Benjamin SMITH, farmer, PO spring Garden, is a great-grandson
of Abraham and Joanna Smith, who settled in North Carolina.
They had the following children born to them in Tyrrell County,
that State,viz.: Ann, born February 6, 177l; Joanna,
January 23, 1774; Isaac, January 19, 1779; Ananias, December 17, 1780;
Zilpha, April 10, 1782; Euphemia, November 1, 1783; Loef, March 2, 1789;
Azilla, October 4, 1792; and Jose, February 12, 1797. The third child
of this family, Isaac, was the grandfather of our subject. This child
grew to manhood in North Carolina, and there married Millie Hassle.
The twain came to Tennessee and settled in Hickman County,
where unto them were born nine children among them Anderson, the
father of our subject, who was born February 6, 1811 and Jesse H.,
whose sketch appears elsewhere in this work. Isaac came to this
county with his family about 1829,and settled in Spring Garden Township,
near where the subject now resides, where he died about 1850. The
father of our subject grew to manhood in this country and married a
Miss Elizabeth Hopper, who was born in Middle Tennessee January 18, 1811.
She was a daughter of Thomas Hopper, who came to this county in a very
early day, probably about 1820. The parents of our subject also settled
near where the latter now resides, and there subject was born
August 29, 1838. The parents lived in this county until a ripe old age.
The mother peacefully passed away March 22, 1870, and the father, who
for fifteen years before his death had been Deacon of the Spring Garden
Baptist Church, died May 3, 1872.
Our subject attended both the subscription and free schools of this
county until about twenty-one and then worked at home about one year and
then located on his present farm, a piece of land that had been entered
by his father, and of whom our subject afterward purchased it. He now
owns about 400 acres in Sections 1,2,3, and 12, of Township 4, Range
3 east; has about 240 under cultivation and thirty in orchard.
Mr. Smith was married January 24, 1860, to Elizabeth Shirley, a
daughter of Russell and Jinca (Allan) Shirley. The father was a
native of Hamilton County, Ill., and the mother of Macon County,
North Carolina. The result of this union has been twelve children,
of whom nine are living - Isaac N., born February 6, 1862; George H.,
May 19, 1863; Seth T., June 7, 1865; Charles E., March 13, 1869;
Judson A., April 6, 1871; Ellis Lee, April 28, 1877; Ollie J.,
February 17, 1873; Ornie, September 26, 1879; Rado, December 19, 1881.
Of the deceased children, William D. was born September 14, 1860 and
died September 14, 1867; Mary F., born May 2, 1867, died December 3, 1869;
and an infant born April 28, 1877, and died May 5 of the same year.
Our subject has been a member of the County Board of Supervisors, also
served as Road Commissioner, School Director, etc. Is a member of
Ham's Grove Lodge, No. 405, I.O.O.F., has served in the different offices
of that organization, and is now Past Grand; has also been representative
two years at the Grand Lodge. In politics, Mr. Smith is a Greenbacker.
SOURCE: From History of Jefferson County, Illinois,
FHL film 0825579, page 108. Printed 1883
Submitted By Suzanne Paxton
April 22, 1999
There are few things in life that inspire more general interest than
does a sketch of a successful business man, who by achieving fortune
himself, gives an example to those trying to climb the ladder of fame,
and thus encourages them to hope for similar successes. Mr. Smith is
a man of decided ability, and is generally conceded to rank among the
first agriculturists of Jefferson County. He has spent his entire
life in Spring Garden Township, and in his five hundred broad acres is
incldued the estate of his father, and also the farm of his paternal
Our subject was born in the above township, August 29, 1838, and is
one in a family of eleven children born to his parents, only four of
whom beside himself are living, namely: William H., Melinda, Johanna
and Lois. Anderson Smith, the father, was born in Hickman County,
Tenn., February 6, 1814, and was a lad of sixteen years when his
parents came to Illinois and located in Spring Garden Township, on
the western edge of Moore's Prairie. There he was married April 10, 1832,
to Miss Elizabeth C., daughter of THomas and Philadelphis (Ferguson) Hopper.
