the Cincinnati Gas Company; Sarah is the wife of John HARBINE, of Xenia; Mr. HARBINE is engaged in the oil business. Adolphus H. Jr., our subject, was next to the youngest; William H. is a merchant of Donaldsville.
The subject of this notice was born October 1, 1850, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and lived there until almost fifteen years old. After his father purchased land in Clark County, Adolphus H. spent his summers in the country and his winters in his native city. When of suitable years he attended Robius’ Military Academy at Springfield for two years, and later he was a student of Notre Dame, at South Bend, Ind., for two years. Sixteen days after reaching his majority he was married in Mad River Township October 17, 1871, to Miss Sarah J., daughter of Reuben and Elizabeth (BAKER) SHELLABARGER. The father of Mrs. SMITH was born in Mad River Township, and became one of the foremost citizens of that vicinity, serving as a School Director for a long period and as Township Trustee for twenty years. He was also prominent in the Christian Church. He died in 1889. His wife had preceded him to the silent land in 1875.
After his marriage Mr. SMITH located on a farm two and one-half miles west of Enon where he operated one hundred and sixty acres as a renter. He began at the foot of the ladder and was obliged to practice the most rigid economy, but he was prospered in his labors and in 1877 secured the land which he now owns, locating thereon and also assuming charge of the large amount heretofore spoken of and belonging to his father. He has effected many improvements on his farm since taking possession and has now a fine residence, good barns and other buildings and all modern conveniences. He makes a specialty of live stock, raising and feeding cattle and swine in large numbers, shipping three hundred cattle a year and nearly as many swine. He has also made quite a reputation as a breeder of draft horses.
The farm belonging to Mr. SMITH is considered one of the most valuable in the Buckeye State and it forms a most pleasant home for himself and his family. The seven children born to himself and his estimable wife are as follows: Amelia H. became the wife of E. L. BAYLOR and they reside in Springfield; Maria L. at an early age exhibited much talent as an artist and is now perfecting herself in this accomplishment under the instruction of Mrs. DUNLAP, of Springfield. She studied art at Earlham, Ind., and makes a specialty of crayon portraits. Mary K., Justin Bates, Rilla J., Gertrude E. and Helen V. are at home with their parents.
Mr. SMITH for the past ten years has served as Township Trustee and he is also a Justice of the Peace. He is a member of the School Board of his district and socially belongs to Osborn Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons. Among the Masons of West Carlisle he has attained to the Royal Arch degree. He has been for a number of years a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows at Fairfield and is now attempting to organize a lodge at Enon. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias in New Carlisle. In August, 1889, he organized a lodge at Mad River of which he is Post Chancelor. Politically, like his honored father, he is a straight Democrat and has served at various times on the County Central Committee. Mrs. SMITH is a consistent member of the Christian Church.
A lithographic portrait of Mr. SMITH appears elsewhere in this volume.
Portrait and Biographical Album of Greene and Clark Counties, Ohio
Chapman Bros., Chicago, Copyright 1890.