WILLIAM R. SMITH,
the present alderman from the Third Ward of Altoona, and who served as a Union Soldier during the late Civil War, in the western armies, is a son of Dr. Samuel Haller and Mary (Rupley) Smith, and was born near the borough of Woodbury, in Woodbury Township, Bedford County, Pennsylvania, April 16, 1844. The Smith family has been resident of central Pennsylvania for over a century. The paternal grandfather of William R. Smith removed to Juniata County, where he purchased a farm, and was engaged in clearing it out when he was stricken down by typhoid fever and died. He was a hard-working man, a consistent member of the German Baptist, or Dunkard Church, and had married some years before his death. His son, Dr. Samuel Haller Smith (father) was
born near McCallisterville, Juniata County, October 29, 1811. He read medicine with Dr. Nealy, was graduated from the old Pennsylvania Medical College of Philadelphia, in 1830, and then returned to Woodbury, Bedford County, where he has been in active practice ever since, and ranks high as a physician. Dr. Smith (of whom a fuller account will be found in the biography of Dr. Albert S. Smith) is a democrat, a member of the Dunkard Church, and married Mary Rupley, who was born October 16, 1815. They were the parents of eight children, of whom three sons and two daughters are living: Calvin who married Matilda Davis; Carrie; William R.; Anna, wife of Dr. I. N. Bowser, of
Martinsburg; and Dr. Albert S., whose sketch appears in this volume.
William R. Smith grew to manhood at Woodbury. He had before him, in the career of his father, an example of industry and worth that was the best object lesson to be learned by any developing youth. He received his education in the public schools of Woodbury, and Martinsburg Collegiate Institute. Leaving school, he resolved upon a business life, and in order to more fully qualify himself for the financial management of whatever commercial enterprise he might embark in, he entered in 1863, the Iron City Business College of Pittsburg, this state, from which he was graduated the same year. He then went to Chicago, where he became a clerk in a mercantile house, but in a few months left the store to serve as a soldier under the flag of his country. He enlisted in 1864, as a private, in Co. F, 134th Illinois Infantry, and served until the close of the war, when he was honorably discharged in 1865, at Camp Fry, Chicago. His regiment was stationed in the state of Kentucky during his term of service. After the close of the war he came to Altoona, and embarked in the generalmercantile business, which he followed continuously and successfully for eight years. In 1890 he was elected as alderman for the Third Ward, and has served acceptably
in that position ever since. Mr. Smith is a republican in politics, and a member of Fred C. Ward post, No. 468, Grand Army of the Republic, and Juniata Lodge No. 246, Ancient Order of United Workmen, and the order of Solon.
On the 23rd of February, 1869, Mr. Smith was united in marriage with Anna Confer, daughter of Samuel Confer, of Altoona. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have five children, three sons and two daughters: Edwin, Annie M., Albert C.,
Samuel H., and Louise C.
Transcribed and submitted to the Blair County, PA, USGenWeb Archives by
Janet L. Graybmgray@dol.net