Mrs. Smith was born January 28, 1811, in Tennessee, of which state her
parents were also natives.
After his marriage the father of our subject started ou in life for
himself, for many years carrying on his trade of a blacksmith, and at
the same time was engaged in farm pursuits. He spent his entire life
on section 1, and at the time of his decease, May 3, 1872, his loss was
felt by the entire community. When thirty-five years of age, Anderson
Smith joined the Ham's Grove Baptist Church. For the remainder of his life
he was one of the pillars in that church, and also served as Deacon. He
was widely and favorably known in the community where he spent so many
years of his lfe, and being a man of rare judgment, his advice was much
sought after by his friends and neighbors. He was one of those honored
citizens of the county who accomplished much good in his life.
Mrs. Elizabeth C. Smith departed this life March 22, 1870, when fifty-
nine years of age. Grandfather Isaac Smith was born January 19, 1779,
in North Carolina, and was one of ten children born to his parents,
Abraham and Johanna (Bateman) Smith. He spent his early life in his
native state, where he met and married Miss Millie Hassel. Soon
after their union the young couple emigrated to Tennessee, where they
lived for about ten years, and then came to Illinois and located on a
farm in Spring Garden Township, where their decease occurred. Grandfather
Smith was a Regular Baptist in religion, and one of the organizers of the
first church of that denomination in this locaity, which was known as
Moore's Prairie Church. He was a noble-minded, conscientious Christian,
and died in 1854, at the age of seventy-five years. He was a solier in
the War of 1812, and participated in the battle of New Orleans.
The great-grandfather of our subject, Abraham Smith, was born in the
early part of the last century, and served as a solider in the
Revolutionary War, in which conflict the father of Grandmother Millie
Smith also participated. Abraham Smith and his wife reared a family
of ten children, the eldest of whom was born January 6, 1770, and the
youngest February 19, 1797. Our subject traces his ancestry back to
one John Smith, who was born in Manchester, England, and came to this
country in the Colonial days.
Benjamin Smith, of this sketch, has always resided in his native county,
and when reaching his majority was married, january 24, 1861, to Miss
Elizabeth E., daughter of Russell and Jincey (Allen) Shirley, natives
of Hamilton County, this state. Mrs. Smith departed this life
November 18, 1891, leaving a family of the following-named ten children:
Isaac N., George H., Charles E., Judson A., Ollie J., Ellis Lee, Oma
(Orna?), Rado, Herman and Iva. Three children had previously died in
childhoood, and Seth T. died when twenty-three years of age.
After his marriage our subject located on a farm, and in addition to
its cultivation for twelve winters thereafter taught school. His first
purchase consisted of forty acres, which he cultivated in such a profitable
manner that he was soon enabled to enlarge his estate, and at the present
time owns four hundred acres, and has given farms to each of his sons.
His property includes the old homesteads of both his father and grandfather,
wihch it is his intention to retain in the family.
Mr. Smith is a man whose character and personal attributes are such as
to win the confidence and friendship of the people by whom he is surrounded.
He has always been interested in township affairs, and for nine years was
Road Commission, and held the office of Supervisor for three terms. In
politics he was a strong Democrat, until the Peter Cooper Campaign, since
which time he has voted with the People's party, and on that ticket was
candidate for County Treasurer in 1890. Socially, he is a prominent
Odd Fellow, with which order he has been connected since twenty-one years
of age. He is one of the charter memebers of Ham's Grove Lodge, which he
represented for two years at the Grand Lodge of the state. He is a member
of the Farmers' Mutual Benefit Association, and is President of the Assembly
of Jefferson County.
Source: Portrait and Biographical Record of Clinton, Washington,
Marion and Jefferson Counties, Illinois
Published by Chapman Publishing Co, Chicago - 1894
Submitted By: Sandy (Whalen) Bauer